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My friend's wife died yesterday how can I help(8 Posts)
I was at the hospital with him until his children (grown-up) got there and I took some food round last night. I don't want to crowd him though so have called him today to say if he needs anything to let me know and that I will come round in a couple of days. Is there anything anyone thinks I should be doing/saying? What can I say? I feel useless and helpless but I don't want this to be about me and my feelings, but do what's best for poor David.
Keep cooking the food, keep popping round, keep treating him as normally as you can, despite the fact he is now a widower. I don't think there's any foolproof course of action but offering friendship and support won't ever go amiss. Good luck to him for the next few weeks in particular.
Ah, Ellie, that is so hard. I think practical help at this stage is always good - food, washing, jobs etc. When my friend's Dad died all the neighbours took a different dish round to the house every day for a week. I know its hard to get the balance right but just letting him know that you are there - the odd text message and phone call will go a long way. Can you help let people know what has happened so he doesn't have to make all those difficult phone calls himself, perhaps to friends of the family and acquaintances? That really depends on how close you are I suppose.
Just what robinpud said really. There is no right or wrong answer but I think people really appreciate just knowing that others around them care at a time like this.
Stay supportive. Don't disappear in a few weeks when he should be "gettng over it". Keep on with food from time to time. Invite him round for a change of scene.
You are obviously a good friend.
The first couple of weeks after a bereavement are like a blur as you've got a lot to organise and cards and flowers and the like arrive and you're quite numb. All of these things help you keep going. After the funeral those whose daily lives aren't directly affected almost seem to get some closure and I think it's at this point when those who are directly affected need the most support. A shoulder to cry on, someone to take him out for a beer and practical help at this stage is appreciated I think.
Thanks for that advice folks - I will keep maintaining contact so he knows I'm there when he needs stuff. Can't imagine what he's going through, is horrendous.
Agree with the two previous posts who said that people often need the most support in the longer term, when everyone else has got back on with their lives. I know that has been the case with two close friends who have lost parents recently.
Its tough on you too Ellie, being the supporter. Friends have to give themselves time to grieve too. Friends are often so caught up in the helper role they sometimes forget their own loss.
Thanks twofalls - I didn't know his wife very well, but work with him, so I am really just more tremendously sad for his loss rather than feeling it for myself. I will defo take on board what people are saying about being there for the long-term - he doesn't have family where we live and they have come over to see him, but when they all leave he will need his mates