I am coming up to the first anniversary of the death of my close friend, I’m signed off work for a week with depression, and I feel so lonely, my friend was the one person who was always there for me, I feel so guilty because I think I could have done more for her, and I feel selfish because I miss her company and feel sorry for mysel, life feels very hard at the moment

Hi there,

First anniversaries are very hard so I am not surprised you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment. I am so sorry you are feeling lonely and having feelings of guilt. I am sure your friend knew you were doing everything you could for her, even if it didn’t seem a lot it will have meant so much to her.

There is nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself and you have done the right thing by seeing your GP and getting signed off if it is all too much. Having a break from work will help you and your GP is there to support you through everything. Accept their advice and guidance, they will know how to help you best.

If you take the day of the anniversary in very small chunks I found it helped. Broken down into hours makes it slightly easier. Remember your friend that day with fondness, nothing wrong with crying if you need to. Be as selfish as you want and remember your friend exactly how you want to. The day will pass somehow. I found the anticipation of the the first anniversary of losing my Mum harder than the reality and am facing the second anniversary soon.

You take good care of yourself and I hope you are feeling better soon.

Hi Bornfree,

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such a difficult time at the moment. First anniversaries are always hard and can bring up a lot of emotions, including feeling lonely and guilty. It’s not selfish at all to miss your friend’s company - coming to terms with the loss of a loved one can take time and it’s normal to miss them and miss spending time with them.

It’s good that you’ve got some time off work - are you getting any additional support from your GP at the moment? We have an online counselling service if you would find it helpful to talk to someone one-to-one about how you’re feeling at the moment.

Take care of yourself and let me know if there’s anything I can do to support you.


Dear Mel, thank you for your kind words and encouragement, I think you’re right about the anticipation feeling worse than the day, I remember that being the case with the Christmas, the first Christmas without her. I will break up the day, and also think of what I could do to remember her, try to plan ahead a bit. Thank you again, and good luck with your second anniversary.

Dear Eleanor, thank you for your reply, I think the guilt is so difficult but I’m trying to not beat myself up too much. My GP is very supportive, work is challenging and I think there is an expectation that I should just carry on as usual and Inhave been keeping a lid on my feelings, and in a way my GP has given me a bit of space by signing me off. How do I find out more about the online counselling?