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Have you ever lost someone close to you? How did you deal with their death?

My mother had been sick ever since she was nine years old. I was born into this world with a sick mother so I've never really seen what she truly looked like because she was always in pain. In November of 2002, my mother went into the hospital and slipped into a coma. The doctors wanted to pull the plug on her because they thought she would never wake up, and if she did she would be in the "vegetable" state. When I heard that news, all I remember is dropping to my knees and I screamed. It was so hard to believe. I was in denial. My family and I knew she would come back to us so we told the doctor to give her a month before we'd make our decision to pull the plug on her or not. About three weeks later, she did wake up, and she wasn't in that "vegetable" state. She did suffer from long and short term memory loss and had to relearn everything over again. My mother was in a nursing home for rehabilitation until she was ready to come home. We had to spend some major holidays in the nursing home so we could be close to my mother. She finally came home. Nine months later she went back to the hospital and never came out. On August 5, 2003 my mother passed away. This was a very hard experience, but I learned a lot from it. I learned that life is too short to waste it on foolish things. I'm 17 years old, and I didn't have a lot of time to spend with my mother. But I do cherish all the good things that we shared while I still had her. I know now she is in heaven and she is doing what she loves, which she is sitting at the beach relaxing in the sun. Another thing is that she is in no more pain and I FINALLY got to see how beautiful she really was when she passed. She was so peaceful. Always remember all the good things you've done with the person you lost. Remember they are in a better place and they are no longer in pain. Eventually you will meet them again.
--Jennifer C., Cuyahoga Falls, OH

I just wanted to share my experience with losing a loved one in hopes that it may comfort someone, like everyone else's did when I read theirs. I just recently lost my father to pancreatic cancer, not even a week ago, and I have to admit that it has not been easy. From the moment his illness was diagnosed, his health went downhill so quickly it was hard to believe it at times. His illness was so quick, I didn't get to spend a lot of time with him, but I was happy to be by his side while he was leaving this earth. When we lose someone we love, we have to take comfort in knowing that they are in a better place and they will always be watching over us. When we lose someone they are gone in body but not in spirit. Knowing this comforts me a lot because I know my father is watching over me and I will meet him again in the Lord's kingdom.
--Veronica, 20, Germantown, MD

Well 3 years ago my life took a turn, and I had to face and deal with something I don't wish any teenager to go through...It was friday night and I was living with my dad and he gave me a card and 50 dollars to take to a concert that I was gonna go to. He was the type that never told me that he loved me but I knew he did. Well, with the money he gave me a letter that said "Sam, hope u have a good time at the concert, I'm so lucky to have you...I don't wanna lose u like I lost your mom. Remember that I will always love you." So I went to the concert and had a good time and came home and gave Dad a kiss goodnight and told him I was home. But he couldnt hear me, he had died in his sleep and I didn't know it, until the next morning when I couldn't get him up for work. I didn't know what to do, I just stared at him and asked "WHY." I was too young to lose my daddy...it's been 3 years and I still have the image in my head and I still wanna know why, it's not fair, but just keep this in mind...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
--Samantha, 20, Greeley, CO

I guess I was like a couple of months old when my father died in a car accident. My dad was in the same car with my uncle and my cousin's dad, and a couple of his friends were in there too. They were all driving to work to pick up someone's paycheck when my uncle, the one who was driving, started to show off in front of his buddies, and somewhere or somehow he lost control of the car and crashed. My uncle, my cousin's dad survived the crash with the exception of a broken hip, but my dad suffered a major head injury which killed him. After he was put in the hospital, the doctors, after a while leaving my dad on life support, were wanting to take him off but my mother refused to have him taken off. The doctors were threatening to call security if she did not cooperate and let them unhook him. I have two brothers and they were born before me so they got to be around him more then I ever did. They got a chance to know him a little.
--Jennifer, 20, The Colony, TX

