What do you say to a friend who has lost her daughter...?

@secretbear (19466)
Philippines
July 24, 2011 5:13am CST
My friend lost her six-year old daughter just this year. It was really a tough time for them. The kid who was my goddaughter, had leukemia. It was a very, very painful time for them and when she passed away, my friend couldn't accept it at first and even went in a state of denial and did not allow her daughter to be embalmed. But eventually, she accepted it and my goddaughter was finally put to rest. Through it all, I was never really able to say any comforting words to her. I'm not really good at things like that but I really wanted to say something meaningful to her then. All I could do was be there for her and sympathize with her and her husband. After a few months, I met my friend by chance last Friday in the market with her husband and youngest child. I instantly remembered what happened and I couldn't really say anything to her except "how are you?" though I really wanted to ask how is their life without their precious daughter. But I was glad to see that she was doing okay and has moved on. I probably don't really understand what she has gone through and probably still going through since I have never lost a child and I don't even have children yet. But it is really painful to lost a loved one. At least with that, I can understand her.
3 people like this
10 responses
@jonahh08 (261)
• Philippines
27 Jul 11
I'm sorry but there's nothing you can say to make the pain go away. And it's awful to even ask how she is. What you can do is to give her reassurance that if she needs anything you're just there beside her.Pray not only for the deceased but especially for the ones left behind. Yes, TIME heals everything.
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
28 Jul 11
Actually when I asked her how she's doing, I instantly thought to myself "Stupid! Of course she's not okay!". But thank God she wasn't offended by it.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
28 Jul 11
Actually when I asked her how she's doing, I instantly thought to myself "Stupid! Of course she's not okay!". But thank God she wasn't offended by it.
1 person likes this
@XDXDXD (1)
• Estonia
25 Jul 11
I wouldn't say anything because sometimes saying nothing is better. I would just be a shoulder to cry on.
2 people like this
@marguicha (94304)
• Chile
24 Jul 11
Hugging is better than saying. There are no words for that. As for moving on, she will never completly "move on". The scar, the loss, will be there forever. Just be there, maybe visit hr if you can and do things with her. If she doesn´t want to talk about her daughter, don´t bring up the subject.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
26 Jul 11
That's the problem, I could not visit her often since I am always busy with work and studies. But I will remember that and I will do my best to visit her once in a while.
@marguicha (94304)
• Chile
26 Jul 11
You can even ask her if you can go with your work (or study) Just tell her you want to see her and that you don´t want your studies to hinder you from seeing her. So you go, have your coffee break with her, study while she does her own thing. She will understand.
1 person likes this
• Canada
28 Jul 11
The best thing to say to anyone who has lost anyone is that if there is anything you can do for them. all they need to do is ask, and then MAKE SURE YOU MEAN IT!! If they ask for something, be there for them. Offer them a shoulder to cry on anytime they need one, and just be there for them.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
2 Aug 11
That is why I don't say things that I cannot do. I don't say things that I don't mean.
• United States
24 Jul 11
Oh this will be definitely hard to do. I do have a daughter and would feel so much pain for a friend who has lost hers. I don't believe I could say I know how you feel because I have never experienced it so I would simply be there for the friend. Assuring to remind her that I can help where ever I can and that I will be praying for her to gain strength and acceptance. I would continually remind her to keep her daughters memory alive, but the words would not come easily as it would be way too painful.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
26 Jul 11
I agree. Words do not come easy especially if you are choked with great emotions.
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
24 Jul 11
It seems like at a time like a loss of a precious child or family member we can't come up with appropriate responses or ways to help the people who sustained the loss. It's a time that we are so totally uncomfortable with mortality, though we all know that eventually we all will leave this world. I have been in that position many many times myself. I've found that the best thing I can do is be there for support. The best and easiest form of support is being there to listen and provide hugs and kleenex for the people who are grieving. It also has been a hard lesson to learn that when in doubt about someone who is ailing with a life threatening disease I don't ask the family member how the person is doing. Nine times out of ten it turns out that the family member has passed away. Of course it is a problem for me because I live so far out in the country that I'm not in the information loop--I don't even get a newspaper!!! You handled the situation beautifully. You gave your friend the best form of support a friend could give, your strength and love and above all your understanding. To speak loudest about your love for your goddaughter and your friend, you might make a donation to the leukemia association in the family's name. I know when a cousin of mine passed away, we made a donation to the City of Hope where the cousin had been treated. I applaude you for being such a good friend, giving the family the support and strength at such a difficult time. Many people would just shy away and not be so supportive.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
26 Jul 11
I wasn't a good friend! I didn't had Kleenex. ^^ When my goddaughter was still fighting her illness, I did my best to gather blood donors. All my co-workers who donated blood for her were also sad when they heard the news that she passed away. I myself, was not able to donate any blood because I am anemic, and so I felt my efforts were not enough. But yes, people has their own schedule to go. I guess she just had to go first than all of us.
@Fireheart (683)
• India
24 Jul 11
There is nothing more to say to her, i know what it would be like, the pain would be hard to go, you must accept the truth, all we can do is pray, losing ones own child can be heart breaking, only think they can do is cherish her memories and pray for her spirit to rest in peace. there are times when you have to face things in life that are hard its unavoidable, all that is left to do is be strong.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
26 Jul 11
She is lucky to have her whole family's support and her husband's family's support. She and her husband were also always there for each other as well as their other two little kids. I think that made them both strong to face what happened.
• Philippines
24 Jul 11
I am a single person and this is beyond me. probably leave him or her alone, just let them to their grief, comfort them but never try to say things that would offend them. besides, I don't know If I have the strong feeling or conviction to listen to advises. let her take time to get over her grief because if you talked the sense of her she might not listen to you well.
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
26 Jul 11
I think I wouldn't dare try to talk about deaths or any sort of that stuff. That would be being insensitive. I did try to make some humor to lighten up the mood.
• Philippines
24 Jul 11
That's a tough one. I've already lost my father 5 years ago and it was really hard to deal with it. All I can say is just console her and if ever she strays, you put her back to the right path.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
26 Jul 11
Thanks for the advice.
@drannhh (15226)
• United States
4 Aug 11
That is a hard situation but your friend will have to be strong for the sake of her other child. I have no children of my own and therefore never lost any either. God bless those who have.
1 person likes this