My 14 year old daughter's bestfriend commited suicide,what do I do?

Terri Lynn - posted on 10/01/2012 ( 77 moms have responded )

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My 14 year old daughter lived with her father in another city, she had many really good friends, then her best friend committed suicide and mandy moved with me to a smaller town, away from all her good friends, because she is still grieving she's acting in a way I've never seen before. She ditched school for the entire day, and has been caught ditching one period of class once in awhile.. any other time she acts completely normal like nothings going on... then find letters in her room she seems to be writing to her dead best friend! I want to help but dont want to upset her!

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Nola - posted on 10/02/2012

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What a huge loss for your daughter! Not only is she grieving the loss of her best friend, she is also dealing with moving, going to a new school and missing her support group of good friends. No wonder she is ditching school sometimes. Writing letters to her friend is a healthy way for her to deal with her loss. I'm sure there is a lot she would like to say to her friend. Your daughter may also be feeling guilty that she is still alive and her friend is dead. Spend time with her...even just sitting quietly. Let her talk to you if she is willing. Try to just listen and not jump in with suggestions to make things better. You might ask her if she would like to make a collage or a scrapbook with photos and memories of her friend.

Your daughter needs time to grieve. She will never forget her friend. She needs to find a way to honour her friend's memory and to life her own life fully.

My heart goes out to you and your daughter.

Vicki - posted on 10/01/2012

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She needs to talk about her feelings, maybe set up a apointment to see a grieving councelor?

Beth - posted on 10/03/2012

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She needs some grief counseling to start. That's a heavy loss for anyone, but especially a 14 year old. If she's willing to talk to you, let her know you're there to listen. Try to be clear that her behavior isn't acceptable, but also give her a little room to figure herself out.

Felicia - posted on 10/03/2012

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I think that your doughter is going threw a hard time thats for sure! I hope that you would consider therapy.....she needs to talk to someone...if not then you could be letting her go down a bad path....children sometimes try to cope with lose threw drugs and alcohol i think you should defiantly get her help befor something serious happends you dont know if shes thinking about doing the samething......they were best friends.....please seek help as soon as possible....sorry if i was very blunt but i went threw a lost when i was the same age as your doughter and i was going threw alot of diffrent emotions thats i wasnt able explain to anyone i delt with it on my own and i wish my parents would of understood that i was asking for help in silence! i wish your daughter all the best!

Tinker1987 - posted on 10/02/2012

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that is really sad. I would start with grief counciling,And possibly getting in touch with the parents of the friend that commited suicide,maybe your daughter speaking to the mother or father of the deceased would help her along,they can share stories. she might still feel a connection through her parents. letters are perfectly normal.she has too express how she is feeling. it will get easier in time. there is also alot of good books out there like Chicken soup for the soul,might have a collection on Suicide stories,and how other have coped.might be helpful for your daughter to read so she knows she isnt alone.

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Jessica - posted on 11/16/2012

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Be thankful that it is not your daughter. Love her. Treat her. Tell her how proud you are of her. Take this from a single mom who lost custody of one of her 2 boys and has not seen him in 8 years.

Pamela - posted on 11/10/2012

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I agree that writing letters to her friend could be a very good thing but I also feel that seeking professional help isn't always the right way to go, it might be for you and your daughter, I don't know thats for you to decide. Alot of the time though all she needs is you and her family and friends, she will talk about it when she is ready and needs to know that you are there for her. From personal experience therapists seem to blame all problems on things from ones childhood when it can be completely unrelated and tend to behave as if their patient is an idiot but I am not saying that all of them are like that, it might be the right choice for you guys. Good luck and i'm sorry for your daughters loss.

