Post # 1
I started school today and saw a friend I haven’t seen all summer – she was studying abroad in France so we haven’t talked other than the odd facebook message.
We were sitting at the start of class and she just mentioned she moved out and she’s learning to cook for one – before the summer she was planning to move in with her boyfriend and they had talked about marriage, so I assumed they broke up. I said “so what happened to your man?” and she burst into tears and said he passed away. I felt awful, the poor girl! I took her out of class and then she told me he committed suicide while she was away. She was visibly upset the rest of the class – I wasn’t sure what to do I haven’t really experienced this. What do I say/how to act/what to do? I care about her and she’s my friend – I’ll see her three times a week. I feel terrible for her.
Post # 3
When my first love died in a car accident, the best things my friends could do were to keep acting as normal as possible around me. We continued to do things together, although for a while it would be at their houses watching movies and eating some cookies, because I would randomly cry because I was broken-hearted.
Eventually as time went on, we went out more, but they always treated me the same. They tried to distract me from my pain, which really helped, but were there to listen and comfort me when I was at my weakest.
Sometimes things happen in life that we don’t understand, but just be there for her. She may not say it right away, but she will appreciate it. Don’t bring it up unless she does. Pain like that takes a long time to heal, especially for first loves, but she will be okay as time goes on.
I’m so sorry for her loss.
Post # 4
Oh, that’s awful 🙁 What a terrible thing to have happened to her.
In terms of what to do, most people who have suffered a loss like that know people never know what to say – and there isn’t necessarily a right thing to say, you know? A friend of mine’s husband died quite young (before I knew her) and she told me once that the worst thing people did was say to her “I don’t know what to say to make you feel better” because she felt like she had to say “Oh, it’s okay, I understand” when obviously this was a really awful time for her.
Really, I think the only thing to do is to continue to be her friend and check in on how she’s doing, if she wants to hang out and spend time together, and make it clear through your actions that you’re there if she wants to talk. People handle loss so differently that it’s really difficult to know how to handle it, because some people want to talk about it a lot as it helps them grieve and other peope just shut down. How sad for her.
Post # 5
wooww ! that horrible. im so sorry about your friends loss.
i would just say try to spend time with her, as much as you can. dont really bring it up inless she says something about it and then go from there. a girl i was good friends with in high school, her dad passed away our sophmore year and i didnt become friends with her until our junior year, i didnt say anything about it until she open up to me about it. we became really close and i soon went with her to his grave. once she opened up about it, it was easier to ask quesions.
its going to be a touchy subject for awhile, so just be careful.
Post # 6
Oh dear, my heart aches for this girl. Besides the grief, she must be dealing with so much guilt right now. Reach out to her, because when someone is grieving it can be really hard just to pick up the phone and call a friend. Listen when she wants to talk. Act normal, but let her know that you are here for her. Also, you might want to see if your school has someone she can talk to, if she wants. But I wouldn’t push it, just have the info ready if she ever needs it. So wonderful to know she a friend who wants to help.
Post # 7
Does your school offer counseling? Try to get her to go to the couselor and talk about her feelings. I know what it is like to have to get out of class with mentions of grief, death, sadness. It’s not easy and it feels terrible to have to walk back in with a red face and swollen eyes. Sigh. It happened today, again. I guess it’s just my field (school couseling) and since every now and then we cover what to do when a student/teacher/ anybody in a school dies… it brings those memories back from the past months when I lost a loved one.
Post # 8
Post # 9
thanks bees 🙂 I’ll just be her friend like I was before… she asked me for coffee so I’m glad she is reaching out and we can spend some time together. I appreciate your advice and help, I was just shocked and unsure how to react!
@batwoman – thanks, that video is actually super helpful, I just realllly don’t want to be one of those crass insensitive idiots. It’s so right about Western culture – its just awkward.
@torrid – I’m so sorry for your loss. I appreciate you sharing your perspective and I think that’s the direction I will take things. I’m glad you had friends to support you.
@CassandraC – I just do not want to put anymore on her shoulders by saying something like that – I guess there’s no right thing to say but I don’t want to say the wrong thing!
@elm tree – that must be such a difficult job but the school is lucky to have you to help them through it, I hope it isn’t something you deal with very often!!
Post # 10
@Torrid: This is great advice. Just do anything you can to keep her busy, too. It’s good to keep her occupied with other things. I hope she has started to seek some sort of counseling.