• Lost another one today. How do we show we care?

    Asked by DaveWaz on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

    Lost another one today. How do we show we care?

    My 10 year old son’s friend lost his mother to brain cancer today. Any thoughts as to what we can do to support the family and my son support his friend? Feeling sad and at a loss for how to support my son’s friend and his family.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I'm really sorry. Your son's friend will need his friendship/support - just being there for him - today, tomorrow, next year ... In the short term, I don't really know that there's all that much you can do other than take a meal, let them know you are there for them and willing to help in any way (does the grass need to be mowed or the house cleaned before family and friends converge?).

      Right now, they probably are getting a ton of support. Often, it is after the funeral/memorial service when everyone has gone home and back to their own lives when the bereaved truly need us. A visit then where you just are willing to sit and listen might help ...

      I don't know of one off of the top of my head (thanks, chemobrain) but giving them a book to read about bereavement or going on without a loved one might be appreciated. Asking the son over to your house where he can get away from all of the sadness might be welcomed by the son and the remaining family.

      Since it is the mother that died, meals in the future (not so much right now as later maybe) might be welcomed. Dad is going to have his hands full learning to live without his wife and the mother of his children.

      3 months ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had a good answer that’s so hard. I know when my son lost my mom his grandma he had a close friend. I noticed the most helpful thing Scott did for him was just be there. I didn’t realize at the time how much my son was opening up and talking to Scott but I think it was easy because Scott was just there. If my son had to go places that were a little comfortable Scott offered to go with him. They are both married and in their 30’s and live thousands of miles away and still close.

      Maybe hand written notes, when my granddad passed away someone gave me an azalea bush to plant in his memory and I still have that bush. It blooms every spring and I have great memories. You and your family have my deepest sympathies.

      3 months ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
      DaveWaz

      Thanks for your thoughts. I just did a little research and experts agree with you that continuity, just being there and listening are key things to do right now. His grandmother just reached out and asked if we could take him to tennis with us (if he feels up to it). At least we can do something. Next up how to handle the funeral. Thank you both.

      3 months ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      If you offer help, make specific offers. Not just a "let me know if there is anything we can do", as that puts the onus back on the family. Instead say, "hey we're going for pizza; can we take your son". Or "we're heading out to get summer clothes for our kid. Can we pick something up for you".

      I'm very sorry your son is facing this for his friend.

      3 months ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      What can you say?
      My Mom died when I was 20 and there was nothing anybody could say to me to make me feel better. I shunned all help and just dealt with it. I eventually was ok. Ten years old is really young and what can you do or say. He may want to talk about it but not with his dad so maybe you could. Your friend lost is partner but still has his son so HE needs to get going...Are they religious etc...? SO I wish I had a magic answer but I don't. Just see if either of them want to talk about it with you....Talking about it is therapeutic....

      3 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      There are many cancer organizations that take small memorial donations (I know my medical center does) Perhaps your son could make a small donation from his allowance in his friend mother's name. And give the certificate to his friend

      3 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Dave, I'm sorry for your loss.

      3 months ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
      DaveWaz

      @buckeye The summer clothes idea is a brilliant idea. We are going to try it. They have tons of people helping out with the kids (3 in all) and feeding them. Never thought about the less obvious practical things like getting summer clothes.

      Interesting enough my son mentioned to me yesterday. I don't understand why everyone isn't more upset/bothered by her passing. His friend has been at school and went and played tennis, etc.

      I thought this was an interesting observation and a compliment to his friend's dad who has been working hard with counselors and ministers to prepare the kids and help them cope. I told my son I think they are probably doing well because they have had over 2 years to prepare, have been able to deal with their feels and understand that very little is going to change with her passing. I also said, I suspect more emotion and sadness will come later once they adjust to her not being there and having to care for her.

      Thank you all for your thoughts.

      3 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @DaveWaz, my brother was in high school when my dad passed away. He went on to school the day Dad died. I can't remember any longer if he told anyone that Dad had died, but he felt the need to keep things as normal as he could while he processed losing his dad. He was very, very close to dad and it was a huge loss for him.

      I totally agree that when the shock wears off and the reality sets in that she's gone and not coming back (even when you know that's true, it takes awhile to sink in), the sadness will definitely come.

      3 months ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      @DaveWaz, you could also check and see if you could ferry the kids to other things, such as doctor/dentist appointments. As you said -- less obvious but still necessary. And with 3 kids, it might be hard to take off work to get them to appointments. But if there are retired folks in your group of friends/neighbors or work-at-home moms/dads or 2nd/3rd shifters, maybe someone can lend a hand w/that.

      3 months ago

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