Nicola - posted on 11/01/2012

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Speaking from experience, suicides of good friends often cause a ripple effect of suicide attempts amongst the friends left behind. She needs to see a counsellor who specialises in teenaged grief and PTSD as soon as possible. She doesn't have the emotional maturity or experience yet to cope with the enormous amount of pain that she has inside. Acting out is a cry for attention. It's vital that she gets the right sort of attention and as quickly as possible. So sad :(

M - posted on 10/30/2012

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We did not have the exact situation, but my daughter lost her uncle to suicide and it was very tough. Talking to others who were also going through the same thing (in your daughters case: other friends and family of the friend who died), group therapy specifically for "suicide survivors," and just being there for her...don't try to push too hard to get her to express her feelings (I know how this is - I have a 15 year old daughter), but perhaps create one-on-one opportunities (driving in the car, going for ice cream, etc.) where she may open up to you. She may be acting out because she is not thinking correctly due to the natural grieving process. I know we all felt like we were merely floating through life for months after his suicide. My daughter wrote poetry about her dead uncle, so I think writing to her dead friend is just therapeutic for her. I would continue to read those letters if you can, to keep tabs on her feelings/state of mind. Also, check your local library for books your daughter can read to cope with this loss - there are many! This is a hard time, but things do get better. :)

Cass - posted on 10/30/2012

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Encourage her in a positive way to go to class. Since she's so vulnerable during these times, being angry about her skipping school wont help - it will only push her away; and shes probably distant enough already. The letters are healthy, especially seeing that she is 14 and figured out a way to let her feelings out. Let it be. And just as every other person has posted, seek help from a counselor. If she refuses at first, then make a deal that she needs to try it at least once, and hope for the best. You are worried that she is acting differently, but you couldn't really expect a young teen to be normal in such a heartbreaking situation like this. She's probably experiencing tons of mixed feelings, anywhere from taking the blame or deep betrayal. These feelings are her own to figure out, and you can't tell her how it is, she needs to understand the situation for herself - and this will take lots of time. I'm so sorry to hear what's going on. This is very sad, and I had to hold in my own tears while reading the story.

Myra - posted on 10/28/2012

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Try to break the spell. Maybe take a trip to Paris or come up with some project to involve her -- like cooking family dinner or buying holiday gifts. Just keep her busy. Does she have any hobbies? If she likes dance, suggest some hip-hop classes ( I know, this is not a ballet, but it's 'for young people' ), photography, acting, anything to fulfill her day. And I'm very sorry...

Melissa - posted on 10/28/2012

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I had a friend commit suicide when I was 14 also. A lot of our group of friends reacted different, some seemed to move on, some named our children after her, I to this day feel guilt, thinking I could of done something to somehow stop her. She told me some of her problems and I looked back and wished I would of done something.

She really needs to get counseling. I definitely changed after her suicide. I always worry someone close to me could die, not just from suicide but from anything. I have a lot of anxiety now. I write letters to those around me to make sure if I where to die that they would have closure. Its a hard thing to go through when your age and counseling would be a very good idea

Alexis - posted on 10/25/2012

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Holly - posted on 10/25/2012

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OMG i just saw this, i know this is a month after you posted it almost... I hope things are getting better, i can not imagine how HORRIBLE this must be for her... the only thing really to do is be supportive and there for her, perhaps get her a journal to write her feelings in. also take her to a therapist who she can talk to. communication is important. it is so important for her to be able to express herself, let her know that it is ok to be angry (feeling angry is better than feeling depressed). perhaps let her write her feelings down on seperate pieces of paper, and then when she is done tell her to rip them all up... sometimes the feeling you get when tearing up all your bad feelings makes you feel good.

