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On Wednesday night a dark cloud descended on Waterford, one that is palpable. The young people, who usually fill the streets with energy and vibrancy are silent.

Parents and friends are devastated, wondering how to help their children through this, wanting to take their pain away and knowing that they will never be the same again. The innocence has faded and the harsh reality that life is so fragile has been a lesson learned in the hardest possible way.

Losing a friend, a peer and a beautiful soul with so much potential is something that nobody ever expects and nobody knows how to deal with.

We asked Stefan , our counsellor for some advice to pass to those who are struggling, who don’t know how to feel, and whose hearts are broken.

Bereavement is difficult as everyone reacts very differently. I feel the first thing is to talk about what happened. To not dismiss what we are feeling. To take time with friends. Look at photos and remember the person who has passed.
Remember that some people will be silent some will cry loudly. We all have our own way to express the loss of someone. Also, recent bereavements can resurface old memories of people who are no longer with us. So if someone is reacting more than you might think there could be something more happening for them. 
Sadness is a normal emotion and to try and hide it is dismissing its importance and it may then resurface later on. So accept your feelings of sadness and express them to people who will support you and who don’t require you to smile when you don’t want to. 
Be compassionate to yourself. Don’t pressurise yourself to be better than you feel. It is what it is. Sadness is an expression of losing someone who is dear to us so sadness at losing them is very justified. 
So do think of them, talk about them and say how much you miss them. 
Our hearts go out to all those suffering in Waterford, keep each other close, hold each other up, and keep talking.