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I need advice about a friend who's been bereaved

(5 Posts)
WakeUpRosemary Thu 28-Jul-11 20:09:53

I'm hoping some of you wise people will know how I should approach this awful situation. I have a friend whose older brother was recently killed in a road accident. I'm not extremely close to this friend, he's an ex-colleague, but we'd email each other most weeks mostly about books and things like that. He's been really good to me, helping me out with work when he could and he's just a really lovely, great person.

I only found out about his brother because he emailed me about ten days after it happened, after he'd gone back to work. He said he was still trying to take it in. I replied and said how sorry I was and I hoped he had support around him, that if I could do anything for him to let me know. That was about two weeks ago and I'm not sure how to, or if I should, approach him again. A mutual friend rang him and he said the same thing to her, that it hadn't sunk in yet. I don't want to bother him but I want him to know that I'm thinking of him. It's so sad when bereaved people say that their friends and acquaintances avoid them because they don't know what to say. But I really honestly don't know what to say.

Any thoughts please?

TheOriginalFAB Thu 28-Jul-11 20:11:59

You should email him as normal.

Express your sorrow and your offer to help in any way you can and ask him if he would like to talk over a meal/drink.

Try and treat him as normal but be mindful of his loss.

Hassled Thu 28-Jul-11 20:12:57

I think email him. Don't ring - if he's not up to talking then that's really going to put him on the spot and could be horrible for him. But an email he can ignore if he wants (make sure you tell him that) but at least will know you're thinking of him. Don't do nothing, though - important for him to know that he (and his brother) are still in people's minds.

TheMonster Thu 28-Jul-11 20:22:09

Email him as normal, as FAB says.

My sister died a few years back and I found myself to be quite isolated: the rest of my family were grieving in their own ways, and my friends were unsure about what to do and so keep a wide berth (which isn't uncommon in such situations).

So, I think you should keep the contact as it would normally be, but let him know that you are free to meet up (not necessarily to talk about his loss, unless he wants to).

WakeUpRosemary Thu 28-Jul-11 20:52:58

I'm sorry for your loss, BodyOfEeyore. I really hope he doesn't feel isolated. I've drafted an email to let him know I'm thinking of him, that I hope he has people around him and to let me know if I can help. Also that he can ignore the mail.

I didn't know his brother. They're a country family and my friend moved to the city years ago. I don't think they were very close but he was my friend's only sibling and I don't think he's close to his parents. I can't imagine what's going through his mind right now.

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