Janelle - posted on 10/25/2012

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Terri, Its always a bit tricky on what to say in these scenarios but I think your daughter writing to her friend is very good instinctive therapy. (I did the very same thing when my father died. I just wanted to release my grief and say my last words to him. The things I wanted to tell him while he was alive but didn't) Your daughter is getting everything off her chest and down on paper than bottling it all up inside. That's a postive thing. Suicide is quite a complex issue and quite a daunting reality for a 14 year old to navigate through. She will settle with time. She just has to come to terms with it in her own way. Acceptance takes time. Sometimes the death of someone who is our gender and age can rock you to your foundations because it forces you to think about your own mortality. You question things more. It hits home on a different level. Another aspect of this topic is when people realise how final and permanent death truly is, its like a kick in the guts particularly when it is unexpected and that deceased person was their go-to person. It can affect their confidence due to them thinking they didn't do enough to help or not having any control over the situation. Don't know if your daughter is feeling this way but these feelings are very common under these circumstances. If you are afraid or reluctant to approach her at this time, write her a note of your loving support. Sometimes the written word is better than the spoken word. This situation might warrant it perhaps? only you know how your daughter might respond. I think you are being such a thoughtful and considerate mum. Just my thoughts Best of luck Janelle

Elizabeth - posted on 10/24/2012

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A friend of mine commited suicide a couple of years ago. It is traumatizing at the very least, especially at her young age. 14 year old girls are so prone to depression it is ridiculous.Your daughter might not be depressed, but her friend surely had to be soooooooo drastically depressed it made her ill in every way. I don't know exactly how to explain this,but it is so fresh to me that I want to try my hardest. Okay... so now your daughter has been exposed to this dark thought, the fact that some one can easily take their life. Your daughter has seen that her close friend was hurting so bad that she was able to take her own life. This is an incredible discovery for anyone who has never contemplated suicide within their own mind. She is asking herself, "How could my friend do this? What was so wrong with her life? Was I not a good enough friend?" Right now she is not only grieving but probably replaying the scenerio of how it may have happened over and over in her mind. The letters to her friend are her way of speaking to her friend. She is probably even having dreams about her friend. I still have dreams about my suicidal friend. She is probably doing everything she can to hold on to the presence of that friend.



When she is ready do the grief counseling thing for her. Right now she needs to get through it herself. You can certainly ask her to open up about it and if she doesn't want to talk that is okay. The best thing you can do is if she is ready to talk to you about it, tell her that her friend was hurting very badly on the inside but that she shouldn't feel that way too, it will hurt her friend even more if she sees your daughter hurting too. You have to make her understand that. When people commit suicide they aren't thinking about how it will hurt anyone else in their life, they are thinking that they don't matter and that everyone else is better off without them, but your daughter needs to understand that her friend is forgiven because she was just a child, and that she is watching down from above and she wants to see your daughter happy and healthy. She wants your daughter to grow up and have a happy, successful life. Tell your daughter that.



Talking to the friend's family is also very helpful too. I keep in contact with my friend's sister and cousin. We are able to talk about all the good memories we had of him and that we miss him but he got what we wanted. I know that may sound twisted but it is the best way to not feel sad I think. We all want our loved ones to be happy, right?



I hope none of this sounds inconsiderate, that is far beyond my intention. I am a clinical psychology student, because I want to help people through these exact situations.

Nanette - posted on 10/23/2012

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Be patient with her. Tell her you love her a lot.

She sound like she needs to talk to a professional. She needs to understand her bf was not well. I will say a prayer for you tonight. I know your daughter will be ok. You are a good mom to knw she is suffering. Somes parents ignore all signs.

Keep us posted.

N

Madison Grace - posted on 10/21/2012

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My step daughter London went threw the same thing but differant. She had a best friend name Olivia and they did everything with each other even cheer toeghter. They were friends since they were 4. Oliva and her mother got in a car accdient when a drunk driver hit her mother car. Oliva was in the hopsital. London everyday went to see her. And sadly later she died. She just stop breathing and her mother died too. London blamed Olivia death on her self because she felt like somehow she could of stop it. London use to get real mad and was a differant person. She would get real bad grades and she would sit alone by her self in her bedroom. So i would try to talk to her and make her happy. I put her in counciling and try to make her feel ok again. I did differant things with her and did things she like. Later she did come out of it but it was a very hard thing. One thing i did was i called 5 of her best friends and they knew Olivia and what happen. It was Oliva birthday so we had a party. We honored Olivia and later they all sat down then talk about what they like of Olivia and she was going to be in a good place now. So it was kind of a day were we could honor her and Lodon felt better because she could tell her friends what she was thinking. That just something my mother in law told me to do. I hope later she will be fine, its a hard thing to go threw! Just try to talk to her first and see what you could do.

