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Coping with Loss/Weirdness four years later

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Question
A few years ago my friend introduced me to her cousin Olivia. My friend and I were both 12 at the time, and Olivia was 15. I only saw her 2 or 3 times because on November 26, 2008, she was hit by a truck and died. I saw her the night before, so about 15 hours before she died. When I found out, I wasn't real sad because I didn't know her that well, but I was shocked. For the next few days I saw glimpses of her everywhere I went. I quickly got over it and hardly ever thought about her. Well every year around this time I think about her more and more, but I'm not usually sad about it. Well this year, I think about her constantly and there are some sad feelings. I haven't cried or anything but it bothers me that the feelings are different. Is it normal to think about her this much even if I hardly knew her? Do you know why I might be thinking about her more this year? Why do I think about it so much and feel sad if I didn't see her that much? Sorry it's a strange question. Help anyway you can. I'm just confused why after four years it changes. Is it possible that I became closer to her than I think?

Answer
Dear Anna:

You know, this is so interesting because something similiar has happened to me.  I would be in a room and suddenly it would come over me that I wasn't 'alone'.  I turned to look around the room and I would see a deceased friend standing by the window.  Of course, I can't explain for sure what is going on with Olivia but in my own circumstance I felt that my friend, who like Olivia, died suddenly and unexpectedly, had not been ready to move on.  I have always believed that there is a Realm of Angels and each person on this earth has a guardian Angel.  I have known people who lost a child that simply could not get over such a tragedy.  This man was suffering greatly and did not deserve such pain.  One night he awakened to a bright light in his bedroom.  He opened his eyes to see his daughter surrounded by a very beautiful light.  "She looked like an Angel" he said.  The daughter said, "don't worry about me, daddy, I'm fine."   Somehow this experience helped this man accept the loss of his daughter and he said he felt such comfort.  

I believe, though you didn't feel a close relationship with Olivia, she felt that meeting you was a blessing to her.  She feels 'comfortable' in your presence.  It's probably not a coincidence that she bears on your mind on or near the anniversary of her death.  If you see her again, snap a few pictures or simply say, "why are you here?"   I might be just taking a stab in the dark and it could be that her death impacted you more deeply than you think.   There are over 305 references to Angels in our Holy Bible.  If you believe in God, perhaps a prayer to ask God to guide you and help you understand why Olivia repeatedly appears to you or is so heavy on your mind.  

I'm sorry I can't give you some definite answer but our lives are never 'either' or 'or' and it comes down to simply what you believe.  God bless you, Anna.  I think you are a very special person and have made quite an impression on someone's life.  Walk with Angels, my friend.    Joanne

Coping with Loss

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Joanne Flint

Expertise

Dealing with the death of close family members and loss of a friend. Dealing with betrayal; how to accept it, deal with it and move on.

Experience

I lost my parents, who died less than eight months apart and a newborn son three months following the death of my mother. A year following this, my brother died suddenly and a 19 year old cousin was crushed to death in a car accident on his birthday. Now I am facing the impending death of a very good friend. I have also dealt with the death of a husband. I have found that talking with people with similiar experiences has helped me and I have been told that it has also helped them greatly.

Education/Credentials
A licensed nurse for twenty four years with several years working on a Psych ward as well as being the Executive Director and Director of Nursing Services for a Group Home for mentally ill and mentally retarded.

Awards and Honors
Awarded top clinical and top academic grade at my nursing graduation. Also was a member of the English Honors' Class while attending a local college.

Past/Present Clients
I don't share information about people with whom I talk, unless given permission. I am not a doctor, but I have given insight and hope to people just like myself.

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