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(13 Posts)
cat64 Thu 09-Oct-08 12:31:28

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compo Thu 09-Oct-08 12:34:16

sad
the best way you can help is by inviting her ds to play with your dd

cat64 Thu 09-Oct-08 13:16:59

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Sunshine78 Thu 09-Oct-08 13:49:33

Shopping, cleaning , laundry or with the dreaded xmas around the corner offer to help with the preparation -shopping/wrapping.

Just ask and make sure they know you are there for them whatever they want even if it is a bit of normality.

Really sorry about your loss you can not change the past so concentrate on the present and what you can do now your friend knows you where there for her she may have just wanted to be around family the last few weeks and that is why nobody told you she was fading or it could have been really quick in the end with no time to inform people.

The best thing you can do for them is be your self and let them know you are there when they need you whatever it is for.

flowergirls Thu 09-Oct-08 14:03:15

So sorry for your loss - don't blame yourself for not being around in the last few weeks. It is all the time you spent with your friend before that counts. As sunshine says offer practical help not just initially but a few months down the line. Offering to look after ds while they deal with the many practical things that have to be done, will I'm sure be welcome. Also check out Winstons wish for helping children cope with loss. It is probably way too early yet, but they give invaluable advice. Lastly, be kind to yourself. Treasure the memories you have of time spent with your friend and try not to focus on the last few weeks. Big hugs to you.

DadInsteadofMum Thu 09-Oct-08 15:32:53

Have a look at this for somebody who is in a very similar position.

As a DH who has been there, there were two things that I remember from my wifes friends.

Practical help made a big difference, people who took the kids off my hands when I needed to do the practical stuff (registrar, solicitors etc), the food (some of which is still in freezer four months later), clothes that disappeared out of the house and turned up a few days later washed and ironed. For all of this stuff I was incredibly grateful when I was barely able to function myself. aND I was especially grateful that is was all given by people who were grieving themselves (and I feel for you right now).

As a hint don't say, if there is anything I can do let me know, if you are all over the place you have no idea what you want people to do, more useful is "can I do xxx" or in the case of the some of the more aggressive directly helpful mums it was "I am going to do this" (still don't know hwere my laundry went it just disappeared and reappeared smelling of spring flowers - and that would never happen at home).

And as somebody else has said, immediately after there is a lot of help, four months down the line there are probaly only one or two people who have maintained it. I am a DH there is plenty of evidence elsewhere on MN as to how hopeless we are. The occaissional call or text that I get from folk, have you booked this, tomorrow in non=-uniform day what are your wearing, what are your taking on for harvest festival tomorrow, you do its an INSET day tomorrow, etc are a) invaluable and b) even if I have remembered its nice to know somebody cares.

The nicest thing any of the mums in the village said to me was "don't worry what the others do I am going to treat you just the same", to be fair she didn't she was far more helpful than that, but when everybody is treating you with kid gloves it was nice to hear.

And the letters they wrote were were great to read and lovely of people to share their memories but immediately after I wasn't ready for them.

Don't beat yourself up over the fact that you didn't vist. Cancer at the end is not pretty and for the last week or two myself and MIL didn't let anybody visit, better to remember somebody as they were before it all hit than as they were in the last moments.

Onlyjoking Thu 09-Oct-08 15:41:52

sorry to hear about your friend, treasure the memories that you have and dont beat yourself up about not seeing her for the last few weeks.
my husband died four months ago, this article help me and has been helpful for other people to understand, i hope it is helpful for you too

HOW YOU CAN HELP ME

Please talk about my loved one, even though he is gone. It is more
comforting to cry than to pretend that he never existed. I need to talk
about him, and I need to do it over and over.

Be patient with my agitation. Nothing feels secure in my world. Get
comfortable with my crying. Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know
when my tears may flow. Just sit with me in silence and hold my hand.

Don't abandon me with the excuse that you don't want to upset me. You
can't catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid
to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I
most need to be cared about. If you don't know what to say, just come
over, give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You
can even say, "I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you
to know that."

Just because I look good does not mean that I feel good. Ask me how I
feel only if you really have time to find out.

I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel
that you don't see me.

I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm
grieving and that's different. My grieving may only begin 6 months after
my loved one's death. Don't think that I will be over it in a year. For
I am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was
with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had for watching our
children and grandchildren grow, the places we will never get to go together, and the
hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole world has crumbled
and I will never be the same.

I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my
loved one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and
love into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be,
and sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear.
Both are okay.

I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has
happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are just
not acceptable.

When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and
alone. I feel badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don't
make it worse by telling me I'm not doing this right.

Please don't tell me I can find someone else or that I need to start
dating again. I'm not ready. And maybe I don't want to. And besides,
what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren't. Whoever comes
after will always be someone different.

I don't even understand what you mean when you say, "You've got to get
on with your life." My life is going on, I've been forced to take on
many new responsibilities and roles. It may not look the way you think
it should. This will take time and I will never be my old self again. So
please, just love me as I am today, and know that with your love and
support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget
and there will always be times that I cry.

I need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your
hugs. I need you just to be with me, and I need to be with you. I need
to know you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in
my own way, and in my own time.

Please don't say, "Call me if you need anything." I'll never call you
because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could
do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you
some ideas:

(a) Bring food or a movie over to watch together.
(b) Send me a card on special holidays, his birthday, and the
anniversary of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can't
make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the
opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach
out on this difficult day.
(c) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner. I
may so no at first or even for a while, but please don't give up on me
because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you've given up
then I really will be alone.
(d) Understand how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples,
to walk into events alone, to go home alone, to feel out of place in the same situations where I used to feel so comfortable.

Please don't judge me now - or think that I'm behaving strangely.
Remember I'm grieving. I may even be in shock. I am afraid. I may feel
deep rage. I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt. I'm
experiencing a pain unlike any I've ever felt before and one that can't
be imagined by anyone who has not walked in my shoes.

Don't worry if you think I'm getting better and then suddenly I seem to
slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don't
tell me you know how I feel, or that it's time for me to get on with my
life. What I need now is time to grieve.

Most of all thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping, for understanding. Thank
you for praying for me.

And remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss - when you need
me as I have needed you - I will understand. And then I will come and be
with you.

DadInsteadofMum Thu 09-Oct-08 16:05:30

OJ - that is exactly how I felt (feel); if I had that four months ago I would have just handed it out to every body that came up to me in the playground.

Onlyjoking Thu 09-Oct-08 16:14:42

it is very useful isn't it, good to see you around, i did try to contact you throu the MN CAT system but you are not contactable.

cat64 Thu 09-Oct-08 18:55:15

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cat64 Fri 10-Oct-08 11:15:44

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DadInsteadofMum Fri 10-Oct-08 13:43:55

You wouldn't have made it any worse, I don't mean to sound callous, but if he is anything like I was, he probably didn't even notice.

Now he probably has lots of support, if you are still taking cakes around in one or two months time, thats when it will be really be appreciated.

Hang on in there.

flowergirls Fri 10-Oct-08 15:08:16

Dadinsteadofmum is so right. It is further down the line when, for everyone else life is back to normal, that your support will be invaluable.

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