Alexandra - posted on 10/17/2012

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I have not read the other answers, so sorry if I am saying the same thing.

Your daughter needs to see a councelor, as well as you. Your daughter will need a lot of support for a while, and you need to know how to react and what to do in several situations.

I am sorry you both have to go through this, it must be an awful situation. Hang in there.

Amy - posted on 10/17/2012

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I lost my sister almost 13 years ago when I was 16 (she was only 21) to cancer. I still write her letters because it makes me feel like I can talk to her and and let her know how much I love her and miss her.

Jennifer - posted on 10/16/2012

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it's completely normal for her to be writing letters to her dead bestfriend. It's a way of coping. I too lost a close friend when I was that age and I was told to do the same thing. It truely made things easier for me to cope and handle things how they should have been handled.

Jen - posted on 10/16/2012

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I went through the same thing when I was 14, although we did not move afterward. I truly believe that she is doing her best to deal with the situation but cannot figure out how. She is most likely having a hard time concentrating and keeping her thoughts on school. She may be leaving to keep her mind on fun things instead.... This can backfire and you need to understand how serious this can be! She needs a lot of understanding and a lot of time with you. Play games together as a distraction, while you are playing ask a lot of questions so you can help her process what is on her mind. Start small and be aware of frustration, at that point turn the game back into fun so that the next time you ask her she will be left with the memory of how much fun it was. Take it slow, it is a long hard process. Make sure you make her feel as good about herself as you possibly can and find things that you can point out randomly to let her know how important and special she is. I would also sit down and help her with homework each night as she is prolly having a very hard time keeping her mind on her work. Send an email to her teachers without letting her know and just give them a heads up about the situation, ask them if they would be willing to keep you updated on her progress, attendance, and focus. Ask for a quick e mail from them if things are sliding. The more important it is to you, the more important it will be for her and the teachers. I would also have her see a women councilor if you can or talk to a teen group leader at church. If she can confide in someone other than you or her friends that has experience with this it would make a huge difference. Lastly, love her with your whole heart it will pay off in the end and she will never forget it! You are both in our prayers.

Jennifer - posted on 10/16/2012

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Suicide is not contagious! Sadness is part of loss Ms. Thomas. I think the comment you made was a bit agressive and counter-productive.





To Terri: You just keep up the good work. Keep reaching out for help. Keep your arms and heart open to your daughter and help her navigate this hard time. She will need time from school from time to time and my need some space but she will also need people and family and new friends. Help her find a way to remian loyal to her best friend while also moving forward. Im sure your daughter will be fine. Communication is important to develope at her age she will be dealing with a lot of hard truths over the span of life and it sounds to me like she is level headed enough to continue to work through these sad days in a healthy way. God Bless you all!

Katrina - posted on 10/15/2012

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She needs help before the same result happens to your young onem best of luck hunn.

Jennifer - posted on 10/15/2012

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This breaks my heart for your daughter. All you can do is support her. Its wonderful that you are so concerned. You seem to be a very warm hearted mother. She is very lucky. Death is a very difficult thing to process at any age and it must be horrible for her to deal suicide of her best friend. Hold her at least once a day and let her know she is an amazing kid. Grief councelor but be involved so she knows she can be open with you also. Dont judge her progress. Anyone of us would be devistated if this were to happen in our life. You are the one she really needs. She is going to need time and understanding. Dont rush recovery for her. This is a defining time in her life. She will carry this with her forever. Accept it as you would anything else as part of who she is now and get to know the way she deals. This will be a process of learning for both of you. Im sure she feels lost right now but as she processes and learns more about herself she will get through this. I think its wonderful that she is still writing her friend letters. She is very smart and In her heart she may always write her friend letter and why not?

