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DD's friend passed away yesterday and I can't stop crying

(21 Posts)
drivinmecrazy Thu 20-Apr-17 10:48:53

DD1 friend passed away very suddenly after battling cancer. He was only 16.
DD and her friends only found out on Tuesday that it was terminal and only expected to have a few weeks. He died in his sleep the next morning.
DD seems to be holding it together, and his friends are all suppperigee each other. I on the other hand just cannot pull myself together.
I feel such a fraud to have been hit so hard by his passing.
I guess like many of us I have experienced loss but never with someone so young.
I cannot stop thinking of his poor parents and the overwhelming grief they must be experiencing.
He was such an unbelievably positive kid who dealt with it all with such bravery and humour. He truly was an inspiration to his friends and anybody who had the great fortune of spending time with him.
It feels like a different kind of grief. I think I'm crying for his parents, for a life he will not live. But also (shamefully) for myself. The fear that it could just as easily be my child and my loss.
Just looking for some perspective. Maybe someone who has experienced similar might have wise words to help me pull myself together.
I guess I feel as if it is not my loss and am being completely and utterly selfish feeling as bereft as I do

Lapinlapin Thu 20-Apr-17 10:58:19

I'm so sorry. Of course it's hit you. A death of a child is always a tragedy and when it's someone you know, it's bound to affect you.

I think this is then made worse when it's a friend of your dc, as every parent starts to imagine the 'what ifs.' What if it was my child?
And also, you're probably upset for your dd too. Death is hard to deal with at any age, but harder when it's the death of someone who died before his time. and hard for a 16 year old to process.

Just a thought. Could you send his parents a sympathy card? The things you wrote about him in your post are lovely and it may be some small comfort for his parents to know how other people saw their son. The sort of thing they can re-read in the future. Maybe your dd could write something too.

drivinmecrazy Thu 20-Apr-17 11:10:48

I'm trying to find the right words to put to paper but it all sounds so trite, so meaningless. What words can express what a tragic loss it is?
DD is doing ok, in some sense it seems easier for the children as they have each other. She's very fortunate in that it's such a strong friendship group. I do worry for her getting through the day though. She found it hard last night as news leaked out on social media and various people who had no connection with him 'laying claim' to him. She and her friends are keeping their own counsel and not engaging publicly online.
Selfishly, very selfishly, I cannot help but worry about how this will affect her GCSE preperation as she was already struggling with the mounting pressure.

Timeforabiscuit Thu 20-Apr-17 13:04:03

I'm so sorry for the loss you and your daughter are going through, its a sucker punch when it happens to people so young sad

Timeforabiscuit Thu 20-Apr-17 13:07:43

Even if it sounds trite to you, words do bring comfort - cards where someone has taken the time to describe what that person meant to them and shared memories are incredibly valued, precisely because they are hard to do.

People shy away from death at an incredibly painful time, being prepared to talk with your daughter about her friend will be invaluable.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 20-Apr-17 13:13:55

It is exactly that which you are mourning.

You are crying for his parents because as a parent you imagine how you'd feel if it were your DD. You are crying for the life he would have had (and can relate because it is the life your DD will have). Again it is always close to home when it is someone the age of your child and you can feel it deeply.

Try to just be there for DD as it may hit her harder later eg. at the funeral etc.

When my DS was younger his friend's brother drowned. The kids held up much better than all the parents.

0live Thu 20-Apr-17 13:21:03

You are upset because you care. About this lad and his family, your daughter and everyone else who loved him.

We need more people like you in this world. Be kind to yourself and take some time to deal with it.

Then do something positive . Write a card/ letter to his family . Support your DD to attend his funeral. Help raise some money for a charity that he would have supported or to give an award at his school in his name. Raise awareness of teen cancer.

You will know what's right.

drivinmecrazy Thu 20-Apr-17 13:22:48

I think I'm struggling with feeling so selfish and self absorbed by being so bereft.
I've experienced bereavement of a parent, grandparents etc, but never felt anything quite like this.

Timeforabiscuit Thu 20-Apr-17 13:34:10

You really don't sound selfish flowers grief is grief.

QueenieMum Thu 20-Apr-17 13:39:47

So sorry to hear this, what an awful thing to happen. You're definitely not selfish, you care and there's no shame in showing that. Take each day as it comes and try not to worry about exams right now. Keep talking to us, we're listening flowers

mrsBeverleygoldberg Thu 20-Apr-17 13:41:09

Why do you think you shouldn't cry? It's really sad.

mrsBeverleygoldberg Thu 20-Apr-17 13:42:32

Your first paragraph sounds perfect for the card. Words are inadequate.

drivinmecrazy Thu 20-Apr-17 13:43:35

Thankyou for all of your kind comments, they have been very reassuring. I guess that's what I'm looking for, 'permission' to grieve.
I am also struggling with the idea of the funeral, to go or not.
DD will definately be there with her close knit group, not least because I know it will give his parents such comfort. During his illness they were very touched by the love, support and friendship they continued to show and loved having a house full.
But I'm not sure if I should attend. In some ways, again, I cannot get away from the thought that I would be infringing on their grief and loss.
I am normally quite self aware and able to contextualise emotions and thoughts, but am really struggling with this. I've no idea why.