I want to share with anyone who reads this, the day I lost my boyfriend of two years. It was the day after his 24th birthday, July 24, 2002. He had borrowed some sea-doos from his uncle and wanted to ride them for his birthday. He picked up his friend, his sister and myself to go down to the lake. Everything was going well and we decided to riding on the water before we started the bar-b-que. I got on the same sea-doo as my boyfriend with him driving it and his sister was driving the other one with his friend. While going through the no wake zone (the part where you have to go 5mph). I had a chance to tell my boyfriend "Happy Birthday" again and that I love him, he said he loved me too and I gave him a quick kiss. As we began to ride faster, we were parallel with his sister who was not too far from us. My boyfriend pulled ahead and turned left in front of his sister. I don't think he realized how fast she was going because I looked over at her coming straight toward us and said to him that she was going too fast, I think they are going to hit us. He barely had enough time to look at her before we collided. When I came up from underwater I saw everyone but my boyfriend, he was floating face down in the water. His friend grabbed him within seconds and brought him over to the boat that had stopped to help us. He had no strength trying to climb into the boat but we managed to get him up there. I sat with him as we went to the dock. He couldn't talk but he showed me he could hear me by shaking his head. I told him everything would be alright, not to worry. But everything was not all right. Though he looked fine on the outside, his internal injuries were more than he could take. They were sending him in a helicoppter to the nearest hospital but he didn't make it. He died in the helicoppter on the way. Everything seems so unreal to me still. He had so much going for him and he was so happy at this point in his life. He meant the world to me and I feel so lost without him. I know he is with me in spirit but it's not the same. I have never lost someone so close to me before. We spent everyday for the last two years together. He has taught me so much about myself and the world around me and I am so thankful to have had him in my life. Though I am 18 years old, I really felt he was going to be a positive part of my future. It is hard for me to accept the fact that he is never going to call, walk through my door or show me his beautiful smile again and there is nothing I can do to change that. Experiences like this are supposed to make you stronger in the long run, but how are you supposed to handle things in the meantime? I am just taking things day by day, hoping the saying "time heals everything" is true.
--Anonymous, 18

About a month ago my mom passed away from Ovarian Cancer. My mom had been fighting cancer for six long years. She made me who I am today, a person that I can say I'm proud of. She taught me how to truly appreciate life, and to never let anything stop me from living every day I could to the fullest, not even cancer. I feel now that my mom is gone, that a piece of my soul is gone. She was one of my best friends, and the MOST AMAZING person I have ever known. She is my hero, and everyday is so hard to go through without hearing her voice, or receiving a hug from her. As I write this, I cannot help but cry, I just want my mom back. I know that can never happen, but without her I feel alone. Life will go on, I just hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is not that far away.
--Brad, 18, Simpsonville, SC

I have dealt with several deaths in my short life. Today I am 21. Two years ago, on my (now) husband's birthday, a very good friend of mine was killed in a terrible vehicle accident. His passenger was the uncle of his girlfirend, he was also killed. About 11 years ago, my Grandfather died on Christmas Eve, due to an extended illness. But, just 2 days ago, my best friend was killed in an vehicle accident, leaving a husband and a 1 year old boy. I have learned how to deal with death better because of a college class I took, called "Death and Dying". I find that if you have pictures of your loved ones who have passed on, keep the pictures up. Talk about them often, that helped me the most. Go to the cemetery and talk to them, they may not be here physically, but they are here spiritually. Write letters to them, and talk to their family. No death is ever easy, and everyone grieves a different way. But don't ever hold your emotions in! Cry, scream, punch a pillow, or go for a long walk.
--Tracy, 21, West Virginia

I have been through quite a few deaths. The first one that shocked me the most was during the summer of going to 7th grade. My friend Francisco-- RIP-- was killed in a car accident. It was hard for me to put it in a perspective of understanding. Then, in the summer of going to 8th grade, my grandma passed away from cancer. I spent the whole summer with her. I stayed up until 7:00 every morning watching TV with her. Then, one day it got so bad she had to go to the hospital. When she came back to her house, she couldn't move or speak. Everyone went in to talk to her. But I was scared to. I walked in there one night and started to cry and said, "Grandma, I promise I will talk to you tomorrow." Then I left. I woke up the next morning and my mom sat all of us in the living room and told us she had passed away in the morning. I was so shocked that I wasn't capable of crying. It was on my parent's 15th anniversary. That was the worst death I have ever been through. Now, I know she is up in heaven.
--Dianna, 15, Mulberry, FL