Claire - posted on 10/15/2012

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I think her writing letters to her friend is a very good thing, but like everyone else said, a grief counselor is probably the best option for her. That is a very traumatic event and she might feel like she could have helped more to prevent it. Good luck

Theresa - posted on 10/15/2012

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Definitely open a line of communication with her. She needs to talk and get her feelings out whether it is to you or a grief counselor. She needs to know you are there for her the whole way just so she is not "alone".

Samantha - posted on 10/15/2012

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Let her know you are always there for her. If possible put her in contact with the friends parents, she needs to know the grief they are going through too, remind her that with every new day it will get better. Keep a close eye on her, wish you the best. Putting her in touch with a suicide hot line-possibly as a volunteer may help too.

Julie - posted on 10/14/2012

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Counsiling is the best way to help her andmaybe a journal will help her sort thru these feelings. That is what helps my daughter as she has tried to commit suicide herself. Also she maybe missing her old friends and a day visiting them could help heal wounds. I pray for you both.

Gabriela - posted on 10/14/2012

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Everyones different and im sure you will figure it out and you will know what is best for your daughter. Goodluck to you and again, I will pray for the both of you

Laura - posted on 10/14/2012

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She needs to see a therapist. My best friend committed suicide almost 3 years ago. I'm 32 and it hurts me every single day. Its been incredibly tough for me and I'm not a teenager. It's hard going from feeling guilt and betrayed to anger and lonliness. Its unbearable when your that close to a person and have no idea that it's even a thought to them..I still feel blindsided. I still go to therapy and some days I still feel the guilt that I couldn't save this beautiful woman that was a sister to me but therapy has helped me with that greif and guilt and really any anger that came with it. Don't be afraid to talk about it, of course it will upset her. It's a tough reality that might not feel real at times, but when it happened to me I still needed my mom and I needed her to hug me and cry with me and she didn't have to say it would get better she didn't have to say anything, I just needed her and I knew she would help me get through so that I.could help my children get through it. I brought my children to therapy as well and explained that sometimes we need to talk to therapists to help us make sense of our loss. I told them they could say whatever they felt and they are always allowed to cry and although they were younger then your daughter it helped. U

Gabriela - posted on 10/14/2012

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When my bestfriend died it took awile to except that the person you always had for everything is gone. it has been 7yrs next mo and I still grieve. It is going to take awhile to except it. The letters are really good for her ,in fact writing your feelings down in a diary or a letter that never leaves the room is a good couping method. Those wont stop they will just cut down. Just let her know that you are always there for her, to talk and to ask anything she needs. Only time heals. As for the school situation..just remind her how important it is to do good in school and complete college to be able to do anything she chooses to do in the future. options are important. God bless. I will pray for her and you.

Terrielynn - posted on 10/14/2012

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This happened with my best friend when I was in the 8th grade. The letter thing is ok I still do it and ir has been alnost 25 years let her know you are there for her and it is not her fault abd get her to a counslor and let her talj to someone

Rachel - posted on 10/14/2012

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she is grieving, however she has found a way to still "talk" to her best friend. It's actually a good thing she found this outlet. However, I would consider a counselor too. She's not going to be able to talk to you, so an outsider would be best. Don't take it personally. Just reassure her that you are available for her at any time, and don't let her get away with anything you normally would not allow. She has to find her limits with you and her new surroundings. Just make sure she knows ( even lots of several small things ) that you love her.

Lauren - posted on 10/14/2012

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Firstly, my deepest condolences. As a former severely depressed and suicidal teen, I understand all too well how the effects depression take quick and dire tolls on everyone. To lose a friend to suicide is just as painful in many respects. It can leave you questioning how the world works and how life can just continue, your belief in God, "survivor's guilt," and your own existence.



