Post # 1
Very unexpected. He was 23. We just saw him back at Christmas (we recently moved out of town, so FH hasn’t seen this friend since then), and a good friend just saw him for lunch Friday afternoon! The family isn’t releasing any details about what happened, they’re not even giving him a funeral. They just cremated him Sunday morning (so no autopsy) and said they’ll have a ‘remembrance ceremony’ at a later date.
It’s all very bewildering. I didn’t know the guy all that well, but FH has known him since 7th grade and they were best friends. He was going to be the best man at the wedding. The fact that there’s no time for him to formally say goodbye is really eating at him, but he won’t just let it out, he’s not that type.
I really don’t know what to do. I’ve had a friend die young but we knew she was dying; this guy just dropped dead (we’re guessing he OD’d, he wasn’t secretive about his habits and binges) out of nowhere, and my FH had to find out by reading a note from the guy’s brother on his facebook status.
What can I do to make this easier for him? I’m trying to just go about things normally, do more for him a bit but not fawn over him…
Post # 3
how awful, so sorry for your loss. I’d give your FI space to grieve and mourn. Let him know you’re there if he wants to talk but don’t force it out of him – everyone mourns in their own way. Maybe you could suggest an idea to help him get closure and say goodbye – did they have a favorite activity they did together? A favorite place they went? Because there is no burial site, maybe he could say goodbye by going somewhere they visited together a lot? Give it time, he’ll get through this.
Post # 4
I’m so sorry. The way his family is dealing with it is totally unhelpful for everyone seeking closure around the issue. Does your FI have any friends who were mutual friends with the guy who passed away? Maybe they can find a way to formally say goodbye and grieve together.
Post # 5
@joya_aspera: His friends are getting together Sunday night next week at their favorite bar, but because we live so far away now there’s no way he could be there for it AND get back to be here for classes monday morning. It’s very frustrating. I hope we can figure something out.
Post # 6
I’m so sorry this happened. I would agree on giving your FH space to heal and mourn. But also giving him support and letting him know you’re there when and if he wants to talk. People mourn in all different ways, and it can be frustrating to watch someone struggle through the pain and not express it, so go easy on him and let him come to you.
His emotions may be all over the place and remember that this has nothing to do with you. He mgiht be hypersensitive, angry, etc… Just let him be for a while and keep showing him love.
Post # 7
First off, major *hugs* to you and your FI. It’s never easy to lose someone you’re close with, especially when it happens suddenly.
I had two similar experiences in college – first, when a close friend of both my ex-BF and mine committed suicide and then a few months later when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack.
My biggest advice is to just be there for him, and let him know you’re there to talk, listen, or just sit with him. I remember I just held my ex a lot after he lost his father and tried to do what I could around his apartment to help him out while he dealt with the grief.
Regarding his classes – I’m sure if he talked to his professors and told them what happened, they’d cut him a break and let him slide on any assignments/attendance. Our teachers were pretty great the week my ex and I traveled to his home state for his father’s funeral, and afterward as well.
Post # 8
@Peacockfeather: i am so sorry to hear this. it will be very difficult for your fi to find closure when there was no explanation or funeral. would the deceased’s family be willing to talk to your fi regarding the loss of his best friend? without knowing what happened, it will be hard to accept the loss.
perhaps once your fi takes some time to grieve, the two of you, him alone or a small group of close friends can go to his favourite place. have a quiet moment and then a balloon release or a chinese lantern release. this may assist with the “letting go” and assist with the closure.
Post # 9
How tragic. I’m so sorry.
Post # 10
@MissCalifornia: unfortunately the class he has monday morning is a lab; if people miss it for any reason, even if they have a doctor’s note, they have to pay to make it up. It old fiance we could put some money together, but he said it wasn’t worth it (The trip there plus the make-up lab time would be almost $300). We’re strapped, and even though going out to the bar is great, he’s not convinced it’s what he needs. I don’t really want to argue about it with him because frankly, we can’t really afford for him to go, but I feel bad.
Post # 11
Ahh, yeah :/ That sucks, I’m so sorry.
Well I’m sure there will be other ways for him to grieve properly. Just keep supporting him and make sure he knows you’re there for whatever he needs – space, talking, etc.
Post # 12
I’m so sorry! Just let him know you there and listen. It is always so tragic to loose someone close, no matter how old and for what reason. Let him have his 5 minutes or bad moods, it must be so hard for him to not know what really happend. Let him heal, but you are so carrying, you are going to help him no matter what, just by being there!
Post # 13
I am so sorry for your and your FI’s loss 🙁
Post # 14
Wow, i’m so so sorry! My husbands very best friend OD’d a couple years ago and it still tears him apart. Not much you can do but be there for him and talk to him about it. Don’t let him hold it in though, he needs to deal with it. Are they going to give him a headstone somewhere even though they aren’t burying him? My husbands friend was cremated and they spread his ashes in Florida but they have a headstone for him in the city they live so that can ‘visit’ him.
Post # 15
How awful. I am so, so sorry for you ad your fiance’s loss.
Post # 16
I’m so sorry for your fiance’s loss. My uncle committed suicide earlier in the year and my family kept it quiet. I’m sorry that your fiance had to find out via Facebook, but please understand that the family (whether it was suicide, OD, or anything else) is going through a huge shock right now and probably can’t deal with inquiring minds,even if they were close to him. I would wait to ask about the nature of his death until a 2-3 weeks after the funeral. Planning for a funeral has a lot of moving parts, like planning for a wedding but much, much more fraught. Unexpected deaths are the WORST kind.
As for your fiance, you just kind of have to feel out what he needs from you. After my uncle’s shocking death, I would sometimes need space and I told FI as much. Other times I needed him to hold me while I cried or listened while I ranted and raved. I think I scared him a few times but he was always there for me and always supportive and it was soooo valuable.
Finally, he should find a way to say goodbye. What he should do, I’ll leave up to the two of you because it’s intensely personal. The worst part of grieving is expecting that person to call or come over or wanting to share something with them only to realize that it will never happen again. This is where closure comes in handy. It seems like it now, but the worst of the grief won’t last forever. Make sure he stays busy with a project or work or something until he can handle it. After a while, it’ll get better, I promise.