I lost two of my good friends in less than two months. One died of food poisoning and the other died of fatal gunshots. The way I dealt with it was by honoring their memories with a poem. I am a creative person and I decided to put it to use. I cut out pictures of them and had them xeroxed onto the poem I created. I hung the poem in between two angels in my room.
--Jennifer, 19, Birmingham, AL

I had a depression experience when my grandpa died of cancer. I was really depressed 'cause I was by his side when he died, and I just wouldn't talk to anyone, so I kinda looked like a turtle hiding in his shell under my blankets. But then I got out of it by actually talking it out with my grandma, then started talking again.
--Shannon

I have lost two very close people in my life. They both were like my brothers. I have a hard time dealing with it still. It has put alot of pain inside me. When the incidents happened, I tried to commit suicide a couple of itmes. Since then, I have been through counseling and so on, but to this day I still have a hard time.
--Michelle, 16, Taylorsville, UT

With this whole death thing I know how it goes. It really does suck but if you stay close to those who can help you though your struggles you will come out a better person. When I first ever had to deal with death was in February when my uncle commited suicide. It was traumatic-- he was the one person who was the life of the party, he was always there to help anybody at any time. To make things much worse, my 16-year-old cousin was then killed in a car accident coming home from a church activity. Which really made me angry at God. At my religion when I knew that there was nothing I could do. I had to blame someone and no one was there and god was my solution. With some counseling and just alot of help from friends and family, we have been able to deal with these struggles. It was really hard but it certainly made my family and extended family unbreakable. Nothing can hurt us together. We can do anything.
--Aubrey, 16, Sandy, UT

In June of 2001 I lost my brother. I'm still not over it, I mean how can I be??? We were soo close! He was only 24 years old! I still cannot believe he is gone! Even seeing him in the casket...still I told myself that it's just a joke and he's gonna get up and laugh about it. Then I kept telling myself he'll come and I was always on the lookout, everytime the doorbell rang, I thought it was him...but it wasn't. Days and weeks and months went by and I see that he's really not coming back. I spoke to a rabbi about this and he told me that if I go and pray at the synogogue weekly, it'll make me feel better, and it really has! I feel so much closer to him there, because I know he's with God and God is taking care of him.
--Milana, 19, Atlanta, GA

I had my grandpa die 9 days before Christmas, of cancer. It was a really hard thing to think about. I never really got to know my grandfather because I was only 5 years old when he died, and I still don't barely know anything about him. So what I really want to tell people is, even if you hate your relatives, still get to know them. Make them feel loved, so when they die you will not feel bad for not knowing your relatives. So please, just take my advice and get to know all your relatives before you never get to talk to them again.
--Lori, 14, Mt. Vernon, OH

I lost my dad a few years ago. To cope with that, I just told myself that life goes on, and to think happy thoughts! My friends were there for me when I needed them, and that's all that mattered to me.
--Emily, 17, Olympia, WA

I have never really lost someone important in my life, but I know people who have, and the reality hit me that death is something we all have to deal with.
--Leila, 14, Northfield, MN

I've lost people close to me several times, and you have to deal with the loss differently every single time. It's hard that way, being unable to apply dealing with death to every single time you lose someone close to you; however with the help of friends, family, time, etc. you just have to learn to be able to take the best of memories with you and let go of the rest.
--Jennifer, 15, Scarsdale, NY

Yes. I just kept in mind that they were in a better place and they wouldn't feel any more pain. Plus, I know they are still watching over me. And I know I will see them when God is ready for me.
--Carrie, 27, Houston, TX

Yes. Right now I'm dealing with the death of a friend. He was hit by a car on Oct 9, 2000. It's hit me really hard and somesdays I just want to run and hide from everything. He was my insparation in music. At his service there were 750 people grieving for him...incuding his twin brother. So far we've gotten the speed limit reduced in that area, and are working for flashing lights. The way I deal is by writing, singing, and I made a memorial on my wall. I have a picture with poems about him and a candle all in one corner i fell close to him when I'm there. I'll never have my friend back, but some days in my corner I feel like he's back with me in my room.
--Hanne, 16, Kirkland, WA

