I have started and restarted this brief paragraph, looking for the right words to express my experiences and thoughts. But now I realize that they were right in front of me. Having a friend who has gone through this struggle is like having a friend that has more depth, sensitivity and understanding than most people. They have been through a loss that is, in my opinion, one of the roughest someone could go through. They prevail however, and that is an immense act of strength. A friend who has lost a parent can be the ultimate comfort when you need support, as well as an amazing listener. Of course this is provided that you get around the tall walls he or she has built around him or her.
My friend, for example, is very comfortable talking about almost anything, and she is the first person I turn to for advice.
She lost her dad to a heart attack when she was three years old, and although she has precious little memory of him, with a little research and picture sourcing, she was able to connect with him when many thought she could not. Together, she and her mother have moved on, cherishing his memory by sharing funny stories and wearing his old sweatshirts. From this experience, and with the help of those around her, she has matured and grown stronger. You can too - stay brave!