July 15, 2008,
T.C. asks from Brandon, FL on July 11, 2008
My Friend Lost Her Father Today
I got the call around 12 this afternoon that my friend of 8 years lost her father today from a massive heart attack. I didnt know what to say, and was in shock myself. He's been with his wife for nearly 25 years, and was only 45 when this happened. I have been praying all day for her and her family. I just wish there was more I could do for her. She lives in GA, so another friend and I are working to get up the funds to go see her. I feel helpless and to be frank, dont know what to say to her. Sorry just doesnt seem to be enough in a time like this. I havent lost anyone that close to me other then my grandparents and I was so young I hardly remember. Basically my question is what can I do for her durring her time of loss. I told her to call me if she needs anything, or just wants someone to cry and scream at. I just wish there was more I could do...
Thanks in advance for all the advice,
K.A. answers from Tampa on July 12, 2008
First off, please accecpt my deepest sympathies on behalf of your friend. Having a loved one die is always hard no matter the age.
Secondly, the best thing that you can do for your friend is to "be there" for her, either by your physical presence or by listening to her on the phone.
If you can go to her, then make sure that you can stay there long enough to help her through the funeral as well as a couple days afterwards. There is going to be so much activity going on to keep her mentally busy...but once all of that quiets down, then she is really going to notice the loss.
One of the best things that someone did for me after I lost a loved one was to send me a Thinking of You card a couple months after the loved ones passing.
Hope this helps...
S.D. answers from Tampa on July 12, 2008
S. here. I have had quite a bit of experience in loss of those I love. After much spiritual research, what I can say is that the grieving is normal and is also necessary. Mankind was not created to die. Even Jesus wept when Lazarus died, and he knew that he was going to resurrect him. If you recall the story of adam and eve, they were not created to die, death became a consequence of their choices and was handed down to their offspring down to our day. So the original purpose of man was to live forever, therefore in our creation we were not programed to deal with death such as the animal kingdom is. Loss is something almost foreign to our nature and yet it happens all the time. No matter how the world has become desensitized to death, when it happens someone you love, it has such a personal and traumatic affect on us. The only hope we have is that there will be a resurrection as foretold in the bible, the resolution offerred to the legacy of death that our first parent left on all of us.
B.R. answers from Tampa on July 12, 2008
Every person is different as far as what they are going to want during this time. My dad died almost two years ago, and frankly I just didn't want to talk about it and didn't want people to treat me "weird". Denial, I guess. As long as she knows you're there for her that's probably the best thing you can do for her.
M.L. answers from Lakeland on July 12, 2008
Since you don't apparently live in the same state , all you can do is when you see her give her a big hug and ask how she is holding up and how her mother is doing. It will get better with time and the moments of triggered crying will become less frequent.Her Mother will be in worse shape than your friend and the best thing to do is keep busy. I lost my dad 2 1/2 yrs ago very suddenly, but I live out of state and rarely saw him due to work and travel costs. We talked on the phone though. For me the first few months were bad but now I think of him often but don't cry anymore and my step mother of 35 yrs. has kept herself busy doing the same activities her and dad did with the same friends. She is a strong woman and is doing well even though at the grave site she talks to dad and cries sometimes. Don't be afraid to mention her dad, get her to talk about her best memories. It helps most people to be able to talk about their loss to someone. Most everybody is in the possition like you. What do you say to a person who has lost their dad or husband.Talking helps to release pent up emotions and a good cry is good medicine especially if a friend is there to hold you while you cry. Last yr on my wedding anniversary my step dad died after a long illness. Mom and I talk about him alot , the good with the bad. She also has gotten on with her life as I have mine.
J.C. answers from Tampa on July 12, 2008
T. please try to help her remember the good times and things they shared. and that he will always be in their hearts and minds. i was raided by american indian grand parents and i was taught to remember me with laughter and not with tears. thus the irish wake is the same concept. it is a tough time for her and the first year is the roughest as each holiday comes and goes. i know ive been there, there are still times i see something, or go somewhere or smell something that reminds me of him, and ive learned to smile and thank him for still beinig there and helping protect me.
time and prayers do help. good luck and GOD BLESS GMAJ
R.W. answers from Tampa on July 12, 2008
Without being there you really can't do much more than you have done. If you lived close I would have suggested food. In times like this the person doesn't want to cook and lots of times does not think about eating and becomes ill due to this. I just lost my brother in May and was unable to go to MI to attend his funeral. It was tearing me apart. My cousin took pics at the funeral for me of my brother and flowers on her phone. She then texted them to me. My neice sent me the list of songs they played at the funeral. With the help of both of these it has helped some. I sort of had my own private funeral for him. I miss him and it still tears me up when I think about him being gone. I hate it when people tell me he is in a better place. Save it. That is not what I wanted to hear and I am sure that is not what your friend is wanting to hear right now. Just call her a couple of times a day and say "Hey, I was thinking of you and thought I would call in case you needed someone to talk to" and let her do the talking. There is nothing you can say to make things better. It's just something each person has to deal with in their own time. But a good friend will be there with a shoulder to cry on and a ear to listen. I am very thankful for my friend next door. She had me over the day of my brothers funeral so I wouldn't be alone. God Bless her. I wasn't much company but she was still there for me in my time of loss. She is still there whenever I feel like talking about him. You sound like you are a very good friend indeed. God Bless You for caring and wanting to be there. Instead of sending flowers donate to the heart or cancer foundation. My family was thrilled that I am donating $100.00 in honor of my brother for the 3-day breast cancer walk my daughter is doing in October. I am incouraging others to donate to this cause. 100 percent of the donations go to the research. The walkers have to pay a $95.00 admission fee to do the walk. Also they have to come up with a $1200.00 donations to walk. I did this donation in place of sending flowers. Be creative in what you do. Think of something your friend might need or want. My cousin purchased a dress for another cousin to wear to her mothers funeral. But like I said. You have already done the important first step by letting her know you are thinking of her and are there for her. Send her a card. Just a simple card can make a world of difference. Thank you for being a good friend. Everyone needs at least one.
S.J. answers from Tampa on July 15, 2008
I'm so sorry for your friend i was having the same experience last week. one of my best friend's mother died of cancer. i couldn't do nothing for her. it is so painful not being able to help. I'll send you a message. God is good he'll help us.