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Getting over the death of close school friend

Discussion in 'Personal' started by dunnocks, May 23, 2019.

  1. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    who died when you were at school.

    38 years ago and counting.

    I don't miss them because they were never part of my adult life. But I still feel sad they never had an adult life.

    Are they going to be stuck in my head forever, qualifying ever happiness I ever have? Are they a bad habit I can break? Or is this the way losing a childhood friend in childhood can be expected to affect you?
  2. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    I think we feel immortal until our first peer dies. Bad things happen, we know that, but to other, older people. Until it's one of us. And then it could be any of us. For me, it was early 20s and a friend died needlessly from a punch thrown at him. No fault of his. That's stayed with me too. I still think about him.
    dunnocks likes this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    this was a drowning
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think one always feels sad at the death of a peer, especially if one has been close friends.
    At Uni I took my turn to sit through the night with a group of friends on 'suicide watch' whilst a friend was going through a particularly bad patch. We got her through that though she quit College at the end of the year. Went on to meet her husband and have 2 children and when the youngest was only 18 months she was tragically killed in a car crash :( I didn't really know her husband and we lost touch, but I've often thought of how she missed out on watching her children grow up, as I have been fortunate to do.

    A tragic drowning of a classmate when I was just 7 has left me with a fear of swimming near the sea and I've warned my family I won't be able to let my grandchildren go swimming in the sea unless I have someone with me. Right spoilsport Gran I shall be!
    alison_wain12 likes this.
  5. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    When I was at junior school there was a boy who was bullying lots of us kids. He died in his sleep aged eleven and the relief amongst the children at school was palpable.

    Nobody spoke of him but we enjoyed a nice relaxed summer term.
  6. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    A non-serious boyfriend took LSD and walked out of the house, into the road and was hit by a truck, killed instantly. He was only 17. I was quite shocked at the time but it only took a few years before I could think of it with complete neutrality.
  7. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Surely most happiness is qualified by the sadness and regrets we've experienced?

    In the end, you have to ask yourself whether the person who died would want you to be unhappy or anxious forever because of their death. Be easy with yourself, dunnocks. x
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Some deaths haunt us. My primary school headteacher lost his entire immediate family in a car crash fifty year ago. From time to time I think about it and still feel a pang of sadness and incomprehension in the face of his loss.

    Dunnocks, you are a kind and decent human being. I was going to say "exceptionally" but I don't want to embarrass you.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    When I was a teenager (e.g. a long time ago), there used to be a number of teenagers from other schools whom I regularly bumped into at the parties I tended to go to...not close friends, but slightly more than acquaintances. There was one who was the real life & soul of the party. A real laugh.

    Then during my year between school & university I bumped into a former school friend and he told me that our mutual friend had been killed in an accident - a senseless accident - when, having drunk perhaps a bit too much, he'd got out of the train on the wrong side* and had been hit by a train coming the other way... Even though he wasn't a close friend, his death really upset me for a long time. I still think about it occasionally, over 40 years on... What a waste. :(

    * Days of 'slam shut' doors one could open at any time, not centrally controlled...
  10. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    This is all part of life, Frank, as you well know. Sad but just one of those things.. We remember these people. The best outcome is usually that we're made more careful by their mistakes and so avoid making them ourselves.
    Lara mfl 05 and FrankWolley like this.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I know when two of his schoolmates of my youngest son were killed just round the corner from one of their houses in the village aged 18, that entire year were much more aware (as boys) of the dangers of speed and aware of the dangers involved in driving.

    And with my story it was the 'rescuer' of the child who was taken by a freak wave and drowned, so recognise the sea as a danger, even if one is a competent swimmer. :(
  12. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    I lost a close friend as a teen/early 20s. Not a school friend as we went to different schools but within my closest group of friends. Unfortunately he took up BASE jumping.
    He'll be stuck in my head forever but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not sure what you mean by "qualifying any happiness" but I certainly wouldn't say his memory diminishes any happiness I experience. Maybe his death affects me, but I'd rather think of it as his life affected me and remember the positives.
    I completely get that. The saddest part for me is that, because I'm at the lower end of the TES age spectrum this was only 20 or so years ago. This means that his parents are still alive and I see them regularly. I feel for their loss more than feel the loss myself.
    nizebaby likes this.
  13. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    2 of the close group of friends my ex had died young. They became my friends via him. One was a chronic alcoholic. His drinking antics were legendary eg there were point along a countryside route where he would tell the taxi driver where to stop and he would reach into the hedge and retrieve a bottle. His brother had a dreadful accident when working on a car with the engine running where the fan blade sheared off and sliced through his head/face - he survived it. Our friend hung himself in the barn next to their cottage. We had to pass it every time we went to visit family in the area.... The other was one of the cleverest people I knew. He had been the perpetual student ie going onto 2nd degree etc - so not going in to a work world. Rather like Lennon he had an acid tongue on him and he could be fiercely cruel. Luckily I never experienced that. He was a stunningly handsome bloke who could drink like an alcoholic for 6 months and then not touch a drop, similarly cigarettes. Some of his history post his Russian etc degree went hazy. He married the sister of one of the group friends who I honestly found to be one of the most selfish pseudo kind of people. She aborted a baby to punish him for his return to drinking. I don't think he ever really got over that. He moved to London - I did hear he led a "different" lifestyle for a while. Then we were all surprised to hear he had married a girl down there. We visited them there once and he seemed settled. Terribly sadly we discovered he had died and again...clouded in things not said. Looking back now I think he almost certainly died of an Aids related condition. So sad.... such a bright even gifted young man.
    I can feel quite tearful over both of them even so many years later.
  14. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    First 8 weeks at University aged 18 I knew a guy called Alan... he went home one weekend complaining of feeling fluey...

    He died of meningitis and blood poisoning that weekend.

    It changed the way I saw the world... if I'm ever back in Kidderminster [a rare occurrence] I visit his grave. Been a good decade or so since I was last there.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. friedgreentomatoes

    friedgreentomatoes Senior commenter

    A very close friend of mine died the summer after we left sixth form, thirty-seven years ago. I still think of her occasionally, usually when a film/book/song reminds me of her. I do still find it sad, but not painful like it was directly after her death (I can't really think how to describe the feeling - wistful perhaps?).
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    My serious boyfriend died suddenly at age 21. It seriously messed me up for years and I sometimes feel that death is too close.

    I will forever wonder what if and feel sorrow for his life unfulfilled.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    A boy in my older sister’s class at school seemed quite frightening, as I remember him, and by secondary school he was huge and loud and I dreaded being near him in case he picked on me. At sixteen he left school and went to work, and within a few weeks he died in an awful industrial accident. He’s buried right next to my grandparents. I still find it hard to believe the boy who seemed so big and strong and (frankly) terrifying didn’t make it beyond sixteen.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I don't think you ever get over it, you just learn to live with it.
  19. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Wise words from Sparkles there.
    I know that certainly seems to be the case with the death of a family member. After a while the intense pain and sense of loss does fade, but one never really 'gets over it' as there's always a 'hole' left.

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