I’ve been wanting to write about the what to do as a friend for a while. I had friends offer to drop everything and come, but I asked them not to. I knew I would not to be able to grieve as I needed to with any witnesses at all. It’s why I ended up on anxiety meds, because seeing ANYONE at all took so much effort that I couldn’t stand it.
So I ended up not seeing two of my oldest friends until a month and a half later. They didn’t know each other well, or really get along, but they each said the exact same thing, which was the most comforting thing anyone has said.
“You are my family, so he was my family, and I am so sad that I didn’t get to meet him.”
So simple, and yet exactly what I needed. I needed people not to just be sad for me, but to be sad for themselves too. I needed to know I wasn’t alone in missing him.
What was helpful for you?
One of the hardest things as a friend to us parents that lose a child is figuring out how to be friend to us parents that just lost our child. There are so many things that run through a person’s mind: What should I say? What should I do? How can I encourage them? What if I make it worse?
Sometimes there’s an intense pressure to it, because you can see the intense pain that we’re going through. Since you’re a friend, you care deeply. That’s what being a friend is all about. As a friend who cares, sometimes there is a strong desire to try and say that one perfect thing, or do that one perfect thing that takes all the pain away. It hurts, because no one knows how to do that one thing. It can get helpless, or frantic, or become a very desperate situation.
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