Dear Alice,

Thanks very much for being here, for all us angst-ridden students of the world. My problem is that my father died two years ago from a heart attack that he suffered on his way to work. It was very difficult to comprehend his death. It seemed to be so unfair and arbitrary. I was angry. Very angry for a long period of time. I am over that now. I learned that anger is easier, more expedient to deal with than the nitty gritty of emotions.

While I was in England, the leader of the British opposition party died of a fatal heart attack. The news has devastated me. I keep thinking of the awful things that I went through when the same thing happened to me. Will I ever get over this?


Bruised by loss

Dear Bruised by loss,

Will you ever get over your grief? Yes and no. The intensity of your loss will subside as the days go on, but the reality is that there will always be stimuli in your life that will remind you of your father and your pain. The stimuli could be anything from the news about the British leader, to the anniversary of your father's birthday or of his death, to a person on the street that reminds you of your father. This is OK and it's very normal. Be comforted by your memories, and as time goes on your dad will become part of your everyday in a new way, even though you will always miss his physical presence.

If you need to, at moments when you least expect it and the grief gets overwhelming, call a good friend or a counselor to help you get through it. It will never again be as constant as right after your father died, but there may be some moments where you need a little extra help. Cherish your memories — with time it helps heal the pain.


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