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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to support a loved one?

I just got this email from a childhood friend, asked for his permission to cut and paste his question here about how to support his girlfriend after the loss of her mom...Matt would be very appreciative if you could respond and honestly share.  

I remember when you lost your mom. She was a wonderful and beautiful person. You were pretty young to take all that on.

This morning I put my 46 year-old girlfriend Jan on a plane for Vancouver so she can take care of her mom who is entering the Hospice program. She has cervical cancer that she never took seriously until it came back with a vengance last year. The past year or so has been tough on her and her mom. I'm a Stephen Minister so I am trained to deal with this but not prepared for it on such a personal level. I know that the woman I sent off this morning will not be the woman I will join for the memorial and funeral. She will be the Matriarch of the family and she will have been there to help her mom leave this world. Not a task I'm envious of - I already did that with my dad.

Anyway, have you broached this subject in your programs/writings/blogs? I'd be curious to see what the women have said so I can get a handle ahead of time on what Jan is going through. If you haven't addressed this it might be something of value to your readers and listeners.

Anyway, I hope you're doing well and if you've done or come across anything like this that might help, please let me know.



1 comment:

  1. I so appreciated friends cards, calls, and silent but heart felt hugs when they saw me when death had called another family member to the door.

    Those who haven't experienced loss at this degree are the ones most likely to say, "you'll be ok" right when the sting of loss is unbearable, or "he/she really needed to go". Little do these well intentioned people know how much you want them to stop talking and frankly leave you alone.

    Bring a warm-up casserole/complete dinner on your condolensce visit, offer to drive the children to school, sport commitments and such, allowing relief to the everyday, for those to feel.

    Others on the otherhand need to stay busy and refuse help during this time, so it's best to ask how to help and take their advice with out offense. Everyone deals with loss in entirely different ways.

    Be there and follow through. This usually works best and is just the right dose of compassion without over involving yourself in their process.