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How can I help?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Please give me suggestions on what I should do to help a woman who lost her husband to suicide. She is very fine financially. She has a 10 yo ds and a 7 yo DD. She and I are not "close," or at least, haven't been in the past, but I am a teacher of one of her children and *want* to reach out. Can't think of any ideas besides telling her I'm thinking of her and to tell me if there's anything I can do...
post #2 of 3
I am not exactly what I can offer but here goes.

I am in the middle of writing my letter for a National Certification for one of my children's teachers. She has looped with us, my youngest son Ian.

My husband died 24 months ago at 36 very very suddenly and sadly to a "twice missed" bi-polar diagnosis that spiraled downhill with a substance cocaine addiction. To date, we have continued to be told it was accidental but I am not always rock certain of that since I had the last conversation with him.

Our Son Ian was 4 in preschool, William was 6 in 1st at a Propel Charter school here in PA. My dd was 15 at the time.

Ian totally went off the charts for a while. I strongly feel that Mrs. Schoor his Kindy and 1st grade teacher was an incredible asset to not only in helping Ian feel safe and stable but in helping our home in general. Having HIM come to a safe place of doing ok helped our overall circumstances at home that really fell to pieces for some time with one crisis after another.

I don't know that you can actually do something in particular for the mom personally, but indirectly helping her child stay as stable as possible is a priceless gift to the family IME.

I am a child of a parent who died of complication of a direct suicidal attempt. I am grateful for the stability of some of my teachers in my life who at my delicate age of 5 helped me through.

Wishing Peace to the family and those like yourself directly impacted. HUG
post #3 of 3
Everyone always says "call me if there is anything I can do". No one ever calls to say "come over so I can yell/cry/discuss the painful unfairness of it all to someone besides my closet wall". I think it is hard if you aren't close to her already, but I'd think of something to do with her - maybe walk around the lake, something like that? then suggest it to her with a specific day in mind. You could renegotiate day if it didn't work for her, but if you don't have a specific place/day, it is too easy to decline politely.

So many people avoid you in situations like this. I think just having someone to go get a coffee with might be a nice break for her. Just regular things that all of a sudden fall off your social calendar because people are afraid of making you cry.

If you knew her better, I'd suggest doing the chore that he did - pull the garbage cans to the curb on Thursday night, or whatever it may be. Because taking over those things that were "his" might be really hard emotionally.

It is nice of you to want to help her. I think a note with a personal memory of her dh (if you knew him/have one) is a really nice touch - instead of just signing your name to a sympathy card.
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