Posted by: Best Friend | 2019/11/20


Dear Doc. I just lost my best friend a few days back. It was all so sudden. I struggle to come to terms with her sudden passing. On her the day of her death my place of work arranged counselling. I actually have a follow up appointment in 2 days time. Something really strange happens with me every single morning. The time I got the news of her sudden passing, the time was exactly 03H30. Every morning I woke up at the exact time! What further worries me that I feel physically sick. I am constantly nauseous, have headaches and I cannot accept the fact she is no more. I dread going to the funeral and I am scared I am going to go nuts! For the last couple of days I feel like I am going to pass out. Its just so overwhelming

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Our expert says:
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- 2019/11/21

Hello BF,
Very sorry to hear about your loss.  Work with the counsellor, as this should help.
Bereavement, following the loss of anyone important to you, is always difficult ; and more so when it is sudden and unexpected.  And it takes time to work through the complexities of grief.  It might not be an immediately comforting issue, but you are still in the very earliest stages of dealing with this .  It may take months to fully work through this, but you will soon begin to handle this better.  Eventually, it will become easier to remember her with gratitude and fondness for all that she was, without this being overwhelmed by sadness and bitterness that she is no longer physically with you.
Grief can affect us in many different ways : we may indeed feel physically sick, maybe even in ways similar to whatever symptoms she may have experienced : that doesn't usually mean that we ourselves are physically sick, but that this is a way in which our distress is feeling to us.  We may have distressed sleep ; times when it all feels unreal ; some people even have the experience of thinking they have seen or heard the friend they lost, when this isn't physically true --- but again, this is a way in which we might be making the loss a bit more gradual,  as we adjust. 
Gradually this will come to feel less overwhelming. It's not unusual to feel so confused and armed that you might fear you are going nuts : fortunately this is not what is happening to you ; this is what it feels like at present.
Yes, you may have mixed feelings about going to the funeral, but think this over calmly.  What would she want ? You'll probably want to take that into account. How would she respond if the situation was reversed ?  Will it be comforting for her family to see you there ?  Will it be some comfort for you to meet with them at this time ? And if you decide not to go, which is of course your right, how will you feel afterwards ?  One can easily end up feel very regretful that one was not there, once it is no longer an available choice.
Look after yourself ; spend some time with other friends and close family who can being some support and comfort to you.  Continue to work towards the time, to come in the not-too distant future, when you can remember her with joy and peace, and not be overwhelmed by the shock and sadness that so troubles you right now.

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