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Old 11-13-2012, 08:07 AM   #1
momtojandj
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When someone has a loss/what to do

I know I have read threads asking what to do if someone has had a loss and what should you do for that person/family, heres some tips ...stop asking if the person is ok..(what do you expect us to answer that with?) Dont ask if you can do anything for the person. (Just do something, people have just shown up to take garbage to the dump, do laundry, drop off paper towels, groceries, drop off cooked food, take my kids out, make phone calls..most people that do need help wont ask or reach out , or so overwhelmed dont know where to start)Dont stop calling, texting, emailing or facebooking with the person, not just right after..keep trying weeks later is when the person will need you most. Also so many people told me to call them if I needed them or told me things at the wake, that is all a blur...and most people I have no contact info. Drop off a card, at the wake or person house with your contact info, or anything you want to say. I hope any of this is helpful, I have had amazing people supporting me still and just wanted to share some things that helped and some that didnt.. Wishing peace to all of us that have lost someone , now thru the holidays and going foward..
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by momtojandj View Post
I know I have read threads asking what to do if someone has had a loss and what should you do for that person/family, heres some tips ...stop asking if the person is ok..(what do you expect us to answer that with?) Dont ask if you can do anything for the person. (Just do something, people have just shown up to take garbage to the dump, do laundry, drop off paper towels, groceries, drop off cooked food, take my kids out, make phone calls..most people that do need help wont ask or reach out , or so overwhelmed dont know where to start)Dont stop calling, texting, emailing or facebooking with the person, not just right after..keep trying weeks later is when the person will need you most. Also so many people told me to call them if I needed them or told me things at the wake, that is all a blur...and most people I have no contact info. Drop off a card, at the wake or person house with your contact info, or anything you want to say. I hope any of this is helpful, I have had amazing people supporting me still and just wanted to share some things that helped and some that didnt.. Wishing peace to all of us that have lost someone , now thru the holidays and going foward..
Sorry for your loss and thanks for the advice, I am one who is never really sure what to do and I think I will take your advice and just do something. I know someone right now that would probably appreciate that.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:33 AM   #3
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Good advice, and I would like to add one.

If you are a couple, and one of your friends loses their spouse, don't drop the other person like a hot potato.

After my Dad died, their "couple" friends no longer ask her to go anywhere with them. They still visit occasionally, and e-mail/connect on Facebook, but she would love to be asked to go to a movie or out to eat with them and they just completely stopped doing that when Dad passed away.

Maybe they are afraid she would feel like a "third wheel" or something, but she truly wishes they would still ask, she would love to go.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:17 AM   #4
momtojandj
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Originally Posted by MIGrandma View Post
Good advice, and I would like to add one.

If you are a couple, and one of your friends loses their spouse, don't drop the other person like a hot potato.

After my Dad died, their "couple" friends no longer ask her to go anywhere with them. They still visit occasionally, and e-mail/connect on Facebook, but she would love to be asked to go to a movie or out to eat with them and they just completely stopped doing that when Dad passed away.

Maybe they are afraid she would feel like a "third wheel" or something, but she truly wishes they would still ask, she would love to go.
Yes^ this as well, since I am in a neighbor hood with almost all couples/families . that is also a concern, that most people wont know how to relate anymore to me..thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:29 AM   #5
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Here is my experience.

A business friend of mine recently lost a child. It was tragic, it was all over the news. I started thinking about the normal things, bringing food, a donation. then it smacked me in the face.

She owns a small business that is less than a year old.

I owned a small business. So, I know!

I know if you own a small business closing for a day is tough. Closing for a week is not good, closing for a month or longer is the death knoll! When you lose a child how much time do you need?

I went to the Chamber of Commerce and talked to them about staffing her store. I asked for all the small business owners to help out.

We got a staff together and we staffed her store until she was able to return herself.

She showed up and we sent her home. She has other children that needed her. She also knew that her business was paying her rent and putting food on the table so she felt like she HAD to be there. No, she didn't.

The community got together and all helped out. All it took was a few hours each week from people. She is still in business today.

We got practical it wasn't about how WE felt relating to her. We worried about how she was going to keep the rest of her family afloat!

Lisa
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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I agree with this 110%! I know people told me to call after my twins died but I wasn't able to do that. I was able to function, end of story. Other people called and said "will you be home at 3 so I can bring you food?" "have Kevin ready for 10 I am taking him for the day" "I am at the grocery store, do you have milk, bread, ect..." It was those things that were most helpful, because it gave me something concrete to answer and I didn't have to think. It's not that the offers aren't appreciated, they are just overwhelming.

I had other people who just disappeared. I really appreciated the people who called just to talk, not about me but about them. It felt like I was being shunned.

I know people don't know what to say or do, but people with a loss don't really know what to do either.

I'd also like to add, talk about the person who died. Use their name. Pretending the person didn't exist doesn't remind someone that their loved one died. I love when people say my sons names, it acknowledges their existence and the time I had with them. I know they died, I was there, you don't have to worry about reminding me!
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaInNc View Post
Here is my experience.

