My younger sister died last year in a tragic car accident aged just 18

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Dear Patricia Marie,

My younger sister died last year in a tragic car accident aged just 18. I am 21. At first my friends were extremely caring and supportive. But now everyone seems to have forgotten about me and the impact this has had on me. I feel I have no one to talk to and that life is just not worth living if my sister is not here. I have contemplated suicide many times. I just don't know how to get out of this very dark place.

I cannot talk to my parents as they are still grieving for the loss of their child, and don't seem to understand or have time to deal with my grief. My grandmother always reads The Lady, and read an article this week saying they have an agony aunt, which we hadn't realised. I went online and when I saw your photograph I thought how warm and approachable you looked, so I thought I would write in. I hope you can help me as I don't know where to go for help.

Patricia Marie says...

I am so sorry for your painful loss and feel utterly privileged that you have taken time to write in to me when your grief is still so very raw. It's always sad to lose a loved one, but far more difficult to make sense of when a young person dies, particularly in such tragic circumstances.

Sometimes we can feel no one understands because we don't open up. I urge you to try to talk to your parents or another family member. You may not be doing so because you don't want to upset them, and they may not be talking to you for the same reason. Even if the tears flow, it's better to share your feelings and comfort each other, and to remember the happy times as well as the sad ones. Your friends probably don't realise how you feel. Tell them how much you miss your sister and that sometimes you want to talk about her.

Contemplating suicide is a serious cry for help and I believe you urgently need some professional support. Contacting your GP who could offer you a health check and refer you for some counselling should be a priority. For additional help please contact Cruse, who are there to support those struggling with grief, and also Papyrus, for young people feeling suicidal. These brilliant organisations could offer you group therapy sessions, which could be extremely beneficial, as you may feel better understood meeting people who have experienced similar. There will always be difficult times, and although you can't see it just now, there is so much to live for. Please trust and believe you will be happy again, and able to experience the joy life can bring, like falling in love one day, and maybe having children of your own. Go and get the help you need and deserve so you can start living the life your sister can't.

Contact Cruse Bereavement Counselling (0844 477 9400 Contact Papyrus (0800 068 4141

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