T Nation

Death and How to Cope


T-Nation is a place to many gym rats right? Well maybe you can help me answer this question. When there is a death of a friend and its pretty tragic, how do most of you cope? Recently my liftin buddy died when his car went in to a lake by my house and he drown. He was the 198 TEEN-1 state raw record holder in the USAPL in Michigan . To me its just hard to get over it, but I think I'm going to get back into the gym and maybe thatll ease my mind. Has anyone ever had this experience, and if so, how did you cope with it?


First, sorry to hear this.

I took a class one semester in college called “Death and Dying.” I know what you’re thinking, groan.

Not so much, it was a literary and discussion class, with very little actual work to be completed. It was smaller, too, about 40 people, so discussion wasn’t limited.

We read a book, which the title escapes me right now, but it was simply about death. One of the primary concepts discussed in the book was emotional response to death. Coping doesn’t happen through shutdown. When you suppress memories and try to not to think of them, that’s the worst thing you can do. Instead, you need to let your emotions (no homo?) dictate things. If you feel depressed, don’t necessarily embrace it, but ride it out. It’s stages of grief, and it’s crucial to overcoming sorrows.

At the same time, realize who you’re actually sad for — yourself. You’re depressed because you’re not able to be around a good friend of yours anymore. You’re sorry for his parents, relatives, etc. Humans are a narcassistic animal, but it’s okay. Grieving is about the mourner’s ability to accept what’s happened, and less about forgetting the person who died.

Hope this helps. I have more insight, but just not off the top of my head.


I’ve never had anyone really close to my die so I don’t really have any advise. I just wanted to give you my condolences. I’m so sorry. I think getting back into they gym will probably help. If it hurts too much maybe give it some time. ((((HUGS))))


One of my friends killed himself after his freshman year in college. Only thing that really helps is time.


Death is a part of life man, sorry for your loss. You a religious man?


Keep moving and keep active, stay away from downbeat and over sympathetic people and try and be around friends/people who are positive good humoured.

Also consider switching gyms for a few months if its brings back too many memories


Honor your dead by living well and without regret.


thanks, i had my deadlift day, and i felt probably 100 times better. and i feel the best way to make things better is if i dedicate my SLP deadlift meet to him. i am religious and i pray that hes in heaven and that theres great mono racks and mastodon bars and people are all squatting and deadlifting and playing football, and i hope he’s having a good time. im trying to have a good time for him, its tough but im tryin my hardest…


Im sorry to hear that :confused: its always difficult when somene close to you dies. Two months ago one of my best friend’s hung himself in his house… It’s hard to believe at first, how somebody you used to hang out with almost everyday suddenly dosent exists anymore, its an odd feeling, and a sad one too.

Im sure you will be ok, just stay positive and keep lifting ;D im doing the same and so far I feel better.


I’ve lost a lot of people. It led to a lot of drinking and a lot of abuse on my part. All I can tell you is don’t go that route.

It took me a full four years to adjust and get right again.


[quote]LUEshi wrote:
Honor your dead by living well and without regret.


Very well said and I fully agree!

OP - Everyone deals with death in their own way. I choose not to “mourn” for someone, but to celebrate them and as LUEshi wrote, to show your respect to them, live your life well, as I believe they’re still with us to some degree.

As your buddy was a lifter, show your respect, he’ll be with you always at all your tough lifts and competitions. Now kick some ass and make 'em proud of you!



This is the best advice I can give. If you miss your friend, honor him by doing the best you can in an activity you both loved. That way(if you believe) he can look at you and smile. Cause you doing what you both loved in life.

Sorry for your loss.


I have experienced many losses, and have learned a few things. It’s okay to feel really sad, when you lose someone close to you…you’re left with a gap…a part of you that really isn’t coming back. The more that I tried to avid feeling sad, the harder it was. You just have to walk through it, one day at a time. That said, I think it’s especially important to do things that you enjoy during that time.

I lost my younger brother a few years ago…and one of the things that we always did together was lift weights. For me, there is a huge connection to him when I train. Sometimes when I do pull ups, or something really hard…I think about how proud he would be…and it makes me smile. I am really sorry for your loss. I also suggest reading the book: When bad things happen to good people. I learnes a lot…


Sorry to hear about that.

Just recently lost my G ma fairly suddenly to a bout with cancer. you got to just cut loose man, let her all out. It is very weird still is. You get in a routine of things they did, and how you just talked with them, where around them, what they did for you. It has alienated me from some stuff she like to do for me and with me, but made me focus on some other things. All up to you man, you just feel it. It takes a while though.


Sorry to hear this.

I’ve had a few friends commit suicide after high school, and one of my best friends got killed a couple years back when he was knocked over by a car (no one’s sure what happened to this day).

You’ll always miss them, it’s just some you learn to accept and deal with over time.


Everybody dies. It is how you honor them and their memories is what matters. I would do something you guys did together and do it well with a smile on your face and a gleam in your eye.

If your looking for advice on how to cope with loss I would talk to someone you respect and ask them how they handled their loses and go from there.

I am sorry about your loss.