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My friend's son is dying. Please help me to help her.

(10 Posts)
morbeus Tue 06-Jan-15 04:18:33

They found out on Friday there is nothing they can do for him. She told me yesterday. He will be 21 later this month. Our boys grew up together. How can I help her through this? I've been trying to imagine how I would feel/what I would want people to do if this were my ds. In all honesty, I would want to be left alone. But she and I are very different and I think she will need all the support we can give her.

Many apologies if this upsets anyone but I'm at a loss as to how best to support her, and I so want to be there for her.

Aebj Tue 06-Jan-15 05:04:18

Cool her some easy to heat up meals. ( that can be frozen if need be ) Cut up small fruit platters. Bottles of water .
Tell her you are there for her ( but I'm sure she knows that).
Love and beat wishes to you all

Aebj Tue 06-Jan-15 05:04:35

Cook not cool

morbeus Tue 06-Jan-15 05:09:43

Thank you Aejb. I had thought about cooking but wondered if that would be a bit heartless? Does that sound silly? I was just thinking that, if it were me, I wouldn't be able to or want to eat.

SavoyCabbage Tue 06-Jan-15 05:53:29

Practical stuff is good. Keeping the fridge stocked, cleaning the loo etc.

I remember when my dad died and people came to the house my mum saying things like 'yes, you could mow the lawn' when people asked her if there was anything they could do. It helped her practically but it helped them to know they were doing something too.

In the long term, keep talking about him. 'Remember when jack broke his arm falling out of that tree'.

Homebird8 Tue 06-Jan-15 06:10:31

Choose stuff to just do, like the excellent cooking suggestion, or turn up and tell her you've come to take her washing or do her ironing. Don't set to with loads of disturbing housework unless she asks you. A discrete job and an offer of a chat with a cuppa might be more manageable. Are there pets to be walked or fed? Would lifts to places or shopping done be useful?

morbeus Tue 06-Jan-15 19:26:35

Thank you for your advice Cabbage and Homebird. Much appreciated.

anais2403 Wed 07-Jan-15 13:43:58

Keep asking about him. Be reliable, be the person who is there and will be in months to come. Everyone is there in the beginning but it's the later weeks and months that are difficult. An email or letter or phone call (though I can't talk on the phone) on the same day every week. I also find it really hard to make any decisions so people who just come to my house and do stuff is helpful. Don't be afraid of silences. Don't be afraid to ask direct questions (but maybe that's not for everyone).
Can you talk to her son about what he wants? Is he able to do anything? There might be things he wants to do before he dies (if he's able to). You might be able to help with that.
A book of photos and memories from him friends would be nice and something the parents can keep for years to come.
I only have experience of being a bereaved parent - my daughter died suddenly and only 5 weeks ago. And she was only 17months so any of this might not be relevant. Just stumbled on this post....

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 07-Jan-15 13:58:02

Anais flowers, and condolences. I can think of nothing worse than losing a child.

OP Does she have other, younger children? she'd probably be more than grateful if you would take them off her hands for a while every so often.
Could you volunteer to sit with her DS for a while so that she can get away to shop, have a shower, or just have 30 mins on her own?
Offer to run errands for her.
Offer to keep other friends in touch with DS's situation and deterioration so she doesn't have to.
Was he in uni/employment - maybe you could offer to keep them up to date too.

I agree with the poster who said to keep talking about DS once he's passed away, and for the long term. Don't avoid mentioning him as if he never existed.

morbeus Tue 20-Jan-15 19:04:00

Thank you Anais and Middle for your kind and thoughtful words. I'm sorry for your loss anais, I can't begin to imagine how you feel. You both have some very sound advice, I'm grateful for that.

My friend also has a daughter who is 18 today. Her son will be 21 next week. What a month for that family. Friend and her dh have just been round. They are broken. Their ds has tried to put together a list of things he would like to do, if strong enough. One of those things is to meet Jensen Button, so I'm going to start a thread in chat to see if anyone can advise how to set about it.

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