What's the best thing anyone has ever said or done when you were grieving?

(157 Posts)
Flamingo1980 Sun 09-Oct-16 21:33:32

You know how people always say "I didn't know what to do/say" when someone dies - let's find out what IS helpful. You lot always come out with brilliant stuff.

When my dad died everyone just said "Hope you're okay". I found this extremely unhelpful and actually very isolating. Of course I wasn't okay - but no offer of help, only 'hope'.
The best thing anyone said came from a girl I didn't know very well who just said: "I'm so sorry about your dad, it's shit isn't it?" - I was so relieved someone had acknowledged it was shit and so let me talk about how rubbish it was. The relief!
What have you found helped?

Sunnydawn Sun 09-Oct-16 21:36:34

A bereavement counsellor explaining that I wasn't actually going mad, and the feelings and pains were physical as a result of shock.

A friend I hardly knew letting me cry on her shoulder in a pub toilet when I just couldn't hold it together when my Dad was right at the end.

fruityb Sun 09-Oct-16 21:38:16

Time is your worst enemy right now but it will become your best friend. I always remember that.

Hoppinggreen Sun 09-Oct-16 21:40:03

When I had a Mc people didn't know how to react and even people trying to be helpful said some awful things to me.
One lady I didn't know well and had a reputation for being rather " silly" said to me that I would probably never get over it but I would find a way to get around it. Really struck a cord

ClopySow Sun 09-Oct-16 21:40:14

The chairman of our board of directors said to me, when my brother was dying "whatever you do just now to get through this is the right thing to do. Remember, nobody is built to cope with this and nothing you do will be the wrong thing"

ilovesooty Sun 09-Oct-16 21:41:27

My mother is nearing the end but we've no way of knowing how long she has. At work my manager has said "Just let us know if there's anything you need from me and if you need to go - just go"

thelostboy Sun 09-Oct-16 21:43:34

From the sermon at my Nan's funeral "It is OK to cry".

The entire family burst into tears as soon as she said it, having been holding it together for 3 weeks before that.

oleoleoleole Sun 09-Oct-16 21:44:27

Said...it's ok to be angry
Done...turned up with cottage pie

Babblehag Sun 09-Oct-16 21:44:38

"People say it gets better with time, that's bullshit, it hurts just the same, you just get better at dealing with it" said by dp the day after my best friend died.

Cellardoor23 Sun 09-Oct-16 21:48:04

When my DM died, at the end of the funeral, one of my closest friends came up to me and gave me a massive hug. No words exchanged. I think I stayed hugging her for a good 5 minutes crying my eyes out.

For me her actions spoke more than any words would have done. I will never forget that.

Heychickadee Sun 09-Oct-16 21:48:53

After my best friend died I had loads of messages from people on Facebook etc. I hadn't spoken to for ages saying 'hope you're ok' 'here if you need anything' etc. that I had no idea how to respond to. Most close friends and colleagues were incredibly awkward with me. The best thing was probably my mums puppy running circles round me barking and jumping up like nothing was wrong.

Also a doctor at work made me a cup of tea when I came back. Didn't say anything about the death, just put the cup down in front of me and said 'good to have you back.' Felt like a bit of normality.

braceybracegirl Sun 09-Oct-16 21:49:02

I think just allowing the person who is grieving to talk or reminisce about the person who has died is good. Or allowing them to quite rightly be angry and pissed off.

Redglitter Sun 09-Oct-16 21:52:06

I remember talking to my Inspector just after my dad died. He told me to take as much time off work as I needed 'This organisation will be here long after you and I are gone. This is time you need to spend with your family'

Not only did it mean a lot it took a huge amount of pressure off me

SchoolTortoise Sun 09-Oct-16 21:55:34

I hated some of the 'comforting' things some people said trying to be sympathetic: 'I really can't imagine how you must be feeling right now' etc- that made me feel horrible and as OP said, isolated.

I appreciated people who asked how I was doing and proactively mentioned the loss or the person's name early on in the meeting whenever I met up with them. It let me know it was ok to talk about it. i also appreciated them mentioning their own past bereavements and how they felt, again I suppose I felt less alone and felt some solidarity with them. It also gave me an opportunity to try to listen and be supportive with them too.

