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Comfort

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lapinrose, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    I know what you mean, I was really comforted by all the lovely messages and condolences and hugs I got on here when my father died just before Christmas, but find it difficult to do the same for others who I'm not really close friends with.

    Hug if in doubt is what I do.
     
  2. Take your lead from the person grieving. I go from needing hugs and lots of talking to not wanting anybody near me. I don't think you can really offer reassurance, instead just listen if the person needs or wants to talk. When people tried to give words of comfort I often wanted to just smack them in the face for being idiots! (grief can make you pretty irrational at times)
     
  3. I have been bereaved too often. I don't think much you say can make it worse; as to whether or not to hug - it depends on the person. I have had a couple of days back at work and had more hugs in those two days than for years, and I appreciate it very much, but I am a bit of a hugger anyway! I think just any kind word is worth saying. People saying I haven't contacted you because I didn't know what to say is a cop-out. Sending a card, or letter or email makes the meeting easier. Don't know if that helps?
     
  4. I don't mind hugs from people who normally hug me (and I don't encourage it) but don't want a unilateral sympathy hug from anyone thanks. I have always been grateful for the least mark of sympathy from anyone who cared enough to take the trouble, so texts, emails and cards were always appreciated, especially from people I suspected weren't comfortable with a phone call or visit.
    If someone I don't know particularly well e.g colleague has had a bereavement, I usually say I'm sorry for your loss, and leave it to them to respond as they see fit. If you ask "How are you (feeling)?" you've made them talk to you about it, and I hate doing that. If they are dying to talk, they'll leap on the slightest opening.
     
  5. It depends on the person! SOme people enjoy cracking some jokes! getting drunk!
    some dont!
     
  6. Oh yes, not hugs from random people or people you know dislike you. If you just say "I am sorry I don't know what i can say to you that might bring you any comfort" it is better than not saying anything.
     
  7. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Well I made a batch of food for them as I know food isn't top of the priority list. Saw them today but didn't do the hug thing (as when I'm upset it usually makes me worse) but maybe I should have?
    Its a murder which doesn't help. I just can't imagine what they're feeling and don't know what to do. Whether to try and talk about 'lighter' subjects or just be an ear when they need me. x
     
  8. I don't think there's ever a time when you should have.
    Could have, maybe.
    Far more risk that you shouldn't have, I think.
     
  9. It's difficult isn't it. You don't want to keep dragging them back to how they're feeling but you don't want it to look as if you're trying either to distract them or drivelling on about trivia when their loved one's been murdered. It's like the elephant in the room. Is ignoring it worse than drawing attention to it?
     
  10. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Exactly Lily...
     
  11. I suffered a horrible loss three years ago and the worst thing anybody ever said always started with 'At least'. It taught me no good can come from that phrase, e.g. At least he lived to a good age (well I'd rather he was still alive), at least it was quick, etc etc.
    Murder - how horrendous. It's difficult to know but you'll have to take your cue from them. I find most people like to hear nice stories about the person who has died and the impact they had upon other people. I also find that in the immediate aftermath, most people are stunned but it's later in the weeks/years that they need further support.
     
  12. Just be there for them. Even when it feels awkward, or you don't know what to say.
    I lost a lot of friends when I needed them most. I assume it is because they were scared of the situation and just avoided me.
    Be ready for the ups and downs. In a situation like this there will still be more to come with a (potentially) delayed funeral due to circumstances, the inquest to wait for etc.
     
  13. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the replies. Will try and avoid the 'at least' phrase and just try and be there. x
     
  14. Oh, I think it very much depends on the person who is bereaved.
    For me - it was a great comfort to receive messages of support and understanding. I was not in a place to answer them all at the time, but over the months, I tried to get back to those who had contacted.
    I would not have wanted to be hugged. I wasn't ready to be hugged. For a long while, I couldn't speak about Mum (or Grandad) other than in an abstract way. My memories felt so personal and not something I could put into words.
    I don't think you can offer reassurance, really. But just listen, be there.
    That is what helped me.
    Just friends and family who would talk with me about it when I needed/wanted to and would leave me be when I needed it.
    I don't doubt I was difficult to live with for a while - and very unpredictable. The slightest thing - even acts of kindness, would set me off crying and I didn't want to cry anymore.
    But, of course, I did. And after a while, I got used to the idea of people just wanting to be kind to me and understanding.
    And I shall never forget the greatest kindness of all - my boss. Who gave me extra work. He knew that was what I needed, to stay sane.
    Everyone experiences grief differently - and we are not always easy to understand, I suspect.
    Just be there xxx

     
  15. I think the food was a good idea, OP. And even if they didn't say as much I bet they appreciated it. Actions are louder and all that.
     

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