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Life-limiting illness

How to help - terminal diagnosis for friend with young child

13 replies

Blackforesthotchoc · 14/07/2020 19:54

So we had some sad news today about a friend with a young child (just a toddler) not having any more treatment options - the potential avenue she was hoping for won't be available.

It looks like it could be a matter of weeks or at most months. The diagnosis was always terminal but we were all hoping there would be more time as I suppose everyone does. It's obviously devastating for her and so difficult with how young her child is.

I'm looking for things she can do that could possibly help with making memories in the time left with her baby. With Corona and everything obviously days out aren't really an option. So far I've thought of plaster cast hand prints to do together, a "name a star" pack she could decide on a name together, but I'm struggling for what else. Has anyone got any advice (in terms of activities or memory making for her and her child) who's been in this situation or similar - I can't even imagine the pain she is going through Sad

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Horsemad · 14/07/2020 22:39

Build a Bear with a recording of her voice?

So sorry, what a horrible, horrible situation. ☹️ Flowers

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Harp1977 · 14/07/2020 23:05

A note book and pen for her to write stories or little sayings or memories for her little one.
Also if you could arrange for other friends etc to write a little story or note about their friendship, memories and anecdotes. It helps with the memories of who Mum really was and the life she lived and loved.
Flowers

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Oct18mummy · 14/07/2020 23:43

Cards- does she want to have her child open cards/presents from her for birthday/Xmas/special occasions

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GoingtotheWinchester · 14/07/2020 23:48

Oh I’m so incredibly sorry Sad. I’ve lost 4 friends to cancer who had a total of 8 children between them ranging from 11 months to 6 when their mums died. I think lots of simple memories are important - videos so they know what their mum sounded like, letters, cards and tons of photos.

A memory book from others is lovely - especially if she has lots of friends. We can be so many different things to do many different people.

My heart goes out to you. It’s a devastating loss SadFlowers.

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okiedokieme · 14/07/2020 23:50

Cards for 18th and 21st birthdays, Christmas presents for this year. Photos, can't get enough. Record a favourite book, video footage of them together. Memory box, day out to the zoo or beach maybe. Write a letter Probably the best thing though is to ensure things like paperwork are in order especially if they are not married to the child's father, ive been involved in a case like that, nobody wants a custody battle (father vs grandparents who claimed he wasn't the father

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Blackforesthotchoc · 15/07/2020 00:08

Thanks for all the ideas. A memory book for friends would be a nice thing to do after I think, something that shows her in a different light. I was thinking letters but I wasnt sure if that would be too physically difficult. I was looking to see if there are any adult make a wish type of foundations but it looks like there are only one or two and those seem not to be doing anything for new applicants due to covid.

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Sk1nnyB1tch · 15/07/2020 00:20

A close friend lost her mum when she was very little. Her strongest memories are of the perfume she wore and a wool cape she wore a lot and that is in the last few pictures of her.
If your friend has a favourite perfume buy her a bottle and remind her to wear it daily.
My friend is now older than her mother was when she died, but smelling that perfume can still bring her back to feeling safe and loved.

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saraclara · 15/07/2020 00:24

I'm sorry to sound negative, but do you know that she wants this sort of intervention? Isn't this down to her immediate family?
When my husband was dying this sort of thing put pressure on us. The last thing he wanted to do was stuff like this, that kept death in his thoughts. He wanted to make the most of living, not be expected to do activities to do with his dying. Also it was emotional labour that none of us had the headspace for.

I know everyone's different, and maybe your place in her life is such that you do have a 'right' to involve yourself in what she does with her last weeks, or maybe you know that she wants ideas.

But if not, please think about what I've said.

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PrawnofthePatriarchy · 05/10/2020 17:25

I'm with saraclara. When DH was dying he couldn't have coped with doing any of this stuff for our DC. You clearly mean the best but check you aren't making assumptions.

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Rae36 · 12/10/2020 20:41

At a funeral of a young mum a while back everyone was given a blank card on the way in and was asked to write something about her. They were collected in and made into a book for her children so they could read all about their mum. That was such a nice idea.

Assuming she wants you to, could you record your conversations with her, ask her all about her life before kids and her family, that sort of thing? If you can manage to do it in a conversational way rather than an interview style that would be nice. Then her kids can hear her voice but it won't feel like a chore to her, just a chat with an old friend.

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Saz12 · 16/10/2020 23:20

It’s about your friend. Not you, not her family, and not her children.

I would love to hear my mother’s voice again. I wish she had recorded it. But I’m glad she didn’t feel like she “had to”.

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CreamFirstThenJamOnTop · 08/01/2021 23:47

My mum died when I was 5 and I unfortunately barely remember her.... I’m 41 now.

What I would have loved to have had was a video or voice recording. It would mean the absolute world to me to know what she sounded like.

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NoProblem123 · 08/02/2021 15:56

I head of someone who recorded their heartbeat and put it in a build a bear.
Also getting some of her usual toiletries so her child can remember what she smelled like.

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