How to support a friend whose husband will die soon

(6 Posts)
camaleon Thu 14-Mar-13 22:20:24

A very close friend, who we consider family at every level had a tragic unfortunate accident. He is in deep comma. Decisions have been taken about end of life options but the process is long. It has been more than 6 weeks since the accident and we expect him to pass away any time soon. He is the father of two children aged 6 and 9. The wife is distraught.

We do not want to impose ourselves but want to be sure we are there for her and her kids. If someone has gone through something similar, I would really appreciate any advice on what were the things you found most comforting at the time.

Thank you

exoticfruits Fri 15-Mar-13 06:37:26

Not exactly the same because death was instant, but it was similar. It is no good saying 'we are here for you, phone anytime'- it is too much effort. I would just quietly gauge what needs doing in a practical way - child care? A meal? Are her parents around to ask? Just let her talk. Afterwards keep in touch on a regular basis and take out- not so much in advance because it is too difficult to plan, more along the lines of phoning on the day and saying 'we are going to .........this afternoon, would you like to come?' Just being in regular contact ad letting her talk really.

Exoticfruits has great advice there. I would also say that obviously the initial raw pain will be awful and I am sure lots of people will support your friend, however it is a couple of months later, when everything has calmed down and the reality of the 'new' everyday life kicks in that she will need more support again.
I am very sorry for his family and also for you and yours. Take care of yourselves as well as them.

exoticfruits Fri 15-Mar-13 07:14:47

Yes- it is the ongoing contact- 2months time, 6months time, a years time and so on. It isn't something you 'just get over'- it is a long, slow process.

dippymother Sat 16-Mar-13 14:53:12

Great advice here. I was kept very busy in the early days with lots of support, executor duties, a mountain of paperwork and two children (teens) to support when my DH died. However, the executor duties completed around 9 months later which coincided with a drop off of support from some people. It left me feeling bereft, perhaps they thought I no longer needed help and that I must be "over" it.

If you are there for your friend no matter how long it takes, an invitation to a day out or a meal occasionally so she's not forgotten and abandoned, then you'll be a great support to her and the children.

camaleon Sun 17-Mar-13 12:03:32

Thank you very much.
We are in a different country at the moment, although he have travelled a couple of times to be close in hospital and now with her and kids by turns.

She may consider moving to the UK where she will have more support and it will be easier to just drop by. However, the husband is still technically alive and any discussion about moving seems to greatly upset her since she speaks a lot about the future in a way that suggests she wants things to stay as much as they are now (although that souds greatly unreallistic but it its not the time to bring it up)

Thanks a lot for the advice. I will also keep reading other threads

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