3 children have just lost their dad.

(23 Posts)
pookamoo Tue 29-Oct-13 20:04:34

A family member has just died leaving 3 children 4, 8 and 11. It's so awful. After a long illness. His poor wife and those poor children.

I really want to send a card but it seems such a crappy pointless gesture right now. Sorry, it won't bring Daddy home but here's a card. sad

Sorry, I am rambling, not really thinking straight but I just want to do something for the children. They don't live close to us. What can I do?

OP’s posts: |
ajandjjmum Tue 29-Oct-13 20:09:41

That's just awful - those poor children. So sorry.

magimedi Tue 29-Oct-13 20:13:12

So sad to hear that. Send that card, tell them you are thinking of them. Maybe even send 4 cards, one for each child & one for the mother. Just say that you are sad & thinking of them. It will be a tiny (but appreciated) lift in their grief.

Maybe invite them to come & stay with you sometime in the future - not a specific time, but it cold be good for them to have something to look forward to.

Anything you do to make contact will be appreciated - the worst thing is people not acknowledging your grief.

nextphase Tue 29-Oct-13 20:13:33

I'm so sorry to hear your family news.
Yes, a card is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, BUT it is acknowledging the horror that has ripped through the family. And you need to acknowledge what has happened. Doing nothing is the worst option.

If you wanted to send something for the kids, could you send a quiet, easy activity to keep them busy - I'm thinking colouring books or jigsaws sort of thing - one each, and a card for the widow?

Thinking of you all


ZingWantsCake Tue 29-Oct-13 20:16:11

so sorry to hearthanks

send the card, it means so much!
offer practical help, food brought over and ask what help she needs.

how lovely of you btw for wanting to help.
what a nightmare. sad

PacificDogwood Tue 29-Oct-13 20:17:22

Oh, that is so dreadfully sad. I am sorry for all of you.

Do send that card; just say what you are saying here: you are so sorry and feel inadequate but want to let them know you are thinking of them.

Also consider following that up with making contact after a few days/weeks (whatever is appropriate) and don't avoid them. All of their lives have changed irrevocably and it will take time for them to adjust and even formulate how you might be of help.

Saying anything at all is better than avoiding the subject IME.

PloddingDaily Tue 29-Oct-13 20:18:18

Keep in contact...ask (sincerely) what help if any they'd like, within your constraints (e.g. If your relationship is close could you get over there & look after the kids so mum can do the awful logistical stuff, or could you be there with her as she does it if she wants support, whilst the kids are at school etc?) but the main thing is keep in contact...my mum died when we were kids & to a large degree mum's 'friends' disappeared, it was family that touched base from time to time to let us know we weren't forgotten. All I can suggest if you can't do anything practical is if I was the mum, getting a card saying 'I know we're not on the doorstep, but we're at the end of the phone, & thinking of you - we don't know what to say but we love you & are here for you' would be very much appreciated. Keep in touch.

TrinityFucker Tue 29-Oct-13 20:21:20

I'm so sorry to hear this
Its just an awful thing to happen
my heart goes out to you all

just always let the children know you are there for them
thats the best thing you can do

and try and hold up the mum sad

so sorry

whattodoo Tue 29-Oct-13 20:22:41

How awfully sad.

I think you should send a card, and maybe include a fond/funny/special memory you have of your relative.

Maybe there is little you can do for them practically, but by letting them you know that you keep them (and him) in your thoughts, they might appreciate that you care. And when the time comes that they need some help, they'll hopefully know that they can turn to you.

Spacefrog35 Tue 29-Oct-13 20:23:39

So sorry to hear this. Having been recently bereaved I can tell you the cards & messages I've received have meant the world to me. I will keep them all & treasure them.

I love the idea of sending activities for the little ones. Also, as a suggestion, if you know the family well enough to know what they would like then send food. Mum may appreciate receiving a food parcel if it means she doesn't have to face the shops. I hated going out to buy food, it all was just to overwhelming and pointless for the first few days.

Once things have moved on slightly then don't forget anniversaries and birthdays. Also mention dad in conversations unless they specifically ask you not to. So many people avoid talking about the deceased for fear of upsetting the bereaved. I'm never going to forget my son, other people not talking about him doesn't make me forget, it just makes it feel like they have. I would imagine Father's Day & wedding anniversary are going to be tough ones that others might overlook.

Hugs x

Theas18 Tue 29-Oct-13 20:27:26

Send those cards- agree one each.

