*Trigger Warning* Just found out through a 3rd-party that the sibling of one of my son’s friends took their own life

  1. I had a friend who's husband passed unexpectedly. We'd been neighbors but we moved an hour away. I showed up the next day and went grocery shopping. They were going to have people coming from out of town. I got paper plates, plastic silverware, napkins, toilet paper, muffins, cookies, small buns and a meat and cheese tray. Instead of asking her what you can do, give her some choices. "I'm so sorry. I would like to be of help. Do you need me to do grocery shopping, have Joey come play at our house, or do you have people that need to be picked up from the airport?" Just examples. Edit: Just remembered another friend offered to make phone calls to people. She loved that.

  2. I would even take out the “Do you need me to…”. If you feel comfortable, maybe phrase it as “I’d like to bring you groceries. What day works best for you and what do you need?” etc

  3. I love this. Even when people offer to help it can still be difficult to take up their offer because you don’t know what the other person is comfortable doing. Having options given upfront is super nice.

  4. This is the way. Totally different situation, but when my son was born I was super uncomfortable with asking for any help, my friends and family would text ‘what can we do to help?’ Or ‘do you want me to go to the store and grab you anything?’ And i felt like I couldn’t say yes - one friend texted and said ‘I made you dinner, I’m dropping it off on your doorstep in 20 minutes, I’m not coming inside so don’t worry about the house’. It was amazing and took any pressure off of me because I didn’t have a choice to say no.

  5. One of my former coworkers who lost her son said something once that I've really held onto. Something like...people always say they can't imagine my grief. Well, try. Try to imagine it. And think of something else to say.

  6. Having experienced my own tragedy, the “I can’t imagine” hurts so much. You can imagine, and it sucks. It’s that you don’t want to imagine.

  7. Thank you for this suggestion and for sharing your personal story with me, and the rest of the people on this thread. I would love to have her son over to my house to play with my son. As another commenter suggested, I also need to talk to my son.

  8. My brother died in my teens. A friend picked me up from my house and took me to McDonald’s so I could eat and talk in a calmer environment. It meant the world!

  9. Reach out and offer to help keep her other child (your son’s friend) busy as she goes through this difficult time. Ask if she’d like you to take the boys out? Keep her son overnight for a sleepover to give her time? Drive him to activities/camp he’s registered in to take a bit of load off her in the short term?

  10. This!! Plus the parents have to make arrangements and it's probably best that the siblings is not having to listen to it all. So nice of you to care and want to help.

  11. It’s an awful situation. Someone in my husband’s family died by suicide last month. It was an adult, but I feel like some of the gestures would be the same.

  12. Yes yes yes, please continue to reach out. That mama feels SO alone right now, I’m sure, but it gets lonelier when everyone else has moved on and you’re stuck wondering how to keep moving.

  13. I lost my brother to suicide, I lost a friend to suicide, and a client of mine also. One thing that is really really important if you choose to reach out is to say something along the lines of them not needing to respond to you. They might be overwhelmed or numb. I’m not sure how recent it was but definitely give them a few days to process before saying anything. Offering to help with their son, or bringing over food or groceries would be really considerate.

  14. I would reach out passively, like a text or sending a note or something. I know that seems impersonal, but it also doesn’t require her to give you a response like a phone call would.

  15. Husband died to suicide in my 20s. There is nothing anyone can say that helps, nothing. It's just a time in your life where you want the rest of the world to stop spinning and talking because your whole world has stopped. It sucks, there is not other way around it, you just have to get through it somehow.

  16. I hope you can extend immediate sorrow for them. If you have any old photos of their son, it might be good to share them. You could even ask others if they have any to pass on.

  17. One of my best friends dad committed suicide almost two years ago. We went to their house and I cleaned his room for him, took out their trash and my mom got food and dog food, utensils and we made sure the youngest (10) played with my brother and took them to fish. I definitely think offering for the friend would be a help. It was when that happened. I’m so sorry for everyone.

  18. The sympathy casserole is a common thing (which is definitely appreciated) but when I was going through something similar, someone brought a bunch of cut fruit and I thought that was kind. No prep, easy to eat, healthy. (No prep is the best part).

  19. I lost my brother (through terminal illness) when I was 8, and my other brother suddenly when he was 15 (I was 23). Send food and a note offering to help in any way you can if they need.

  20. When my dad passed away I was 19, my bro was 17, and the youngest were 12. It fucking sucked. Younger kids don’t understand. Something that helped was that my aunt and uncle took us shopping for clothes for the funeral so that my mom wouldn’t have to do so as she planned other things.

  21. Drop off essentials (household items think paper products), gift cards for meals out or instantcart membership and gift cards. You can offer to arrange to take your child’s friend for day trips with your family. People are often unable to ask for help in a time of great loss and grief.

  22. My cousin commuted suicide a few years ago and the best things that helped my aunt were just basic needs. Getting her food, reminding her to shower and eat things like that. You could try a cafe basket with basic things like snacks or self care things. I know you said you’re not close so maybe getting her groceries is a bit much but even doing a gift card could help. I’d give her a note saying you want to help and leave your info for her. Mental she’s going through a lot though so even just being physically there with her can be helpful.

  23. It is unbelievably terrible and absolutely a huge struggle for that family. Your son will probably be affected by his friend's grief, so even if you aren't able to directly help the family, help your son. He will be affected too. The kindness, compassion, and love you give to your son will spread and he could be able to and feel like he wants to help comfort his friend.

  24. A dear friend from high school lost her 21 year old son in a car accident. She said it was so hard that people waited weeks to say anything. She felt like people avoided them until they ran into them and couldn't avoid it.

  25. I would say they need space for now. Maybe just focus on explaining to your kid what happened? And how he might be supportive to his friend in the coming future.

  26. I lost my best friend to suicide and I just felt lost in the following weeks. However this website has lots of helpful info and resources:

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