Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 27.07.2012, 11:52
herc82's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,625
Groaned at 10 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 975 Times in 605 Posts
herc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond repute
How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

Well, the sun is shining outside but my better half is sitting in hospital, as her father is in a bad condition right now. We don't know if he will make it past the weekend or even today, while still holding out some slim hopes for a recovery in the next few weeks. No need to go into the details of his health issues.. I can't influence any of that.

But how do I best help my GF? I have to admit, that I'm not much of a people person, rather introvert. She's the outgoing part of us..
Obviously she is suffering (and has been for a while) as his condition deteriorates and we do talk about it and what may or may not happen. But the longer it goes on, the less helpful I feel, it just doesn't do to hold her and tell her that everything will be alright (well I don't, we both know better).

How do I best help her in this time - simply be there to talk? Obviously.. but is there anything else one can do?

Sorry if this seems a bit aimless, but it does reflect my/our current state of mind, I guess.. Any helpful answers or pointers in the right directions will be appreciated!

Thanks
__________________
Nullus Anxietas - Oook
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 27.07.2012, 11:58
olygirl's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: d' Innerschwiiz
Posts: 6,675
Groaned at 304 Times in 209 Posts
Thanked 15,503 Times in 4,747 Posts
olygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved on overcome a close family death?

Just be there for her. Listen to her when she needs to talk. Hug her when she needs to feel love. Don't judge her when she gets emotional. And give her time.

Mourning takes time. Losing a loved one hurts but no one knows how it will affect them until it hits them personally.

It sounds like you're a compassionate, sensitive man. Be yourself and respond to her signals. You'll do just fine.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank olygirl for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 27.07.2012, 12:18
MusicChick's Avatar
modified, reprogrammed and doctored˛
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 16,272
Groaned at 343 Times in 237 Posts
Thanked 18,783 Times in 9,776 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved on overcome a close family death?

I think I would do a little bit more than what would feel ok for you, since you said you are introverted and she is not. I would initiate talking, reach out to comfort her, she might be exhausted to ask even though she might desperately need it. It is hard, even for an extroverted girl, sometimes, to ask for emotional support and we just expect people will sense we need it..So, even though most folks will tell you to go easy and not push, I would preventatively offer, tactfully, without waiting for her to say. Let her grieve while you overtake the couple planning and scheduling, distractions, cooking, cleaning, dinners, maybe if she feels like being read to, or going for a walk.. People sometimes give space out of decency and not wanting to crowd, but maybe it is not space she needs right now, but closeness, being able to lean on somebody, rely, being emotionally supported, feeling like you still have a pack with somebody, when your parent is leaving you..You know her the best, we can only guess. My thoughts to you both.
__________________
"L'homme ne peut pas remplacer son coeur avec sa tete, ni sa tete avec ses mains." J.H. Pestalozzi

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is a matter of depth.” S.P. Cadman

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." A. Einstein
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank MusicChick for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 27.07.2012, 16:25
suzybg's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Edinburgh/ Basel
Posts: 487
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 266 Times in 153 Posts
suzybg has earned the respect of manysuzybg has earned the respect of manysuzybg has earned the respect of many
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

When she's ready let her talk about him and tell you stories - that's the only way to keep people we love with us - by keeping the memories alive.

My father in law died suddenly a few months back. I know she probably hates to see her father suffer but at least she gets a chance to say goodbye so make sure she does say what she needs to say and has as much time with him as possible.

We weren't there when my father in law died and only got back a couple days after but I just let my husband have the time he needed with his family, helped them with the cooking, phone calls etc... And did help him with writing the memorial for the funeral, also helped the family gather pictures to make a collage for the funeral. It seemed to help everyone - looking at the photos, telling stories about when they were taken - and everyone at the funeral thought it was a beautiful memorial to him.

