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What Helped You?

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I'm new to this forum, but am impressed by the support you all give. Well done!

My mom died at 48, still not sure how. My dad died in his sleep 10 years later. Both times I noticed the same thing. Most of those around me wanted to help, but didn't really know what to do.

I am writing a book about this. My publisher needs the final copy in 8 weeks!

I was hoping some of you would share what helped and what didn't. Most of the book describes ways to help the grieving, but I'm also including a list of things you should never say. I mean, really. If one more person told me they knew exactly how I felt, I might have hurt them:)

Thanks so much.

-Alicia King

"The Grief Lady"



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My best support came from my "Befriender" from the church. A complete stranger, assigned by my priest, listened and listened some more. She asked questions about my spouse, like when I said I missed him, she asked what did I "miss the most?" She wanted to hear our story...the one I thought was lost forever. When I cried, she didn't change the subject or act uncomfortable, she encouraged me to let the tears come. She acknowledged how difficult it was. She brought chicken soup, tissue and tea with honey for my first "alone" cold. She made me laugh. She made me walk. She kept me talking for hours at a time. She understood when I saw "signs." She invited me to get involved in things I didn't think I could do. She never tried to "make" me feel better. She just did. Just knowing she was there, whenever I needed her was the best help of all. She understood, but it took a couple years to find out why she knew so well. I hope somehow I can return the favor.

Good luck to you,


PS...She never said she knew how I was feeling, but she did acknowledge that grief is really hard work, and there is no way around it, you must go through it. I was also really worn out from the sadness when I asked her if I would ever be funny again (because I used to be really funny.) She thought for a moment and said that she knew some really crabby people that had lost their spouse and they were still crabby. It was, hands down, the most encouraging thing I had ever heard!

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Oh my goodness, thank you! I can see coming here was a good idea. My first chapter is called, "Listen. Then Listen Some More".

From the trenches comes wisdom.

I'm so sorry for what you've had to go through (are going through), but how wonderful to have a guide like you have found.

As for your first "alone cold", that's just beautiful. Those firsts can be brutal. How loving of her to help you prepare for that.

Thank you so much. This is EXACTLY what I am looking for.

Who's next? :)

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What a marvelous idea! I want to know when your book comes out so I may purchase it. All I can give you is that people grieve in their own separate ways. There is no correct way to do it. Some people are in denial while others are okay with the situation or have come to terms with it.

With me, I have bottled everything up to my family and friends and have only expressed my feelings here. I don't want people to feel sorry for me or feel that I am vulnerable. I don't want people telling me that they are "sorry" I don't want people telling me anything about it. My dad is slowly dying from stage 4 non small cell lung cancer and I just want to deal with it by myself in private from my family/work/friends everything. I am not religious either so I don't want people telling me that he will be "in a better place" I am pretty sure if another person in my life tells me that I may scream.

Anyway, great idea. I hope that I have helped if even in a small way.


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I totally agree. There's no "one right way" to grieve. No one can decide for us, and sometimes it changes as it goes.

Thank you. Your comments are a helpful reminder that grief is intensely personal. We need to respect that.


P.S. I didn't enjoy the "He's in a better place" cliche either! I appreciate the intent, but......

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  • 2 weeks later...

My dad died of a heart-attack in Jan.I was very close to him.I talked to him everyday,numerous times.My mom and him divorced 20 years ago,and my mother couldnt stand him.The day before the funeral she told me he was in hell.She gets mad and rolls her eye's if I cry in front of her.She gets mad if I talk about him being still around.Tells me there is no life after death until christ comes back for the dead.I just don't think people should judge people that have lost someone close.They sometimes don't know what to think,and it's judgmental.People at work try not to look me in the eye,like they are scared to talk to me.It's very lonely in grief.I say, just talk to the person.Don't worry about bringing it up,and ruining their day.Their day is already ruined,and they already are thinking of their loved one.Talk to them...let them talk.I would like to say,if you work at a funeral home,try extra hard to be compassionate.It's work to you,but it's someones,dad,son,brother,etc.I know after my dad's funeral,safe around my fiance,brother,and some close friends,we told some silly stories of him,and we laughed.It felt so good to laugh.My dad was funny and always made me laugh,and to be able to laugh that night felt like a sweet moment,and tribute to the most special man.

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