As her mother, you are obviously on a very scary, metaphoric tightrope- When should you let you daughter come to you to open up? When should you respect her personal space and time to grieve over the loss of her friend (which is an ongoing battle that will never completely stop)? What if the thought of suicide subsequently crosses her mind?



You know and love your daughter better than anyone on the planet, and I can only imagine that you are living in a constant state of pins and needles. People of all ages deal with loss and grieving in different ways, not all of them healthy, and not all of them with positive outcomes. There's no simplified, cook-book, one-size-fits all solution for this, and even when you are dealing with the same person, there is no consistent or predictable way to deal. Mothers are blessed with the unique gift of intuition, and this is a time where you will be relying on it a great deal, and it will be up to you to use your best judgement to infer if/when your daughter is mourning and suffering, even if the classic or apparent warning signs are not there.



As a well-meaning "outsider" who knows how ugly and nightmarish this can all be, all I can say is that there may be times when you will indeed have to "cross the line" and pry with your daughter. You will have to be hyper-aware and sensitive to her behavior and actions, no matter how seemingly insignificant. You may very well "upset" her, and there is no predicting how she'll react, just like when a normally tranquil animal is in pain (the animal may bite back in fear or frustration, or need to be comforted. Once again, there is very little rhyme or reason to this). As her mother, it is your job to be there and support her emotionally unconditionally, but also to keep her from harm's way (whether from an outside influence or from herself) and from making permanent and dangerous decisions that will never lead to anything good.



For what it is worth, I hope this helps.

Erica - posted on 10/14/2012

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Ask to hear stories about her bf, it will help her to know she hasn't lost everything. Put her in grief counseling. Don't worry about the letters, it is normal.

VALEENE - posted on 10/14/2012

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EVERYBODY DEALS WITH DEATH A DIFFERENT WAY BUT AS FOR LETTING HER SCHOOL WORK SUFFER IS NOT ON STRAIGHT TALK NEVER BROKE NO FRIENDSHIP

Addys - posted on 10/14/2012

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Terri, Im sorry for what your daughter is going through. You need to help her open up to you and tell you what is going through her mind. Let her know is ok to grieve but she needs to find closure too. If you see that is not working out, make an appointment with a psychologist, he/she will be the middle ground for you both to find some peace, and since everything will be confidential she will open up to the psy. If you can try to find a women psy, that way she wont feel intimidated, maybe something happened to her friend before the suicide that she knows and not telling. Unfortunately, kids nowadays are much different than older generations and need more support and understanding that we ever did. I hope you find the help that you need and the sooner the better. If you can find a psy for any reason, try to find a neutral person, someone that will not take sides and will serve as a mediator and confident for her.

Angela - posted on 10/10/2012

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I'm not Wiccan, I'm actually Christian but I feel that a scrapbook and lighting a candle in memory of a deceased loved one is a great idea.



Also, have you thought about bereavement counselling for your daughter?

Kaileigh - posted on 10/09/2012

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Her writing letters to her best friend is just a way of her getting out her feelings. It may be helpful for her to write out these letters instead of talking about it with other people. Maybe your daughter knew her friend was depressed or that something is wrong and maybe feels guilty that she did not help her friend enough. Also if she did not know what was going on with her friend she may feel guilty for not seeing what was going on and helping her friend. My boyfriend who I have been with for 8 years and have a child together, had a brother commit suicide in June. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. She obviously needs to talk to someone, but it should be someone who she trusts. Also she may never get the answers that is looking for, but it is very important that she sees and understand that there was nothing that she could do to help her friend. Unfortunately her friend was sick and gave up fighting. Also maybe you can take her to some kind of group or meeting for those who have lost someone to suicide so she can see there are other people who are going through what she is and that can understand it. Or even talking to a coroner or some kind of person to understand what happened. I know that in these kinds of situations there will always be questions. It will help to get as many questions answered as she can. Also remind your daughter you are there to listen and help however you can, but since you are mom she may not feel as if she can express herself with you. Good luck and I hope everything gets better for your daughter, but know it definitely is not fixed overnight.

