(Story shared by Danny, 25, Laramie WY)
In an attempt to hash out my thoughts….
A friend, who I was not close with at the time, lost her father in college. We knew a lot of the same people but not through each other. I did recognize her as someone I could easily connect with. I remember how excited she was when she first started dating another friend of mine.
Another friend was the first person to tell me that Katherine’s father had died. I remember how surreal the situation seemed and also remembered that the only advice I could think to give was “go visit her”. I don’t know if that was the correct response, but I didn’t feel close enough to go myself. It just seemed to me that someone like Annie who surrounds herself with friends and people she loved, would be exceptionally lonely at that moment. Although in reality I’m sure lonely was only the tip of the iceberg as far as feelings go.
That summer Katherine and I talked on a relatively regular basis. I was very impressed and also comforted by her ability to reach out for help. It was comforting as a friend to watch and listen to someone who was as pro-active in searching for her own mental health as she was.
Whether it was true or not, I felt like I was able to be an almost third party friendship, not part of her friends from home and not quite part of her group of college friends. As far as I can remember our conversations weaved in and out of how she felt, her other friends, and just staying in touch.