Advice Responding to Death

Cinders posted on Mar 13, 2009 at 06:04PM
I've always known that I'd never be any good at reacting to death. It's something I'd rather not think about. I found out that after it happens, it's still something I'd rather not think about, so I ignore it.

On March 4th last week, a good friend of my family passed away due to complications of a cancer. Now I don't need sympathy or condolences, because I was friendlier with his two daughters than I was with him. In all honesty, I rarely knew what to say to him, as I met him after he got sick. My question is, what does someone say to the family in this kind of event? I told my mother to send my condolences, but I'm afraid of saying anything personally to the family for the simple fact that I don't know what to say.

Even after all the sad smiles the mother would give me when I asked about her husband's failing health, and after the continuous treatment where he wasn't much improving, it still never entered my mind that he would die. It wasn't really a possibility to me. I thought, he'd get better, the girls would get their father back, and life would go on normally for them. So it was strange, when I heard that he died. I wasn't physically upset by the news, but I was a little surprised, and I was worried about how the girls were reacting to this (ages 12 and 8).

I absolutely adore his daughters. I tutored one of them for four months while he was in Seattle receiving treatment, and babysat them on a few occasions when their mother had to spend the night at the hospital. They're bright girls, and their mother is so sweet and I really wish there was something I could do to make this period easier for them, but there isn't, and I know that, but for some reason that fact bothers me. I feel like all the condolences in the world wouldn't help, but I give them, numbly, anyways.

My question is, what would you do in this situation? What words that are more powerful than "I'm sorry" can you give them? What hope can you offer? Because I feel kind of lost right now...
last edited on Mar 13, 2009 at 06:07PM

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پہلے زیادہ سے سال ایک germany123 said…
hey sorry this spot seems to be pretty dead lately so i only saw this now...

i really couldnt tell you what to say, obviously- if i were you id write the mother telling her that youre thinking aboot her and the girls. i dont think any words will console her anyway- maybe you could offer to take the girls somewhere when you have time if she needs a break!?
i think what happens in cases like this many people make the death of someone very subjective telling you how they feel- honestly if i were the one at loss i couldnt care less aboot that.
when my granddad died i remember i had to stand in line with my parents and grandmother and shake peoples hands who were all telling me how sorry they were- i really couldnt have cared less aboot their feelings tbh.
last edited پہلے زیادہ سے سال ایک
پہلے زیادہ سے سال ایک laureng114 said…
when my grandmother died i was just sick of the im sorries,
i understand though and i would just say thanks and move along.

honestly, i just wanted to talk to a friend. maybe if they just said " wanna come over and watch a movie?", or had given me a call i would have been a little bit better off.
i'm not saying give them a distraction,
just be there in case they are ready to talk.

they might not say it, but they need a friend.