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DS(16) friend died suddenly yesterday. DS in bits.
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BeingmoreDragon · 22/05/2022 09:23

DS2s friend has died suddenly yesterday after a very short illness. He went into hospital last week and was admitted and has never come out. He messaged DS at 2am yesterday morning to say he wasn't doing very well but was trying really hard to stay alive. They then had a phone call at 8am and as part of the conversation said he was going to have to have an operation but it was very risky and he wanted DS to know if he didn't make it that things would be OK and DS was to keep on going. He passed away yesterday afternoon.

DS has been horrifically bullied in the past, has self harmed and been suicidal and it has taken him a long long time to get any sort of stable friendship group. He met this lad at a DnD group 4 years ago and they just hit it off. Whilst following the pandemic their friendship has been online mostly but they chat and game for hours every day. DS doesn't talk about things that upset him. He internalises everything. He's saying he's fine this morning and doesn't want to talk about it but he's clearly not fine. He's got a fresh cut on his arm. He says it was an accident but I am not sure I believe him.

We've got a lot of other stuff going on, another of his friends has cancer, my dad is ill and is going in for an operation in a few weeks, he's struggling with his GCSEs, he's worried as he's going to a different college to his friends, financially things are tight and whilst trying to shield the DSs as much as possible they know there is a risk we'll have to sell up and move which has difficult repercussions.

I've been and given him more cuddles this morning. I've told him that whatever day the funeral is (if he's invited) he can go - even if it means missing a GCSE.

To be honest I don't even know why I am posting. I suppose I am after some advice on how to help him process, when he has history of refusing to process until stuff explodes out of him.

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maudesvagina · 22/05/2022 09:27

So sorry for his loss . www.winstonswish.org/ may help

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Skinnermarink · 22/05/2022 09:28

Are you able to find out more details about how this happened? And verify that it’s not an online hoax…it does happen.

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OneTonNoodles · 22/05/2022 09:28

I'd look into getting him in to speak to a professional.

If he internalises, he's not going to open up of his own accord.

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EvilPea · 22/05/2022 09:29

Oh god I’m so sorry, how incredibly sad.
I’m assuming he’s sitting his GCSEs now?

I’m bumping really as I’m frankly ill equipped to reply!

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MrsPnut · 22/05/2022 09:29

Oh your poor son, what a dreadful thing to have to process on top of everything else.
Was the friend at a different school? As your DS’s school can request special consideration for his GCSE marks if they are aware.

I’d just try to keep talking, maybe a drive to get something because it’s much easier to get them to open up if you aren’t face to face.

My almost 16 year old daughter is in a few D&D groups on Discord and she gets a lot out of playing online.

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StroppyTop · 22/05/2022 09:30

I’m so sorry. What an awful thing to happen.

Let school know asap as this is bound to affect exam performance. Get in touch with a counsellor for him too. Have they friends in common he could share this with?

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ChuckBerrysBoots · 22/05/2022 09:31

In practical terms, do let school know so they can request dispensation for his exam performance. My grandmother died in the middle of my a-levels and my mum did the same for me.

no great advice about supporting him, other than side by side conversations in the car can be less intimidating than face to face, so maybe some long drives in the coming days/weeks in the hope he’ll open up? Are there others from the DND group that knew the other boy and can support your DS too?

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sashagabadon · 22/05/2022 09:32

I’d be wary this was a real person if most of their communication is online and not a school friend they see a lot in real life.
I am sorry for your ds though as very upsetting for him and you too

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Notimeforaname · 22/05/2022 09:34

OP I'm so sorry. Your poor son.

I would 100% believe the cut was not an accident given his past. So I wouldn't just let that go.

You cannot push him to process anything ..its very very soon after. Most people dont even begin to process things til after funeral.

Is your son is counselling or have a therapist to talk to ? Or any other family members with whom hes comfortable speaking to?

💐

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Mumdiva99 · 22/05/2022 09:36

Skinnermarink · 22/05/2022 09:28

Are you able to find out more details about how this happened? And verify that it’s not an online hoax…it does happen.

I was going to say the same. How do youìknow he died? If my child passed away suddenly I don't think informing their friends the day ot happened would be first thing on my mind.

Obviously it's very tragic if this child has died. But your son sound very vulnerable and I think you should qualify this story.

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Theoscargoesto · 22/05/2022 09:36

You sound lovely and he is lucky to have you by his side. There is clearly a lot going on for him but also for all of you.

Childline is there 24/7 and he can log on via the website to speak to a counsellor via his keyboard if that’s easier for him than using his voice.

Re the self-harm, it can be a way of coping with feelings which may be hard to understand but is no less real for that. It’s really hard for parents but if you can encourage safe self-harm, rather than taking a coping mechanism away, as well as advocating distraction/alternatives, that can be helpful.

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NerrSnerr · 22/05/2022 09:36

How did he find out the boy has passed away? Who told him? Is there any way of 100% verifying it's true?

In the short term you just need to make sure he can talk if he wants and not force him too soon.

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Colourfulrainbows · 22/05/2022 09:37

Your poor son. I am so very sorry for his loss. Loosing a friend is hard very hard. I should know, but I was in my 30s when she died.

