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Oh my goodness!!!! I need help!!!!!

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I just found out that my best friend's mom passed away due to breast cancer! I'm having a hard time accepting this, and don't know what to say to my friend. I haven't talked to her in about a week, b/c our work schedules are so different (I have nights, she has mornings), but I can't believe that it actually happened!!! I can only imagine what it's like for her!!! What do I say to her, how do I let her know that I am here for her?? Help me to help her!!!!!
post #2 of 33
I am so, so sorry to hear this. It is so difficult for everyone. The very best thing to do is just speak your heart. I'd suggest calling her, and if you don't get her, leave a message. Let her know you care for her and want to be there for her in any way she might need it, whether that's helping her make any arrangements - (is her dad still alive? Who's going to go through her mom's things? Etc. Sometimes having a friend be with you when doing stuff like that is really helpful). Is she eating? Maybe pop by with a casserole or a pizza or something. Does she just need a hug?

The most important thing is that she knows you care for her and are there for her - all she needs to do is ask. And even if she doesn't ask, do your best to get together with her, and check the fridge. When things like this happen, people often do not take care of themselves.

After a month or so, maybe purchase her a gift certificate for a spa day or something.

And cards that aren't too sappy are always nice too.

If you can take a personal day at work, perhaps that would be a good idea - especially since your schedules have been at odds.


Just knowing you care, right now, might be the most important thing.
post #3 of 33
Just offer your ear, a shoulder to cry on is the best thing you can do for her. There are no words that will take away the pain but your support is what she now needs the most!
post #4 of 33
Let her talk to you and don't mind if she cries. Just put your arms around her and cry right along with her. That is what she needs. She can't talk to her family - they are all grieving too and she doesn't want to upset them. She needs an outlet for her grief. I remember when my Mom died I wished there was someone I could let my feelings out with, but there really was no one.
post #5 of 33
The best thing that you can say is exactly what you posted, "I have no idea what to say, nothing will make this any better. But I am here for you". And then offer to do very specific things, she will not be able to think of anything that you might do to help, but you can suggest stuff.

And really, it will be in another week or two when the shock starts to wear off that she will really need you more.
post #6 of 33
Depending on how close you are as friends, I would just put my arms around her and hug her. Sometimes actions speak louder than words, and I wish someone had done that to me when my Dad died, it would have meant the world.
post #7 of 33
I agree with what most of them say... just give her a call, let her know that you are there for her.. then let her call you after that.. i guess, giving her a call after the whole issue has settled down once in a while to check on her is good too...
post #8 of 33
then let her call you after that.
I don't actually agree with this.

When my mother died, I couldn't even think about phoning someone. I just sat in my apartment by myself in shock, and I was way too tired from all of the stress of her final illness to do anything like phone anyone. But I did appreciate people phoning me. Even if they couldn't do anything specific, or if they couldn't think if the perfect thing to say, I appreciated the contact, because it made life seem somewhat normal. And the advice a friend gave me years ago works, just ask "how are you doing" and then let her take it from there. If she wants to talk, then let her, and if she wants to pretend nothing is wrong,that's good too, and she's going to say, I'm fine. But for her sake, please think about calling her often, just to let her know that the world outside the immediate grief still exists.
post #9 of 33
The best thing is to just be there. Nora is absolutely right, she can't really let her emotions out with her family, especially if she is being the strong one for them to lean on. And many people who know that her mother just passed will do just about anything to avoid the subject so they don't "upset" her. She may *want* to talk about her mother, cry about her, smile and laugh about her.
post #10 of 33
Best thing to do is to be there for her and be a friend. Let her cry and talk as much as she needs to. Be supportive and let her know that you are there if and when she wants to talk and give her some room to grieve as well.

I lost one of my grandmothers to breast cancer so I can sympathize with what she is going through.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for all your suggestions. I might phone her tomorrow night or saturday night, depending on how long I have to work, and I'll send her a card too, b/c often times I can write what I want to say better than I can actually say it. I don't know if I'll be able to go to her funeral (man am I beginning to just hate funerals! Too many of them in too short a tims span!). Would a plant be ok to send or is it kind of not a nice thing at this point? Her mom liked gardening, but I don't know what kind of plant to get her.....Anyways, I'll keep you all updated/let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
post #12 of 33
Send a plant, what a lovely thing to do. And you might think about planting something special in her honour this spring. You could talk to your friend about that.

As for the funeral, I know its difficult. But you know, its way more difficult for the family - it doesn't really matter if you get all upset or anything. My famly took great comfort in the number of people who showed up for Mom's funeral, what a nice tribute to her, and it really really helped us move ahead in the grieving process.

If you can't handle the actual service, what about offering to help with something. My sister's book club did the refreshments for a little reception after mom's funeral, and that was really welcome.

You could also offer to help her write thank you notes, if she has any to do, something like that.
post #13 of 33
I always remember when my dad died. My friend, who was also my next door neighbour told me weeks after, that she had locked herself out the house, and was waiting for her husband to come home.

When she saw me getting out of the car, she said she had hid around the back of her house, as she did'nt know what to say. This really hurt me!.

I always tell people who are in her situation, that to not say 'anything' to the bereaved person is the worst thing they could do.

As nearly everyones mentioned, just to say something such as 'if you need to talk', can make such a difference.

post #14 of 33
Rosiemac said - I always tell people who are in her situation, that to not say 'anything' to the bereaved person is the worst thing they could do.
I totally agree, when my brother died a close friend of mine at the time never even called me, we still don't speak. Yet a friend of mine that I didn't see all that often anymore, called, visited, made sure I was eating and generally stopped me from turning into a hermit.

