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Maura Higgins opens up on ‘bumpy road’ following death of best friend

The Love Island star shared her experience in a kind message to a grieving fan.

Maura and Andrew.

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Maura Higgins (31) has opened up about the grief she felt following the death of her best friend, offering a kind message of support to a fan in the same boat.

The Love Islander took to Instagram to answer some questions yesterday, with one follower writing: “Sad one but looking for advice on ways to cope with losing your best friend. Lost mine in August.”

Longford born Maura has often been candid about the loss of her best friend Andrew Rowan in a shock motorbike accident in Co. Athlone in 2017.

"I am truly sorry for your loss,” she began in response.

"I know the pain you’re going through as I lost my best friend a few years ago and unfortunately it’s going to be a bumpy road BUT you need to feel every single emotion and there will be lots of different ones.

"Everyone deals with it differently but allow yourself to grieve.

"Talk to your loved ones about how your feeling. Get fresh air and please remember you are going to be okay.”

The reality show favourite was just 26-years-old when her best friend passed away, a period she has described as “the worst time of my life.”

"I get the question so many times: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ And I can’t answer because after that happened, I vowed to just enjoy every day and now I will not look into the future too much,” she told Fabulous magazine.

"You’re just not ready for something like that. It was awful.”

The star has previously confessed she used to “blame herself” for Andrew’s death as she declined an invitation to meet him that evening.

“For so long, I used to think that if I had gone for dinner with him that day, when he had asked, he wouldn't have been on that motorbike,” she recalled.

“My family kept saying to me, 'Maura, you can't think like this, it was going to happen', but I just kicked myself for so long and got worked up about it for so long.”

She added that she saw Andrew just hours before he was killed.

“He arrived down on the motorbike. I asked him, ‘Why are you on the motorbike?’ because he never used to drive it, and he said ‘Oh, it's a good day [to drive it], you know?’ And then he left.”

Maura’s ex-boyfriend James Finnegan broke the news to her.

“It was a blur, I think I was in shock for a lot of it. I didn't break down properly until late into that night.

“I was still sitting on my sofa and James was with me, and I remember something came into my head and just hit me, and I couldn't physically breathe. I was having such a panic attack. It took me a long, long time to be okay again.”

Maura pays tribute to her late best friend every year on the anniversary of his death.

Last year she posted an emotional message to her pal online with a black and white photo of the pair together.

“Another year has passed... but you’ll always be in my heart, because in there you’re still alive. LOVE YOU ALWAYS,” she wrote.

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