Jump to content

Trying to help a friend.


14value
 Share

Recommended Posts

A close friend of mine has a 10 year old son that has a tumor in his head and he doe's not have much time and there is nothing anyone can do.

When I get into situations that I have no experience with I look at the people I admire most and look to see how they navigated the situation.

I went through Franklins writings after he lost his son and he writes very little.  I also went through Mungers writings and remember him saying he walked the streets for hours, but again not much.  I would like to provide my friend with some knowledge or writing that may help him through the difficult time because that is the only thing that I can do for him and his family.  If anyone knows of anything that I may have overlooked, please let me know.  Any information would be helpful.

 

All the best.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A close friend of mine has a 10 year old son that has a tumor in his head and he doe's not have much time and there is nothing anyone can do.

When I get into situations that I have no experience with I look at the people I admire most and look to see how they navigated the situation.

I went through Franklins writings after he lost his son and he writes very little.  I also went through Mungers writings and remember him saying he walked the streets for hours, but again not much.  I would like to provide my friend with some knowledge or writing that may help him through the difficult time because that is the only thing that I can do for him and his family.  If anyone knows of anything that I may have overlooked, please let me know.  Any information would be helpful.

 

All the best.

 

This is a hell no child or parent deserves -- and your empathy already shows you see that.  I don't think you'll find any map in the wisdom of history that can guide someone through these shoals in every instance.

 

My feeling is that you have to judge your friend's emotions.  Some people want an offer or thoughts of kindness and others want nothing more than to move forward.  There is no 'right' response.

 

It's clear that you care.  You're the kind of friend I would cherish even if I never knew your concern. 

 

If you feel they want your support vocalized, I would offer "anything you can do" as help.  If he's a good friend, he'll know what to ask for.  If you're not sure they want to talk about it, a simple, "I am (we are) thinking of you and [child] every day."

 

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A close friend of mine has a 10 year old son that has a tumor in his head and he doe's not have much time and there is nothing anyone can do.

When I get into situations that I have no experience with I look at the people I admire most and look to see how they navigated the situation.

I went through Franklins writings after he lost his son and he writes very little.  I also went through Mungers writings and remember him saying he walked the streets for hours, but again not much.  I would like to provide my friend with some knowledge or writing that may help him through the difficult time because that is the only thing that I can do for him and his family.  If anyone knows of anything that I may have overlooked, please let me know.  Any information would be helpful.

 

All the best.

 

Angel Unaware, a 1950's best seller by Dale Evans, sparked a great change in how we look at ourselves, and children. It's especially for those who are parents of a child with difficult health or development problems.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps A Grief Observed by CS Lewis?

 

"Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: "Nothing will shake a man -- or at any rate a man like me -- out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself." This is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just be there, that's what matters.  Knowing they have friends around who they can lean on and talk to is important. 

 

We had an incident where we almost lost one of our sons, it was absolutely terrible, but faith and friends are what got us through.  Thankfully our son is fine now, but there are no guarantees in life.  It made my wife and I appreciate how fragile life really is, and what really matters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We lost a son some 30+ years ago, and it doesn't better with time. You just learn to cope. Sometimes you can help by just sitting there and not saying a thing.  The comment about being around in six months is right on as well as currently.  I have 2 friends who also lost their sons and it helps that we can get together and let off steam periodically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry that your friend and his family are going through this 14Value!  I think you are getting plenty of good advice.  Just trust your instincts...be there for them now, and especially be there later on when all the family and friends disperse, and few people are around to help them cope. 

 

For your friend and his family, the loss will never go away...especially in cases where someone's life is left completely unfulfilled like a child with so much promise and time ahead of him.  Every day going forward, they will always think about what could have been, what more they could/would have liked to do and say.  Slowly, they will just learn to live with it and somehow cope.  For many, they never fully do cope and a normal life is not possible as the emotional/mental turmoil is too much.  All you can do is remain a good friend and offer any support you can.  For many, keeping busy over time allows one to forget for a while.  Cheers! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think just being there is what has worked in the situations like this I have been involved in.  My wife put together a nice montage of photos and a poem for a couple that lost their son as rememberance.  In another situation where a friend at work lost his daughter 8-yrs old to luekemia, being there for him worked at the time.  He enjoyed his work so working provided a way to think about something else he could do productive (more so after she passed away).  Another tribute was to sponsor and be a part of a team of friends for fundraisers for the pediatric hospital she was treated at.

