Gransnet forums


How to help him

(10 Posts)
Shandy57 Mon 13-Sep-21 16:25:10

Hello, my friend's partner lost his son in a tragic accident in December 2018. He is 77, she is 64, and also loved her stepson. His grief is still huge and he can't even say his name without being tearful.

Is there anything I can do to help him? When it happened I sent some carefully chosen books on grief, and Bach's Rescue Remedy. He did eventually have some counselling but said it didn't work for him.

AGAA4 Mon 13-Sep-21 16:32:43

Just be there for them both. This is a tragic loss and will take a long time to come to terms with.

Grammaretto Mon 13-Sep-21 16:33:05

It is alright to be tearful and if they/he can relax enough with you to talk about his son, this is no doubt a help.
Be there and listen. Nothing you do can make it any worse because the worst has happened.
My DF died in an aeroplane crash. My DM never got over it but life did change for her so you could say that time heals.

My DH died 9 months ago and one friend in particular has been a consistent help to me. She will go for a walk with me when ever I want - sometimes daily, and always has time. She isn't bereaved but she just seems to understand.

Shandy57 Mon 13-Sep-21 17:06:27

Thank you, I've just helped him find something on the web, it has pleased him, and it's also helped my friend. He is very lucky that my friend does absolutely everything for him, and protects him from anything and everything.

I'm five years into my grief journey now and conscious I haven't moved forwards, I'm still reflecting. I have moved house to a small manageable bungalow, which is something.
I wish I'd had my friend here in the early days. The balls in the jar story helped me, I realised my grief would always be the same, I've got to make a different and bigger life for myself. Perhaps tomorrow! smile

Hugs to you Grammaretto, it is hard xx

CafeAuLait Mon 13-Sep-21 23:07:35

I think it's important to realise that you can't do anything to fix this and you shouldn't try to. Just be there to listen, go out with them, be normal with them. See them as them, don't see them as bereaved parents first and foremost. If you try to fix them, they will sense you are uncomfortable with their feelings and either not share or distance.

The time frame you are describing as far as child loss is nothing at all. I found the 2-4 year mark the most difficult. Time will help.

Shandy57 Tue 14-Sep-21 00:49:40

Thanks ~CafeAuLait, I am a fixer, I'll take a step back. Unfortunately I am 300 miles away and haven't been able to see them for years, so it's all been phone calls, care packages and emails, but I've done my best and will just listen in future.

CafeAuLait Tue 14-Sep-21 00:56:56

Those communications sound perfect Shandy. Just be a friend, don't raise the topic or avoid the topic. The connection of a friend is probably just what they need.

I found those who wanted to fix things were just trying to avoid their own discomfort with the topic or emotions. I quickly learned it was no okay to have feelings around those people. It did create distance. I didn't want to be around people who were overly sympathetic either. Just, be normal. :-)

Grammaretto Tue 14-Sep-21 22:27:33

Shandy ((hugs)).
You have done amazingly well in this last year alone. Plan some interesting things to do this winter.

Shandy57 Wed 15-Sep-21 11:49:42

Thanks Grammaretto, I still feel as though I've been dragged through a hedge backwards.

Pleased to say I've managed to book a flu jab for tomorrow, must remember to wear a short sleeved dress.

Now I've been here six months, I have more of an idea how to renovate the bungalow and I've just treated myself to a special offer with House Beautiful, a reduced subscription for six months. Anything I buy/have built will have storage potential. I so miss my airing cupboard, and larder, and cupboards in general! I still wonder where the seller kept her ironing board/mop etc, perhaps hanging on the back of a door somewhere! I joked about the kitchen/lounge reminding me of a caravan, now I've said it I definitely won't be having a corner sofa smile I'm still dithering over an Ikea gateleg table with drawers at both ends - it's ugly and apparently very heavy, but I doubt I'll be moving it.

My other winter project will be sorting the thousands of photographs, a poster very kindly put her procedure for sorting on Gransnet and I printed it off. I have started and am having a sad time going through them all. I've also come across some that I forgot existed, I've just matched one of my husband's golf trophies with photos taken at the event.

Davida1968 Wed 15-Sep-21 12:04:34

CafeAuLait I think that what you've said is spot on and that you've have expressed this beautifully.