And cards- I really appreciated people that sent a card or a letter to say they were sorry or whatever they wanted to say. Now, if I know someone has had a bereavement I will always write to them. Having someone send kind words when you're not up to calling anyone or seeing anyone really helped me.
Finally I really appreciated people sending me any photos they had of my loved one.
Sorry for your loss OP, and the others on this thread. flowers

Fauchelevent Sun 09-Oct-16 21:59:23

I agree with those people who just let me "be". Who allowed my emotions to be the right emotions instead of crowing on about how i'm "strong NOW but it'll hit like a train later"
M

Blueemeraldagain Sun 09-Oct-16 22:01:00

My only-child best friend's both passed away within 3 months of each other (cancer and a stroke). She said what was helpful were texts along the lines of 'thinking of you', 'love you' etc. Statements, not questions as she felt thought of but not under pressure to reply/make conversation.

Also remembering key dates. As you get further away from the day they passed away friends forget. My father died 14 years ago the day before my 16th birthday. My best friend at the time (we are still pretty close) has remembered ever anniversary and birthday so far. She just sends me a message. It means so much.

Somerville Sun 09-Oct-16 22:01:04

The best thing is when people are there. I cried on the shoulder of my best friend so many times. She would just come over and let me cry all over her and not try to say anything to make me feel better because nothing would.

There was little that anyone said that made me feel better TBH (I lost my DH 2 years ago). But I did appreciate it when people said they were sorry or acknowledged that it was shit and unfair. Even when phrased awkwardly, that's okay - I knew it was uncomfortable to be around someone feeling so sad and to know what to say.

The best thing ongoing is people who will talk to me about him. So many people won't any more.

MsStricty Sun 09-Oct-16 22:01:37

"I heard your dad died. That's shit - I'm so sorry. Do you want a hug?"

From the younger sister of a friend - I'd only met her that moment (this was 11 years ago, when I was 33). Her forthrightness and warmth disarmed me, and were so, so welcome.

whattodowiththepoo Sun 09-Oct-16 22:03:29

I love this thread.

WamBamThankYouMaam Sun 09-Oct-16 22:04:10

A dear friend of mine said to me it doesn't get better. Everyone will say it does, but it doesn't. It becomes different. You'll always feel those pangs of pain, because you won't ever stop loving him, and you miss people you love. But it will be a different sort of pain.

CwtchMeQuick Sun 09-Oct-16 22:04:16

When I had a mc I phoned a friend and he went 'oh cwtch, that's fucking shit' and then 'I know you don't want to talk right now but I'm going to stay right here on the end of this phone for however long you need me to be here' and I just cried.

For me all the 'hope you're okay's and 'here if you need anything's didn't help. It was someone acknowledging that I was hurting and that it was okay for me to be hurting.

Hassled Sun 09-Oct-16 22:04:18

Absolutely re the acknowledgement that it's shit and it sucks. You need to hear that. I lost my mother when I was quite young and one of her friends gave me this spiel about how out of the loss I'd become a better person and grow and stuff. Even then I knew it was insensitive bollocks - she meant well and I know was trying to give a tragic death some purpose, but the truth is there was no purpose. If she'd just said that it would have been more helpful.

sorbetandcream1 Sun 09-Oct-16 22:04:50

People dropping meals off.
People who acknowledged that it was going to take a long time to get over.

People who continued to ask how I was doing many, many months after it happened.

ssd Sun 09-Oct-16 22:06:44

agree with somerville

when my mum died I was desperate to talk about her but no one mentioned her and I felt I was trying to bring her into conversations when I really couldnt manage it

I just wanted someone to ask me about her

loobyloo1234 Sun 09-Oct-16 22:09:21

My sister bringing round her children when my best friend passed away in his mid 20's ... children have a strange way of putting a smile on your face again ... smile

Weirdly, I did like the 'hope you're ok' messages aswell. It just meant I knew they were thinking of me in some capacity which was good enough for me (even if I couldn't bring myself to reply)

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