My friend lost her spouse very suddenly & I don't know how to help her

dotsandstripes 123

He was 46 and they have 2 kids. One is good friends with my son. From those who have been there, what is the best way to help/support her without coming across as pushy?

SaveComment9Like
Comments (9)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bleusblue2

My husband passed and I immediately called my friends and asked for help. They picked me up the next day and went with me to make all arrangements having done the same themselves a few months before.

I don't know how close you are. Does she have friends & family around who can help her get through the next week, going to the funeral home with her, making arrangements? Did she call you or did somebody else tell you about it? A friend lost an adult child last year. She called me so I knew that it was OK to step up to the plate. I immediately went to her house and made all the phone calls, checking prices and talking with her about it. She couldn't handle it alone. Is there somebody to do that for your friend? If she has somebody helping her with those things you can either ask that person, or just wait until after the service and visit and talk to her and her children. Next thing, buy her some healthy frozen dishes, preferably home made, for her freezer. Some Shepherd's pies or quiches for example. No matter what you do, I think the worst time is the months afterwards. When you offer to help make a suggestion -- drive the kids to their grandmother? Bring a dinner? I'm really tired myself tonight. I'll think about it.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dotsandstripes 123

Thanks bleusblue2. I should have clarified. It's been a month since her husband passed away. Like you, everybody says that the months afterwards are the hardest, when family have left and everyone else goes back to their lives. A circle of friends are helping with driving kids to and from school and activities, meals, etc. but I worry about her being alone too much.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mdln

Get together monthly or more often, lunch, dinner, movie, theater, shopping, etc. Invite her, if she declines OK, but extend the invitations.

Save     Thanked by dotsandstripes 123
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
JoAnn_Fla

Call or visit often, talk about her husband. No one ever mentions their name after they are gone.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bleusblue2

JoAnn_Fla -- you are so right. Don't avoid mentioning his name. If she brings something up, follow along, ask a question, even if she weeps. It's been three years since my husband passed and I am still looking at the world partly through his eyes. I say to myself, 'Why didn't we go there when he was here -- he would have liked that" and so on and so forth. Knowing it's pointless doesn't make me stop remembering. The remembering is the important part, not the regret, I know that. I can talk about him to my friends and they feel more comfortable too, since I do.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrsti

Good advice. Visit or take out to lunch or a movie. Let her talk about her husband.

I have a friend who lost her young son. I can only imagine what that is like but my friends and I reach out and love on her as much as possible. It has been almost a year and she is still in shock. Grief counselling is very helpful and you might suggest that. It helped me tremendously as I was not functioning after a tragic loss to the point of hurting my family.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bleusblue2

grief counselling, yes. My friend who lost her young adult daughter is very independent and a little cranky about "healing therapy' and joining any group. But she was so miserable that she started going to weekly meetings with other parents who'd lost children. She felt a bit critical and out of place but she needed to do ANYTHING that took her away from the familiar places. And now, after six months she's become close to a few of the people and has even met them outside the group. I'm so happy for her that she can carry on after this terrible loss.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dowlinggram

If you know of a time when your friend and her spouse spent together invite your friend over for dinner or a trip out doing something. The time you are down and lost is when there was a history of spending time together. My friend lost her husband. Every Thursday evening they went out for dinner and did a little shopping or out to a movie. It doesn't really matter much what they did but it was their time to spend together.

I knew this and invited her to dinner and to spend the evening with us on Thursday. I didn't make anything that special and after dinner we watched TV or played games or cards. It wasn't much to do but it got her out of the house. Once she said to me "how do you know just when I need company" I answered that it must be intuition.

The biggest danger when you lose a spouse is to remain housebound. Even if you don't want to you must get out and be with people.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
HU-817491032

Being there is HUGE. People tend to drop off after a month or so. Then you are left in an abyss. Keeping in contact with your friend, helping with chores or a night out. Listen to what she wants to talk about. I wanted to talk about my husband, but it was so hard for others, they admittedly said they couldn't. Stick around.

1 Like Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Feel-Good Home Her Home Is Her Therapist
When she remembers to change her perspective and have a little fun, her home helps her through winter’s low points
Full Story
Fun Houzz Everything I Need to Know About Decorating I Learned from Downton Abbey
Mind your manors with these 10 decorating tips from the PBS series, returning on January 5
Full Story
My Houzz My Houzz: Friends Help With the DIY Redo of a San Antonio Kitchen
A Texas homeowner and her pals transform the room with green painted cabinets, open shelving and shiplap walls
Full Story
Inspiration for some backyard chats
Inspiration for a warm welcome
Inspiration for dinner time under the stars
Inspiration for a little quality time
Inspiration for making that best pizza ever
We are a company that cares about our clients and the craftsmanship of the work we provide. Honesty, hard work,... Read More