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What to say to someone whose father is dying!!


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

Old 12th January 2004, 10:03 PM   #1
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What to say to someone whose father is dying!!

My ex girlfriend's father is dying of cancer and he only has a few day s to live. How do you help someone get through all this, and what can you do to brighten there days. My ex still means the world to me and I hate to see her at anytime upset and unhappy. I know I can t do anything but pray for her father, but how can I help her cope? She is an amazing person but she always keeps her emotiions in and hides from things. I am one of the only people that she will open up too. I just need some advice on things I can say to her and ways that I can act around her that will help to brighten her up. If anyone can guide me that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12th January 2004, 10:20 PM   #2
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all you can do is offer her your support and condolences after her father dies, just be there to listen to her if she wants that and offer help for any chores that occur when a person dies, i know this is all i wanted after my father died recently
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Old 12th January 2004, 10:20 PM   #3
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Listening helps more than talking.
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Old 12th January 2004, 10:24 PM   #4
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Ask her if there is anything you can do.Then say you'll always be there for her.

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Old 12th January 2004, 10:32 PM   #5
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You could ask about doing specific things, like whether you can give her a ride someplace or pick something up for her. Sometimes 'anything' is too broad and people can't think of an answer...
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Old 13th January 2004, 11:14 AM   #6
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"I'm so, so sorry about your dad. I wish I could do something to help, however tiny. Would you like me to take care of your dog so you can spend all your time with your family? No? Then can I take you out for lunch so you can tell me what you've been going through?"
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Old 13th January 2004, 12:48 PM   #7
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All good advice - I might add that you can offer to help her family too -- sometimes driving her mother or other family members somewhere so that she doesn't have to is helpful. Doing some of the things that she would normally do for others.
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Old 13th January 2004, 1:19 PM   #8
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Let her know that she and her family are in your thoughts and prayers (if you're the praying kind). And then simply just be for her.

Right now, she's trying to stay sane as she's coping with work, with family, with school, with all the emotions she's feeling, so any sense of normalcy you can provide will be greatly welcomed. If she wants to share things about her dad with you, gently encourage her. If she just wants to escape from all the things that are going on, help her get a way for a little while. If she looks like she could use a laugh, help her to remember that even in the midst of her grieving, it's still all right to smile and find joy in the little things.

Mostly, though, she's going to need a "safe" place to be while she makes sense of everything that's going on, especially because she's having to deal with other close family members who are grieving, too. Let her know that she has access to you when she needs it (or "kidnap" her for a long break if need be).

Errol has a good point in suggesting your services/help to her mother. I know when my mom died, a lot of our worring was about our dad, but a good friend of my parents' took charge of him, getting him out of the house and making sure he ate, took medicine, slept enough, etc., while my aunt helped with the practical things like picking out my mom's burial outfit because all of us kids lived out of town.

Even something simple like making sure her mother gets from point A to point B means a lot, because it's something she doesn't have to think about on top of dealing with her husband's dying.

you're a good friend to this family just by asking how to help.

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Old 13th January 2004, 8:10 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great advice guys it really helos to get a little direction. she is handling things pretty well right now and I know it wont hit her until things are completely gone. I just want to be there for her every step of the way. Its just my character I guess. Anyways thanks again!!
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