Losing a friend to suicide – Zany’s story

27-year-old Zany lost her close friend to suicide five years ago. Like many people who are bereaved by suicide, she experienced a complex set of emotions following his death and grappled with a sense of detachment and hopelessness. She tells us her story about what helped her to address her grief.

Trigger warning: This article mentions suicide


After losing a close school friend to suicide in 2017, I really struggled to see the positives in life. Rene and I had been friends for a decade, throughout school and university – he was always a solid feature in my life. I have so many fun and heartwarming memories with him: From going to a Valentine’s disco together, to sitting for hours in Starbucks and listening to music on the train to school. He was always up for having fun and had an admirable ability to be there to support others.

When Rene died, I felt very low and like everything I was doing seemed pointless. It’s very hard when someone you think is succeeding and thriving turns out to be struggling so much, in silence.

While the period after his death was overwhelming and incredibly hard, I decided to proactively take steps to aid my recovery. Together with Rene’s sister, we started a running charity in his name (Run4Rene), I opened up about his story and how it had affected me, and sought professional therapy to cope with my grief. All these approaches helped me to overcome the hopelessness I was feeling at the time.

Suicide is a traumatic event and so raw that I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever get “over”.

– Zany

Over five years on, I still miss him every single day – suicide is a traumatic event and so raw that I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever get “over”. Harnessing my grief through exercise has enabled me to pursue goals that I thought impossible, prior to the loss.

The Run4Rene community is open and supportive and very quickly you find that everyone is running for someone or something. You are never alone.

If you’ve been bereaved by suicide and are looking for support, head to Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. Whatever you’re going through, the Samaritans are also here to listen on: 116 123

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