My friend, a mum whose eldest daughter is in the same class as ds, has just text me with the shocking news that her youngest daughter, who just turned 1, passed away last night. I really can't believe it, she comes to school with her in the pram every day. Such a beautiful little girl.
She is staying at her sister's, I'm not sure how long for. I've sent her a text to say I'm shocked, heartbroken for her and her family, I'm praying for her and that I'll be here, and will help in any way that she wants.
Apart from that, what else do I say? Anything I shouldn't say? What should I do? How can I offer some kind of comfort? I know I can't take away her pain but I just don't know what I can do.
Firstly remember the worst thing has already happened so nothing you say or do can make matters worse! Next think of practical ways to help eg meals, childcare, washing etc. keep offering especially as time goes on and help and support begins to drop away. Good luck and remember just giving your friend a shoulder to cry on every so often is a great help.x
Just being there is a help. We lost our dd last year and without the support of my friends I would be truly lost. My friends phone every morning and kind of organise my day for me so that I'm only alone when I want to be. What will hit your friend most is when her other child goes back to school and she will walk back to an empty house, the emptiness is soul destroying......we also talk about my dd all the time and they remember important dates. I am so very sorry for your friends loss, it is utterly heartbreaking.
I think offering practical help of cooking, cleaning, offering to have your DD's friend round if she/they'd like you to, shopping or going with your friend to the shops is a useful thing to keep on offering, gently of course, not forcefully. Also to offer to listen and talk about their DD so she doesn't become a taboo subject.
Such an awful thing to go through. Life does throw some shit at people
So sorry for your loss cathpip. I truly am. Thank you for replying.
It seems like the practical help is something that really helps and it's something I can do. I don't think she can face going back home yet, it must be horrible to go back without your child, with all of their things there.
She did say she'd like to see me soon. I guess I should just stop worrying about the little things. For example, after she texted me I told her my heart has been breaking for her all day. Then afterwards, I thought, oh that was selfish, why should that matter? (But I was just trying to let her know I was so upset for her). And then I thought I'd send her some flowers but - then I think, is that an insult, like what good is bunch of flowers at a time like this?
I have a friend who's recently lost her only child. As well as the thoughts I typed above I bought her a selection of natural lavender products which are meant to help calm and relax, maybe that's an idea instead of flowers?
Thank you. It's an awful time for them. She seemed to like the products as a thoughtful gesture. You feel so utterly hopeless as a friend or relative don't you. Nothing's going to help but demonstrating some kindness is at least something.
I spoke to her today. It's so terribly sad, and yes, it feels like nothing can help. However, she told me that she wants to bury the body in Ghana where they are originally from and plan to go back and live one day. However, she is not sure they can afford it. So I'm going to ask the school if we can set up something to ask for donations to help out.