After the funeral I took some flowers from the arrangement we put on his coffin and dried them and arranged them in a glass lantern. My husband LOVES it - and it is a nice permanent memorial to have in the house.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank suzybg for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 27.07.2012, 22:09
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 847
Groaned at 27 Times in 19 Posts
Thanked 1,044 Times in 364 Posts
Panther has a reputation beyond reputePanther has a reputation beyond reputePanther has a reputation beyond reputePanther has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

I'm sorry that your gf has to say goodbye to her father. This must be an extremly difficult time for her and you.
My mom passed away very suddenly and i remember then that all i wanted wanted was to have my husband close to me. I didnt need to talk much, but i needed a figurative and literate pillar of strength.
love,light and strength to both of you.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Panther for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 08.08.2012, 15:44
herc82's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,625
Groaned at 10 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 975 Times in 605 Posts
herc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

Unfortunately, the time left was shorter than anticipated or feared. Yet we were able to share and listen to stories from the old days by now and can find solace in the fact that he lived his life to the full.

I am still trying to do what I can, which will take some time, but we are going in the right direction.

Thanks for your advice, it was and is much appreciated!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08.08.2012, 15:59
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Geneva and Nendaz
Posts: 1,063
Groaned at 8 Times in 6 Posts
Thanked 1,178 Times in 490 Posts
SuisseRomand has a reputation beyond reputeSuisseRomand has a reputation beyond reputeSuisseRomand has a reputation beyond reputeSuisseRomand has a reputation beyond reputeSuisseRomand has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

I'm sorry to read this thread. All my condolence to your gf's family.

Just be there for them. This is quite important now.

If it's ok for you, I will pray, as I always do in such time.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank SuisseRomand for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 08.08.2012, 17:41
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Baselland
Posts: 78
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 110 Times in 47 Posts
Martha has earned the respect of manyMartha has earned the respect of manyMartha has earned the respect of many
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

First of all, this is such a sad thing to happen to any family. A big hug to anyone out there suffering like this.

You have already been given great advice
From experience i can advise you to listen to her, talking helps allot, loads of hugs and TLC. If she wants to be alone, let her be, do not take it personally. Also if she is grumpy or sad, do not hold it against her.

But i can also tell you what not to do.
If she 1 day smiles, or seems normal, do not assume that its all over and forgotten. This is what some people around me did, it hurts even more. The pain stays for years and years, even if we do not show it.
Do not be surprised if seemingly out of the blue she breaks into tears, or turns from normal to sad, tiny things can bring back memories.
Also do not assume your GF will want to do something to take her mind of things (i was invited to go out dancing 2 weeks after losing my loved one so i could take my mind of things), she may not want to take her mind of things, ask her before doing anything like this.

I guess most of all, tell her you there for her, whatever she wants of feels like to ask and you will try your best, everyone grieves differently and not many people know how to handle a grieving person.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Martha for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 08.08.2012, 17:47
fduvall's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Used to be Zurich
Posts: 1,522
Groaned at 43 Times in 31 Posts
Thanked 1,472 Times in 705 Posts
fduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond reputefduvall has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

When my Father passed on Christmas Eve (suddenly) two years ago, we immediately went through almost 50 years of family pictures. Looking at all of these pics helped us to focus on the good memories and made things much easier for me. My Dad was 78 when he passed, so had a full life and raised two great kids ;-)

So good luck. You will never forget and there will always be a longing to see them again. But now I can smile about it and think that he would be proud and happy to see me and my family doing well...

fduvall
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank fduvall for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 08.08.2012, 17:51
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: -
Posts: 1,641
Groaned at 26 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 2,932 Times in 1,202 Posts
Russkov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

I never quite figured it out. Ultimately it's up to the person. Being present, kind, and caring seemed to have been enough, but it does leave you feeling slightly powerless and useless. Nothing you can say seems to help, and I like to work through and solve my lingering problems. It's like a project that you know will always be on your plate that isn't designed designed to be solved by you, but you better keep it on your plate and give it the proper respect. Saying nothing, being solemn, giving hugs, and not being judgemental when she cries gave the best results, but I couldn't help but be left thinking that there must be a better way to go about this, we just haven't figured it out yet because grief is such an emotional subject.

