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Rehtaeh

I am lost

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Rehtaeh

I lost my cousin (basically my brother) recently to an accidental drug overdose and I am just lost. I have been with his parents everyday trying to provide them some comfort but I cannot take their grief and they can’t take mine. This is the absolute worst thing that ever could have happened and I wasn’t even worried about it being a possibility. I was worried about jail or not getting a good career... never death. You never think it could happen to you or someone you love.. but it does. The guilt is killing me and life feels bleak, empty, cruel, meaningless.. how can anyone have hope after this kind of tragedy? He doesn’t get a second chance.. we don’t get another chance. It’s over. 

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Valerie Lockhart

Dear Rehtaeh,

I'm sorry for your loss. I have a brother that is addicted to drugs, and I worry about him accidentally overdosing or becoming a victim to a drug-related crime. He nearly had a close call three years ago, when he was shot in a drive-by shooting. It was extremely rough, because my mother was in the hospital at the same time. It would have been terrible for me to bury two close relatives at the same time. Thankfully, he recovered and received a hospital pass to visit my mother, who was in a different hospital. Coming to terms with your cousin’s death will take time, and that’s understandable considering what has happened. You might also find that keeping a journal—at least for a time—will help you put your grief in perspective. Putting experiences and feelings into words often makes it easier to understand them and to deal with them. And if the listener is another bereaved person who has effectively dealt with his or her own loss, you may be able to glean some practical suggestions on how you can cope. In addition, do not underestimate the value of prayer. The Bible urges us: “Throw your burden upon Jehovah himself, and he himself will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22) If talking out your feelings with a sympathetic friend can help, how much more will pouring out your heart to “the God of all comfort” help you!—2 Corinthians 1:3.Be assured that “God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20) He knows better than any human the factors and circumstances that may have contributed to your cousin’s distressed state. He also knows you—better than you know yourself. (Psalm 139:1-3) Thus, you can be confident that he understands what you are going through. 

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