I'm not saying you should go to quite the same lengths but knowing you care and that you are there to talk to, shout at, cry on etc. will be worth it's weight in gold.
post #15 of 33
I was really convinced that you find out who your friends really are in times like this. I found support in the most unexpected sources, and people who I thought I could count on let me down. And the support was; a card sent to me, a donation made to a charity in my mother's name, a phone call, a potted plant delivered, someone taking me out to lunch, messages left on my answering machine, a funny e-card in my email. They all helped.

Its very very difficult to set aside your own feelings, like "I have been to so many funerals, I don't think I can stand to go to another one". That is very valid, of course. But just imagine how much worse the family feels, and try to put yourself in their spot, and see how your "momentary" dislike is easily overcome.
post #16 of 33
My mom has always said you go to funerals for the living. I agree with her. I go to funerals to support my family and friends thru the day. I may not be able to actually go up to the casket anymore, but you will always find me in the back of the room.

Encourage your friend to talk about growing up with her mom. When my nephew died, that was my sister-in-laws biggest complaint. No one would talk to her about him. If you feel like crying, go ahead and cry. Don't hide your feelings around your friend. Knowing that you will miss her mom is a tribute.
post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. By the time I got home tonite, it was too late to call her, so I'll try calling her tomorrow. Anyone have any ideas what kind of plant to send to her? Maybe some kind of flowering plant? I don't want it to be like a total "funeral flower" (you know those ones that everyone sends and totally say "I got this from a funeral". I might have to go visit the flower shop on monday and see what they all have, that's kind of cool. Anyways, thanks for the suggestions and everything!
post #18 of 33
You know, hubby's mother sent us just a regular house plant in a really nice pot from a florist. We still have the plant (3 years later) and it is a really nice "memorial" for Mom that I can keep around for years to come. I'm not sure what kind of plant it is, just a houseplant that doesn't require a whole lot of care.
post #19 of 33
You can get nice planted arrangements (if that makes any sense). A friend of mine sent me one once that had a peace lily, an african violet, and some other stuff, I think begonias or something. The peace lily in indestructable. And the whole arrangement looked really pretty and fresh. I know what you mean about not looking all funeral and stuff. Someone sent me a potted azalea, which was beautiful (and which I killed but that was ok too). And then phoned to ask if it was ok, she told them that she didn't want it to look like funeral flowers.

But you know, we also liked getting the special fresh flower arrangements too. Partly because mom really loved flowers.
post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
I talked to my friend tonight, but as it was the day of her mother's funeral, and there werew like a million ppl around her house, I didn't get to talk all that much to her. She may stop around tomorrow at my place, and if not, I'm going to stop around her's on Monday with a card and a plant. Not sure what I'm going to get yet, but I want to do this for her. Maybe it'll give her a new sense of purpose, I don't know. Anyways, I hopefully will talk more to her on Sunday or Monday.
post #21 of 33
After losing my mom, one of the things that struck me was that after the service had ended, everyone went on with their lives and that's just about the time when I needed everyone most. You get a lot of offers of "call me if you need something", but many people (myself included) can't reach out to others in their grief. It was so comforting when folks came up to me later and gave me that hug I so desperately needed.

Even if you don't know what to say, sometimes just being there is enough to show you care. Don't wait for your friend to call you - be there for her.

If her mom was part of a Hospice program, there is a lot of support available for grieving family members after their loss. Perhaps talk to your friend on that topic and see if you can help her with some support groups.
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hello again

I talked to my friend last night for a minute or two, and then I saw her again today, I don't know how she's doing seriously. I mean, she honestly can't be doing that well, cuz I think if it was me, I'd be so crappy it wouldn't be nice, but anyhow. She was at a hockey game, and stopped in to see me at work, and she might phone me tomorrow to maybe get together. It would be nice, and as there is a lot of ppl in her family, she might need some peace and quiet, kind of. So I'm going up early, and hopefully she'll phone and I can pick up the plant and give it to her.
post #23 of 33
Give her a couple of days, then if she hasn't been back in touch, you make the move. She's bound to still feel a bit down, and your phone call might just be the thing to pick her up again!, honestly.

post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Ok, I bought a plant arrangement, it has african violets, a defenbeckia (spelling anyone??), and an ivy plant. It looks really nice. Not to funeral like. I'm going to make her a "note" that goes with it, b/c I suck at saying what I mean, especially when it's like right now kind of thing and writing it makes it so much easier. I can make it as long as I want too. Anyways, I'm off to do that now! (Before it's too late)
post #25 of 33
Right now you friend is numb. She probably has cried until she feels she can't cry anymore. You just try to get on with you life, but you have this huge hole in your heart. Just be her friend. I love your plant idea.
post #26 of 33
I am so sorry to hear about your friends mom. I think the plant is a good idea, it sounds lovely. I think you should also call her back again when she has more time to talk.
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hopefully my friend and I are getting together tomorrow, so I will give her the plant then. That's what my plans are for tomorrow afternoon/night. I hope it works out that we can get together. I feel so bad for her loss, and then to have no one to talk to either sucks! Wish me luck!
post #28 of 33
How did it go?
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well I finally caught up with my friend! I took the plant and a card along with a note to her today, even though I've had it for about a week or so now. So we had tea, then we went out for supper and we had a good talk. I hope I can help her if she needs it. She also thought it might be a good idea if I can move in with her. I have to figure all the stuff out first, and see how much it would actually all come to, but I would really like for it to happen. We had a good talk, and I explained to her that I had meant to bring it way back, but it just never happened that we were in the same place at the same time. So that's done now. Hopefully I'll be able to talk to her again this week sometime, or rather next week. Thanks for all the help you guys have given me. : : : :
post #30 of 33
Sounds like it went well! That is great!!! Let us know if you move in with her and how it goes.
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