Then be around for them - after the funeral more than now even as support will vanish. Take food, listen and and offer absorbent shoulders rather than advice - don't give up if shouted at......the pain will no doubt cause anger too.

pookamoo Tue 29-Oct-13 20:31:09

Thank you everyone. So sorry to hear of your losses, too spacefrog and others. Thankfully this is not a position I have been in before, so I am just at a loss.

I will of course send the card, and I will look and see if I can send books for the children too. thanks

OP’s posts: |
EugenesAxe Tue 29-Oct-13 20:42:34

Agree with magimedi - send the card to let them know you are thinking of them. Grief should be allowed to flow in my opinion; thinking you are alone with it must surely make you feel worse - I don't think you would offend.

rowrowrowtheboat Tue 29-Oct-13 21:29:52

Oh yes, send cards to the children too. I did this for two children this year (different circumstances), one child had very few cards and it meant the world to her and her mum that the childs own grief was awknowledged. The other was to a nearly twenty year old, where I shared my favourite memories so he was reminded how much his mum was loved in different ways by different people. His dad got a different card.

Also, if you are thinking of them at random moments over the next few weeks, send a text silky saying "thinking of you". You do draw strength from these tiny messages.

pookamoo Tue 29-Oct-13 21:32:03

Ok. Cards for everyone. I will try to put together a parcel maybe. Something the children can open. A few sweets/chocs, books and a card each?
I don't want it it be "too much". He was/is their dad, I feel like I don't have the right... sad

OP’s posts: |
ICameOnTheJitney Tue 29-Oct-13 21:33:37

You must send the card. They can really comfort people...just knowing people are thinking about you. My Mum liked the ones which mentioned my Dad in person...the ones which shared a memory of him. It means you're not alone inf your grief...others are sad and that makes you a TINY bit better.

mignonnette Tue 29-Oct-13 21:35:26

A letter to each child and Mum with a little memory of their Father in each one. It will mean a lot to them in the future if not now.

And I am so very sorry for your loss flowers for you.

Purple2012 Tue 29-Oct-13 21:36:56

Definitely send a card. Once the initial shock has passed the family will find comfort in knowing people thought of them and took the time to send something. When my favourite uncle died I wrote some stuff in a card about what I would miss about him. Others did the same. It made my aunt smile as it was quirky stuff that he used to do.

AtticusMcPlatypus Tue 29-Oct-13 21:45:03

Awful situation - poor children. Definitely send a card. When my own father died (I was in my 20s), having people actually acknowledge that i had lost him made so much difference believe me. It is hard to know what to say, but a few kind, sympathetic words can really help someone to see a very faint path through some truly dark times. I understand that people do find it hard to find the right words and sometimes just do not know what to say, but I really wanted people to talk about my father to allow me to as well.

BerkshireMum Wed 06-Nov-13 17:22:52

Just wonder how you, and the family, are doing OP. I'm guessing you've seen them by now? From my experience helping friends through a similar situation, just being there and not avoiding them makes a big difference. You can't fix it or make it right, but you can show you care and help practically.

Hope you are ok too.

Choosparp Mon 18-Nov-13 21:42:15

Hi - just be there for them if you can, if not practically then to listen to the mother talk. Also, do suggest to her that she looks up the Widowed and Young organisation - I'm a young widow one year in to this awfulness and this group has more or less saved my sanity. You can't beat talking to other people in the same situation as you. If you want to message me I'd also be happy to talk to her if you think that might be helpful. I know first hand how awful it is. And I agree with SpaceFrog35 - talk about the dead parent. It's really important. xxx

TopHatAndTails Mon 18-Nov-13 22:00:20

Poor dc's and poor mum. I was 9 when my dad died from cancer. It will be 33 years on Friday. I have never got over the loss. Thank goodness there are organisations such as Winston's Wish to help now days. I know a card seems such a little thing but it's amazing how much they can mean to someone grieving. The only thing I would say is that people, with the best of intentions often tell children in this situation "you need to be strong for mummy now" or "you've got to look after mummy" or in my six year old brothers case " you are the man of the house now" confusedshock Please don't allow this in your earshot, I think the long term pressure and ramifications of this were at least as damaging to us as losing our df. My heart goes out to them and to you op.

Mintyy Mon 18-Nov-13 22:02:51

You absolutely must send a card. At the moment it is all you can do, but even if everything you write in it seems trite or meaningless, you really must send it.

Not a text, email or facebook message, but a proper handwritten card in the post.

So sorry to hear of this loss in your family.

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