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Any advice for someone dealing with fresh grief?


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Hello everybody:) I hope that you are all well and anticipating a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. 

I lost my mother about a year ago to cancer, and as I'm sure you all can relate, it was one of the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. I was 20 years old when she passed, and at the time of her death we had only been reconnected for about a year and a half after life had gotten between us for a bit. One of the hardest things about her passing was dealing with the guilt, and realizing that our relationship would never be what I wanted it to be. But enough about me...

My best friend lost her mother earlier this morning, and her relationship with her mother was very different than my relationship with my mother. They were best friends, talked on the phone every day, and were always in each other's lives. I want to give her as much support as possible, and because she doesn't know anyone else who has experienced what we have, I thought that I would reach out to you guys :

What is your best piece of advice for someone who has just lost their mother? 

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Hi Olivia ~ My best piece of advice is this: Take your cue from your best friend. Don't assume you know what she is thinking or feeling. Understand that there is nothing you can do to fix this for her. Your presence and your willingness to listen without judgment and to be there for her ~ in whatever way she needs you to be ~ matters more than anything.

I also encourage you to do some reading about what is normal in grief, so you'll understand better your friend's reactions and what you might do to support her.

You'll find lots of helpful resources listed here: Mother Loss: A List of Suggested Resources.

See especially For Millenials in Mourning, Grief Can Run Deep and In Grief: "Being There" for Someone in Mourning

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The article Marty posted is the one that came to my mind also, but here is another along those lines: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-help-someone-who-i_b_6331568

I do understand what you are saying about the loss of your own mom being different because mine had serious mental problems all her life that made all of our relationships with her a struggle.  I've made peace with it, knowing that the next time I see her, she will be made right.  It was being with her all those years that was the struggle, not that I didn't mourn her when the time came, but I also mourned what never was able to be.  So I can relate.

You are right to recognize that your friend's loss is different.  Sometimes it's hard for me to realize the magnitude of parental loss for others because my parents were so dysfunctional and failed royally as parents.  But I loved them anyway.  Still, I can relate because of other significant losses I've suffered in my life, death of my sweet husband and best friend, and death of my companion dog last year.  Each loss is as unique as the relationship.

You're a wonderful friend for wanting to be there for her, we need more people in the world like you!

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