How to Get Over My Close Friend’s Suicide?

Ashley lost a close friend 3 years ago to suicide. She’s still dealing with the pain. Now, her friend’s husband has asked her to help him go through some of her belongings.

Lost a Close Friend

ASHLEY'S (SHREVEPORT, LA) QUESTION:

Dawson: Ashley, who’s 25. Ashley, what’s happening with you?

Ashley: Almost 3 years ago, I lost a close friend of mine. We were closely bonded together, and I looked at her as my sister. She went through some hard times and she finally, I guess, had enough and killed herself. I’m just trying to get over it.

Dawson: I can’t even begin to imagine what you have been through. Looking back, was she throwing out some “If we’d only known” kind of hints?

Ashley: Yes, I saved her from one incident where she was talking about killing herself. She called me the night that she did. I didn’t answer my phone and the next day I found out she was gone.

DAWSON MCALLISTER'S ANSWER:

Dawson: She was bound and determined to kill herself no matter what you did or didn’t do. 15 to 20% of suicides are going to happen no matter what. She strikes me as one of those. Does that help you emotionally? I don’t know. I know it can take up to 5 years to get over a loved one dying, but if that loved one dies by suicide then you can take those times 2. That means in some way or another it could be 7 or 8 more years before you are completely over it.

Ashley: Yes, sir. I named my youngest daughter after her. When I first had her, I couldn’t even say her name. It was tough, but she’s the one who brings the smile to my face and keeps me going.

Dawson: It says you have a husband here. So, how’s he handling all this? What’s he has to say?

Ashley: When I feel like talking about it, he listens. He’s very supportive, but I normally don’t talk about her.

Dawson: You need to find someone to keep talking to about her so that you keep on healing. You have to do something, or you don’t heal. Not like you can just ignore it and therefore it will take care of itself. That’s not how it works. You have to work on it, without obsessing. I feel like you’re getting better. Don’t you feel a little bit better as far as where you were 2 years ago?

Ashley: Oh, yes. When it first happened, I was pregnant, and I didn’t eat and didn’t sleep. I had a dream where she told me she loved me. I don’t know if that’s just her telling me she was okay or not.

Dawson: What’s this about you going to her house? It says on my screen, Ashley is supposed to be going over to her house and helping go through her stuff. What?

Ashley: Yes, sir. I’m supposed to go meet with her husband and get some of her belongings.

Dawson: Don’t do that.

Ashley: Well, she has some pictures and some other stuff that she told me to get if anything ever happened to her. In my mind, I knew something was going to happen to her, but I didn’t know when.

Dawson: Are you sure you want to do that?

Ashley: not 100%

Dawson: Even though her husband’s asking you to do that, there’s got to be someone else who can do that. My fear is it’ll put you backwards, mess up your healing, and be too traumatic for you. Meanwhile, don’t get mad at yourself, because you’re not healed yet. It’s going to take longer than this, but there’s no reason to add to the pain there.

TheHopeLine is here for you, no matter where you are in the grieving process. Our HopeCoaches are trained to talk through grief without judgment, and to help you find hope in even the most difficult times. Healing during grief is possible, one day at a time. Talk to a counselor today about your grief recovery journey and get some support to help you face the days ahead. We are here for you.

If you or a friend need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, for free confidential, 24/7 help. For a list of crisis centers around the world and additional help, please visit the suicide prevention resource page.

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