View Full Version : Thoughts on helping a friend who lost his mother
07-06-2004, 05:10 PM
Any ideas on what I can/should do to help a friend who just lost his mother today? It's the first time one of my best friends has lost a parent. Quite frankly, it hits very close to home. We knew the mom very well, as we've been friends for years (since college), are each other's children's godparents, and all (including grandparents) go on vacation to family camp each year. Makes me think about my own parents mortality.
I've called my friends and offerred my services for anything they need -- food, childcare, airport transportation, hotel accomodations, etc. Should I go ahead and just do anything? I'm not sure people always ask when they need help. I know when my daughter was in the hospital, I only asked for help with critical needs -- e.g. a few friends helped on transportation issues for the kids -- but I'm sure the loss of a loved one is a very different issue.
Thanks for any input you have. I'm a long time lurker and always value your advice. I'd hate to do or say anything wrong and I just want to be there to help in any way that I can. I'd drop anything and help them out anytime anyway I could.
No advice, but wanted to send hugs your way too, since it seems as though you are grieving also. Take care!
07-06-2004, 06:22 PM
A dear friend just lost her mother to breast cancer 2 weeks ago (which also hit home since my own mother has BC) and while she didn't ask for anything we all took turns dropping a meal by every few days. She also wanted to get together a lot to keep her mind busy during the day. Just today at playgroup she told us how much she appreciated us doing that.
Maybe make a few meals, ask him if he wants to get together. The toughest time for my friend was a week or two later when reality hit her, so maybe being there when that happens for him.
I am so sorry, you are a wonderful friend for wanting to help him.
07-06-2004, 06:23 PM
Well it sounds like you have offered to do some great things for them, hopefully they will take you up on the offer. I know when DHs mom passed away he was really touched by people just showing up at the service, but if it is far away then that probably isn't possible. If money is tight for them it might be nice to give them giftcards for a restaurant or pay for a night at the hotel for them. Other than that just be there for them to talk to if they need to.
07-06-2004, 06:32 PM
You need to realize that everyone handles grief in different ways. It may be weeks or even months before some of the signs shows up. It is a long process that sadly many have to go through alone. You can help as much as you can right now, but when she will really need you is as a sounding board in those weeks and months to come.
The first year for me was VERY hard. Then I was fine until what would have been my father's 80th birthday this year.
Big hugs to ya.
07-06-2004, 07:34 PM
I agree with Flagger.
I lost my dad very suddenly on December 18 of last year.
Ther first month was total denial...and you have so much support from people.
But 2-3 months after his death, everyone else returned to normal, and that is when I needed everyone the most and still do.
I had so many people tell me to "call if I needed anything" but I can honestly tell you that I never did. I didnt feel right calling and asking for childcare or dinner.
SO my advice to you......send a card in about a mmonth just to let them know that you are thinking of them.
1 or 2 months from now, just call and tell them that you are bringing dinner by and ask what night that week works best.
You and your friend are in my thoughts.
For those who have not lost a parent, it is the worst thing imaginable.
07-06-2004, 08:02 PM
I really appreciate the advice you and Flagger gave about checking back in a month or two. These are some of our best friends, but we don't always get together regularly. I will be sure to stay in contact in awhile. I understand everyone grieves differently, that's why I knew I'd appreciate the different advice from this board. I was so focused on what I could do NOW, but I know the parents (who also live locally hence the reason we know them so well) also have quite a network and their friends will be providing food, helping with the service, etc. So, I'm thinking that I'll be sure to have my friends over to our house in a month or so -- we'll also -- if they still go -- be going camping with them in two weeks. In addition, I think I'll offer to take the kids for a day so that they can work with their Dad to sort through affairs or whatever. I'll just pick a day and say that I'm claiming my godchildren for that day.
07-06-2004, 10:18 PM
I am sorry to hear about your friend's loss.
Well, I can relate to this one... Unfortunately I lost both my parents recently -- my mom in Dec/2000 and my dad in Jan/2003. So I've been through this twice :-( and I will tell you my experience.
I agree with flagger -- most people help a lot in the beginning and then suddenly you're all alone again. That's the hardest part. In the beginning I was kind of too "numb" to really understand what happened. Denial -- big time. A couple of months later is when reality really sinks in and you realize that they're not coming back; they're not going to be around anymore; you won't hear their voices or feel the warmth of their hugs again.
Also, many of my friends didn't come to see me much because they were afraid they were going to bother and disturb my grief and I was too dizzy to go after them. So be proactive, be around and tell them you care and are there for them. It sounds obvious but that's all I wanted to hear...
07-07-2004, 08:12 AM
I agree that a month from now your friend will still 'need' you. Call a month to the day and offer to bring supper over. Don't wait for him to call, because he won't. Instead he'll sit at home and wish he had someone who cared enough to remember that just one short month ago his mom died.
Drop over with something sometime and just be available to listen. Share your memories and listen to his. Don't be shocked by anything that might come out of his mouth. We remember the good and the bad when a parent dies.
07-07-2004, 12:04 PM
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