Hot answers tagged

90

It's never easy to deal with the death of a loved one, even in these cases. The main difference in my experience is that the grieving process starts years earlier... My grandmother was in a similar state when she passed, she'd been suffering for a long time, and she hadn't been herself for years. For the most part my family was glad that she didn't have to ...


43

I come from a family of artists - most of my aunts and siblings are either writers, drawers, painters and/or musicians. My mother is one of them and really is gifted when it comes to choosing the right words. When my father died, my mother wrote the eulogy for his funeral. And what she wrote truly shook all of us, be it relatives or old coworkers. It was ...


41

Chances are, if someone's loved one is suffering, they will appreciate sympathy regardless of whether they're looking for condolences. It sounds to me like what you want to do is react in a sympathetic and understanding manner without disregarding their belief that what is happening is for the best. In a situation like this, what I would do is "follow ...


32

An ill child is already a bit of a landmine; she may want to avoid the topic entirely. Other people are probably asking all the time, so you don't have to worry about her having no opportunity to discuss it. You're fine not asking. However, if you care about your colleague as a close coworker, consider asking her how she is doing. Having an ill child is a ...


19

How can I tell her that I´m willing to listen to her if she wants to talk? You've already done something very important : "All I could come up with was hug her and kiss her." You showed her you care. But words didn't help... Sometimes, silence is much more powerful than words. Add the presence of his beloved (you). Be nice. Act "normally". Create a "warm / ...


18

For many reasons stated elsewhere in this thread (it's best to follow the grieving person's lead, while offering any support you can), I would keep it simple. That should help you avoid accidentally saying something that might have the opposite effect as intended. I would suggest: I'm sure it's been awfully difficult... It leaves it open-ended, up to ...


18

Pet owners often have a very close emotional relationship with their pet. There might be people for whom it's "just a dog". But there are also people on which the loss of a beloved pet has almost as much emotional impact as the loss of a human family member. So it should be treated in a similar way. Here is some advise from Caitlin Doughty, who comforts ...


17

I've been through this myself, with my own dogs (twice) and my former sister-in-law (SIL)'s dogs. I was the one who accompanied her and offered support. It's tough for both. Give her time and love: be there, support her, say nothing if she remains silent, talk if she wants to. Beside that, if she's willing to be nice and caring and loving to another dog in ...


17

Write a letter and send it via good old fashioned Snail Mail. I have experienced a similar situation in which my aunt passed and the funeral was in the Midwest and I lived in New England (United States). I wrote a letter (not typed, emailed, etc- but actually hand written with a pen) to each closely-related family. This should be ideal because you ...


15

There are a couple of things you can say like Your pet was lucky to have you. This is how you can remind them that how great they were at taking care of their pet. This might help them get over the grief. (Source) You can also try saying that their pet had a great life because of them. For this, you can remind them some great events they had with their ...


14

I've gone through this "from the other side" as the person who was very, very attached to my dog. My fiance liked my dog, but wasn't nearly as attached. I understand where your girlfriend is coming from because as my dog aged, I could see what was coming, and it made me sad to think my friend would be gone at some point. Losing a beloved pet painful, ...


14

Personally, I think that this is a sign of a much larger problem in your life that should be dealt with. I have a relative who decided that, for him/her to heal, he/she needed to cut the family out of his/her life. Then, and only then, could this relative start on the long path to recovery. We are some of the only family members that this person is in ...


11

From my own experience, my Father was very ill and died the day after my nephew's 21st birthday, what is important is to demonstrate care for the bereaved person, rather than to wish them a happiness which might seem inappropriate in the moment. To wish someone a happy day at the funeral of a close family member, as you clearly understand, has potential to ...


11

Trigger warning: physical and emotional pain due to illness and death of relatives You say you'd like to convey wishes of a peaceful death not when addressing your condolences to your friend's relatives, but rather when you inform someone you know about their death. I don't think that's a good idea, I think you should just tell them what happened instead. ...


10

Everybody who grieves does so differently. There is no certain set of words that can bring comfort to everyone. One thing that a lot of bereaved persons say is that they wish others talked about the deceased more. This isn't always the case in the very early days after a bereavement, but you say it has been 3 months. Avoiding the subject does seem to make ...


9

You can say "I'm sorry for your loss." You do not fake any feelings you don't have. You don't have to feel sorry for the pet passing away, if you just don't. But the fact that you feel the need to say something to the owner of the pet, indicates that you feel sorry for what the owner is experiencing — the loss of their pet, and their grief. So that is ...


9

That she had to stop working for multiple months in order to care for a sick child shows that their child's illness was severe. To be frank, in Western cultures if you have any ongoing relationship with her this is something which you do need to care about. Not necessarily very much, but it is important to have and display empathy to a level appropriate to ...


6

Generally I would wait until I'm sure they're not overwhelmed by the situation - needing to see the doctor, etc. This really depends on the nature of the "bad news" and your intention, and your overall closeness to him/her. If it is an emergency, you might want to call briefly immediately after hearing the news. State that everything will be alright, and ...


6

This is most certainly a case where easing into it is preferred. The subject of a loss can be very touchy for some, whether or not it is the reason they were away from work. I can personally testify to this as when dealing with a loss myself, sudden queries from sympathetic friends would sting more often than they would comfort. If you have a somewhat ...


6

From the perspective of a grieving person: I can only tell you how a grieving person feels being surrounded by happy people. For my part i suffered really hard for 3-4 months after my fathers death, always thinking about it and trying not to cry. However if you are on a party where people know what happened to you you generally want to try to look positive ...


6

As teenagers, dealing with loss is incredibly hard. You may have experienced the loss of a pet, but it doesn't compare to losing a grandparent. So you don't really have any experience dealing with this and find yourself saying, "what do I do now?" Boys tend to keep their feelings bottled up. We don't always like showing them, and we don't want to let ...


6

Mourning This is a sense of loss that lasts years. There is not a getting better, it is about working through ones feelings and becoming a different person. The key issue is to show support, emotional sympathy and empathy, feeling the sadness and working with the person as they come to terms with their loss. It is like losing an arm or a leg. Part of ...


6

Simply put, you already have: All I could come up with was hug her and kiss her, and the few words I said didn´t really help her that much. Nuh-uh. You don't get to say that it didn't help- because they will have. Just because she isn't springing up as though things are fine and isn't carrying on her day as normal, doesn't mean it didn't help. In times ...


6

Comforting someone while not in their physical proximity can be hard. But it seems that you have a strong desire to be a support to your friend, which is what true friendship is made of. I would consider a couple of things: Offer up your support, words can mean just about as much as a real hug to comfort someone in need. Don't be overbearing, after ...


6

I, sadly, have a very dear friend of mine who encountered a very similar situation to what your girlfriend is currently experiencing. My friend lost her best friend to suicide about 18 months ago and as your girlfriend, feelings were involved, as she fell in love with him shortly before he died. My friend - let's call her Ananda - has been with her partner ...


6

tl;dr My answer got a bit long, and is primarily focused on some of the more generic skills for having difficult conversations. Since Avazula provided an excellent answer with some very specific suggestions for things you can do to move forward, I'll leave my answer with just the skills for how to have the conversation instead of what conversation to have. ...


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