How do i help my friend?

(8 Posts)
Emmielu Thu 26-Apr-12 21:25:47

My friend just rang me. Her 9 month old DD died on saturday. A form of pnewmonia (sp?) that was constantly misplaced by doctors as a chest infection. DD was given anti biotics on all times of being taken to the doctors & after each course of anti biotics she was fine for 3-4 days. All i could do was cry & constantly apologised to my friend. I dont know what else to do or say. I've never been faced with this before & never thought i would. I told her id be here for her whenever she needs me & that she has done nothing wrong & musnt blame herself but i dont feel like thats enough. Obviously ill go to the funeral too. Me & another friend are going to try & see her next week (She lives 30-35 mins away so we dont see her often but do keep in close contact) I hope that will help a little but i just wish i could take it all away from her & say i'll deal with it for you. But i cant. I wish i could bring her DD back so i wouldnt have had the call i would have had the exciting call to tell me she has another tooth! But i cant.

What can i do?

OP’s posts: |
MrsApplepants Thu 26-Apr-12 21:54:42

Oh god, how awful. I really feel for you and of course, your friend. Truly the worst thing imaginable. I have no idea what to do in your situation, I just wanted to pass on my support and love xx

QuickLookBusy Fri 27-Apr-12 14:35:06

Emmie how awful. Your friend will be in shock so I think the most important thing is to be there for her. I assume she has other relatives/friends closer to where she lives, to help with the funeral/shopping/care of other DC? but check with her if there is anything you can do to help.

Also reassure her that you are there for her in the weeks and months to come. She may go through stages of not wanting to contact you but keep texting/phoning so she knows you are there when she is ready.

MiaAlexandrasmummy Fri 27-Apr-12 16:14:29

Oh, your poor friend. Very brave of her to ring you. When my beautiful Mia died six months ago, I just sent texts. I didn't want to speak to anyone on the phone, as being the focus of their grief was too much on top of my own. That might happen to your friend.

Things will be moving very quickly for her. It will be very surreal and nightmarish for her. She may not be sleeping or eating, and she may not want to talk. Her DD may have to have an inquest, and it will have been opened this week. She will have seen a funeral director, and may need to be organising the service to celebrate her daughter's life (that's how we phrased it) as well as food afterwards. All things you never expect to do for your baby. My sister was the one who did all the communications to friends and family with all the arrangements, which helped so much. Does she have someone to do this?

She probably won't know how you can help her. She may not want to ask for help. I didn't. Instead, my DH and I asked people to give us their ideas, and then we could decide to do it or not, whether it was a simple dinner, going for a walk, coming around.

- listen to her words about her beliefs, and follow her lead. For example, I didn't want anyone to say that Mia was an angel, or that God takes his best-loved children... that just seemed all wrong to me
- write to her, but don't say her DD is in a better place - what better place can a little girl be except with her parents?? Letters and cards do help.
- if you have any photos of her DD, send them to her or a close family member
- we have asked our friends and family to record their most vivid memories of Mia, and we are putting those together in a book. You could offer to do that for her.
- Do check that she does have family around to support her, don't assume that she does.
- Send over some meals, whether with Tesco delivery or home-made, either for her family, or for all the people staying with her.
- Send her regular loving texts, but don't expect a reply
- when you visit, now and forever more, always, always allow her to speak about her daughter. The worst thing you can do is not to mention her DD - she will always be present in her mother's mind. Don't allow her to be forgotten.
- remember important days in your calendar - her birthday, monthly anniversary dates of the little girl's death (always a hard day for me), Mother's Day, important life events like when the little girl would be starting school... and let her know you care.
- above all, please avoid the question "How ARE you?" Even in six months time, it may be difficult to answer. I still find it a very personal question, even if it is a very normal and natural one. How she is at any moment in time (and that is how you measure it) will be evident in her demeanour and conversation.

When she is ready, there is a bereaved mothers' thread here where your friend can share her love for her little girl. Sadly, there are a lot of us there. However, there is amazing support from a lot of wonderful people too.

I hope that this gives you some insight into this terrible time for your friend. Your love and support will mean so much to her. Of that, I am certain.

everlong Fri 27-Apr-12 17:05:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Emmielu Fri 27-Apr-12 19:19:09

Thank you ladies for the tips & advice. She only rang a few people but has asked me to ring a few other people that we both know to let them hear the news. She's made it clear she doesn't want sympathy texts, calls or facebook messages. She just wants people to offer help with the funeral. One things she asked which made me smile was 'no black! DD loved bright colours' for some reason I felt thats part of a little dedication to her DD.she's worried about costs & has suggested that instead of sending sympathy cards etc could they try & find cheap funeral directors etc & pass numbers to her. I've not heard from her today, I thought it best to give her a break for the day since she seems to be bombarded with everything. She hasn't slept or eaten & cant seem to hold a convosation which I expected so I'm not going to force a reply from her. I'll give her a text on Sunday as I have shopping to do so I'll see if she wants or needs anything. I just don't want to make her feel more upset I'd rather try & make her feel at ease & secure.

OP’s posts: |
everlong Fri 27-Apr-12 19:22:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MiaAlexandrasmummy Fri 27-Apr-12 20:12:24

Hi there. Yes, it isn't surprising your friend isn't taking much in. I didn't. She is in absolute survival mode...

Funeral directors normally do children's funerals for free. sad We also asked people to wear bright colours, it only seemed right.

As for the shopping, I'd just buy her some basics and maybe some treats, she will still be grateful.

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