Gransnet forums


How to help my friend

(14 Posts)
Rosie93 Sun 20-Feb-22 21:32:31

I have a friend in her early 40s, who recently lost her mum, who was in her early 70s, after an illness. My friend has taken the loss very hard, as they were very close, and is struggling to return to normal life, work etc. I am trying to be as supportive as I can, especially as I am a similar age and know I will go through the same thing one day. However, she just keeps saying she feels too young to be going through this yet and feels resentful of people who have their mums much longer (her dad is still alive but she is not as close to him). I’m just not sure what to say or how best to help her.

MayBeMaw Sun 20-Feb-22 21:38:51

Every sympathy , but my daughters lost their father while they were in their 30’s/early 40’s.
I’m afraid illness, accidents and death are no respecters of age. sad
There is no “right age” to lose your parents , your partner or indeed as happened to us in our 20’s, your child.
Just be there for her, let her talk about her mum, hopefully with memories of happier times and perhaps encourage her to help support her father in his grief.

VioletSky Sun 20-Feb-22 21:41:44

I think all you can do is listen when needed

Encourage her when she cries as it needs to come out

Maybe ask for stories about her mum to remind her she lives on in her happy memories

Be encouraging of any progress she mentions

Make a note of any special days she mentions so you can tell her you are thinking of her

She just needs time

Coastpath Sun 20-Feb-22 21:53:32

You are obviously a loving, caring friend and I'm sure you're helping your friend just be being there for her and listening to her.

Getting back to 'normal' life after bereavement can be very hard. It's not a linear process and can't be rushed. In my experience people who don't let the process take its course and try to hurry grief out of their system often end up in a bit of a pickle. Often the new normal is different from the old one as our place in life and our views change.

Perhaps some counselling might help her. There is a wonderful charity called Cruse Bereavement who have been very helpful to someone I know who just couldn't get past their sadness and anger at losing someone.

I hope comfort and sunnier days are just around the corner for her.

Calendargirl Sun 20-Feb-22 22:04:55

It’s actually 50 years ago today that my father died very suddenly from a heart attack. I was 19.

The saddest day of my life.

He never saw me get married, or see any of his grandchildren.

But that is how life is sometimes.

paddyann54 Sun 20-Feb-22 22:11:41

I lost my lovely Dad 6 weeks before my 40th birthday,my sister died a year later she was 50 and her children were in their late teens and early 20's .My mother coped remarkably well with my dads loss at first but got very angry at him for dying 3 months before their "golden" anniversary ,Sadly she remained angry for a long time,they had been boyfriend/girlfriend since they were 12 .
She never got over losing her daughter even though she had lost a number of babies at and just before birth ,this first born who survived had been her much wanted and adored child .Grief is individual to us all ,your friend will come to terms with her loss in her own way and her own time,all you can do is listen and be there for her .

Madgran77 Mon 21-Feb-22 05:59:33

Listen. Let her talk about her mum, even refer to her mum in conversation.... "your mum would have enjoyed this, bet she would be pleased that we are enjoying it" if you are doing something together. So often the bereaved complain that their loved one becomes a taboo subject, don't let that happen

Encourage bereavement counselling.

It's early days for her and it can take a long time to get used to a "new reality"

LOUISA1523 Mon 21-Feb-22 07:36:47

Its like groundhog day.....This exact same topic of thread was deleted on mumsnet last night ..... caused a lot of upset apparently....and was reported for being goady....the OP then deregistered ?

Coastpath Mon 21-Feb-22 10:24:21

Well I must take people too much on face value then because I can't see how it is 'goady' at all. The feelings described all sounded like the sort of thoughts that go through your head when you lose someone and are in the grip of grief. I felt sorry for the friend and thought the poster genuinely wanted help.

Rosie93 Mon 21-Feb-22 13:33:54

I did originally post on Mumsnet, but unfortunately my comments were taken the wrong way and got a lot of angry replies. A lot of people got the impression that I was saying my friend should be getting over it by now due to her age, which was not the case at all. On re-reading my original post on Mumsnet it did come across as a little blunt/uncaring, which is why I decided to re-word it here, as my thread on Mumsnet was deleted. Just to be clear, I genuinely do care about my friend and want to help her. I thank you for your suggestions so far and will take them on board.

Madgran77 Mon 21-Feb-22 16:14:58

Rosie93 I am struggling to work out how this sort of discussion could be taken as "goadie" but thanks for confirming that you did post on MN and explaining the problem

I hope that you find replies on here more helpful flowers

AGAA4 Mon 21-Feb-22 16:34:04

Losing a much loved parent is very hard. Grief is different for everyone. Just be there for your friend when she needs you. With help she will come to terms with her loss but it takes time.

Serendipity22 Mon 21-Feb-22 17:44:12

You are a kind, caring friend who is seeing her friend suffering, all you can do is be there for her, be a sounding board, be a rock for her to hold on to.

She must travel this journey in the only way that allows, but, you can travel the journey with her, at her side, holding her up. You cant take away the pain no one can.

She needs to know that support is there when she feels the need to reach out for it.

Smileless2012 Mon 21-Feb-22 17:47:08

I have nothing to add to Serendipity's post Rosie which I hope will helpflowers.