Gransnet forums

Bereavement

Best friends loss

(76 Posts)
PurpleStar Tue 12-Jan-21 10:23:50

My closest friend has just lost her Beloved Adult Daughter overnight,after a very quick and cruel cancer battle.What practicle help can I do with a full lockdown going on.The funeral will be small,I think 10,no paying respects at the family home.Its so different and makes an impossibly hard time even harder.I cant pop round and give my friend a hug.Our coping strategies have gone because of covid.I cant even cook something and drop it round.Things that we do best in the darkest days for others now cant be done.Can anyone suggest anything useful I could do? We dont live in the uk and the funeral will be in the next 2-3 days which is standard here.I just feel so helpless and heartbroken for them and want to reach out.

Nortsat Tue 12-Jan-21 10:28:46

Purplestar I don’t have any helpful advice but didn’t want to read and pass by, without offering my sincere condolences to your friend and to you.

How tragic.

💐

MayBee70 Tue 12-Jan-21 10:29:37

Just tell her that she can phone you anytime day or night. That’s what I did with a friend who lost her husband a couple of years ago. She never did but the offer was there. People wouldn’t want to phone someone during the night but that can be the worst time.

merlotgran Tue 12-Jan-21 10:38:46

We lost our elder daughter in the same circumstances, PurpleStar and to be honest, I didn't want any practical help from friends - even messages and sympathy cards were hard to deal with. You feel like you want to pull up the drawbridge and shut out the world.

Help and support is welcome later on when the initial shock and grief evolves into coping and 'living with it.'

Tell your friend you will be there for her whenever she wants to contact you and leave it at that. She will know when she's ready.

flowers

Nonogran Tue 12-Jan-21 10:38:56

I'm sure your dear friend will understand the restrictions you feel you must comply with but I'm sure a phone call, maybe even write a newsy letter (via the post man) every now and then will be something thoughtful to do. Keep touching base with her but don't be invasive or overwhelming. That way for sure she'll appreciate your contacts especially if you allow her to vent without interruption or bringing anything back to being about you. It's got to be all about her for a little while & how she is coping. Gently change the subject with your news, stay off health topics if you can & just, well, be there for her.

Franbern Wed 13-Jan-21 08:26:24

The death of an adult child, in my opinion, is one of the hardest losses there is. It is all so wrong. My youngest child, died aged 25 years of age as the result of a tragic accident. We had no chance to prepare in any way and I can still remember saying to the policeman who came round to inform us that he can't be dead as I do not have any funeral arrangements for my children!!!!

He should have been celebrating his 44th birthday today - and despite how long ago it was, I still get tearful when I think of him. A gap in our family that can never be filled!!! Despite five other children and eight g.children.

When he died, all I wanted to do was to talk about him, on and on, endlessly. I can remember just over a week after his death someone telephoning me to say that a meeting I had been due to attend, which had been delayed due to this, was now going ahead and they all hoped I would be there, I told the caller that I was not sure about attending as I was now the worlds greatest bore, as all I wished to do was to talk about him. After a very slight pause, she said 'Come along and bore us'. One of the nicest thing anyone has ever said!!!

So, my advice is to let you friend talk to you, by phone, by email, by skype, however.....about her daughter as often and whenever as she wishes. Be there, and be willing to listen to some stories over and over again. And be aware that this need may go on for a very long time.

It will take a very long time for the very sharpest mourning will start to disperse - took me a good two years. For many people, they are very good at sympathy and support for a few weeks, but then they get on with their own lives (understandably), - for the parent, it will continue. So, the fact that you are not with her in these early days and weeks can be made up for over the next months and years.

Juliet27 Wed 13-Jan-21 08:37:25

That made me cry franbern. Such a loss must be terrible to bear. Sympathy for you too merlotgran

Galaxy Wed 13-Jan-21 08:51:35

That was such a kind thoughtful post franbern.

Luckygirl Wed 13-Jan-21 08:51:48

flowers for those who have suffered this worst of losses.

I agree that the best (and really only) thing you can do OP is to let her know that you are there to listen any time, day or night, and for as long as she wishes.

I also think that this is the only thing anyone can do, lockdowns or not. It is the only thing that really matters.

She may not take you up on it, but the fact that you have offered will be there in her mind to bolster her up.

Kim19 Wed 13-Jan-21 08:52:05

Fran 🌷 Merlot 🌷 Irrespective of time lapse, so sad........

Humbertbear Wed 13-Jan-21 09:30:31

Phone her regularly and send her messages. Could you send her some nice toiletries to help her look after herself. We are in the UK and my best friend’s husband died in September. I have been able to deliver food to her doorstep and I know she appreciates it. I think you have to be pro-active so phone her and if she doesn’t want to talk, at least she will know you are there.

