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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Please help, need advice to help a grieving friend

    Hi ladies,

    As the title says, I am in need of some advice to help a friend.

    Tragically 4 weeks ago a friend of mine was killed in a car accident leaving behind her DH and 2 beautiful children. The 2 kids were in the car when the accident occurred but thankfully her DS (4 years) came out with minor injuries and her DD (14 mths) was in ICU for a few days with head and neck injuries but both will make a full recovery.

    Her DD has since been sent home but she is in a cast that doesn't allow her much movement from the waist up.

    I went around today to give my friends DH some food for himself and kids and well he just isnt coping and im not sure what I can do. As their DD is quite an active child she is extremely frustrated in the cast and although she can sort of walk and crawl around she is hard to keep entertained.

    She is not sleeping very well at night and the poor guy just isnt getting any sleep. Of course I have done the obvious things like offering to come and babysit so he can get some sleep but she is extremely clingy to her dad right now so doesnt easily settle for anyone else. He is really finding it hard to deal with the loss of his wife (for obvious reasons) and although he has support from his mum and his wifes mum they both run farms and find it hard to get away and dedicate all their time to him.

    He even told me tonight that when he does goto sleep at night that he doesnt even want to wake up in the mornings but he knows he has to be there for the kids and just doesnt know how to keep going.

    So basically i was just wondering if any of you out there have been in a similar situation and can help shed some light on what I can do. Like I have said I have offered to babysit whenever possible and will be taking around meals on a regular basis, help with school runs etc but I just feel so helpless.

    I noticed tonight that he has lost weight and basically looks like crap. I just dont know what to do My heart is just breaking for him
    Last edited by FertileMertile; 23-08-2012 at 00:56.

  2. #2
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    Default Please help, need advice to help a grieving friend

    What a sad and horrible situation My sincere sympathies to you for the loss of your friend

    Is he going to any grief counselling? If not, do you think it is something you could talk to him about?

    I wish I knew what to suggest!

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much HG. Its just such an awful situation.

    Another friend of mutual friend of mine suggested counselling to me tonight too. I know that the hospital are being fantastic and are offering him respite and all the support he could need but I dont know specifically if they have offered grief counselling. Tonight when I saw him I just let him talk mainly as I think it helps him just talking but im so scared im going to say something wrong and really there is nothing I can say to take his pain away. Also I dont really know her DH that well but he is being really responsive to the all the help coming his way which I guess is a good thing.

    I was even just wondering if anyone could suggest things that we could do to help keep their DD entertained? She is a little too young to be interested in movies and like a said in my PP she is very active. I just wish I could take his pain away

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    I am so sorry and sad to hear about your friend passing away. I think what you are doing for her family is great and it may be all you can do. My mum died suddenly when I was 5, my brother was 3 and my sister was 10 months. I can't remember anything specific from that time myself but I know dad was so grateful for help with day to day stuff especially cooking and food (he says he had never even boiled an egg for himself before), also cleaning and bringing groceries. I don't remember spending time away from dad during the immediate time after mum passed away, I imagine we were all clingy too and he probably didn't want to be away from us either. After a few weeks a family friend who had kids the same age as me started taking me to swimming lessons which was really good for me because I loved swimming and also I suppose it gave dad a bit of a break even if he did still have another 2 kids at home. I think it was comforting for him to know I was having fun and was distracted from the situation too. Maybe you could do something like that with his DS? And try with his DD too? Given some time she might become less clingy.

    Your friend will struggle and be sad for a while, it's just something he needs to work through and it may take a long time. I think the main thing you can do for him is help him out with the little things/worries in life to make it a bit easier for him which is what you're already doing. Just keep doing what you are already doing and anything else that you notice along the way that you can help him out too.
    Last edited by Tashee; 23-08-2012 at 01:19.

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    i'd just be there as much as possible...just hanging about...helping with doing some washing/cleaning/cooking...sometimes, just another presence in the house is wonderful.

    14 months is a hard age to entertain...takes a lot of hard work and sometimes mess lol painting or singing songs or reading to them, i found DD might watch an occasional episode of playschool about then.

    hugs to you

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    Default Please help, need advice to help a grieving friend

    Can you offer to take the little one over night so he can have a good nights sleep? Even one night might do him a lot of good? And if she doesn't settle well, then it's just one night you've had little sleep. I'm so sorry about your friend and it's wonderful you're doing every thing to help her family.

  7. #7
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    Can you put together a care package for the kids? some bubbles, book, toys with buttons, shaker toys, kids cd or dvd...

    Keep offering the support you have offered. You are doing a great job.

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  9. #8
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    Default Please help, need advice to help a grieving friend

    So sorry for your loss.

    I think you have had some great suggestions so far. And although the kids are very clingy to dad, you can still help out with them just by being there. Maybe you can take the little one out in the pram for an hour or so. Or offer to go with them to do a grocery shop. Try and get dad to resume normal routine with the kids, but with support.

    As the weather improves, getting the kids outside more will also help, taking them for a walk and give dad even 5 minutes may help.

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    Default Re: Please help, need advice to help a grieving friend

    Firstly *hugs* to you. You've lost your friend under tragic circumstances. That's not an easy thing to deal with on its own. Your doing so well supporting her DH and her children and I'm sure she's so grateful to you for your help.

    I would continue what your doing now, maybe ask him what he's struggling to keep up with or what would make this time a little easier for him so he's got more time to focus on the kids and himself? stuff like offering to do the groceries, or sitting down with him and doing an online woolies shop with him, laundry and dishes are always a good start, making appointments for the kids. Talk to him about organising after school care or day care maybe?

    All of them are going to need counselling, especially if the kids are clingy and having trouble sleeping, they were in an accident that took their mummies life, even as small children thats very traumatic. Maybe do some research in your area and see if there's a community organisation that runs counseling, parental support and maybe financial assistance?

    Cooking meals that can be frozen is also a good idea. Maybe you could get A nice photo of your friend, frame it and give it to the kids, when my grandma died someone did this for me and told me that everytime I hugged it, I was hugging my grandma. It helped me sleep.

    Also her DH should see a doctor, even for a temporary sleeping pill and a quick mental health assessment, it would not be surprising if he has/will developed depression.

    Good luck, and I don't normally say this but, God bless you. It makes me teary thinking how much someone doing what your doing would mean to any mum, any of us here on BH if this were to happen to her family!

  11. #10
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    Default Please help, need advice to help a grieving friend

    Firstly I'm so sorry about your friend.

    For the little girl, hand held games like a Nintendo ds are great, or an iPad. Also DVDs. One on one activities you could do with her could include basic cooking like icing arrowroot bickies, making cupcakes etc. Also craft and painting, play dough, bead work. My kids also love their iPods and spend ages listening to music.
    Your friends DH needs counseling and some time out too. The poor man, my heart goes out to him.

    ETA I just realised she may be too young for my suggestions sorry
    Last edited by Atropos; 23-08-2012 at 08:52.


 

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