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Old 08-09-2012, 01:45 PM
 
12,422 posts, read 14,547,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akm4 View Post
When it comes to what to say or do for someone after a death, I wish people knew_________________.

Thanks!
that I don't need to hear anything....just their being here is good enough.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,083 posts, read 5,498,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akm4 View Post
When it comes to what to say or do for someone after a death, I wish people knew_________________.

Thanks!
- Not to say "he/she lived a good, long life" when someone's elderly parent dies. My Mom's death was sudden and unexpected, and the fact that she lived 'til almost 90 does NOT make my grief any less.

- In my case, I DID want to talk about it. I appreciated when people seemed interested in what happened, rather than just assuming she died of old age.

- To CALL the person who has suffered the loss. Even though most of the time I didn't answer the phone because I was too busy with funeral planning, I appreciated the messages of support. Maybe not everyone wants to be bothered with calls, but they really meant a lot to me.

- To GO to the funeral or at least the viewing. I can't tell you how much I appreciated the friends who came to my Mom's viewing, even though they had never met her and didn't really even know me all that long.

- Don't say "Let me know if there's anything I can do" if you don't mean it. I remember asking a cousin about whether their friend's print shop could perhaps do the copies for the funeral booklet. She said she didn't know but could give me the number. Ummmm....thanks. On the other hand, a friend offered to give up her Sunday morning and go into the office so she could help me with typing and copying the booklet.

- To take the time to look at the photos or other mementos at the services, and mention them to the loved ones of the deceased. I spent a whole weekend making decisions about what photos I would display, and other mementos that would represent what my Mom was all about. I was really surprised when people said things like, "I loved the picture of your Mom at the shore", or "I didn't know your Mom went to x high school", etc.

- To remember that the person is still grieving, when you see them six months later. Most people move on with their lives and forget that you have suffered a loss that is still impacting you. I appreciate it when someone says something like, "How are YOU doing?" or "I miss talking to her".

- To let me be alone with my delayed grief reaction (six months after the death) and not tell me to keep busy or go out and do things to distract myself. I appreciated the people who understood my need for isolation and time to "process".

I don't mean to sound like everyone has to make a big hoopla, but these are just some things that I appreciated in the recent loss of my Mom.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:30 AM
 
3,893 posts, read 9,361,850 times
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Avalon08- I'm sorry your mom died. Thanks for writing such a thoughtful list, though, even though your loss is so recent. (Or maybe you were able to write it because it was so recent.)

I think a lot of people will be helped after reading your post. Some will use your advice when supporting someone who is grieving, and others who are grieving will be reassured that they're not the only ones feeling like they do.

While it's too bad your cousin pulled such a stupid move, I'm glad you shared it. We need to be reminded to respond thoughtfully when someone is vulnerable. Golden Rule time. If you offer help, give it! When someone takes you up on your offer, give them your best, not a phone number. Thank goodness you had a wonderful friend to step in.

Your mother must have been very special to have raised such a compassionate person. Thanks again for putting this together. Good stuff.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,083 posts, read 5,498,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akm4 View Post
Avalon08- I'm sorry your mom died. Thanks for writing such a thoughtful list, though, even though your loss is so recent. (Or maybe you were able to write it because it was so recent.)

I think a lot of people will be helped after reading your post. Some will use your advice when supporting someone who is grieving, and others who are grieving will be reassured that they're not the only ones feeling like they do.

While it's too bad your cousin pulled such a stupid move, I'm glad you shared it. We need to be reminded to respond thoughtfully when someone is vulnerable. Golden Rule time. If you offer help, give it! When someone takes you up on your offer, give them your best, not a phone number. Thank goodness you had a wonderful friend to step in.

