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Postby rufio89 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:08 pm

Hi All,

I think I just need to get all my feelings out, I dont suppose anyone will really be able to help, but if anyone has any advice, it would be really great. I've just not really had anyone to talk to about it and I've got too many thoughts in my head at the moment.

My friend passed away a couple of weeks ago of cirrhosis of the liver aged 26. It was the funeral on Wednesday.

We were really close once. We were actually a couple for about 6 months around 6/7 years ago now, but we stayed close long after we broke up. He had another girlfriend for a while who got angry with him for keeping in touch with me, so we lost touch for about a year, but then we got back in touch again. However, things got really bad for him in his personal life and he ended up losing touch with me (and all his other friends) about 2 years ago now.

He didnt really have any contact with his family except his Mum and also his sister who has severe downs syndrome. His Mum died about 3 years ago and his sister was taken into foster care, and the foster family didnt like him visiting more than once a month, so he missed her a lot. When that happened, his world completely fell apart. He started drinking a lot and he lost his job and he ended up in this awful, dingy house with this horrible alcoholic guy who was just a terrible influence on him. I (and his other friends) tried so hard to help him at this point, we made him doctors appointments, we bought him food, we paid his rent, we tried to get him to the jobcentre, but he wouldnt take it. He ate the food and he stayed in the house, but anything to get him out of the hole he was in, he wouldnt take. Eventually a couple of his other friends managed to convince him to check into a rehab centre, and this was the point that I lost touch with him. It had become such a strain on me trying to help him (and he was constantly calling me saying he was going to kill himself), that if I'm honest, I was just relieved he was somewhere safe and tried to block him out for a bit. I contacted him a couple of times in the first week to see how he was getting on, but he seemed a lot better so I left it.

About 6 months ago, a mutual friend of ours told me he'd bumped into him in town and he was now on crystal meth and living on the street. I wasnt sure that this wasnt just gossip, but i tried to contact him by any means I could, but everyone had lost touch. Eventually I just forgot about it :(

I hadnt heard anything else until I got a call 2 weeks ago saying he'd passed away. People had initially assumed it was suicide, but it turned out not to be. I dont know if that makes me feel better or not.

At the funeral I found out that the events between rehab and his death were: He checked into rehab for about 2 weeks, where he met a lot of people on really heavy drugs and checked himself out. He ended up living in a squat with them and started going out a lot and taking "party" drugs, but that sprialled and he ended up taking basically anything he could inject or smoke. He wound up getting hepititus and developed epilepsy (along with god knows what else). He was in and out of hospital every week for the last year of his life, for ODing or injuring himself.

I'm surprised by how hard his death has hit me. He wasnt a part of my life anymore and I feel almost silly getting so upset about it, but he was really important once and I tried so hard to help him. I still cant help feeling guilty though, like I let him down. Could I have helped more, could I have done something? I know you cant help addicts if they dont want help, but he wasnt like this before! Before his Mum died, he was the sensible one of the group! He used to go home after a couple of drinks because he didnt like being hungover, he avoided drinking spirits, I only saw him properly drunk a couple of times in the 4 years I spent hanging out with their group. The guys he lived with used to smoke weed sometimes and he never got involved in that becuase he said he didnt see the point. He was always so happy and he really truly just wanted to better his life to make sure he had a good future.

It breaks my heart to think that things got so bad for him and I've found myself in a daze almost all the time since I found out. I thought I'd feel better after the funeral, but I think I feel worse. There were only about 20 people at the funeral as well, which I found sad. He had a lot of friends once and I think more people should have turned up to pay their respects, but I suppose he drove a lot of people away with his behaviour.
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Re: Grieving

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:51 pm

I think it's completely natural to feel how you do rufio but try not to beat yourself up. People make their own choices in life. He choose not to get help and buried himself in drugs instead of getting grief counselling and trying to move on.
Some people are much more suseptible to this kind of thing than others too.
You aren't at fault, you did try to track him down and it sounds like you did a lot more than most people ever would
I suspect had you found him he would have used you for money and wrecked your trust as he was at a deep stage or addiction by this point.
Maybe had you found him you wouldn't be thinking of him in the good light you still do.
I suppose the only comfort you can take from this is that he is with his mum now.
If you still find yourself struggling then perhaps you should see a grief counsellor yourself.
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