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Old 03-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
TwoCortWort
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Looking for the right words...

I recently ran into a friend and we haven't talked much in the last few years and she hasn't seen me since I lost a lot of weight minus online. When getting caught up she informed me her dad was found dead of apparent murder. (Wont go into details...but I live in a small town it's shocking to hear) and her half brother they think may have leukemia. To top that off she hit a deer on her way home from the funeral.

I cannot imagine things can get any worse for her, but I am at a loss of what to say to her other than she's in my thoughts and prayers. She has been since I heard this, but I advised her to not see her dad in the casket, it was an open casket and everyone told me I messed up there. And now I am like what more can I say "wrong" to her. :sigh: yes I know they put make up on the person to hide the bruises and such.

What if there is anything the right way to talk to a friend when they are going through so much? I am in shock myself hearing this and just don't want to hurt her anymore. More details have come out and it's so shocking. I am having a hard time comprehending this, can't imagine what's going on in her head.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:02 PM   #2
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You did your best in the moment and that's much better than having said nothing...the WORST thing that others can do to a person in her situation is avoid talking to them at all because it is so "ackward". In general I'd stay away from giving any advice whatsoever (although I know the desire to be "helpful" is strong); just offering your condolences, love and prayers is always appropriate. Don't neglect to check in with her again in a little while, just to let her know she's not been forgotten - it's likely she has a long road ahead of her with the illness and potential legal proceedings.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:02 PM   #3
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Say nothing. Simply be there for her and listen when she needs it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:51 PM   #4
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Tell her this is just so shocking. She just must be numb and empathy goes a long way.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCortWort View Post
I recently ran into a friend and we haven't talked much in the last few years and she hasn't seen me since I lost a lot of weight minus online. When getting caught up she informed me her dad was found dead of apparent murder. (Wont go into details...but I live in a small town it's shocking to hear) and her half brother they think may have leukemia. To top that off she hit a deer on her way home from the funeral.

I cannot imagine things can get any worse for her, but I am at a loss of what to say to her other than she's in my thoughts and prayers. She has been since I heard this, but I advised her to not see her dad in the casket, it was an open casket and everyone told me I messed up there. And now I am like what more can I say "wrong" to her. :sigh: yes I know they put make up on the person to hide the bruises and such.

What if there is anything the right way to talk to a friend when they are going through so much? I am in shock myself hearing this and just don't want to hurt her anymore. More details have come out and it's so shocking. I am having a hard time comprehending this, can't imagine what's going on in her head.
I don't think what you said to her was "wrong" you were just giving her advice that people seldom take.I understand what you were trying to say, I regret every "open casket funeral" that I have been to, because it truly is hard to get that image out of your mind. During this time, I hardly think that what you said would leave a lasting impression, unless you said it in such a way that made your friend think you were being incredibly cruel or hurtful.

My only suggestion would be this: be the type of friend that you think you would like to have under those circumstances. Would taking her out for coffee or just sending a "thinking of you" card help? Do you excerise, walk etc? (only asking since you mentioned your weight loss) If you do, ask her to join you under the pretense of some one-on-one alone time, walking and talking with someone can be very therapeutic, not to mention beneficial, health wise.

Did you know her father? Share a happy memory with her if you did.

Don't beat yourself up, this is her loss/pain not yours.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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Tell her this is just so shocking. She just must be numb and empathy goes a long way.
I agree....I don't know what exactly I would do, but maybe if I get stuck, a hug?
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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You didn't do anything wrong - for you, you wouldn't want to see the person dead. There is nothing wrong with saying so. She will either take that advise or not - depending on how she feels about it. Just be there for your friend. She needs people to be as normal as possible. Talk to her about normal things, not just all the abnormal things. Try to take the pressure off if you can by doing little things like picking up her dry cleaning or going grocery shoping when you might notice she is out of milk. That will help too.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:10 AM   #8
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Be there. Let her do most of he talking. Tell her that you cannot imagine how difficult things must be for her, she is in your prayers.

Ask her if there s something specific you can do, like "How about if I cook you dinner every Tuesday?" or "How about if I come over on Thursday night and do a couple of loads of laundry". I know that when I have gone through deaths/illnesses in the family, that sort of "practical" help freed me up to be able to concentrate on dealing with the situation.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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Try taking "victim of a murder" out of the equation and deal with it all the same way you would if you'd heard that her father had just passed away from sickness or something more mundane. I think what's throwing you off is the circumstances around the death, and not the death itself.

Doesn't really matter -- from a "being a friend" POV -- how he died. Your friend lost her father. Period. Go from there and don't fixate on the "how" or "who".

And don't make it about you. Don't worry if you're doing the right thing, or what you would do in that situation, or how it affects you. Again ... your friend lost her father. Just speak from your heart and, as someone said upthread, be the kind of friend you'd like to have near you in this situation.

