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what to say to someone who has lost a parent
April 7, 2010
12:48 pm
BAREFOOTGIRL
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A good friend of mine had lost her dad last weekend. I felt awful for her, I sent her flowers and a card and will meet her for lunch tomorrow. I had offered help and kind words and I am also on a committee to take food to her home every week for a month...but I feel kind of awkward in what to say now, I said everything you could and now I am afraid of saying the wrong thing or not enough or being too happy or too sad...I had no idea how to act around her and I want to be a good friend and I have no idea how to do that, properly, can anyone help me? Thanks!

April 7, 2010
12:53 pm
caraway
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Barefoot,

This is an easy one... just be the same way you always are. If your friend wants to talk about it, allow her the time and just listen.

Sounds like you have been supportive and would be a great friend to have.

Cary

April 7, 2010
1:11 pm
It No Longer Matters
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Having lost my father and being devastated, Caraway gave the best advice. Be sure to just call to see how she is. Being "there" is enough.

Bitsy
April 7, 2010
3:40 pm
gottobetrue
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Agree x3. I lost my father in October. Sometimes I want to talk, sometimes I don't. Just knowing a friend is thinking of me and will be there when I need it is such a comfort. One of the nicest things someone said to me was "My phone is ALWAYS on." Distractions are nice, funny movies, window shopping. Holidays are especially tough so give her a call a few days in advance. Be yourself, it sounds like you're a very good friend.

April 7, 2010
3:52 pm
StronginHim77
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Caraway nailed it. Everyone has given great advice. And you do sound like a WONDERFUL friend!

As a minister, many opportunities arise for me to be with those who are grieving a lost loved one. Sometimes, I am present at the time of the loved one's actual passing/death; other times, I am brought in for the funeral service. Sometimes, I find someone reaching out to me for comfort YEARS after a loss. Sometimes, I reach out to them, as I feel led.

Each time, I find LISTENING to be a huge support to the bereaved. It is so important to let them talk about their loved one who is gone...sometimes, over and over and over. And that's OK and normal. Grieving is a process and talking about the death of the loved one and the aftermath...or even memories of the past when he/she was still alive...all help in the recovery process.

I have learned over the years to avoid "trite" or insensitive statements, like the crap Goldie Hawn's character was subjected to in the movie, "Private Benjamin." This movie really gave a classic lesson on what NOT to say to someone who is grieving.

But there are good things to say. As mentioned above, just reassuring someone that you're just a phone call away is reassuring and comforting. Knowing that someone CARES AND WILL LISTEN is comforting.

I think you are doing great. Just be yourself...the good and caring friend that you are. You will do fine. Wish there were more people in the world like you.

- Ma Strong

April 7, 2010
5:19 pm
BAREFOOTGIRL
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Thanks guys, I will consider all of this, tomorrow we have lunch together with another friend. We were suppose to go shopping but I have a serious addiction to it and I am having problems with money and soon I have to set up payments with the IRS...so I told her I can not go shpping afterwards, we always do and I think I hurt her feelings, I hope I have not, I just need to stay away from the mall for awhile...hopefully she will see this as something I Have to do and its not me ignoring her...She has money...shops all the time, I seldom can, but I have done more than usual cause we always seem to go after lunch and I just can't do that anymore, I can bearly afford my lunhes out...and I really would feel funny saying that, I will stay and eat for an extended time however! THANKS again!

April 7, 2010
5:28 pm
BAREFOOTGIRL
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What I did was write her a note explaing why I could not shop as usual after lunch, told her my situation and then said that if she changes her mind, she could always have coffee with me...but that I understood her need to shop at a time like this helps her..If I could do that, I Would too!

I just wanted to be sure that she did not think I was cutting her off or wanting to take time away from our day together...she is a very nice person, despite having money too, at first I thought she was a snob till I got to know her, she and I are very much alike in many ways and she has been there for me when no one else was, called me everyday when I had the swine flu, when me and my child both did infact, Not many people would do that for me, I remembered how good she was to us, I do not want to lose a friend who calls me when I am at my worst...

thanks again!!!

April 7, 2010
8:25 pm
fantas
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I think she probably appreciated you being real with her despite her current circumstances. Good for you for taking care of yourself and your friend as well :)

April 7, 2010
8:48 pm
BAREFOOTGIRL
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I hope so Fantas...I make an real effort to be honest but also sensitive to peoples feelings, I know how it feels when people crush your spirit when you down and I certainly do not want to do that to anyone, cause I know how it feels, thanks:)

Keep working hard on your thesis, If I can help, let me know, I have alot of experience growing up being abused and then later on having that happen to me at school, which is often more the case than not, sadly enough.

April 7, 2010
9:52 pm
Tiger Trainer
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Tell her how sorry you are. and speak sincerely about asking how you can help. DON"T TELL HER YOU KNOW How SHE FEELS

April 7, 2010
10:01 pm
BAREFOOTGIRL
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No...I don't know how she feels, so i would not say that...her dad was suppose to have 3-6 months to live and he died on good friday, that evening...she just found out he had cancer not even a week ago...I feel so bad for her, I suspect there are issues there too, which makes it much much more difficult but she has not opened up to me on that and she may never do that, she also had a sister that died some 30 years ago and I never knew that, I have known her for a year or so...we have lunch like twice a week, talk almost every day by email or phone...she feels more like a sister to me than my own, who I am estranged from....

April 7, 2010
11:35 pm
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Barefoot
As someoen who lost their dad at a very young age all I can say is be there. As cheezy as it is hugs help. No matter how long the time goes it still always hurts somewhere. Whether it be when you see your kids for the first time and realize no grandpa for them. Or just a song on the radio.

I was going to say spend a day, but maybe a mini vacation to somewhere 3 hours away. I myself like to go for a ride when it bugs me.

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