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Thread: Very OT. Friend's Husband Died. No Memorial.

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  1. #1
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    Very OT. Friend's Husband Died. No Memorial.

    Sorry to be such a bummer topic but a co-worker's husband died of cancer and he did not want a memorial service etc. He will be cremated without services. My friend has no other family in the U.S. Most of them are in the Philipines. She is such a "light" to us all. What can we do for her besides keep her company and listen? Any ideas since there will not be a memorial service for her husband?

  2. #2
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    When I was young I remember telling my parents that I hated going to wakes and funerals and that when I died I didn't want there to be any services. They wisely informed me that the services were for those left behind who need a way to say goodbye - I've never forgotten that. The gathering of friends and loved ones helps those left behind know that they aren't alone, at a time when they really need to be reminded of that.

    I don't know if this will help or not, but we did this for a friend of mine when her mom died. You could gather a group of her friends together and have a tree-planting ceremony in honor of her husband. In her own yard, if she has one, or perhaps at a local park or school if that could be arranged.

    It's very nice of you to want to do something to comfort your friend. I hope you find the right way to help her in this time of pain and grief.

  3. #3
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    I tried to imagine what I would want if I ever lost DH...but I can't imaginre it so I'm no help. How horrible. I think it depends on what kind of a person she is but - maybe just drop in on her now and then to make sure she doesn't feel too lonely or fall into a depression - I know these are obvious but I just don't know what to say....

  4. #4
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    Maybe fix dinner and bring it over to her house and eat with her.

    When I was younger, I always thought it was strange that people brought food when someone died. But especially when my Grandpa died I saw how much the family truly appreciates the food. It's a time when you don't feel like cooking at all, but they still need to eat and take care of themselves. Since she's all alone now, I think it would also be nice for her to have company so she's not alone at meal times (at first).

  5. #5
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    The above are all good. Instead of a tree, it could be a park bench, almost anything. Caritable donations in his memory are also appropriate, but something meaningful and appropriate to them would be the best choice.

    When my MIL passed, she left similar wishes. The immediate family and one cousin gathered when the weather was more suiting to go to one of her favorite places to remember her and scatter the ashes. Something like that might suit her husbands wishes and fill the need of others to say goodbye as well.
    Last edited by Beth; 08-10-2001 at 10:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    It is indeed a sad time in her life, does she have any desires to return to where her family is for a visit? If so, maybe a collection to help her get there. But you seeem to be on the right path just wanting to help.

  7. #7
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    Why not a lunch in honor of X and her husband? Everyone bring some food, or else hold it at a restaurant - though your coworker/friend would probably prefer it not be terribly public.

    If you knew anything about her husband - things she mentioned, impressions you received - speak about them and say, somehow, how you feel for her and want her to know you're with her. All her friends/coworkers would do the same.

    I think a bouquet of flowers to her, or the presentation of a receipt for a donation in the departed's name to a cancer research center would be a good finishing touch.

    The benefits to this would be:
    1. She would have the ceremony and all its cathartic properties.
    2. At a difficult time, she would be assured of friendship (If she's nursed a husband through a terminal bout of cancer, she needs this)
    3. It helps all of you by giving you a way to help her.

    I hope al is soon well with her.
    Nothing in the history of mankind can foul things up quicker than a computer
    ......with the possible exception of tequila and handguns.
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
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    Thank you all so much for your ideas. My friend is so very special to myself and co-workers. We all will be making sure she isn't too lonely and will try to take turns staying with her once in a while to make this transition not as painful.
    She and especially her husband love the Mets. We are thinking of going to a game with her to celebrate his life. I am also going to ask her if we can make a donation to the Cancer Center at our hospital or another agency, association. We also could maybe take up a collection so she could go home to her Mom in the Philipines for a visit.

    Thanks again,

    Beth

  9. #9
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    jazzcat - I've been absent from the BB for awhile especially that the OT's have been moved...anyway

    I cannot imagine losing my wonderful DH.

    Recently, in our local paper "Dear Abby" posted letters from readers relating to this very question...there is a custom (unknown to me before now) of slipping money (cash or check) into a sympathy card and presenting/mailing it to the family...this could help with paying for unexpected costs associated with the loss or just helping with the monthly bills. Several of her readers commented on how this helped and was remembered fondly.

    Please pass this poem on to your friend for me..."May you cherish the memory of a very special life. Little by little, as we grieve for lost loved ones, we begin to remember not just that they died, but that they lived."

    I hope this helps...I have a lump in my throat from reading your post.

    Jean

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