He is going to feel awful, be prepared that it won't come straight away. But just Be with him when it does. The raw emotion. Be prepared that he may not act like himself for a while and that he will feel this loss many times not just in the first year.

Hopefully he will be able to attend the funeral, but even that may feel strange as friends funerals is so different. As people don't see the weight and loss behind friends like they do family.

Think there is a lovely quote by plato about friendship.

Thinking of your son at this hard time. X

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LorenzoVonMatterhorn · 22/05/2022 09:37

How awful. make sure you inform the school fully. See if they can offer counselling.

Lots of children find themselves and their pack at college.

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Skinnermarink · 22/05/2022 09:38

I am sorry OP but the friend phoning in a ‘if I don’t make it…’ would make me want to check this out properly.

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Notcontent · 22/05/2022 09:38

Skinnermarink · 22/05/2022 09:28

Are you able to find out more details about how this happened? And verify that it’s not an online hoax…it does happen.

This sounds terrible but that’s exactly what I was thinking too…

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TheFoxAndTheStar · 22/05/2022 09:39

At the risk of sounding awful, are you absolutely sure that this has actually happened? Do you know other people who know the boy or is there any way you can verify this?

I don’t mean that your DS would be making it up. I am worried at the possibility of it somehow being an elaborate “prank”.

Something similar happened at DS’s school with a long build up involving kids form another school, but it was all done so they could laugh at the reactions of the kids that had unwittingly roped in to be emotionally involved. Obviously the kids who had been duped were devastated and so I would be worried in case this happened to your DS

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BeingmoreDragon · 22/05/2022 09:40

@Skinnermarink @sashagabadon Sorry I should have said in my OP its definitely not a hoax - he first met the friend in a real life DnD group - which moved online with Covid. They have another friend in common who goes to the same school as the lad who has died who DS also knows and has met in person. They had about 12 / 15 months of weekly DnDs in person before the pandemic struck and things moved online. I saw them video call each other early this week when DS was on the way to an Exam and they were laughing about the friend getting out of it and he was joking about all the drugs he was on. He was clearly very unwell.

Whilst I can't independently verify that he has died as I don't know his parents, I have seen the message his brother sent to the mutual friend yesterday afternoon, who then sent it to DS, and I have no reason to think its not true.

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Basilbrushgotfat · 22/05/2022 09:41

I'm so very sorry :(

I lost a close friend suddenly as a student and it completely shook my world. Looking back, I can see that although it was intense grief at losing them it was also the horror that something like that could happen when we're both young. Hard to put into words, but it does shake your sense of safety with the world a bit. Years later, I still feel a sense of shock that it happened.

Although I wouldn't rush into it in the first couple of weeks, I would absolutely line up bereavement counselling for your son.

Liaise with his GP too, if there's the potential for him to miss a gcse you'll need to ensure you've got the necessary evidence/backup for him to resit or postpone. Would be a good idea to speak to his head of year now and discuss options about postponing sitting an exam if it clashes.

Likewise, he should be apply to for special consideration in his exams given the intimacy of his loss and that his exams are upon him.

He'll need a lot of support from his school over the next year or two, so liaise with them often.

Given he struggles to deal with his emotions, I wonder if a sport like boxing or a martial art would help him? They teach discipline and coaches are used to working with troubled boys and young men. Not to mention that the activity, not onlygood for him physically, can help to release stored emotions and tension.

I understand that finances are an issue but I wouldn't dismiss a sport on this basis. A chat with local groups, his school or coaches who teach may through up subsidies that can offset the cost, or there may be local or charitable grants you can apply to.

X

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SunSetDreaming · 22/05/2022 09:42

Child bereavement U.K. are an amazing charity and supported my DD when she was struggling with loss.

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Overthewine · 22/05/2022 09:42

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ at the poster's request.

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Maybebabyno2 · 22/05/2022 09:45

If they met at a dnd group, it is highly unlikely to be an online hoax. He knows him in real life, the online part seems to have been through covid which was pretty much everyone's relationships during that time.

When my friends cousin passed away, her best friend was told about an hour after it happened, I think it's quite usual to tell the close friends quite quickly.

No advice OP, I'm just really sorry this has happened to your son. Make sure to tell the school so they can make some allowances for his GCSEs. I would also look into some sort of therapy too.

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Skinnermarink · 22/05/2022 09:45

What is a DND group?

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SheWoreYellow · 22/05/2022 09:45

Your poor son.

I agree about getting in touch with school.

Have you any idea on timescales for a funeral yet? Are they mentioning whether a post mortem will be needed? I’m just thinking it might help your DS slightly to know when it might be.

What sort of illness (roughly) was it?

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BeingmoreDragon · 22/05/2022 09:46

sorry to add he was at the hospital during the video call.

@TheFoxAndTheStar that's absolutely horrific. God I don't know if I want it to be a hoax or not. Not sure which is worse.

We've tried counselling in the past for DS but he refuses to engage and with his age it all seems to be that him saying no means it just doesn't happen. I understand he'd old enough that no-one can force him but I don't know. He's very averse to anyone knowing anything is wrong. He could be sitting there with tears streaming down his face and he'd tell you he was fine.

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