Recently, my father died after a stroke that he had a few months before. Initially, my family members didn't tell me about his death, because he had died a day after my birthday, my party was coming up, and then my mother went out of the country for a week. So they waited until she came back, and she told me. I had never been close with my dad since my parents got divorced and my dad moved away. But now that he's gone and I don't really have a father anymore, in the literal sense, it's just kinda weird. I'm a rational person, and I know that there's nothing I can do about his death, but it's still kinda hard to deal with.
--Lillian, 16, New York, NY

A couple of weeks ago, my dad passed away to cancer. I miss him very much. At the funeral, they played Eric Clapton's "Tears From Heaven". It's a very relieving song to listen to after dealing with a death. Plus, two weeks later, my grandfather died.
--Kris, 13, Mobile, AL

Recently, two of my good friends were both killed in a car wreck on their way to the beach. This was a very tough situation because I loved them both so much. One of them died on the scene, and one later in the hospital. They ahd their services together...it was awful. I was mad at everything at first and so depressed. I couldn't eat or talk, I just laid in bed all day. But then people started wanting to talk to me, and to my surprise, it really did make me feel better. I realized how great both of them were. Although I miss them, I'm dealing with it alot better now.
--Allison, 15, Birmingham, AL

Yes. I looked back on the good times we had together, and I got together to help other people. I often go to elderly homes and help other people with their depression.
--Rachel, 14, Loveland, CO

My great-grandmother died when I was young. It made me very sad. Sometimes I would go to bed and think about her, and I would start crying. Over some time, the feeling went away. Now I accept death as a part of life. After all, if I died, I wouldn't want anyone crying about it. I would want them to move on and have fun.
--John, 18, Baltimore, MD

I hated God for a while and then I just began to recover from the shock of the loss.
--Colleen, 19, Asheville, NC

I have lost people many times...I gave myself grieving time and cried alot and talked to alot of other people. For a while, I used alot, but then I got sober.
--Sonia, 19, Maybrook, NY

I lost my dad when I was four years old, of a massive heart attack. Still, to this day, I can't get over it. Talking about it just makes me feel even worse. I see pictures of him holding me and I feel as though I'm looking at a stranger. I don't remember anything. I finally realized how much I was hurting when my mom gave me a picture I had never seen before, and said "I sure do miss that man", and I just said, "At least you got to speak to him." I just couldn't take it. They say talking about it helps, but it doesn't help me. I am so in need of guidance. So please...if you have both parents, be appreciative. Love them every day.
--Mallory, 16, Mauldin, SC

I kept it all inside, 'till I couldn't hold it. I talked with someone and now I'm okay with it.
--Kristen, 13, Jersey City, NJ

When I was 11 years old, I lost my grandmother. She was basically the only thing I had that reminded me of where I came from. When me and my family learned of her death, we were both saddened and relieved. She was really sick and we all knew it was her time to go. She was in alot of pain. In my mind, I just said to myself that she's in a better place. My dad took it really hard. It was the first time I ever saw my dad cry, and that made me cry. My family isn't close, we always keep our emotions hidden, which isn't that healthy. After learning how to deal with my emotions in my psychology class (which I highly recommend taking in high school), my family had been closer and have a better understanding of why we act the way we do. But back then, we just shut out the bad memories. We didn't talk about her death. We still don't talk about death, I guess that's the way things will always be. The one thing that will never change is visiting her grave from time to time.
--Lenore, 17, Brooklyn, NY

I haven't personally lost someone close to me, but someone who is close to me lost a loved one. I did all that I knew I could do for that person. I stood by them, held their hand, and told them that I would be there for them. That's pretty much all you can do when someone you love is grieving.
--Joanna, 17, Greentown, PA

My grandfather died in May 1999. I wasn't really upset about it at first, I didn't even believe he was dead until I saw him lying in his casket still and lifeless. Then I had to face reality even though I didn't want to. He died of cancer. I didn't talk to anyone about it, I just kept all my thoughts and emotions to myself.
--Cianovlie, 14, Brooklyn, NY