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amazingme's avatar

What's a good thing to do to take someone's mind off of a death in their family?

Asked by amazingme (1855points) April 2nd, 2012

One of my best friend’s mother died this past week and I was wondering what might be some good things to do together to get her mind off it and get a mental vacation? I was thinking some museums in DC, but I’m not really sure. Thanks.

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11 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Are you sure that forgetting about it is what she needs right now, so soon? Maybe the thing to do is to take your cue from her: does she seem to want distraction or support? Does she need to talk?

The time right after a death can be an incredibly busy time for family members. Is she involved in making arrangements? Does she have to buy a dress for the funeral? Can you take her shopping?

Or maybe the best thing is to look ahead a few weeks, when all the formalities are past and the relatives have all left. That can be a very lonesome, abandoned-feeling time for a lot of people. Maybe then would be a really good time to show her you’re still there for her.

Ela's avatar

My mom died when I was 18. My best friend spent every single night with me for a month doing absolutely nothing. She would pick me up every night and we’d just drive around. She was just there for me. It’s hard to explain because she didn’t try to distract me or anything… she was just there.

Trillian's avatar

Second @Jeruba, taking her mind off her loss is not what needs to happen here. She needs time to process this.
Are you sure you are not experiencing discomfort of your own because this is someone else’s loss? It’s natural and completely ok to be uncomfortable and not sure what to say or how to act around her.
Maybe you could just let her know you’re there for her and let her make suggestions when she’s ready.

chyna's avatar

She doesn’t want to get her mind off of it. She wants to think of and remember her mom at this time.
You should just be there for her.

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @chyna I lost my dad when I was 18 and my biggest fear and I had two fears, one that I would never feel normal again and nothing would ever be normal, and the second was forgetting his hugs, his jokes, his everything. I could feel totally bummed and he would brighten my day. He always knew when something was off with me as well.
Your friend can either feel that you are feeling put out by her sadness and want her to get over it, or that your trying to hard to make right something she may feel will never be right.
Just imagine for a moment how you will feel is all of a sudden you lost a parent. Then magnify it by 10.
I know you mean well. You want to make her happy. Know that she will find happiness in her own time. She’s not looking for you to get her mind off it. If anything she may need you only to listen and lend a shoulder. By summer she may be more inclinded to join in some festivities but give her the time she needs. Right now she just needs close people by her side to help her through it.

filmfann's avatar

Don’t try to take her mind off it. Talk about good memories of her mom.

Dog's avatar

You might also try helping her memorialize her mom in a special way. Writing down what you remember of her mom or planting a tree somewhere- something that will live on and grow.

9doomedtodie's avatar

As @filmfann said talk about good memories of her mother. Maybe she was the most beloved person in her life. Be there. Have a look at these beautiful lines from one of MJ’s songs:

In Our Darkest Hour
In My Deepest Despair
Will You Still Care?
Will You Be There?
In My Trials
And My Tribulations
Through Our Doubts
And Frustrations
In My Violence
In My Turbulence
Through My Fear
And My Confessions
In My Anguish And My Pain
Through My Joy And My Sorrow
In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow
I’ll Never Let You Part
For You’re Always In My Heart.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

Just be there for her. Only she knows what she needs right now.

Tell her you’re thinking about her and wanted to know if she needs anything right now. Let her tell you what would help.

You can’t take her mind off it… she’ll have to work through this. She just needs to know her friends are there if she needs them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Just realize you can’t take her mind off it, but take her somewhere where there is a little activity or something soothing and let her veg out for a bit.

Paradox25's avatar

I don’t know the person in question, I’m aware that many people greive in their own ways and some people greive more than others but this is too soon in my opinion. I wouldn’t attempt to take her mind off of this at this point and I would wait at least a few months to even attempt something like this, especially with this being her mother of all people. Also most decent people do not forget about the death and memories of their loved ones via life. I would just keep it very simple with her such as maybe going to a restuarant, going for ice cream, eye shopping, etc. I wouldn’t push it too much however and I would allow her time to greive as well. Just let her know that you’re there for her, which is most important right now. Praying for somebody to a minimal degree doesn’t hurt either if that isn’t an issue for yourself.

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