Help - friend's child died.

Discussion group for bereaved parents.This forum offers support, understanding, compassion and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings struggling to rebuild their lives after the death of their children, grandchildren or siblings.
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Bill Sikes
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Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:21 am

Help - friend's child died.

Post by Bill Sikes »

Well, he's somewhere between a good friend and an acquaintance,

anyway.

He and his wife were good enough to come to my wedding. They are

lovely people, and know (somewhat of) my circumstances since. Six

months ago, they were delivered a son. They are around 40 yrs. old.

This man has always exchanged small talk about family, babies, step-

children, cars, houses - that sort of thing. He was, as I'm sure the vast

majority of fathers are, a doting parent, on this his only son - and it

was always "My boy this, my boy that".

Now, unfortunately (that word does not convey the desperate thing that

has happened) his boy has died, after a very short and unexpected illness.

I need to write to them. I am asking for opinions on what is desirable or

useful to the recipients in such dreadful circumstances. I have the idea that

a quick-ish letter (rather than wait a fortnight) would be best.
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valerie
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Help - friend's child died.

Post by valerie »

Tough times, Bill. It's hard to know what to say, but yes, it's best

to do it quickish.



Keeping it simple is probably best, you are very sorry to hear of their

loss. Some parents won't want to talk about the loss for a while, I've

known others that do want to talk about it.



And maybe an offer to do what you can to offer support. That can be

anything, even just lending an ear if they need it.
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jennyswan
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:33 pm

Help - friend's child died.

Post by jennyswan »

Bill Sikes;477483 wrote: Well, he's somewhere between a good friend and an acquaintance,

anyway.

He and his wife were good enough to come to my wedding. They are

lovely people, and know (somewhat of) my circumstances since. Six

months ago, they were delivered a son. They are around 40 yrs. old.

This man has always exchanged small talk about family, babies, step-

children, cars, houses - that sort of thing. He was, as I'm sure the vast

majority of fathers are, a doting parent, on this his only son - and it

was always "My boy this, my boy that".

Now, unfortunately (that word does not convey the desperate thing that

has happened) his boy has died, after a very short and unexpected illness.

I need to write to them. I am asking for opinions on what is desirable or

useful to the recipients in such dreadful circumstances. I have the idea that

a quick-ish letter (rather than wait a fortnight) would be best.


OMG that's awful. Are they religious? Maybe a mass card or yellow roses.

I mean there's not really anything that you could say except that you're really sorry that they are going through this and they should let you know if there is anything at all you could do.
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Bryn Mawr
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:54 pm

Help - friend's child died.

Post by Bryn Mawr »

Bill Sikes;477483 wrote: Well, he's somewhere between a good friend and an acquaintance,

anyway.

He and his wife were good enough to come to my wedding. They are

lovely people, and know (somewhat of) my circumstances since. Six

months ago, they were delivered a son. They are around 40 yrs. old.

This man has always exchanged small talk about family, babies, step-

children, cars, houses - that sort of thing. He was, as I'm sure the vast

majority of fathers are, a doting parent, on this his only son - and it

was always "My boy this, my boy that".

Now, unfortunately (that word does not convey the desperate thing that

has happened) his boy has died, after a very short and unexpected illness.

I need to write to them. I am asking for opinions on what is desirable or

useful to the recipients in such dreadful circumstances. I have the idea that

a quick-ish letter (rather than wait a fortnight) would be best.


That has got to be the hardest of all letters to write - to offer comfort without sounding trite, to make it clear that you're there for them without intruding.

It can only come from knowing the family and from the heart.

I'm sorry I cannot offer more help but I wish you all of the inspiration available whilst you attempt the impossible.
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Rapunzel
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 5:47 pm

Help - friend's child died.