May09Bump Thu 20-Apr-17 13:51:43

Write the card and take round a meal - something like a cooked lasagna if you can. Something practical for you to do and might help them. I did it for a friend who suffered loss and she had forgotten to eat in quite a while.

It's hard to know what to do or say! Hope you all find a way to find some peace - everyone grieves in their own way and it's natural to worry about your DD, give yourself a break.

ifcatscouldtalk Thu 20-Apr-17 13:59:48

Like you say words can't do it justice. It's so very sad when its someone so young.
I don't think you are selfish, you aren't saying you feel the same as his parents just that it's affecting how you feel.
When you have a child of the same age it feels all the more shocking.
I attended the funeral of a child a couple of years ago. I kept thinking that if my child died i would no longer be a mum as i have 1 child. I never even verbalised that thought and that day was nothing about how i was feeling at all.
What I'm trying to say though is that's how our brains work and don't feel bad at your thoughts and feelings.

0live Thu 20-Apr-17 14:36:28

You aren't selfish or self absorbed. It's fine to feel just the way you do.

Many people are very affected by the death or a child or teenager, you are not alone in this. And the circumstances are particularly hard, as you know he and his family have battled this terrible illness and lost. His death with affect many other people too - his friends( and their parents like you ) and teachers, hospital staff, neighbours etc

It would only be selfish if you were expecting people closer to this lad than you to comfort you. So, for example, thinking that your DD should not talk about it because it upsets you.

You are doing the right thing, which is turning to those who are LESS involved that you i.e. MN .

You are not selfish, you are a thoughtful and caring person.

Poudrenez Thu 20-Apr-17 14:50:31

OP you're not selfish or a fraud, you're empathising. If you're relating someone else's loss to the love for your own children what's wrong with that? Please don't beat yourself up.

Springlambs Fri 21-Apr-17 00:32:10

So sorry OP, can totally relate. Three weeks ago my son's friend was killed, age 13, along with his mum.
I literally cannot stop crying. I'm crying for the lad and his mum, his dad who was also injured but ok, his sister and the rest of the family. I'm crying for my son who is being brave but desperately missing him, and for the unfairness of the whole situation.

Strokethefurrywall Fri 28-Apr-17 03:43:11

Grief brings such a huge range of emotions, none of which are wrong or selfish. The death of someone so young, a life mirrored by our own, makes us realize just how fragile our entire being is.
I felt the same grief when my young brother died. He was 28. He had cancer. The grief was insurmountable, but the overriding emotion I experienced was fear and a stark realization that it could have been me. And I was terrified that I had no power over something so tragic.

Tragedies like this make us question our own existence and we grieve with fear as well. Please don't feel that you're encroaching on the families grief. When I saw how many people were crying for my brother it made me feel better because a part of me felt that with each person weeping for him, my grief was shared.

Of course not everyone feels like this but I just wanted to say that your heartfelt grief can make those parents feel less alone in their awful time.

I'm so sorry for you daughter's and your loss thanks

sparkleandsunshine Fri 28-Apr-17 03:55:52

So so sad, don't feel like a fraud, please.
It's probably hitting you so hard because it's your baby's friend, and there's a bit of you imagining what if it had happened in your family.
I know it's not the same but my SIL lost her baby at 2 weeks past term, at that point my DP and I were trying for a baby and I was devastated and cried all the time! I felt like a fraud for being SO upset but I think it was just me imagining if I had got to have the feeling of a life inside me for it then to go.
I've got my own baby now, but every time I think of my SILs baby I get emotional, and it's been 2 years!
It just shows you are a very caring person.
Why don't you ask your DD if she needs support at the funeral? Or see if any of the other friends parents are going? If they are you could all sit together, there's nothing wrong with paying your respects, but maybe see if you would be standing alone first, it might make you more comfortable to be with other people.
If no one else is going and you don't feel comfortable going then write a card, Hopefully the family won't judge either way, I am sure they are suffering too much to be affected in a strong way by your actions anyway
Good luck OP x

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 28-Apr-17 04:25:13

You're grieving because you're a sympathetic human - and that's a good thing.
The family will appreciate kindness, words, deeds, you just acknowledging their loss, you being there if they need anything, or not if they don't want you.
It makes perfect sense that you would be sad - not just for them, but also because of feelings of "there but for the grace of God go I" which are also normal and human. And you're sad for your DD's loss as well.
I think it would be a lovely thing for you to go the funeral if you can manage it - support for your DD, who might find it harder than she imagines, and showing solidarity with the parents, being their generation - but don't go if you're too uncomfortable, it will show.

Things like turning up with a meal for them will help. Turning up and offering coffee or a shoulder could help. Even if you don't know them that well - times like this, friendships are made and lost over what people DO. Good friends who back away are sometimes lost forever; people you barely know who come forward and offer help become new best friends.

But please, whatever else you do, do not ignore them or their loss.

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