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Thread: how to help support a friend through loss

  1. #1

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    Oct 2007
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    Unhappy how to help support a friend through loss

    i hope it's ok to post here: we need some advice: a friend who's 20 weeks pg with twins recently recieved the diagnosis that her babies have a fatal condition and will not survive to term/must be terminated - we all cried when we heard and tried to think what we could do to help support her, other than send flowers. she wanted us to know before we see her again, so she doesn't have to tell us herself and so we don't ask about the pregnancy in ignorance. she also asked that we not be awkward around her. I'm impressed that she took this approach, as we can get our own tears out of the way and get prepared by knowing a bit about the condition and about how to support someone through loss. That said, i haven't been able to find anything on thanoplastic dysphasia by googling it, but there's a lot of good personal advice about supporting someone through loss. but if anyone has any specific suggestions on what gestures of support they appreciated (or not) please let us know. thanks

    Last edited by xtml; February 11th, 2008 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2

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    What a wonderful friend you must be.

    My advice would be simply to acknowledge her loss, and to understand that this sort of pain does not dull quickly and that two little people have actually died. One day she may want to talk to you, and the next day she will ignore your calls but don't ever take it personally. Perhaps find out the names of her precious little babies and make a donation in their names to a foundation who does research into the condition they suffered.

    On a practical note, if you live close by, cook some of her favourite dinners and drop them over even offer to do laundry etc, but don't be offended if she doesn't accept your offer.

    Please let your friend know she is not alone in her pain.

    Take care
    Spring

  3. #3

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    xtml>>>

    I think its great that you are trying to help your friend through this.. i echo Springs suggestions on the cooking and offering to do small things for her, after a loss, our brains dont function normally for a while, and i am sure these small things may help her out a bit.

    Also definatley play it by ear abit, some days she may want distraction and to have one day when no one asks if she is ok, or brings up her loss and other days it may be all she wants to talk about, so just be prepared to really be there for her, and allow her to be selfish in her grief.

    If she does choose to name her angel babies, use their names when you talk about them, and really acknowledge them as little people.

    Also for future reference, remember her due dates, and the dates of her loss, like when she has found out she has to terminate, adn when she actually does because when these days come up again- especially her due date, she will remember, and it helps to know other people have remembered those days without having to be reminded.

    If she has already started to set up a nursery, perhaps offer to help her pack things away, or to be there with her when she does it, and to cry with her, or if she is not up to looking at things, offer to put them away for her in a safe place so when she is ready she knows where the things are and she can look at them when she is ready.

    I have noticed by your ticker that you have a new bub yourself... she may or may not be happy to see this bub, it will greatly depend on her feelings and perhaps whether she has spent much time with your bub before loosing her own, and this is about her, not about you... I can only tell you from my own experience, that after loosing my angels, the last thing in the world i wanted to see was someone elses new born. Also if the two of you had conversations of your babies growing up together and playing together etc, this may hurt her alot to see your bub with out her playmates. Again, please do not feel bad, its not that she wishes your bub was gone instead, it is just a painful reminder of what she isnt going to have when she thought she was, and it may take time for her to be ok, or she may be ok right away, as i dont her, i cant be certain, as i said, this is just from my own experience..

    A really nice gesture you could do if there are a few of you there wanting to show support, is to purchase a Star (or 2) and name them after her bubs, it may take some time to organise, but it would be a very special gift for her and her hubby to recieve on their babies due date. A gesture to know their angels will never be forgotten.

    As for the actual condition her babies have suffered, i am not aware of it, i would have suggested google, or maybe find a medical inq, site and keep trying. Good luck!

    Again, i say good on you for trying to find out how to help your friend through this unbeleivably horrid time.

    Take care
    StarBright

  4. #4

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    i can only echo what Spring and Starbright have said above, you are a good friend to try to step outside yourself to support her in her incredible grief. when you recognize that there is no way to heal her pain, and you can only sit and witness it and provide hugs and cry with her, that is when you will do the most for her. allow her to take the lead on what she needs and when. as said above, some days she may need to talk about her children and others she may need to scream in anger and others she may need to be alone in her grief. it is such a moment-to-moment situation where she will have little control over what she feels or needs. do recognize her children in some way, and send a lovely card with your feelings for her, and mention them by name if she does. you are a caring friend, and i am so sorry for your friend's devastating loss.

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