 

Packer     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think just being there is what has worked in the situations like this I have been involved in.  My wife put together a nice montage of photos and a poem for a couple that lost their son as rememberance.  In another situation where a friend at work lost his daughter 8-yrs old to luekemia, being there for him worked at the time.  He enjoyed his work so working provided a way to think about something else he could do productive (more so after she passed away).  Another tribute was to sponsor and be a part of a team of friends for fundraisers for the pediatric hospital she was treated at.

 

Packer   

 

 

Yes.  Being there is the most important thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think just being there is what has worked in the situations like this I have been involved in.  My wife put together a nice montage of photos and a poem for a couple that lost their son as rememberance.  In another situation where a friend at work lost his daughter 8-yrs old to luekemia, being there for him worked at the time.  He enjoyed his work so working provided a way to think about something else he could do productive (more so after she passed away).  Another tribute was to sponsor and be a part of a team of friends for fundraisers for the pediatric hospital she was treated at.

 

Packer   

 

 

Yes.  Being there is the most important thing.

 

I agree.

Though, since 14value asked for some writing that might help his friend in such a time of sorrow and need, I attach a very brief tale by Lev Tolstoj. All his Christian short tales have both the simplicity and the power to let me put life in the right perspective, with all the meaning it truly deserves. I hope they will continue to do so, when my time of need and sorrow finally comes.

God bless you,

 

Giovanni

THE_THREE_QUESTIONS.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think just being there is what has worked in the situations like this I have been involved in.  My wife put together a nice montage of photos and a poem for a couple that lost their son as rememberance.  In another situation where a friend at work lost his daughter 8-yrs old to luekemia, being there for him worked at the time.  He enjoyed his work so working provided a way to think about something else he could do productive (more so after she passed away).  Another tribute was to sponsor and be a part of a team of friends for fundraisers for the pediatric hospital she was treated at.

 

Packer   

 

 

Yes.  Being there is the most important thing.

 

I agree.

Though, since 14value asked for some writing that might help his friend in such a time of sorrow and need, I attach a very brief tale by Lev Tolstoj. All his Christian short tales have both the simplicity and the power to let me put life in the right perspective, with all the meaning it truly deserves. I hope they will continue to do so, when my time of need and sorrow finally comes.

God bless you,

 

Giovanni

 

Thank you Giovanni.  You have blessed the start of my day by reminding me what is the most important thing.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a thought for the long term.

 

I don't have much to say that hasn't been said already about dealing with the time around the tragic death of a child. But I would like to throw this into the mix.

 

The pain doesn't go away in 3 month, 6 months or a year. My suggestion is that being the friend that you are that you be the one to remember the childs birthday and to come back and ask the mother and father how they are doing and just be there for them to talk some more about their child on the day that they will obviously remember but most others will forget. The Birthday and the anniversary of his death are 2 days where they will be reminded and the days that they will want to talk to someone about their child.

 

Be the friend who for years to come gives them the chance to talk about their child on the days they remember him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I said in my original post, I look to people I admire for answers and that is why I presented my question to the wonderful people on this board.  You guys are first class.

 

I know there is no silver bullet.  I also realize that this is something that one never gets over, you just get used to it. 

 

I sincerely appreciate all your thoughts and recommendations. 

 

All the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your post immediately brought this text to mind. Written from the point of view of parents in a strikingly similar situation. Perhaps it is better at helping others empathize? Anyway, for your consideration:

 

"Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his level-headed courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and, above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair. This deeply moving book is a father's memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy. "

 

http://www.amazon.com/Death-Be-Not-Proud-P-S/dp/0061230979/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361153550&sr=1-1&keywords=death+be+not+proud+by+john+gunther

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

I once read a research stating that most parents who lose a child will never be able to cope with it and in fact it gets worse over time, siblings will do better. 

 

After some years they might want to read How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.  It includes some good mental models and if I'm not mistaken at least one example of a parent who lost his children. It's worth a read anyhow.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...