How to help my widowed friend?

(9 Posts)

A good friend was widowed this week. I know her fairly well and consider her a friend. Our sons are also good friends. Her husband (who I didn't know very well) has died unexpectedly. She has a very close family nearby and a good network of friends, ones who are closer to her than me, so I think help with practicalities of day to day life etc is probably well covered.

I have left a message of condolence and support offering help with whatever she might need. I cannot stop thinking about the poor lady and cannot for a moment imagine how she must feel, so am struggling to think of what I might be able to do for her to show support and/or help out. I don't want to interfere, but wondered what else I might be able to do for her and her boys? Or should I leave it for now and get in touch post-funeral maybe offering to take her son out for the afternoon/come over/whatever? Or is that not suitable??


PiratesMolMabel Sun 29-Jul-12 18:01:02

Hello Tia
What a lucky lady to have such a kind and sensitive friend as you are.

My 1st DH committed suicide when I was 31. I found that many people treated me as if it was contagious & would cross the street to avoid me. Other people said to let them know if I needed anything but when I asked them to help they didn't have the time.

I would suggest that you organise a trip to the cinema & pizza or similar for a Saturday afternoon so that she can have some time to herself.

Also ask her what she needs & continue to be there for her - send her texts just saying 'hi' etc. But keep it up, it often takes months before the grief properly 'kicks in' & by then many people will be expecting her to have started to get over it. She will particularly need support on special occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, the 1st Xmas etc.

Hope this helps.

hellymelly Sun 29-Jul-12 18:08:30

My friend died suddenly at 34, I didn't know her husband terribly well at the time, but I asked him to meet up to dog-walk and have coffee, dH and I called on him regularly, and we became really close friends. I think just being around to listen, taking some food when you call, asking her for a quick coffee etc, all that helps. Some friends did avoid him, they just didn't know what to say, and that can be really hard. I feel lucky to have made such a good friend, and the rawness of his grief meant we were closer than we otherwise would have been, so looking after him was a two way street. DH and I made a lifelong friend, and he had support and nurturing when he really needed it.

exoticfruits Sun 29-Jul-12 18:18:25

I was a widow at 30yrs and agree with your replies. Don't wait for her. The most useful was the person who said 'I am going.......this afternoon-do you want to come?' because it was immediate and I could say 'yes' or 'no'. It was better than saying 'I am going next Friday' because I had no idea how I would feel then. (however that was better than not asking at all).

exoticfruits Sun 29-Jul-12 18:19:13

I agree that it is later on when people think that you have 'got over it'.

Thanks all. V helpful replies. I am conscious it is the holidays and in a strange way this bit might be easier for her, family around, keep kids safely at home, jeep busy and that when term starts again and she is alone in the day times she will need extra support and help. Things like coffee and dog walks are great ideas. Casual, easy to arrange or unarrange at short notice but hopefully useful time spent to chat,not chat, just sit or cry or whatever.

I just feel a bit helpless right now but I know she has support for the short term.

Thanks all. sad

IcanandIwill Tue 31-Jul-12 12:04:18

Having been very recently widowed I second the point about asking to do things on the day. I find it too hard to plan ahead as I just don't know how I'll be feeling on the day. But if I'm having a good day I always say yes to those offers of coffee etc. Also the texts / calls to let her know you are there really help. My DH was the person I contacted most so it was good to have calls / texts from others. I'd say keep it up as well. I never replied at first but began to over time. You sound lovely smile

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 01-Aug-12 15:33:17

your poor friend and her son

ditto keep up the support- sadly my dh committed suicide april 2011 and i have to say ive only got through the last 15mths due to my fantastic friends and family (tho still have bad days yesterday was one and kept crying)

agree you dont know how you feel next week so day to day things are good but dont push it, if they say no then listen to them and maybe say no probs, will ask if you fancy it next time i go

talk to your son as well as he may not know what to say to his friend, but aday out sounds fab

and yes dates are hard but it does get easier with time, though when i was told this when mark killed his self i thought what total bollocks

i found widowed and young a great group and there is also a fb page (private so no one can see what you write) as tbh in the early stages NO ONE knows how you feel losing a husband/wife till you have sadly been in that position sad

there are many local groups, dont know where your friend lives and they do monthly meet ups and other activites, with and without children

Thanks all. This was all a big help. My friend has had lots of support, thank goodness and I've now "spoken" with her several times - by text at her request as she is finding the phone difficult.

Finally her DH's body has been released and the funeral is soon. I am taking her son out for the day with my two DC in a few days. She said her DS was really looking forward to seeing us so I just hope that we can, in some all way, help them both with the coming weeks and months.

Thanks for the advice, and I am sorry for your own sadnesses.

AB xxx

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now