A business friend of mine recently lost a child. It was tragic, it was all over the news. I started thinking about the normal things, bringing food, a donation. then it smacked me in the face.

She owns a small business that is less than a year old.

I owned a small business. So, I know!

I know if you own a small business closing for a day is tough. Closing for a week is not good, closing for a month or longer is the death knoll! When you lose a child how much time do you need?

I went to the Chamber of Commerce and talked to them about staffing her store. I asked for all the small business owners to help out.

We got a staff together and we staffed her store until she was able to return herself.

She showed up and we sent her home. She has other children that needed her. She also knew that her business was paying her rent and putting food on the table so she felt like she HAD to be there. No, she didn't.

The community got together and all helped out. All it took was a few hours each week from people. She is still in business today.

We got practical it wasn't about how WE felt relating to her. We worried about how she was going to keep the rest of her family afloat!

Lisa
That is so amazing!!! She is lucky to have a friend like you!
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Dude, Where's my Underwear TR. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3014168

You only have 2 years to make ADR's, an October 2014 PTR. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3024844
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:43 AM   #8
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Bumping this thread as I find it interesting and with Christmas approaching many bereaved families will be feeling the loss even more intensely.

Here is a wonderful piece of writing I came across a few months ago, not long after my husband passed away. Every word in it is true. For anyone reading who has lost a loved one, I know you will relate to this. For anyone reading who wants to help a friend or family loved one who is grieving, this will explain exactly what they are going through and should help you to give them the support they need.

xxx

"Please talk about my loved one, even though he is gone. It is more comforting to cry than to pretend that he never existed. I need to talk about him, and I need to do it over and over.

Be patient with my agitation. Nothing is secure in my world. Get comfortable with my crying. Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know when my tears may flow. Don't abandon me with the excuse that you don't want to upset me. You can't catch my grief. My world is always painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be cared about. Just because I look okay does not mean that I feel good. Donít criticise me or say Iím not coping. Iím doing the best that I can.

Ask me how I feel only if you really have time to find out. I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I know that you don't see me.

I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm grieving and that's different. My grieving may only begin 6 months after my loved one's death. Don't think that I will be over it in a year. For I am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had, the places we will never get to go together, and the hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole world has crumbled and I will never be the same. I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be and sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear. Both are okay.

Itís lovely when you visit but please never visit unexpectedly. I am in shock. I am in pain. My tears and my memories that lead to tears are often private. If I know you are calling I look forward to it, to the distraction from grief and from pain. If you call when I am crying and thinking about my loved one you have interrupted a very private moment and you have caused me more distress. A simple call in advance is all thatís required. Remember I am now doing the job of two. The house is a mess, the kids are upset and grieving. Donít add to their distress by arriving at a critical emotional moment causing embarrassment and discomfort.

If you are visiting ask me if I need anything. Iím struggling. Sitting and having coffee is okay but really what I need is practical help. I'm a single parent now doing all of this alone.

I don't have to accept his death. Yes, I have to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are just not acceptable.

When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don't make it worse by telling me I'm not doing this right

Donít say "You've got to get on with your life." My life is going on, I've been forced to take on many new responsibilities and roles. It may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I will never be my old self again. So please, just love me as I am today, and know that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget and there will always be times that I cry. I need to know that you care about me.

Please DONíT say "Call me if you need anything". Itís the worst thing you can say. It helps you because you believe youíre doing something but it just puts more pressure on me. I'll never call you because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy than I have. You know me. You can guess what I need and if you get it wrong, the thought itself will be appreciated. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:
(a) Bring food Ė anything that will save me some time later struggling to cook on my own AGAIN.
(b) Invite the kids out for the day Ė it gives me a break and it makes them happy that theyíre being treated like Ďnormalí kids. Their Dad died, they could use a treat.
(c) Send us a card on special days, his birthday, my birthday, the anniversary of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can't make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this difficult day.
(d) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner. I may say no at first or even for a while, but please don't give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you've given up then Iíll be alone.
(e) Understand how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples and complete 2-parent families, to walk into events alone, to go home alone, to feel out of place in the same situations where I used to feel so comfortable. Understand that when my children witness a loving father/child relationship it tears their hearts out. Itís not that weíre jealous, itís just that it hurts.

Please don't judge me now - or think that I'm behaving strangely. Remember I'm grieving.
I may even be in shock.
I am afraid.
I feel deep rage.
I may even feel guilty.
But above all, I hurt. I'm experiencing a pain unlike any I've ever felt before and one that cannot be imagined by anyone who has not walked in my shoes. My entire world has been shattered, not just my heart but my day to day life and my future. Don't worry if you think I'm getting better and then suddenly I seem to slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times.

Don't tell me you know how I feel, or that it's time for me to get on with my life. You donít and it isnít

What I need now is time to grieve. Thank you for being my friend. And remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss - when you need me as I have needed you - I will understand. And I will come and be with you."

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:35 AM   #9
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DebIreland, well said.
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