How Do I Tell My Friends?

Updated on August 29, 2011
S.W. asks from Minneapolis, MN
20 answers

I have this great group of women friends, and for most of my life I have not had this, so I truly appreciate them. Earlier this summer, one woman in the group lost her father. Several of us went to the funeral, and then we gave her a gift certificate to a local nursery to buy a plant or tree or whatever to commemorate her father. Not only that, but we got together one evening and went as a group to pick it out. She ended up picking out a nice, large windchime. Then we went to her house and hung it in a tree in her yard. All together a very nice time, for us all.

Now, I lost my father two weeks ago. No one was able to come to the funeral or wake. It was an hour and a half away, not right in town like my friend's father's funeral. My friends got together last night for drinks and talk, and they gave me a sympathy card for my father (no gift cert). In the card it said "to keep up the new tradition, we'd like to take you to (the same nursery) to pick out a windchime in honor of your father". Very nice, right? So what's the problem? I live in a rented condo in a condo building. I am not allowed to hang up windchimes. They all know I live in this small condo, they've all been here. I know I'm being extra emotional, having just lost my dad. And I know that I need to let them know that I won't be buying a windchime. It's just making me feel sad... So how would you tell them? Pick one to tell and let them tell the rest? Email (I don't think so). Pick a night to do the get-together, then tell them I will need to pick out a small plant instead? I just don't want to deal with this...

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all your quick and thoughtful responses! You are right that I am feeling extra emotional right now and I'm glad that I have not said anything but "thank you" to my friends yet. I was stuck on the large outdoor chime idea, when a small indoor one would be lovely. I'm sure they would be fine with me picking out a plant or small tree, also, but since I have several plants already, I think I will go with the intent of finding a chime. I will hang it by my desk to remind me each day as I work to finish my dissertation that my father was an inspiration to me to work hard for what I want, and that I am committed to using the financial gift he left me also to achieve this goal. Thanks again, I am feeling better already!!

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answers from Orlando on

I have some of my favorite and most beautiful windchimes inside my home. Maybe a beautiful ceramic or glass one that you wouldn't want outside anyway. Maybe get one that reflects the light just so and put it near a window.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Phoenix on

Sorry for the loss of your father. I think it is so nice that they want to keep tradition. You can certainly hang it in the condo and everytime you see it, you will think of your thoughtful friends and your father. One day, you will have a beautiful tree to hang it on and you can sit outside and relax and think about the wonderful times with you dad. If you truly don't want the windchime then just go and pick something else out. You guys took your friend with the intention of getting her a small tree and she came home with the windchime, so it doesn't sound like it's necessarily the gift that matters it is the gesture.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

love the other responses & your "what happened".

It's been almost 2 years since my dad passed away. It is still very raw for me, especially since my stepmom turned into The Evil One. My sis & I are still knocking out issues regarding his estate ... & it does take a toll on all of our emotions.

To help stay focused on the important things, I have a little poem which I keep by his picture in my computer cabinet. I'd like to share it with you. I don't have an author for, I do apologize for that.....

"I thought of you with love today,but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday, & the days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.
All I have are memories & a picture in a frame.
Your memory is a keepsake, with which I'll never part.
God has you in his keeping, I have you in my heart."

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

First off, I am so very sorry for your loss. I think it has to be making you feel extra sensitive at this time.

Sometimes when someone close to a friend passes away, it is the fact that you make a gesture of kindness - any gesture- that is most important. Perhaps your friends also remembered how meaningful going to choose a windchime was for all of you and so they thought that was what you would like to do as well.

No matter what gift you choose, your friends are trying to provide you with love and support and that is what you need to focus on at this time. Choose a windchime and hang it in a corner of your living room. Or just keep it for when you have a home with a yard and hang it then as a remembrance of your father and your friends. Or just tell your friends how much you appreciate the offer, but your condo association doesn't allow windchimes. I am sure they will think of something else to give you.Just tell them honestly that it is all too much for you to think about right now- I am sure they will understand

But most of all, just know that they love you and are trying to comfort you. Don't let your raw emotions turn their gesture into something that angers or upsets you- it doesn't sound at all as if they meant to do that.
Again, my sympathies for your loss.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry for your loss...

I think you need to tell them just what you told us - you are friends. They will understand...maybe instead - you can find a place to plant a tree or something like that in your dad's honor?

if you have a balcony - is it possible it have a potted plant/tree there so that you can carry it with you?

Again - I'm really sorry for your loss!!! I hope you have only happy memories!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My thoughts and prayers go out to you during this time. I would let them all know that you appreciate the gesture but that you were checking your bi-laws and saw that you are unable to hang wind chimes at your condo and that you were wondering if they would mind you selecting something else.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm sorry about your dad. Why can't you get a windchime, and hang it up inside the house? My sister did this. I bought a windchime and placed it at my dads grave when he died. My sister hung hers in her kitchen. Now everytime her windchime makes a noise, she says "dad's telling me hi". It's kind of a nice reminder of him.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

So sorry about losing your dad.
It sounds like this is making things worse for you. Maybe you could tell one of them (whomever you are closest to, or whomever will best spread the word) that you really are not up to doing this just yet. That you aren't ready. Really, it sounds like you aren't.