Your mother must have been very special to have raised such a compassionate person. Thanks again for putting this together. Good stuff.
Awww, thank you so much. I did have many offers of help and a lot of it I just wanted to do myself (I'm an only child plus a control freak). I wanted to be able to make decisions about the viewing and funeral without worrying what someone else thought. I agonized over small things like the "holy card", and I wouldn't have wanted to rush the process because someone else was there. But it was kind of funny that one of the few things I tried to delegate ended up falling back on me anyway. I did, however, delegate the eulogy, something I had always thought I'd do for my Mom. I couldn't imagine anyone else doing it. No one else knew her like I did! However, when push came to shove, I decided to delegate. I was too afraid of getting caught up in the emotion and falling apart. So what I did was, wrote up a biographical sheet about my Mom, which I gave to the priest and the cousin (different cousin) doing the eulogy. She had lived in FL for 15 years so some of the younger cousins didn't know much about her. I gave the cousin general guidelines about what I wanted (brief), and didn't want (a bunch of inside jokes). He did a fantastic job, I was smiling at the end and I know Mom would've loved it, too.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,172,988 times
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Avalon08...I've enjoyed your posts too. Thanks. So sorry about your Mom...It will be 4 weeks (tomorrow) since my son passed away...I'm an only child too. Everyone else I know is used to turning to family members when they have problems in their life. Or they have a big "network" of friends...One friend tried to share some of her family members with me. (And meant well!)...But I probably seem like a "problem child" or "troublemaker" to some of her family members at times because I don't automatically "fall in line" and follow all of their advice...I've been used to "going it alone" (pretty much) for most of my life...I'm not used to dealing with a "group consensus" about what I should or shouldn't do concerning my life. Can you relate to this since you're an only child too?..I like it best when friends "play it by ear" with me. Where they let me take the "lead" about how I handle my grief on a daily basis. (Versus handing me a list of "shoulds.")...I didn't just lose my younger son. I lost my entire family. My grief is different this time. Thanks for listening. (And sharing! Thanks to everyone!)
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
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there's a story about a young boy whose elderly neighbor had died and everyday after the funeral he would go visit the lady who lost her husband. The boy's mom was beginning to wonder why he wanted to go there and what he was doing there everyday. She said "I don't want you to bother her, maybe she likes to be left alone". The kid said "oh no, I sit with her and help her cry"....More of us should do just that...sit with a person and let them cry
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:27 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,431 posts, read 18,144,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieZ View Post
there's a story about a young boy whose elderly neighbor had died and everyday after the funeral he would go visit the lady who lost her husband. The boy's mom was beginning to wonder why he wanted to go there and what he was doing there everyday. She said "I don't want you to bother her, maybe she likes to be left alone". The kid said "oh no, I sit with her and help her cry"....More of us should do just that...sit with a person and let them cry
What a sweet story and a sweet child!
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:28 PM
 
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I think the best thing is to just say how sorry you are for their loss. If it is someone you know well it is also nice to tell them if they need anything or just to talk that they should feel free to call you.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Somewhere.
190 posts, read 309,373 times
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....that there is no "right" time frame for grief. Know that even if two or twenty-two have lost the same loved one, no two grieve in the same way and that is perfectly fine.
....that if you don't know what to say, it's ok. Sometimes the grief stricken don't know how to reply to what is said and that's ok too.
....that if the person who has suffered the loss says, "He/she is in a much better place now", don't criticize or give your opinion. If you must say something in reply, say it in the form of a smile.
....that it's ok not to say anything more than "I'm sorry for your loss", and just be there.
....that long after the funeral and all of the mourners have gone their separate ways, the spouse/child(ren)/parent(s), etc. are still grieving and still may need a shoulder to cry on or to cry with from time to time.

By the Grace of God, I have not suffered the loss of my parents, a child or a spouse. Two weeks ago yesterday we lost my husband's mother after a brief illness. Today would've been her 65th birthday. My husband has now lost both of his parents and I am finding that the grief process for him and I is completely different. I'm not sure it has really hit him yet. (It took him a full year after his father passed to cry.) It seems he is trying to be strong for me as I am trying to do the same for him. I want to help him through this but I'm not sure how. I talk about Mom with him and I listen when he talks. I'm just not sure it's enough. I think I try too hard. (So much for taking my own advice!)
Although she was legally my mother-in-law, she was in every sense of the term, my second mom as well as one of the best friends I've ever had. This being the closest I've come to losing a parent, I am personally finding comfort in hearing people tell me things about her. How they knew her/cared for her/worked with her, etc. My husband takes comfort in this as well. For us, it's about her and the life she led while she was on earth as well as the Reward she received when she went to Heaven.
Losing Mom seems to have brought me closer to my own mother; a gift for which I am most grateful! I hope I have many, many years left with my mom but I know it's not up to me to decide. I also know that no matter when her time on this earth is over, it will be very difficult and will hurt deeply. I hope that people won't be afraid to come up to me and talk about her. Or, if they don't know what to say, I'll be ok with that. Come up to me anyway. I hug or a smile speaks volumes!!

To all who have suffered the loss of someone you loved, you have my sincerest and deepest sympathies. I pray that your suffering is eased with each passing day and the memory of your loved one never fades. I won't insult you by saying I know what you are going through, but via this forum, I will try to be a shoulder for anyone who needs one.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:38 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,431 posts, read 18,144,759 times
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Thank you, misses. You are very kind. My sympathy to your husband and may you have many more years with your own mom. (((HUGS)))

~tami~
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