Ask Dr. Giles: Any tips or suggestions on how to recover faster?

Eric writes:

Dear Dr. Giles, first of all, i am so sorry for the loss of your best friend. I am a 14 year-old boy and my mom passed away of cc. in July 08 at 40yrs old. everything was so sudden, 2 months before she was fine and active with just a little stomach pain, and who knows it turned out to be such a disease. the doctor said maybe half a year but she is gone after 1 and half months after barely any treatments done and sent to a hospice(i know that nothing else can be done but it is just so sad watching her dying everyday while feeling helpless and also cant stand the hospital’s stupid policies that delays everything). now almost half a year later, even though some time has passed and i been to the school’s counseling center for help, i still feels lonely, always sad and does horrible in high school since i cant focus in class lectures and always procrastinate on my homework. Do you have any tips or suggestions for someone like me to recover faster and can focus when doing things again?

Thank you for your kind words about my friend. It’s been just a little over two years since he passed away. I still think about him often–especially when I see someone who looks like him or I do something we used to do together. I wonder what he would think of my life–especially since I’m doing, without him, some of the things we talked about doing together. I miss him, as I’m sure you miss your dear mother, and I imagine what he might say to me in certain situations. It helps me see things more clearly when I do that, and it motivates me sometimes.

Do you ever imagine what your mother might say to you about your life today? What would she want your priorities to be? What would she want you to become? It may be that you can use these questions to help you focus your attention and energy. Keep her in rememberance, Eric, and let her memory comfort you and guide you. I’m guessing she would want you to be happy and productive in your life. Make choices that will honor her and what she taught you. If you do this, I think your mother will not feel so far away.

Please write me again and tell me how things are going. I wish you much success.