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devestated and no idea how to help friend

(14 Posts)
wheresthel1ght Thu 18-May-17 00:03:20

so a friend I had lost touch with bumped into a relative of mine recently and had told them that her child was very ill and prognosis was not looking great. my relative told me not realising we were estranged.

Rightly or wrongly I took the chance to message former friend to say I had heard, was sorry, hoped it would be ok etc. We have since got back in touch and like no time has passed which is lovely.

from things she had said I assumed her child had developed cancer. turns out the diagnosis is so much worse. I can't post detail here as too identifying, but basically there is absolutely no hope. Her beautiful child is going to die it is just a matter of when and how awful the run up to that will be. I have know the child since they were a baby and they are now early teens - I am devastated for her. I am struggling to deal with the whole absence of hope if it all so I cannot begin to fathom how she is dealing with it all.

I have no idea how to be there for her, I have said all the 'normal' things - but would appreciate some ideas of what you guys would feel comforted by if you were facing this. I wanted to drop some flowers in to her, but it just seems a bit pathetic really.

TheWorldHasGoneToCake Thu 18-May-17 13:32:33

Oh gosh, I have no idea and would rather not think about it at all. Is there any practical support you can offer like meals or school runs for siblings or just taking her out for a break away from things?

wheresthel1ght Thu 18-May-17 14:39:57

I have offered to help as her mode child goes to the school over the road from dds preschool so have said if she needs pick up or drops done I will help.

Meals is a good idea, I have a delay between when. I finish work and school pick up so I might pop over and cook up something or maybe offer to clean her house or do washing maybe?

MrsNuckyThompson Thu 18-May-17 15:13:27

Or just take round a batch of things she can pop in the freezer rather than arriving in her kitchen ...

Dodie66 Thu 18-May-17 15:21:20

Why not ask her if there is anything you can do to help? I'm sure just being there is the main thing

Paddington68 Thu 18-May-17 15:24:13

If you could make things and put them in her freezer with cooking instructions if necessary. Cook a bigger portion for your family and then freeze for her.
If she has other children washing their school uniform etc could help.
Let her talk to you, and just listen.
When funeral arrangements need to be made, go with her, if you can.
And when she is grieving just be present. xxx

wheresthel1ght Thu 18-May-17 19:13:16

She doesn't have a bug freezer so not sure that would help.

Have asked her, she doesn't know!

AddToBasket Thu 18-May-17 23:09:18

Do anything that you can think of that frees up her time.

Dogwalk? Offer to take her mum to her class? Pick up other children and take them to activities?

They need to make this time special so money will also be welcome. If you don't feel like giving cash (understandable) give vouchers for meals or for trip to the cinema or bowling or whatever.

Topuptheglass Fri 19-May-17 00:34:11

If you want to help there are lots of practical things you can do, such as leave peeled potatoes in water for her, she can boil/make chips etc (leave in a covered basin)
Shepherds pie, soup, lasagne, cooked chicken - basically food that she can ping & eat.

Does she have other children? If so, maybe take them to the park, over to yours for tea, out of the house for a short time to run off steam. Maybe pick them up from school, do their homework, drive them to any training/classes they might otherwise miss out on due to their parents being busy with their sick sibling.

If she's not working I'm sure money is tight, what about an Asda/Tesco/supermarket voucher that they can pick up their own bits & pieces?

I have a terminally ill family member & these are the practical things we've been able to help out with.

Topuptheglass Fri 19-May-17 00:35:59

Sorry I see now she has a dd. I bet she'd be grateful for help with her.

AlpacaLypse Fri 19-May-17 00:39:23

Time is the biggest gift we can give. My go-to gift for any life changing thing for friends is to offer to take kids/dogs/both out for a while. I have a collection of places you can do that it in in Wiltshire but that's a different thread.

PanannyPanoo Fri 19-May-17 08:29:04


PanannyPanoo Fri 19-May-17 08:38:55

What a devastating situation.
Are they getting support from a hospice? They offer many more services than end of life care . Children hospices are particularly incredible. You could also contact one for specific ideas of ways you can help relating to your friends daughters condition.

Is there anything that could make their life easier? either practical like equipment or frivolous to make some memories. There are many organisations that hire equipment, have adapted holiday cottages, will pay for things for families in this situation. I have spent many hours on Google finding ways to get what families need. Maybe you could do the research as this takes such a lot of time and can be incredibly hard emotionally for a parent. I work with families affected by life limiting conditions. please message me if I can be of any help.

wheresthel1ght Fri 19-May-17 18:29:45

@panannypanoo no idea to be honest. as I say we have been estranged for a number of years so I am reluctant to push too hard in case I look nosey/interfering. I am seeing her next week so hopefully I will be able to talk to her then and ask her what help I can be.

she has 3 kids in total so I will see whether I can help with the other 2.

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