"I Lost My Friend This Semester": Helping You Cope With Grief

Well, I don’t know about you but for me, this semester has been emotionally and mentally draining. I am a second-year student at Binghamton University from- you guessed it- Long Island, New York. As a student who has been heavily affected by a student death earlier this semester, I chose to write this article to potentially help other students who may be suffering a student loss as well this semester. 

While I, by no means, have this whole “grief” thing figured out. I can say that over the past two and a half months I have figured out very small things which provide me with the slightest bit of relief for even just a little while. When you experience a loss, sometimes all you want is a few seconds of "air." For me, the only way I can best describe my grief is that it seems as if i’m drowning and it’s nearly impossible to get myself to come up for just a second of that "air." 

So, that being said, here are three ways I've learned to achieve my necessary “second of air:”

Observe Nature: Whether it’s watching the water flow down a stream or observing the way the light reflects off the pond, just take a second to realize the grander scheme of nature, something which was neither created nor destroyed by you- something that you had no effect on. Drive out to the ocean (maybe not from Binghamton) and observe how far the shoreline extends to. Go outside and look at the mountains that surround you and observe how small you are in comparison to them. Take in the vast expansion of the forest surrounding you and how it seems like for a second you are alone with the earth- somewhere far away from society. Perhaps you want to pick a day to hike up a mountaintop and look out into the distance observing life from a “high point.” Or maybe you want to start the day with an early sunrise or a late sunset but whatever it is, just take a second to breathe in …and out

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

 

Binghamton, New York 

 

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

 

Exercise: OK you guys, we all know you're not using that gym membership that you pay $15 a month for! It's time! Take some you time and finally use that gym membership you pay for but never use. Things can get crazy after the death of someone you loved, so create some consistency in your week utilizing the gym. As we all know, you may not consistently go to class or maybe even sleep but perhaps a work out can be a positive consistency in your week. Maybe you don't have a gym membership? Go on a walk or a run and take in everything around you! You never know what you might find. Just take some time each week to breathe and work on a better YOU. 

Toronto, Canada

Music: Yes- listen to sad music if it makes your feelings feel validated. That’s completely okay as long as you understand that you won’t feel like this forever. But yes, feel bad for yourself and validate your sad feelings with music. But for those moments, no matter how far or few, when you’re happy, enjoy some happy and uplifting music rather than your go to “sad music playlist.” Perhaps you want to pick up an instrument you haven’t played in a while or explore a new genre. -- Personally, I have my fair share of sad music saved. For some sad music recommendations: Six Degrees of Separation by The Script, Exit Wounds by The Script, Everglow by Coldplay, crash by EDEN and Sad by Maroon 5. On the contrary, for some happy music, I would recommend- Everything’s Gonna Be Alright by David Lee Murphy and Reckless Lover by Handsome Ghost.

Short Beach, Long Island

As far as advice on dealing with grief directly, I can’t necessarily give you any- as I am still learning how to deal with it for myself. This semester has been an eventful one at Binghamton University as we have experienced a total of three student deaths this semester. If you or someone you know was unfortunately affected by one of these student deaths, maybe this simple article can help you to understand that you’re not alone. College doesn’t have to be the “best four years of your life” and everything isn’t going to work out the way it’s supposed to. Now, by no means am I saying that I have this all figured out. Trust me, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to comprehend my friend's death. Of course, some days are much more difficult than others and there’s never a moment where I don’t think about losing him. While I can’t offer you any advice on dealing with your loss, I can offer you the comfort that you are not alone.

If you feel that I can help you in any way, I can be personally reached through email at [email protected]If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, grief or suicide, the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team, along with the University Counseling Center (UCC) and Residential Life, can offer support. If you would like to speak to someone, reach out to the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team by calling 607-777-2804. The UCC can be reached by calling 607-777-2772. To reach a counselor after hours, students should call 607-777-2772 and select #2. In an emergency, call 911.