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...