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to not know how to best approach this bereved friend?

(16 Posts)
Fecklessdizzy Sun 25-Sep-11 22:54:13

I suspect I'm going to sound like an utter prat but I really don't know how to play this without looking like a heartless cow or an ambulance chaser so tell me what you think ...

I've known this lass for ages, our kids were friends at primary school and we used to do a fair bit of stuff together when they were small but I've not seen so much of her recently as they went to different secondary schools.

I've just found out from another friend that she has recently lost a close family member in an accident. I took a card round to say how sorry we were and to get in touch if we could do anything to help. No-one was home so I left the card ... I've been mithering ever since ... Should I ring? Call back? Take flowers? She has much closer friends than me and is an active church goer so she's not unsupported. I don't want to stick my nose in on someonelse's grieving but I feel like I owe her a bit more than a card ...

What would you do?

ImperialBlether Sun 25-Sep-11 22:57:52

I think you've done enough by sending a card. You weren't close friends and she has close friends, so I'd let them help her through this difficult time.

mrsgboring Sun 25-Sep-11 22:58:00

It doesn't sound like you are sticking your nose in on someone's grief to me. Just get in touch - what would you normally do for a chat? Email? Phone? Ask her how she is, how her kids are, tell her how your kids are doing.

Most people say the worst thing is people avoiding them altogether. IME of being bereaved, I was grateful for the company from any friend.

ChippingIn Sun 25-Sep-11 22:58:09

Are you able to go to the funeral? Just having people there, feeling like they care that you are hurting is invaluable, you don't need to have known her 'family member', not at all.

If you aren't able to go to the funeral, just call around sometime soon after and ask if she has time for a cup of tea, take a few biscuits (just so she doesn't feel bad if she doesn't have any in) and take it from there.

I really wouldn't worry about taking flowers - they are a lovely thought, but you do end up feeling like a florist and it's just another thing that needs dealing with (IMO). Just be there for her....

Mightimama Sun 25-Sep-11 22:59:14

I think what you have done is fine for the time being. She will know that you at least went out your way to go to the door/made the effort to visit, wasnt your fault that she was unavailable. I would leave it at that for time being. Would you go to the funeral?

ChippingIn Sun 25-Sep-11 22:59:54

I agree with mrsg - at a time like this, you can't have too many friends. It doesn't matter that you aren't one of her closest friends.

GreenEyesandNiceHam Sun 25-Sep-11 23:03:23

I think I would leave it with the card, for the time being, BUT make contact again in a few weeks.

IME in the early days after a bereavement there is a lot of support, but then after the funeral, it (quite naturally) drops off, as life kind of picks up and carries on iyswim.

Panda1234 Sun 25-Sep-11 23:04:14

I think it was really nice of you to give her a card and a note even though you're not very close friends - if you've been through a bereavement some people will avoid you and it's horrible.

Tbh, she's presumbly got the card and knows that you're thinking about her, so I reckon that's enough. It can get really bewildering to deal with people when you've been through a bereavement, and I don't think it's that uncommon to just want to hang about with a fairly small group of very close friends - people can go into shock, get depression or anxiety. And bereavements can sometimes shatter your confidence, too. It might take her some time to get out and about and want to make contact with people.

I would make a point of going and saying 'hello' to her next time you see it. But for the moment, there's a good chance she probably just needs time to get her head around what's happened, and get through the funeral if that's still to happen (if it hasn't and you knew the relative, then you might want to go and you'll probably get a chance to speak to her there?)

plupervert Sun 25-Sep-11 23:08:57

Something practical might make both of you feel better without being overly emotional. Could you make extra of a casserole your family is having for dinner, and take it round? It's not a huge imposition on you, so she needn't feel massively indebted to you, just a bit easier...

Fecklessdizzy Sun 25-Sep-11 23:25:51

Thanks everyone

I'll let the dust settle a bit then give her a ring. She can always tell me to get stuffed if she's feeling a bit overwhelmed ... smile

royaljelly Sun 25-Sep-11 23:29:47

In times like these even people you konw will not want to have loads of visitors. You card will have been appreciated and I suspect your friend may contact you in a few weeks.

squeakytoy Sun 25-Sep-11 23:36:30

Did you know the person who died at all?

When my mum died, a friend who I had known from primary school, but hadnt really kept in touch with for years was so kind to me, and as she knew my mum too, did come to the funeral.

If the funeral has passed now, then maybe just give her a call, just to ask how she is. I know after my Mum had died, it was nice to chat to people who had known her, as I have lived away from my home town for many years, and none of my everyday friends really knew her for me to be able to have a chat about.

Flowerista Sun 25-Sep-11 23:42:21

What Green Eyes said very well.

Fecklessdizzy Sun 25-Sep-11 23:42:21

I've spoken to him a few times * squeakytoy* I'm going to try and find out when the funeral is ...

TheyCallMeMimi Sun 25-Sep-11 23:47:01

Some time ago a good friend of mine lost her mother. I'd known my friend for some years (through work) but had never met her mother (different part of the country). I also know they didn't see eye to eye much of the time. However, it was clear that it would be quite a big funeral and so instead of going to the funeral where I would be lost in the melee, I took my friend to lunch a couple of weeks afterwards. She said she appreciated the gesture. So why not call her and ask her to join you for coffee or lunch?

Fecklessdizzy Mon 26-Sep-11 09:45:50

Thanks for all the good advice, I think I've got my head a bit straighter now. I'm going to go to the funeral, give her a hug and take it from there ...

Thanks for posting!

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