Sandieanne Wed 13-Jan-21 10:25:01

I too lost a son and just typing this makes me cy, I agree completely with what Franbern said. I think the most important thing is communication. Sometimes because people are overcome and dont know what to say to you they ignore you, cross the road to avoid you. They are not being cruel but they dont know how to deal with this. This actually makes you feel worse. I think you should communicate with your friend in whatever way you can, phone, zoom, text just to let her know you are there. Also a card, words can say so much.

Jane43 Wed 13-Jan-21 10:30:46

I don’t have any advice but I just want to say that the loss of a child, at any age, must be the hardest loss and my heart goes out to anybody who has experienced it.

jaylucy Wed 13-Jan-21 10:42:41

Just be there to talk firstly and if it is practical, can you make up or arrange to have delivered a few light meals or a hamper of fruit etc? I know that many people struggle to eat during the first few days even though food becomes something that can fill up time during the long hours.
Maybe include some nice teas or decaff coffees for your friend to use during the long night time hours if she's not sleeping well.
Do you have a photo of the two of them that you could frame? Or an empty photo album that your friend can fill.
Grief affects people in different ways. Your friend may want to talk about it, or she may not. Just go along with whatever she is comfortable with.

hulahoop Wed 13-Jan-21 10:46:19

Such sad posts my heart goes out to all who have experienced this 💐💐

annab275 Wed 13-Jan-21 10:46:37

Having been in the same position losing my daughter 10 years ago, I just wanted to crawl into a hole. I found it painful talking about her to friends and leaned on my partner and two other children. I read Gloria Hunniford's books about losing her daughter and even wrote to her, feeling that nobody else could understand. I think offering an ear would be helpful, but no more. I came through somehow after a couple of years, but it was a lonely journey through grief, from choice. Although I did have professional grief counselling and that was really helpful.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 13-Jan-21 10:49:22

I think that the advice from someone who has been through it (*Merlotgran*)
says it all.

Coconut Wed 13-Jan-21 10:50:01

My dear friend also lost her son, and as everyone says all you can do is be there for them whenever they need you.
I sent my friend these words in a card and she loved them so much they were read out at his funeral. I have posted them on here before......

The Cord
We are connected my child and I, by an invisible cord not seen by the eye
It’s not like the cord that connects us at birth
This cord can’t be seen by any on earth
This cord did it’s work right from the start
It bound us together, attached to our hearts
We know that it’s there, just no one can see
This invisible cord, from my child to me
The strength of this cord is hard to describe
But it can’t be destroyed, it can’t be denied
It’s stronger than any cord man can create
It withstands any test and can hold any weight
And though you are gone, you are not here with me
The cord is still there, just no one can see
It pulls at our hearts, we are bruised, we are sore
But this cord is our lifeline as never before
I am so very thankful to be connected this way
A mother and her child, even death cannot take it away.

Sparklefizz Wed 13-Jan-21 10:50:27

I am so sad to read these posts, and my heart goes out to all who have lost someone, particularly a child. flowers flowers

Jang Wed 13-Jan-21 10:51:11

Just be there and keep in contact let her talk about it if she wants to ask her what you can do for her; a friend of mine lost her partner to suicide and she called me at all hours of the night ( I put a duvet by the phone as before mobiles) and just listened I believe it helped her.
Good luck with helping your friend flowers

Shinamae Wed 13-Jan-21 10:52:22

FranbernAnd others who have suffered this dreadful dreadful loss,I am so sorry......
😥💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐

Dibbydod Wed 13-Jan-21 11:01:24

All I can say is that when my long term partner passed away last year a friend told me that I could give her a ring whenever I needed to talk and left it at that , she has not contacted me since . I’d feel like I’m being a nuisance if I phoned her up , I would have liked her to have contacted me , or at least send text message to ask how I am . So, my advice would be to give your friend a quick call /text now and then to show you care and are thinking of her and if she needs to talk she will do then . 💐

Nanabanana1 Wed 13-Jan-21 11:03:46

This has made me cry, I lost my daughter 2years ago and still the loss is great, please let your friend know you are there for her it will be much appreciated. 💐for all GN’s coping with troubles and loss.

LinkyPinky Wed 13-Jan-21 11:07:35

I lost my eldest son through suicide. My friend Jill phoned me every single day and let me talk and rage and howl and cry and bellow like a bull, through all the despair and if only and guilt and sheer visceral pain. Phone your friend. When the call is over tell her you’ll phone again tomorrow.

TopsyIrene06 Wed 13-Jan-21 11:08:19

My heart and thoughts go out to those of you who have lost darling children. No words.