One of my best friends passed away in a car accident…

One of my best friends passed away in a car accident right at the beginning of the year. I think it really affected me emotionally. Even now, when everyone else has moved on, it still hurts. Every big event that happens now, I don’t really know how to describe it. Things just don’t feel as “big” or meaningful anymore.

I’ve been told by my parents to see a therapist, but I just can’t bring myself to walk through those doors and make an appointment. It feels like therapists are meant for more important things other than “I miss my friend.” Do you have any special advice for coping with loss?

I am so sorry to hear that you lost someone that meant so much to you. It’s okay to feel affected by the loss of someone you loved, it’s human to feel discombobulated and displaced after such a traumatic event. And know, we all move on in different ways and at different times. No two people will ever mourn alike, and it’s okay that you are still mourning the loss of your friend.

From your ask, it seems that you’re depressed, which is totally normal after the death of a loved one. There are five stages of grief and loss; there’s denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And it seems that you are at the depression stage, and your depression is manifesting itself as emotional numbness. So, don’t feel bad for feeling the way that you do or responding the way that you are. You are coping with the loss of your best friend and doing such a great job in such a tumultuous time. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, feeling and thinking exactly what you are supposed to be feeling and thinking.

And I agree with your parents, it’s a great idea to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Sometimes, whenever we experience a traumatic event like the death of a loved one, those closest to us may not understand how we feel or how we are choosing to cope with that loss. I believe talking with a professional will help you make sense of your feelings but will also help you let go of all that you are holding in and holding on to.

And your feelings ARE IMPORTANT. We all experience life, the good and the bad, and it’s okay to put your needs above others and to say that you need or desire help. All because someone may be going through a situation you deem more serious and extensive than yours, doesn’t mean your situation should fall to the back burner. And trust, there are MANY therapists to go around! Your visiting a therapist would not detract from the help others would receive. Once again, I am so sorry for your loss, but I do believe your best friend is watching over you and cheering you on through life. You are a trooper and a fighter, and I know you will come through this to the other side, stronger than ever.