53 answers

Any Ideas for "Being There" for a Grieving Friend Far Away?

My very good friend just lost her father from complications of Alzheimers. My heart is breaking for her. I'm at a loss as to how I can show my love and support from a distance. I can't be there to do the little things that can mean so much.......taking the kids for the afternoon, cleaning her house for the incoming relatives, or just sitting and talking over our favorite chips, salsa and margaritas. Sending flowers just doesn't seem to be the thing. Anyone have any creative ideas? Thanks.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow...... I got sooooo many great ideas of ways to support my grieving friend. I appreciate you all. I tried to thank everyone individually, but after several messages, the site only allowed me to "send a flower." I think I tried to send too many personal messages at once! But I do appreciate everyone who took time to respond.

I have written her a personal letter (something I haven't done in a long, long time!) and sent her a gift card to go out for margaritas with her mom who was in the caregiver role for so long. I also plan to keep in constant touch through emails and cards. I'm also seriously thinking of the "tree in his honor" idea and a personal "pampering" basket for her. When she's able to do it, we'll get together for a long weekend. Great ideas, everyone! Thanks again.

Featured Answers

When we lost a family member, one of the nicest gifts was disposable plates, napkins, silverware etc. plus trash bags and ziploc style plastic bags. It made storing the food and clean up so much easier. Lots of people brought food, but you need the basic disposable stuff to speed feeding and clean up. We didn't want to spend time in the kitchen and this was a big help. If there is a store in the area that delivers, I guarantee this will help her. She'll know you really thought of her needs. I try to do this for friends in their time of need, and I always include a box of Kleenex as well. If family will be in town, extra toilet paper might come in handy. I know this isn't the "pretty" stuff like flowers, but "practical" is always appreciated.

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe you could send her a care package... a sweet card, some hot tea, some relaxing bath salts, and anything else you think she might enjoy in her time of sorrow.

1 mom found this helpful

When you're going thru a really bad time, talking doesn't always help.
What really helped for me was a different viewpoint
http://www.sylvia.org/home/index.cfm
Her books are excellent & her cd's helped me through the worse time of my life.

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I just lost my boyfriend to an agressively growing cancer that took him only 4 months after being diagnosed & the thing that REALLY helped me, was when his friends would call me at night when I was alone. It may seem like nothing, but, the phone calls REALLY helped alot. They would just be there for me & let me cry & cry & cry on the phone. Hope it helps your friend.

2 moms found this helpful

Melissa,
My very best friend, who lives far away now, recently lost her Mother. Although I did not come up with this idea, I thought it was very creative. My best friend had quilts made out of some of her mother's clothes. She had 3 made, one for each of her children, with a small note on each quilt that read "wrapped in Grandma's love". If you could get your friend to send you maybe some of her Dad's favorite shirts, you could probably have something like this made for her, or if she has kids, for them too. I am sure you could find someone in your area to craft it for you, if you don't want to take on the task of making a quilt. I thought it was so creative and a wonderful idea. Hope that might be of interest to you.
L.

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Hi Melissa:

Seven weeks after I moved to Texas from Michigan my only sibling, my brother, took his own life. I was away from everyone I knew. I guess nobody (including my family members) knew what to say to me, so I didn't get any phone calls, emails or cards. Two and a half years later it still bothers me that nobody was there for me when I needed them the most.

Please call your friend. Regularly. And if she doesn't answer or return your calls for a while - keep trying. I'm sure she just wants someone to listen to her. You don't need to think of anything creative. Just be her friend. That's all she wants and needs.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi Melissa -

A great idea for you to do would be to make her a care box. Pick up a small to medium size box and place some small items in it that you know that she likes.i.e....photos, cd's, try visiting Mardel's or a Christian Book store they have little encouraging items.

Hope this helps

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe you could send her a care package... a sweet card, some hot tea, some relaxing bath salts, and anything else you think she might enjoy in her time of sorrow.

1 mom found this helpful

Melissa,
You are a GREAT friend! When my mom died people actually pulled away from me - I got the "you should be recovering from her death" speach after only 2 months.... So, hanging in there and asking good questions is THE most important thing. Ask her how she is feeling, how people are treating her, what she will miss most about her dad, what she wants her kids to remember/know about her dad. Just let her talk. Also, gift cards to a restaurant (so she can go with another friend for chips, salsa, and margaritas), movie passes, money to pay a babysitter, gift card to get a massage. Also, a card once a week for the next year - that would be lovely. That way when other people think she should get over it - she knows that you know that the grieving process is a long one...
Again, you are a GREAT friend!

1 mom found this helpful

WOW! Everyone has such great ideas for you. I hope this helps you out. I love the care package ideas. One that I thought of was to donate to your local center in his honor. And go visit your friend or invite her to visit you. Distance sometimes is closer than you think.

1 mom found this helpful

How about sending her a set of meals? I did this for my parents once when my mom was sick, my sister did it for a friend far away who had a miscarriage. i forget the company we used, but I just did a Google search and while most results were dieting programs, there was also sendameal.com which specializes in special occassion deliveries - like a flowers alternative. You can choose one meal, 5, 7, a monthly program, whatever.

And you mentioned the favorite chips and margaritas - why not send those to her, with a movie you guys love, and maybe you can "watch" it together by phone (if you have unlimited minutes!) or if you set up Skype onthe compuetr you can watch topgether for free by an online "phone and/or video connection. You can be there without being there!

1 mom found this helpful

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