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bankgirl05 View Post
I don't think what you said to her was "wrong" you were just giving her advice that people seldom take.I understand what you were trying to say, I regret every "open casket funeral" that I have been to, because it truly is hard to get that image out of your mind. During this time, I hardly think that what you said would leave a lasting impression, unless you said it in such a way that made your friend think you were being incredibly cruel or hurtful.

My only suggestion would be this: be the type of friend that you think you would like to have under those circumstances. Would taking her out for coffee or just sending a "thinking of you" card help? Do you excerise, walk etc? (only asking since you mentioned your weight loss) If you do, ask her to join you under the pretense of some one-on-one alone time, walking and talking with someone can be very therapeutic, not to mention beneficial, health wise.

Did you know her father? Share a happy memory with her if you did.

Don't beat yourself up, this is her loss/pain not yours.
We talked about taking my niece and her boyfriend's brother who are six months apart to get ice cream when my niece is visiting and she has talked about wanting to come walk with me. So there are plans. Her boyfriend lives up the road from me so I have seen her a few times since hearing the news.

I did not know her biological dad, only her step dad. She just in recent years met her bio dad. (This was who was killed her bio dad)

Thanks everyone for the words. I felt like there is no right or wrong thing u can say. I advised her about the casket because of not wanting to see my grandpa like that. But after all the stuff she told me the first night, I was like holy cow don't, it was impulse. But she said it didn't bother her and she supported her siblings that did want to and so I am glad she didn't go up alone. (The death was brutal from what she was told and what she told me, I mean it wasn't a simple gunshot to the head, he was tortured basically)

Each time I see her she is doing better, which is good. Each day it gets better. But thanks for the tips. Appreciate it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
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Ask her if there s something specific you can do, like "How about if I cook you dinner every Tuesday?" or "How about if I come over on Thursday night and do a couple of loads of laundry". I know that when I have gone through deaths/illnesses in the family, that sort of "practical" help freed me up to be able to concentrate on dealing with the situation.
This is excellent advice. People always say "Please let me know if I can do anything to help," and that's well-intentioned and wonderful, but it's so much easier to say "Yes" when your friend offers to bring dinner/pick up your groceries/watch your kids than to say "Could you please cook us dinner next Monday?". Most of us, as a general rule, are not good at asking for help. We're a little better at accepting it when it's offered.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:05 PM   #12
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Be there. Let her do most of he talking. Tell her that you cannot imagine how difficult things must be for her, she is in your prayers.

Ask her if there s something specific you can do, like "How about if I cook you dinner every Tuesday?" or "How about if I come over on Thursday night and do a couple of loads of laundry". I know that when I have gone through deaths/illnesses in the family, that sort of "practical" help freed me up to be able to concentrate on dealing with the situation.
Spot on.

I lost a cousin to murder by 3 teen boys. She was pregnant for the first time. They came to kill her stepdaughter (14) (one of the boy's girlfriend), she survived, my cousin (32) did not. She was home that Monday because she had morning sickness...they believed it was just the step daughter home.

I lost my brother from a car accident. That was awful, however, there is something unbearable at the thought of losing a loved one by a grewsome torturious death. The thought of the torture, the pain she suffered, she fought so hard for her life. I couldn't get past the way my cousin died. It was in the newspapers, people gossip, it was horrifying and seemed like she never had the chance to die with dignity, if there is a way to do so, I don't know, I don't know how to explain it. I hated that everyone knew her death as a horrible horrific crime. We had to endure 3 trials. And all covered in the paper.

Disney Doll's response is perfect. Acknowledge the pain, but don't ask for details. Let her talk. I did not want to talk details.

You have no idea how helpful it was to have my friends, neighbors drop off food, a case of water, take our garbage out. They just did it. My neighbors heard I was having people over after the funeral and they cleaned my house, back yard and put up pop up tents and were there when tables and chairs arrived. My son's football parents came to help serve...I just walked in my house, went upstairs and cried. They took care of everything. I couldn't stand to hear a slight laugh.

I had one neighbor who just silently was in my kitchen doing dishes, not saying a word, letting us grieve, making coffee, etc. If someone asked me if I had Equal, I couldn't answer. I don't even know how I had toilet paper in the bathroom. I honestly, can't remember a lot in those 1st weeks, I just remember seeing people come over and taking care of things without questions, just being there.

I've been able to give back to my neighbors too.

I had girlfriends to take care of my kids, to get them out for pizza, etc.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:13 PM   #13
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I agree....I don't know what exactly I would do, but maybe if I get stuck, a hug?
A hug goes a looooong way!!!!! If the person cries into your hug, just let em cry it out, keep the hug, you don't have to say anything. That helps so much!
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