Terri Lynn - posted on 10/09/2012

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her friend Haley died december 2 and her birthday passed not even a week after hers in march

Danielle - posted on 10/09/2012

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In Wicca, we prepare a shrine for our loved one. Take her to buy a scrap book to keep letters and photos in, a frame to decorate for her favorite picture of her and light a candle for her. Get her more then one candle of the same kind so she can light it when she feels sad and knows her friends memory burns on. Look up building a shrine in Wicca and let her know how hip and new age you are and hopefully her loss turns into a true blessing of closeness between the two of you.

Danielle - posted on 10/09/2012

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In Wicca, we prepare a shrine for our loved one. Take her to buy a scrap book to keep letters and photos in, a frame to decorate for her favorite picture of her and light a candle for her. Get her more then one candle of the same kind so she can light it when she feels sad and knows her friends memory burns on. Look up building a shrine in Wicca and let her know how hip and new age you are and hopefully her loss turns into a true blessing of closeness between the two of you.

Zainab - posted on 10/08/2012

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Hello I had an experience when I was younger with my best friend as well we grew up together. And it hurts but every one is different in my case counselling helped but its also good for her to grieve in her own way. Even when my father passed away it was difficult but I still believe he can hear me and looks down on us. Its OK to be sad and grieve but always let her know that you're there no matter what for support

Iris - posted on 10/08/2012

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Maybe you should set her up with a clinical psychologist, counselor, psychiatrist, etc. so she can talk about her feelings and sort them out. Therapy can be very beneficial.

Karrie - posted on 10/08/2012

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She is grieving. I actually think that the letters to her friend are a healthy way to go through the process. You may want to get her some counseling from a youth counselor or someone she can connect with. There may even be a group for kids with friends/family who committed suicide in your area. This is something I feel like she's only going to want to talk about with someone "who's been there" u know? Kids that age always feel misunderstood. Hope everything turns out ok. Let us know!

Lauren - posted on 10/08/2012

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The same thing happened to my little sister when she was 12. She is now 22 and has never gotten over losing her best friendAngelica the way she did. After she spiraled out of control by 14 she was skipping school and doing drugs. By 16 she was pregnant, she now has three kids all by different daddys. Plz get ur daughter some help she needs counseling or a support group or something. Don't let her life spiral out of control like my sister's did.

Angela - posted on 10/08/2012

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My best friend was murdered when I was 13. He survived nearly a week longer than the 2 kids he was with-- then died on christmas day. I made a tradition of writing him a letter, at first it was every month, then became every year, on the day he died. I would write about what had happened in the last year, how things around town had changed, about what was going on with our mutual friends, etc, I kept all of these letters in a file in my file cabinet. I continued to do this until I was nearly 30. I guess it was my way of coping. Sometimes, I think that is just was we need. I will still write the occasional note if something major happens (my son being born, my husband and I separating, etc). I guess it's like an outlet to me that I know no one reads, and a way to honor my friend's memory at the same time. But it's been nearly 20 years. So soon after a friends death, we need to process it. That may be what your daughter is doing, but you should talk to her to make sure she is okay. Don't force her to see a therapist if she isn't ready-- it may just push her away. Talk to her yourself. Make sure she knows she can come to you with anything if she needs someone to talk to. Let her know that you understand she is having a difficult time now, but that each person heals in their own way. Stand strong and be strong for her.

Shaina - posted on 10/07/2012

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When a friend of mine was murdered I wrote her an email. It was my closure. Everything I wish I had told her. It helped a lot. I would encourage her to write some of the best times she had with her friend in a book. A way to remember the good.

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