What to say when someone dies... *update* - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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What to say when someone dies... *update*

A really good friend of mine has just gone through a tragedy He went to visit his Dad yesterday only to find that he had passed away... He had to phone the Ambulance and Police to break in and he was pronounced dead at the scene. His Dad was previously an alcoholic until he had an accident one day which caused him to have a brain injury and seizures.

My friend is coming over to see me on Wednesday, in his words because he "needs to be with someone who understands him". But I haven't a clue what to say or do! I am really upset for him but I have always been useless with death.

If anyone has any wonderful words of wisdom or prayers they would be much appreciated right now... Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 05:16 AM
 
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at times like this, sometimes all a person needs is a shoulder to cry or a person who's willing to listen. just be a good friend and be there for him--and it looks like you're already doing that.

let him control the situation. he may not want to even talk about it. just let him know you'll be there anytime.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 05:27 AM
 
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I think one of the mistakes we sometimes make with regards to death, is that we feel there is something we should say. When my mum's mum died one of the hardest things for me was how to deal with my mum's grief, and what I could say to make her stop hurting. There wasn't anything I could say, and I realised that she just needed someone who loved her not to say anything but to listen and just be there with and for her. I also think that sometimes it can be uncomfortable for the person grieving to know that the person they're with is struggling to find words of comfort. I think the best thing to do is offer him your condolences, let your friend know that you're there for him, and then sit with him and let him work it through...offering him lots of cups of tea in the process.

Good luck with it Hayley, I know it's a horrible situation...I'll be thinking of you both.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 06:55 AM
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Honestly, I think not saying anything can sometimes be the best. When someone is grieving, they may not want someone to try to understand their grief, to diminish their grief, or to heal their loss - they just want someone to accept their pain, anger, hurt, and loss for what it is.

*HUGS* to you, and to your friend.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 08:25 AM
 
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Ok, having lost three VERY CLOSE family members in less than two years, I think I can help a bit here.

Everyone else has said it...you don't have to know what to say. Just be there for your friend, listen, and offer comfort. If you're still worried, fess up that you don't know what to say or do, but that you WANT to do something...your friend probably doesn't even know what he needs.

Grief is very hard to deal with, both for the person going through it and for their friends. He won't be his old self because of something you said, and that's not YOUR fault. Grieving takes time and your friend will most likely grieve for a long time.

Just be the friend you already are and I'm sure that's all he expects. *hugs* Good luck!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 11:46 AM
 
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I agree with everyone else...just when you see him, simply state that you're very sorry for his loss...and then leave the ball in his court. I think being there for him will be the best that you can do.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 12:31 PM
 
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I agree with everyone. You might not have to say anything really.

I know when my mom died a few years back I really didn't like hearing some people say "oh, I know what you're going through", "she's in a better place", or "everything happens for a reason". Cause maybe any or all of those are true, but at that time it's not really what you want to hear, etc. The person that helped me the best was my best friend. She was just with me. There for me to talk to, cry to, or just sit in silence with.

She didn't have to say anything, she was just there for me. And I'm sure your friend will appreciate you being there for him as well.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 01:24 PM
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Oh, that's awful. Your poor friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxnKats
I know when my mom died a few years back I really didn't like hearing some people say "oh, I know what you're going through", "she's in a better place", or "everything happens for a reason". Cause maybe any or all of those are true, but at that time it's not really what you want to hear, etc.
I agree. I lost my mom too, and the only words that really helped were "I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I'm here to talk or help however you need." So just listen and be supportive.

Recently, a family member of mine was ill and I was spending lot of time traveling and sitting in the hospital. It was exhausting. The day after I returned home to an empty fridge, my girlfriend called me up and said "I'm making dinner for you tonight." She made my family a roast chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, and even brought dessert. It was such a treat and made me cared for. I was so touched.

If your friend lives nearby, maybe you could do something like this for him, or offer to make phone calls to mutual friends to let them know what has happened. Anything to ease the burden is helpful.

Good luck to you both.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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I have found a way to let him know I am here for him... We both belong to a poetry site and I have a started a contest in memory of his Dad so everyone he knows on there can write uplifting/hopeful poems, or just poems to help him remember his Dad... I hope lots of people enter...
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 03:25 PM
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when I was 9 three family members died in the span of a year and a half, each of these people were very dear to my parents who mourned deeply. Other than me assuming the role of parent for a few months so they could mourn, I learned that the term "It's ok, it'll be all right" is NOT something to say. Holding the mourner and letting them cry and talk on their own is the best thing to do
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