My mum had a life-long friendship with a woman I'll call Pam. They met at school and were great, supportive friends up to my mum's death 14 years ago. The friend has a daughter, I'll call her Sophie, about 10 years younger than me, and we are friends. Sophie was always very close to her mum. Her father left them when Sophie was young and although Sophie moved out and lived independently in her 20s and 30s she and Pam were the kind of mother and daughter who were always on the phone to each other and spent weekends and holidays together. Although Sophie talked about marriage and children the right man never seemed to come along.
In 2016 they both sold their homes in London, pooled their resources and moved 300 miles to Devon, where they bought a beautiful house on a clifftop overlooking the sea. Sophie was able to work most of the time from home. In February 2021, in heavy lockdown, Pam died after several months of illness. There was very little support available because of Covid and it was a horrible experience. I went to help for a few weeks before and after her death. I was really concerned about Sophie who had no local contacts to support her in her grief. I have stayed in touch ever since, visiting when I can (it's a six hour journey to get there for me so not easy) and calling her a couple of times a week. She says I'm the sister she never had.
I know that grief takes time, and of course I'm sensitive to her situation: she has no family apart from a couple of cousins she sees very little of. I don't expect her to have moved on, but I'm seeing absolutely no signs of her shifting at all. She is often very down and talks of wanting to end it all, that she has nothing left to live for and so on. She goes for weeks at a time without leaving the house, not even for a walk. When I go and visit and take her out she is very passive and wants me to take control, decide where we're going to go out and what we're going to eat and drive her to places (she's a good driver but rarely goes out in it now).
I've talked to her about seeing her GP. A friend of mine who's an excellent counsellor/ psychotherapist used her contact network to find someone good in Sophie's area to whom she could talk. I've found a couple of bereavement support groups in her area where she may be able to meet people in a similar situation to her own. She hasn't reached out to any of these contacts. Instead, twice a week, she just tells me how awful she feels, what a mistake it was moving to such an isolated area, how lonely she is, how she hates leaving the house, how she hates herself for not taking better care of her mother... It's all getting too much for me.
MargotLedbetter Wed 04-May-22 10:41:30
MissAdventure Wed 04-May-22 11:11:45
Oopsadaisy1 Wed 04-May-22 11:19:09
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MissAdventure Wed 04-May-22 11:56:33
Shandy57 Wed 04-May-22 12:00:32
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Germanshepherdsmum Wed 04-May-22 12:03:41
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ExDancer Wed 04-May-22 12:53:33
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Hithere Wed 04-May-22 13:59:10
Oopsadaisy1 Wed 04-May-22 14:08:43
Chestnut Wed 04-May-22 14:17:14
paddyann54 Wed 04-May-22 14:24:12
MargotLedbetter Wed 04-May-22 15:19:37
eazybee Wed 04-May-22 15:29:07
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