Post by Rapunzel »

Such sad news Bill. It's always heartbreaking when a little one dies. :-1

I'd send a nice sympathy card saying I was devastated to hear of his loss and if there was anything I could do to help or if he needed a friend to listen, then I was there for him. There's little you can say but as Jimbo said a while ago it's nice to know you have people to support you rather than people who ignore you through embarrassment. Jimbo would be the one to talk to.

You and your family and your friend and his family are in my thoughts and prayers Bill.
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spot
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Help - friend's child died.

Post by spot »

Definitely sooner and handwritten and not short, I'd have thought.

What matters more is not letting the connection get cold, if you want to be supportive. An awful lot of their social circle's going to fade on them within weeks, they'll feel isolated and upset and they'll do little to mend that themselves. If it were in a village it would be different, I think, but I'm assuming it isn't.
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Patsy Warnick
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:53 am

Help - friend's child died.

Post by Patsy Warnick »

Bill I am so sorry to hear sad news. All you can do show support for your friend and extended family.

Add at anytime you would like to talk/need to talk I am here for you.

After the first initial sympathy card/letter - send another card/note or call to check on them, and continue to do so periodically. When your friend mentions the child, think of the funny good times he had shared with you - good memories are forever. I know that has helped my sister when her son died, we now can laugh at what a character he was.

How old was the child? Just a suggestion/example - As a special token to my sister, I bought her a simple silver bracelet with a heart charm and had her sons initials engraved on the heart - cost me all of $25.00, but it'll mean the world to her. Of course I had to get one for myself, I am very close to my sister & her 2 boys. just alittle something - book marker, keychain.. just a suggestion

Anyway - always keep in touch with your friend .

Patsy
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WonderWendy3
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Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:44 am

Help - friend's child died.

Post by WonderWendy3 »

Very good advice from all, I would say a real nice card with handwritten note that you are there for them in their time of loss...

I lost a baby (stillborn) 13 years ago...and I know it meant so much to me to have support of family and friends. People cooked for me, shopped for me, cleaned my house, I wanted for nothing. All of that and the support of friends, that would just sit and talk to me meant so much.

It is true that some people like to talk about it, some don't...everyone is different in their reaction to the loss...My suggestion (from experience) is that there are times, they really need to be alone and times they really want compassionate friends around as well...

I am very sorry about their and your loss, all are in my prayers....



Wendy
Carl44
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:23 am

Help - friend's child died.

Post by Carl44 »

talking from experience here just write it wont really matter what just do it the words will just be a blur nothing will sink in , the only thing will be the thought that you care and for a few seconds to know that some one cares enough to write will stay with him forever , when my girl died a guy i could not stand drove to my house and gave me the biggest bear hug and said if there is anything i can do let me know ,that made me feel so much bettter,at times like these most people dont know what to say and say nothing whicth huets even more , if he is not to far away go give the guy a hug he really needs it :-4
Patsy Warnick
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Help - friend's child died.

Post by Patsy Warnick »

Jimbo - Speaking from experience with dealing with death - I agree a big heart felt hug is wonderful - but what someone write does matter. Sure dealing with the death one is numb, things are blurred - but to go back over those letter, notes and cards (which you do in time) the words matter. Those letters, notes, and cards are kept forever, just like the guest book at a wedding.

All anyone can do is reach out to the one in pain. I think the majority of us have experienced the pain.

Patsy
Carl44
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:23 am

Help - friend's child died.

Post by Carl44 »

Patsy Warnick;478581 wrote: Jimbo - Speaking from experience with dealing with death - I agree a big heart felt hug is wonderful - but what someone write does matter. Sure dealing with the death one is numb, things are blurred - but to go back over those letter, notes and cards (which you do in time) the words matter. Those letters, notes, and cards are kept forever, just like the guest book at a wedding.



All anyone can do is reach out to the one in pain. I think the majority of us have experienced the pain.



Patsy
totaly agree with you what i meant was just say what you feel your sorry etc you will be there for them etc there is no nice way of saying is there so it dont matter just say it but nicely :-3

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