Saturday, September 18, 2010

What To Say?

Recently, it hasn't even been a week yet, a dear friend's brother died in a horrible motorcycle accident.  While home from Iraq.  He wasn't in the military but still.  You'd think being home would be safe. 

We are close enough to this person to want to help. In anyway possible.

The things is, what does that mean? What does one do to help in a situation like this? 
I've taken food to them. I've offered to take their kids for them, to give them some time.

The family is large and they are all together, mourning their loss. 

In my mind, there's a fine line between being caring and helpful and being annoying and intrusive.

I am not one of those people that wants lots of hugs and pity, when something horrible happens. On the other hand, I don't like it when a situation is ignored either.

In 2000, I suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks.  Many people were kind and loving and helpful.  Others didn't even say "I'm sorry" or anything.  To me, ignoring a bad situation is hurtful. Yet, saying something stupid (like "God just wanted your baby in Heaven (HELLO!! I wanted my baby too!!))  is just as hurtful. 
I learned from my particular experience, it's better to say "I'm sorry. I don't know what to say" than to say nothing at all.

So, that's what we've been doing.  A lot of praying, a lot of "Let me know if there's anything we can do" and a lot of  "We love you guys." 

It's just so awful that there's nothing else we can do. 


  1. I think it's one of the hardest things in the world to do nothing when there is nothing to be done. Everyone wants to DO something to make it better, but sometimes, we just can't.

    Saying 'I care' or 'I'm sorry' is sometimes all we can do. It's good that you're willing to do that. So many aren't.

    And how sad that you lost a little one. I did not know. I'm sorry about that. What a shame.

  2. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend and the loss of your baby. The pain never completely goes away, does it. :(

    You've definitely made it clear you're there to help, if they need it, and I'm sure that helps them tremendously. However, I also know that it's hard for someone who is grieving to ask for help, even though the offer is there no matter what they need.

    Meals/snacks always seem to be a good choice as a way of helping. Paper plates and cups are also good, because chores like doing the dishes are often neglected during a time like this. Maybe an offer to take the kids to their after school activities or doing a grocery store run would be helpful?

  3. I am so sorry for your guys' loss. That's horrible!

    I agree that being there for them in a practical way is the best in a situation like this. No one ever knows the perfect thing to say when something like this happens, or how to make your friends feel better, but being there to provide some child care, meals, etc. *that* is how you can show you care - and I'm sure it means a lot to your friends that you're there for them in a way that really counts.


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