Ask Jigsaw: Pain of losing a friend| Advice for Young People

Ask Jigsaw: The pain of losing a friend

Hi, I’m 15 years old and I’m in 3rd year. Last year I told my best friend whenever I felt suicidal. My parents said that I’d leaned too heavily on my best friend that she couldn’t take it anymore. I wasn’t allowed to speak to her anymore, I never actually got to speak to her after that. She started telling people why we weren’t friends anymore.

 I had a horrendous year trying to make new friends. I fell out with some and kept others. Now I have a group of friends who I love. But it doesn’t feel the same. I’m still going thro the pain of loosing her. Is there anything anyone can do to help? I just need advice. I want to talk to her one last time. To get closer. Please help if you can! –Anonymous

Please note his question has been edited in length from the original submission

Hi there,

It can be really difficult when we fall out with a close friend, particularly if we feel that there have been misunderstandings or things that have been left unsaid. Within every situation that results in friends falling out, there are at least two perspectives on what has happened. Naturally, we tend to focus on our own perspective.  The pain of losing a friend and how it felt for us. We try to make sense of what happened in a way that fits with our own narrative.

It can be difficult to do, but if we can suspend our own version of events and try and view it from the other person’s perspective, without trying to argue our side it can help to give us a bit of insight into why they may be behaving in the way that they are. Understanding can help, even if we don’t agree with or condone it.

 

Knowing that people will flow in and out of our lives at different times can make it easier to let friendships go.

Megan, Jigsaw Clinician

Once we understand a little about why someone has behaved in a particular way, we need to begin to accept that they have made the choices they have made. This can be a real sticking point, particularly when we are feeling hurt or rejected. Knowing that people will flow in and out of our lives at different times can make it easier to let friendships go. You can watch Conor, one of our Jigsaw Clinicians, talking about this here.

Allow time to grieve losing a friend

I can hear the pain in your message and the fact that you are still grieving the loss of your friend. Although it is painful, allow yourself time to experience these feelings rather than trying to push them away. If you can, try to talk to someone about how you feel. Tell them about the pain of losing a friend. Perhaps your parents, a teacher or guidance counsellor in school might be able to listen.

Although you want to talk to your friend, it is important to respect her right to not engage in a conversation with you about this.

It could be helpful to focus on the positives in your new friendships, and what is working there. It might not be the same as it was with your other friend at the moment, but give your new relationships a chance. You took time to build the closeness that you had with your friend, and this will take time with new people also.

 

Having a few friends to share things with can help keep the relationships fresh and fun and can offer wider support when things are tough

Megan, Jigsaw Clinician

It is great that you are building relationships with a range of people too. Although it can be nice to have one particularly close friend, having a few friends to share things with can help keep the relationships fresh and fun and can offer wider support when things are tough.

I know you’ve spoken to your parents about feeling suicidal and I hope you are getting the support you need for this. It is really important that you let them or a teacher know if you experience these thoughts again. You can find more information about services which can support you here.

Take care,

Megan, Jigsaw Clinician