Minerva's Breakdown 

Advice for those on the verge

Dear Minerva,

The same year I lost my partner, my friend was diagnosed with HIV. We are both grieving in different ways. This has strained our friendship to the point where we may no longer be friends. How can we help each other heal from two very different tragedies?

—Moving Apart

Dear Moving,

You are both mourning in similar ways. Life sucks so hard sometimes and we get hit out of the blue with difficult obstacles. This test of your friendship should be one that you can both pass with flying colors. For you, your experiences and love for your partner will live on in your heart and mind—in a way—keeping your partner alive as well. Though definitely a life-changer, HIV is no longer a death sentence. While he may not be mourning the loss of his actual life, he is definitely mourning the loss of what his life once was, which could feel similar. Neither of you will be the same people ever again. Hopefully you can take some of the love that you have left to soothe each other's pain. What has happened cannot be changed. Your partner is gone and at this point, his HIV isn't going anywhere. You can change the course your friendship is on. Give each other a lot of leeway to feel how you are going to feel. What would be a true tragedy is to let your friendship die while you both still have so much life left to live.

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