Topic

Need help offering emotional support

This girl I've been facebook friends with for quite awhile is hurting real bad cause her mother who abandoned her when she was 6, and hasnt seen since then (shes 15 now) got stabbed and died in jail a few days ago. I'm hurting so bad for her and I'm trying to be there for her but I have no idea what to say. Anyone have any ideas pls?

Posted 7 years ago by Polly Nomial Subscriber! | Permalink

Replies

  • I think the biggest thing you could focus on is just being there for her and being available to listen nonjudgmentally if she needs to talk.  Depending on your closeness with her you could do things like make a little care package of her favorite candies* or a (um, what's the nowadays term for a mix tape?) collection of happy songs in a style she likes.  If the two of you are spiritual it can be a great comfort to have someone pray for you when you're in a tough time. It might be good for you to do these things on your own initiative if you can as people who are grieving might not know how to respond to a "let me know how I can help" type of offer.

    *which might not work if you don't see each other in person, but stuff like this except for an internet format
    Posted 7 years ago by diaveborn ? Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Sometimes the best help you can give is a simple "I care about you" and that you can offer to listen.

    I know this can be hard on the person giving the support too so make sure you have a way to relax and be supported as you try to help your friend. If you truely find yourself out of your depth, worried or uncomfortable with your friends predicament, seek advice from one of your trusted friends, do not feel bad that you may not have the answers for her, feel good that you are willing to search for answers/help for your friend when she maybe is unable/unwilling to.

    A caring heart is a treasure beyond price Molly, she is lucky to have a friend like you.
    Posted 7 years ago by Faereluth Subscriber! | Permalink
  • This is very kind of you Molly - most people just back away and stay silent (not in disrespect, but in fear of saying the wrong thing).

    Ask her about her memories of her mom, what she thinks will happen know, why she thinks she is so sad.  Does she regret not having a relationship with her mom?  Did she hope that one day they would reconcile and be friends?    Make sure she knows she does not have to answer, but be willing to listen if she wants to "talk" to someone.  Don't be afraid of reminding her about the loss - she is already thinking about it all of the time.

    Do not try to cheer her up - only time can help that for now.  If she is still unable to get on with her life in a few weeks, you could suggest a support group.  They are available almost everywhere.  Her doctor or the chaplain at a local hospital can recommend one.

    Mostly, as stated above, just be there for her and be willing to listen - make it easy for her to talk if she wants to.  Check on her several times each day - and keep doing that, not just for today or tomorrow but for weeks.  Having been through this myself, there is an outpouring of help and love the first few days, but then it tapers off as others want to get on with their lives and not be reminded of the fragility of life.  Soon, it  becomes easy to retreat into silent grief and start a cycle of self destruction.   That is when true friends show their colors.
    Posted 7 years ago by Kookaburra Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Thank you for the replies and tips, the one that really hit me was the don't try to cheer her up. I think thats what I try to do and now I know not to. Thank you everyone!! 
    Posted 7 years ago by Polly Nomial Subscriber! | Permalink