How can I support a friend?

(4 Posts)
bluegardens Fri 18-Apr-14 18:01:56

Hello

This is my first post, and I hope I am posting in the right area or that someone will redirect me if I am not.

I recently learned that one of my closest friends from secondary school lost her baby at a late stage in her pregnancy a few months ago. She told me the news but did not go into details as to what happened, and I did not want to pry.

We live thousands of miles apart, chat over Facebook etc, but do not see each other very often.

While I have no experience of this kind of loss, I do have experience of other sorts of bereavement. Based on that, I told her I would be willing to listen if she or her partner needed to vent, rage against the injustice of the universe, reminisce or talk about their hopes and dreams for their lost son. I hope that was supportive rather than intrusive. She said their local friends and family are being supportive so I hope my response did not imply that I thought it wasn't.

As I am so far away and this news is new to me, I would really like to send the family something (card? Some sort of memorial gift? Something else?) to let them know I am thinking of them, but I am not sure what to send, or even if this is a good idea or would cause more hurt. Could anyone advise on what I should or should not do/send/write?

Thank you for your help with this, and I am sorry that much of your advice will come from personal, painful experience.

jbee1979 Fri 18-Apr-14 23:21:16

hi bluegardens. my best friend lives 50 miles away from me, she sent me flowers. it was nice to know she was thinking of me, but personally, i'm not a flower fan - I don't like it when they die. a plant/shrub maybe? something for the garden to remember, but won't die? that said, I wouldn't have been bothered about going out to plant it.

Someone suggested contacting the forestry commission to see if I could buy a tree in memory. your country or her country - since you're miles apart?

another friend who us very religious (I'm not) sent a card saying "please be assured you and your husband are in our thoughts and prayers". I thought that was lovely - I'm googling everything - i'd do a rain dance if I thought things would be different next time. her husband has only met me 3 times - and they're both praying for us. That meant a lot - rather than a grand gesture.

my sister-in-law brought me two ready made dinners. i REALLY appreciated that - maybe a wee meal voucher, where her and DH can have a night out in a local restaurant, since you can't leave a chicken and broccoli bake to their door?

its good enough that you're thinking of her to be honest - I think. It's nice to have friends that aren't in your face all the time. I think she'll come to you if she needs you, and if she doesn't want to talk or mention it to you, don't be offended - it's nice to get away from talking and thinking sometimes - she might just appreciate some general chatter.

you're a good friend :-)

bluegardens Sat 19-Apr-14 11:19:25

Thank you for your advice, Jbee. It is really helpful to have a range of ideas. I think I might contact a mutual friend who lives near them to see if they have a favourite restaurant. I also really like the idea having memorial trees in both our respective countries. It would somehow help to feel more connected to them since I see them so seldom. Thanks again for your thoughts, and I am sorry for your loss. thanks

TheBabyFacedAssassin Mon 21-Apr-14 21:04:01

Hi blue, you are being a great friend. I am currently 30 weeks pregnant with my first baby who has a very rare condition which means she won't survive once she's born, so although I haven't lost her yet the last 10 weeks we have been grieving for our future. What I find most thoughtful is people keeping contact, a text here and there to say that I am in their thoughts really lifts my spirits. Being available to have a proper conversation with is a great comfort.

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