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Old 04-01-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Sandy
3 posts, read 1,032 times
Reputation: 14

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So, I have this friend, she is still attending university. Last year her mother died of breast cancer. It only took some 3 weeks from the diagnosis. It was such a shock to the whole family.

At first her dad was withdrawn, then he was getting better.
Last November he stopped talking to friends, he only sat there, watching movies, with very little need for interaction. We tried talking to him but he insisted it was ok.

He fell ill in February. He was admitted into hospital and after a week he was getting better.
Then, out of nowhere, he got pneumonia and died three days later.

I feel so useless now.

I'm watching my friend going through all this.
She plays tough but it's obvious she's in a bad shape. She's a single child with no family, still at a university.

I'm trying to be there for her but I just need to do more. But what?

Any ideas? I would appreciate any help.

Last edited by Astro_geek; 04-01-2017 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Richmond
1,408 posts, read 699,315 times
Reputation: 1527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astro_geek View Post
So, I have this friend, she is still attending university. Last year her mother died of breast cancer. It only took some 3 weeks from the diagnosis. It was such a shock to the whole family.

At first her dad was withdrawn, then he was getting better.
Last November he stopped talking to friends, he only sat there, watching movies, with very little need for interaction. We tried talking to him but he insisted it was ok.

He fell ill in February. He was admitted into hospital and after a week he was getting better.
Then, out of nowhere, he got pneumonia and died three days later.

I feel so useless now.

I'm watching my friend going through all this.
She plays tough but it's obvious she's in a bad shape. She's a single child with no family, still at a university.

I'm trying to be there for her but I just need to do more. But what?

Any ideas? I would appreciate any help.

Just continue to give your love and support, that is about all you can do, and let your friend know that you are there for them.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:40 PM
 
429 posts, read 248,193 times
Reputation: 1169
This is a major loss for your friend. Her life as she knew it is now different. Be there for her, support her grief, encourage counseling and when she is ready interaction with other support entities. Include her in our family gatherings if it feels right. Most of all be a friend.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:45 PM
 
2,136 posts, read 1,149,266 times
Reputation: 4370
Let her live her life and try and offer some distraction to the issues she faces. She heard "I'm so sorry" so many times she is numb to it and it may even anger her. People don't know what to say so they say stuff like that. After the 20th time you just want to stand up in front of the crowd and tell everyone "thank you for coming, I know everyone is sorry, please **** about it and say something else"

Just be there, do things so she can get back into life and time will take care of the rest. She'll need time to grieve on her own but she can't stop living.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:16 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,247,246 times
Reputation: 4549
My grandfather died while I was in college. I know it is a much bigger blow to lose both parents. I think the best thing you can do is to just be there for your friend. You can't actually say anything that makes the pain go away, so don't try to come up with any "solutions." Just tell her that you will be there whenever she wants to talk or cry. I think it is a good idea to encourage her to go to counseling. Usually counseling on a college campus is free or low cost. She should take advantage of this. If she is able to continue with her classes, to some extent some avoidance of the grieving process will be necessary, which means she will grieve more later. But this kind of thing should be taken up with a trained counselor. The professors should be made aware that she has just lost both her parents, as they may make some allowances for this.

When my grandfather died, it was at finals time, half way through my senior year. I just had to put myself into denial and continue with my studies. I actually grieved for him about 2 years later, after a vivid dream brought back to me that he was actually gone. But losing both parents will change her life in much more practical, substantive ways than losing a grandparent. She may need help around matters like paying for tuition, taking care of the family home, possibly probate or other legal things. As she has no siblings, possibly a trusted aunt or uncle could help out, if they are actually looking out for her interests rather than their own. It sounds like she will have a long road ahead, and she will need friends to help her.

Good luck, and blessings on you for trying to do your best for your friend.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,471 posts, read 15,905,878 times
Reputation: 38735
Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
My grandfather died while I was in college. I know it is a much bigger blow to lose both parents. I think the best thing you can do is to just be there for your friend. You can't actually say anything that makes the pain go away, so don't try to come up with any "solutions." Just tell her that you will be there whenever she wants to talk or cry. I think it is a good idea to encourage her to go to counseling. Usually counseling on a college campus is free or low cost. She should take advantage of this. If she is able to continue with her classes, to some extent some avoidance of the grieving process will be necessary, which means she will grieve more later. But this kind of thing should be taken up with a trained counselor. The professors should be made aware that she has just lost both her parents, as they may make some allowances for this.

When my grandfather died, it was at finals time, half way through my senior year. I just had to put myself into denial and continue with my studies. I actually grieved for him about 2 years later, after a vivid dream brought back to me that he was actually gone. But losing both parents will change her life in much more practical, substantive ways than losing a grandparent. She may need help around matters like paying for tuition, taking care of the family home, possibly probate or other legal things. As she has no siblings, possibly a trusted aunt or uncle could help out, if they are actually looking out for her interests rather than their own. It sounds like she will have a long road ahead, and she will need friends to help her.

