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How do I help a buddy who’s wife just died? Login/Join 
Stupid
Allergy
Picture of dry-fly
posted
I just got a text from a close friend of 30 some years, his wife died this AM. We’d been in touch daily and I was afraid this was coming. She was in the hospital with covid, she’d been on a vent for about a week.

Anyway, he gets withdrawn, closed off and can be hard to help when its needed. He has two young adult kids as well. I feel quite helpless, it seems like I need to be doing something but don’t know what. *I need suggestions please.* Flowers would be lost on them. We are going to take them some food tomorrow. He has already texted that he can’t talk….which I expected. I texted back saying to call me anytime and that I was here when needed. Confused

This message has been edited. Last edited by: dry-fly,


"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
 
Posts: 6274 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
No, not like
Bill Clinton
Picture of BigSwede
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quote:
We are going to take them some food tomorrow



Sounds like a plan

Just let him know you are there if he needs you, and then tell him again the next day


*********************
“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”
 
Posts: 3752 | Location: GA | Registered: September 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You're on the right track. Organize a group of folks to keep cooking meals...casseroles are good, one-dish meals. If he likes sports or a particular show, go over and just watch TV with him. Do things that he likes to do...it'll be just sheer diversion, but you never know what will cause him to open up.

Prayers to ya, buddy. Frown



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 8313 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Stupid
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Thank you guys


"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
 
Posts: 6274 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lawyers, Guns
and Money
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Sorry for your friend's loss.

Your friend's life will be a whirlwind of activity with funeral arrangements, beneficiary claims, etc. but that will only last for a couple of weeks. After that, boredom and not having someone to talk to can lead to depression. That's when he will need you, after things slow down.



"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 20179 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Funny Man
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There will be a flurry of well intentioned friends and family who want to help at first but over time they will get busy and resume their own lives. Be the guy that’s still there down the road checking in and helping out.


______________________________
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― John Wayne
 
Posts: 6953 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: June 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Good advice, after 60 years of marriage my mother passed a two years ago this November. Leaving my 83 year old father alone for the first time in decades.

Have to say I've never seen him that way, stay in touch, offer up some meals, take to lunch or to dinner, and get him out of the house, this is key, just text, check in, stop by, contact is key.

If he's having a service show up, it means a lot to people.



 
Posts: 17966 | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Take him some food, keep checking in on him. Expect some of those phone calls to be awkward 1 minute conversations. There isn't anything at all you can do to fix the "problem" of his wife dying, so just be genuine and available. Have empathy, not sympathy.




"The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did," said Ford, "it is."
"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them. They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards."
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard, then the wrong lizard might get in."
 
Posts: 3030 | Location: Two blocks from the Center of the Universe | Registered: December 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Stupid
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Thanks again for the advice folks, my dad died this last February… I guess 95% of the attention/assistance went to my mom so I’m kinda at a loss.


"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
 
Posts: 6274 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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quote:
Originally posted by TXJIM:
There will be a flurry of well intentioned friends and family who want to help at first but over time they will get busy and resume their own lives. Be the guy that’s still there down the road checking in and helping out.


This. Most people who suffer loss like this say the toughest time is 2 or 3 weeks in, when everyone else has gone on with their lives, but your house is still empty. That's when you need to be the guy.



"I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."

Captain William Mattingly at the Battle of Bulltown, West Virginia 1863
 
Posts: 11683 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fire begets Fire
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Being a buddy is all you need to do. You don’t even have to talk. You really can’t mess this up. Just show up. Go get a burger together if you’re hungry.





"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty."
~Robert A. Heinlein
 
Posts: 23214 | Location: Row 2F | Registered: February 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
high tides
Picture of old rugged cross
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Sorry to hear DF. Sounds like he is in close proximity to you. Just check on him. Spend time with him. Let him control any conversation. If he does not want to talk. Just be there for him.
I can only imagine he will go through a wide range of emotions. Let him. Just be there for him. Well wishes for you both.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 16430 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
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quote:
Originally posted by dry-fly:
I We are going to take them some food tomorrow.
Don't forget the beer!

Also, if there is an activity you both enjoy (e.g. shooting), get him to commit to a regular outing, say once a week/month, and then follow through on it. He will have to get out of his old routines anyway, and finding some new ones will help tremendously.
 
Posts: 4618 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Take him to the gun range.

No talking required. He'll get out of his head for a few minutes and have to focus on sending rounds downrange.

quote:
Originally posted by architect:
quote:
Originally posted by dry-fly:
I We are going to take them some food tomorrow.
Don't forget the beer!


---------------------------------------
It's like my brain's a tree and you're those little cookie elves.
 
Posts: 3159 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: February 26, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
high tides
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Come on guys. This guy does not need beer or guns at this point. For cry'in out loud. He just lost his wife. Lets use a bit of common sense please.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 16430 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
eh-TEE-oh-clez
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Edit: Sorry. I saw that he has two adult children. I read that he had two "young" children. The suggestions below are less pertinent as having two adult children means that (theoretically) some of the chores and whatnot will be handled by his children who will may step up in times of crisis

****
Set up a weekly cleaning service for him for the next 4-6 weeks.

Set up a meal delivery service for the next 4-6 weeks.

Hire a sitter for a mid week evening for the next 4-6 weeks. He'll need the time to take care of things around the house, paperwork, and for himself.

Most households with children barely keep it together with two fully functioning adults. He'll feel overwhelmed with the amount of work required to maintain "normalcy" for his kids while they adjust. Anything you can do to take up the slack regarding chores will probably have the most impact.
 
Posts: 12332 | Location: Orange County, California | Registered: May 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
eh-TEE-oh-clez
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Go to the gym with him.
 
Posts: 12332 | Location: Orange County, California | Registered: May 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There's some incidents where you need to force yourself upon them. You have to do it with a deft touch and it'll likely take many, many times of doing it but, they may be thankful in the end. Big thing is to allow him to grieve, 30-years is a long time, this is pretty recent so recognize the space he needs to process it all.

Bringing over meals is a good start. Engage with your buddy, he's without his love for the first time in 30-years. Later on, take him out for lunch, go fishing, bird watching, Sunday drive and meal, daily walk/hike, whatever...get some activity going so that he's not alone dwelling over this. After my grandfather passed away, my parents and relatives would take my grandmother on whatever trip they were planning: winter cabin getaway, wandering through casinos, weekend trips, cruise vacation.
 
Posts: 11928 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks once again, I knew I’d get get suggestions from the folks at SigForum. Just to clarify, his kids are young adults, like 19 and 23 I think. They are at home with him.


"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
 
Posts: 6274 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Have to agree, alcohol and guns are not a good solution.



 
Posts: 17966 | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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