feeling responsible for a friend's death
October 9, 2011 10:08 PM Subscribe
How do you deal with suicide when you feel (or are made to feel) partially responsible?
posted by divabat to Human Relations (27 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I just heard from a mutual friend that a former friend of mine took her life recently. We used to be close, but after some interpersonal issues we had a falling-out and she cut me out of her life. I had been away and did want to patch things up, but never had the opportunity to.
I feel that part of what led her to take her life was some loss of friendships she went through, including mine - part of why we got close was that she felt alienated from a group that she used to be very involved with and I was one of the few people she had left to talk to. In the past, when she felt bad, she'd call me over for cuddles or talk and it'd help us out (I'd do the same), and part of me feels that had we still been friends she would still be alive now. Mutual friends tell me that there were many other reasons, it's not my burden to bear, but I still feel terrible that I never got to fix things up with her in time.
The other problem is that there seems to be some friends of hers who are familiar with my online presence (part of our falling-out had to do with some misunderstanding over blogs) and are in a way blaming me for this. I posted a condolence note on my blog and I got a reply claiming to be from "[Friend's] Ghost" saying "You truly are horrible." Anyone that would pretend to be a deceased person just to troll someone else probably deserves to be considered "horrible" more than me, but at the same time it does feel like there are people who care about her so much to the point of considering me a bad guy and will forever haunt me for this.
I've already lost one other close person (my cousin) to suicide over New Years and had another family death. This is the most personal death I've had to experience in such a sort time, probably ever - my cousin was two years older than me and this former friend is about a year or two younger. I know ultimately I'm not responsible for her being dead, but I still can't help but feel that I didn't make things exactly good for her. How do I deal with the guilt and the pain, especially when there are people out there happily willing to thrust blame onto me?