Good luck, and blessings on you for trying to do your best for your friend.
Excellent suggestions.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:29 PM
 
4,107 posts, read 3,444,432 times
Reputation: 8174
Your time is the best thing you can give. Maybe a daily exercise walk together or regular appointment for coffee/whatever break. Think of her on hoildays when everyone goes to family & invite her along. Easter is coming.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale
900 posts, read 405,524 times
Reputation: 1618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astro_geek View Post
So, I have this friend, she is still attending university. Last year her mother died of breast cancer. It only took some 3 weeks from the diagnosis. It was such a shock to the whole family.

At first her dad was withdrawn, then he was getting better.
Last November he stopped talking to friends, he only sat there, watching movies, with very little need for interaction. We tried talking to him but he insisted it was ok.

He fell ill in February. He was admitted into hospital and after a week he was getting better.
Then, out of nowhere, he got pneumonia and died three days later.

I feel so useless now.

I'm watching my friend going through all this.
She plays tough but it's obvious she's in a bad shape. She's a single child with no family, still at a university.

I'm trying to be there for her but I just need to do more. But what?

Any ideas? I would appreciate any help.
I empathize with your friend's loss. I think she is fortunate she got to know both her parents into her young adult years in college. By contrast, this woman lost her father as an infant during the Vietnam War. She posted on the virtual wall a message to surviving veterans who could share information on her father she never got to know. The soldier was a member of the 173rd Airborne who died a month after she was born in 1969 - RIP. His daughter posted a message under the photo to surviving men of his unit. In another thread a couple actually responded, but she never knew him personally. At least your friend got to know both parents into her college years. She should cherish the memories that Leslie in this link does not have. The "Nam" was hell on earth.
Virtual Wall - Charlie Farmer, SSG, Army, La Grange GA, 11Jun69 22W022

This scene shows a body count at the end of a battle right around the time of the Tet Offensive of 1968.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCw5RMlz5Ek

As for the 173rd Airborne, they fought in some of the most fierce battles of Vietnam. On Hill 875 in 1967 over 40 were killed by accidental friendly fire when a US Marine pilot accidentaly dropped a 500 lb bomb within their perimeter. A Catholic priest was killed who had been giving Last Rites - RIP.
http://www.modernamericanheroes.com/...arles-watters/
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:28 AM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,247,246 times
Reputation: 4549
Quote:
Originally Posted by grad_student200 View Post
I empathize with your friend's loss. I think she is fortunate she got to know both her parents into her young adult years in college. By contrast, this woman lost her father as an infant during the Vietnam War. She posted on the virtual wall a message to surviving veterans who could share information on her father she never got to know. The soldier was a member of the 173rd Airborne who died a month after she was born in 1969 - RIP. His daughter posted a message under the photo to surviving men of his unit. In another thread a couple actually responded, but she never knew him personally. At least your friend got to know both parents into her college years. She should cherish the memories that Leslie in this link does not have. The "Nam" was hell on earth.
Virtual Wall - Charlie Farmer, SSG, Army, La Grange GA, 11Jun69 22W022

As for the 173rd Airborne, they fought in some of the most fierce battles of Vietnam. On Hill 875 in 1967 over 40 were killed by accidental friendly fire when a US Marine pilot accidentaly dropped a 500 lb bomb within their perimeter. A Catholic priest was killed who had been giving Last Rites - RIP.
Modern American Heroes Fr. Charles Watters
I am wondering if you would have more response on your posting if it were moved to the Military Life and Issues thread. I imagine most people on this thread do not have much connection to the events you reference. As for your comparison, being grateful for a relationship is good, but it doesn't lessen the grief. If someone were to say to me "be glad your husband made it to 65; mine died at 60" it would not in any way decrease my grief. I am glad for those additional 5 years, but it doesn't change the fact that he is gone. I think the OP was looking for suggestions as to how to help her friend. The loss of one or both parents as an infant obviously has tremendous impact. But so does this same loss as a late teenager or early adult. The OP's friend, I imagine, will discover a great many impacts, including huge responsibilities that she otherwise would have assumed gradually and after having more experience in life. She will need assistance and wise counsel to negotiate this, I imagine.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:01 AM
 
1,008 posts, read 525,987 times
Reputation: 2682
Do you live near her? Offer to do something specific to help her, don't just ask her what she needs. If you live near her make her a few meals that freeze well in disposable aluminum baking pans, that way she can just toss them in the oven when she isn't in the mood to cook. If you don't live nearby maybe send her gift cards to some carry out type restaurants so that she can pick up food when she needs to. If you live nearby you could also stop by her home and do a bit of cleaning as a favor, help her with her dishes etc. Also, just get her out of the house. Make sure you frequently invite her out to a movie, performance, the park, whatever.

When my mom died the friends who did specific things to help without me asking made a huge difference.
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