If she continues to have trouble, tell her to not hesitate to see a grief shrink. He did wonders, although that may have something to do with him being an outside presence. People in general lack patience with their close ones (just imagine how more polite you generally are with strangers than with family) and I think sometimes it translates to grief, where you don't take what people tell you to heart and just kind of go, "Yeah yeah yeah, they're just saying what they think will make me feel better." An objective opinion from a psychiatrist has led to several emotional revelations that made me say "that's great!" when in reality I was thinking, "Great, I told you the exact same thing like 20 times." Shrinks are also better trained at hitting the right buttons, so it might not be only that.

Anyway, good luck.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Russkov for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:28
herc82's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,625
Groaned at 10 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 975 Times in 605 Posts
herc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

Quote:
View Post
I never quite figured it out. Ultimately it's up to the person. Being present, kind, and caring seemed to have been enough, but it does leave you feeling slightly powerless and useless. Nothing you can say seems to help, and I like to work through and solve my lingering problems. It's like a project that you know will always be on your plate that isn't designed designed to be solved by you, but you better keep it on your plate and give it the proper respect. Saying nothing, being solemn, giving hugs, and not being judgemental when she cries gave the best results, but I couldn't help but be left thinking that there must be a better way to go about this, we just haven't figured it out yet because grief is such an emotional subject.
Thanks for that - you describe it a lot better than I can! Certainly does reflect the days since his passing and I do not expect this to change any time soon, but it is good to keep in mind, as these moments will pop up every now and then. It can be quite surprising when a trivial issue or subject arouses quite a reaction, only to realise a moment later that it is not this particular thing rather than a memory that has been resurfacing or having to face the fact, that this person will not appear round the corner as he used to..

And yes, going through pictures and talking to people that have known him since his young years definitely helps and does provide the odd anecdote to laugh and cry at the same time.

The healing has begun, but it will take time - there's no way to rush these things. It's listening and TLC for now..
__________________
Nullus Anxietas - Oook
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank herc82 for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:29
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: -
Posts: 1,641
Groaned at 26 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 2,932 Times in 1,202 Posts
Russkov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

Quote:
View Post
It's listening to TLC for now..
Don't go chasing waterfalls, man.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Russkov for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:19
Sky's Avatar
Sky Sky is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somewhere special far away
Posts: 4,170
Groaned at 60 Times in 43 Posts
Thanked 6,565 Times in 2,478 Posts
Sky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

May I suggest you pay careful attention to possible hidden grief ?

Not everybody cries at a funeral, some can cry inside and hold it together to help others and then break down afterwards when they are alone.
Sometimes grief comes later and there's a certain amount of delayed shock.
Sometimes grief expresses itself with reactions that you wouldn't necessarily expect, such as triggering a mid-life crisis.

I really do believe that everything does happen twice in life.. once when it happens, and the second time when you realize it has. In between there can be uncertainty and a lot of soul-searching.

Understanding your loved one, is the by far the nicest thing you can do.
__________________
.
"Il mondo č fatto a scale, chi le scende e chi le sale"
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Sky for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:31
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lenk im Simmental
Posts: 1,126
Groaned at 97 Times in 58 Posts
Thanked 750 Times in 404 Posts
Keith66 has earned the respect of manyKeith66 has earned the respect of manyKeith66 has earned the respect of many
Re: How best to help your loved one overcome a close family death?

Just be there for her. Talk to her when she wants to talk. It's not always easy but I'm sure you can do it because you sound as if you really care for her.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Keith66 for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
help! how to wash your clothes in hard water? giang Daily life 40 19.06.2012 12:31
How did you tell your loved ones you were moving to CH? kittycatcarlyle Other/general 42 26.05.2011 20:09
How does one reply to "America is the best country..." olygirl General off-topic 146 04.03.2011 18:09
HELP-How does one cope with your dog killed in an accident at the dog sitters ABM Pet corner 58 11.10.2009 21:38


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 17:38.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0