Do you expect to stay in your condo for a long time? I mean, do you have any expectation of moving at some point in the future? Buying a property, getting married and moving, finding a different rental somewhere else?
Maybe you could choose a chime for later use. When you start the next chapter of your life (being in a different location, will MAKE it a different chapter) you could then take it out and hang it, and be reminded of your dad, maybe how he helped you transition through the different stages of your life. Like he's sort of there with you in your new place, too.

Or is there any chance you could hang it inside? My daughter has a small chime in her bedroom.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm sorry about your dad.

When it's time to get the windchime, just tell them all, as a group, 'You guys are so sweet! I would LOVE a windchime, but I can't have one in my condo. But I would love a beautiful plant, instead."

It's the thought that counts, and you will be comforted by going with your wonderful friends to the nursery to pick out a plant in honor of your dad.

Or, as others have suggested, hang a windchime inside.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

You should tell them that you love the new tradition but can't have an outside wind chime but would love to have them help you pick out an indoor one or a small plant. I am sure they will understand.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

I'm so sorry for your loss. And what a wonderful idea that your group of friends get together. But your friend had the option to choose a tree, windchime, etc. and just because she chose a windchime shouldn't mean that you or anyone else should have to make the same choice. I don't think you need to e-mail and even mention it in advance. When you get together at the nursery just explain that your condo association does not allow windchimes so you would like their help in choosing something else. I'm sure your friends will understand. God bless you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

First of all I wanted to pass along my sympathies. I lost my father when he was 59 and I was just 25. Today is actually or rather would have been his birthday. I made a big family dinner and here we are 6 years later and I retreated to my bathroom to cry. It's still a sharp knife.

Anyways, I was going to say why not get a wind chime? I mean do you like them? If not I guess this is a whole other conversation but if you do I'd suggest getting one. We live in a rented community too and couldn't have a wind chime but I love the noise and people still buy me stuff that isn't a good fit here. Anyways, I just hang the wind chimes in my bathroom on the vent in the ceiling. My mother has a plant menagerie by her back door and she brings her wind chimes in during the winter and she hangs them on her plant stand.

I mean they can be just beautiful pieces of art. They don't have to be outside. Something to think about.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Let them buy you the wind chime. Maybe some day you will have a house with a yard and you will be able to hang it up there. It will be a wonderful memory at that time. I am truly sorry for the loss of your father.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I love your "so what happened". It's exactly what my first thought was. I'm not big on wind chime noise, but some of them are SO beautiful to look at. I thought having it inside to look at and remember your dad would be a nice thing :) Hugs to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rapid City on

I am so sorry about the loss of your father. My prayers go out to you.

Last summer I lost my youngest son who was just 3 days from turning 23 years old. I have two windchimes, one with a cross and one with an angel. One is hanging in his old bedroom which I had painted pink and made into a room for when his daughter comes here to visit. The other is in my diningroom. I also have a shepards hook that can go in a flower bed or garden and I can hang them from it when I am ready to take it to his grave. When we lose a loved one, our feelings are so raw that we take things in a negitive way even when they aren't meant that way. I see a lot of moms who get upset by innocent remarks made to them from well wishers, like "he is in a better place" or "you will get over it in time" Some are even upset by hearing "sorry for your loss" so I always try to remember when someone says something to me innocently, that it is more my raw feelings then their words that are upsetting. Bless you and be glad that you have such a wonderful group of friends.



answers from Los Angeles on

It's O-kay. You are feeling raw emotions.
First let me say, I am sorry about your father.
I will send you blessings in my thoughts.
I'm sure they did not mean to "fall short" of your needs or expectations
during this difficult time.
I am SURE they love you!
Just try to take one deep breath, know that they love you & go w/them to
get something that will work WITH your surroundings.
It's okay to feel a lot of mixed emotions right now due to your raw experience.
I am sending you love, warm thoughts and healing!
Please take their well meaning thought w/the meaning it was and support.


answers from New York on

S. big big hugs for you right now. You lost your dad and that sucks....I know I don't know you but I feel a comradarie with all of the women on here - we're all mothers and there's a kinship. This is a very tough time for you....


answers from Houston on

I'm so sorry. I lost my father and not a single friend did anything for me. Be lucky you have such thoughtful friends! I know the wind chime isn't ideal, just say, "Thanks, I'd love to go to the nursery, but I think I will get a lovely potted plant since my condo doesn't allow wind chimes." No one will be hurt or offended and you don't have to be embarrassed. :) Also, I love small windchimes, you can hang a pretty one in a window. And what a special memory, to think of your father every time it makes a little music when the a/c or fan hits it!


answers from Medford on

What a nice group of friends to have near you in a hard time. Im sorry youve lost your father. Its a tough thing Im sure. As for the remembrance gift, I can see an indoor chime working nicely, I have a small chime hanging over my kitchen sink and when the a/c comes on it makes it move a bit. It has that small light sound almost like fairie dust falling..if you can understand that,lol. It makes me think of Tinkerbell. You can also go with some yard ornament or something for the front door area, to see everytime you come and go, and remember your dad. Youll take it with you when you move too.


answers from Omaha on

You have wonderful friends. I am so very sorry for the loss of your father. Prayers to you and your family during this time. I think you recieved a lot of great responses. I would accept the windchime and hang it someplace in your house. Tell your dad that whenever you tap it, it's you telling him you love him. Who knows, you may hear it chime out of the blue one day. Consider that your dad : )

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