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Jill_E's avatar

A longtime childhood friend's memorial is tomorrow. She sadly died of breast cancer after a long fight. What do I say/not say to her precious hubby, parents and brother in person?

Asked by Jill_E (885points) January 2nd, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

4 Answers

soundedfury's avatar

My experience is that you seldom find the words you are looking for. Best bet is to speak whatever is on your mind, try to celebrate her life rather than mourn her passing. Often it is the things that happen in the weeks and months after that leave the most lasting impact.

kevbo's avatar

I had the unfortunate experience of attending a high school classmate’s memorial. He also died of cancer in his early 30s. His mom asked me to read at the memorial mass, and I stayed with them. (I live out of town.) Mainly, I would say to just be very open to listening to her family. Share good memories of your time with your friend that point to her good qualities and honor her memory. Likely, they have done the bulk of their grieving and have accepted the reality of her departure, so don’t be scared of triggering an emotional meltdown. Laugh with them and enjoy the good memories of your friend, and be open to sticking around if it seems like they want you to stay. Focus on the fact that your friend made positive contributions to you and the people around her during her life.

My sincere condolences. I hope the memorial goes well.

Swair's avatar

I agree with Kevbo, sharing great memories is the best you can do.. Keep in mind that there are some people who just can’t take in the death of a loved one so soon.. So just try to keep the good memories alive and stay close to them..

mdy's avatar

This is a very late answer, but one of the things that my friend’s widow asked of his friends a few years ago (after he died of cancer) was to send whatever photos they had of her deceased husband so their still-young children can have more photos of their father.

Perhaps after the memorial service, you can compile a photo album (whether it be a physical album or via an online photo sharing site) containing photos of your friend that you’ve collected over the years. Since she is a long-time friend, you may have photos that her family do not have, but would be grateful to receive copies of.

My condolences to you.

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