Is it ever too late?

bowdoin514January 8, 2008

Hello all,

Need your opinion on something. I live in SC, my friend/co-worker from the past lives in PA. We are not super-close, mainly from the distance we live apart, states away. The last time I saw her was at my 18 yr. daughter's funeral, in June 2005. And anyone who has lost a child (I had lost a son in 1986 also, no surviviing children), wouldn't wish it on anyone. And any type of loss is unreplaceable. Anyhow....the worst has happened. She lost her youngest back in March 2007. Matthew was a year older than my daughter, 20, when he died, and they were friends. His body wasn't found until the end of May 2007, accidental drowning. What I would like your advice on is this: my husband is saying that it is way too late to send flowers, cards, etc. I say it is NEVER too late. I only just now found out. I don't want to set his mother backwards in her healing process, but I am still reeling from the news. I feel closer now than ever, since we are both grieving mothers. Also, my husband is not my daughter's dad, he was her step-father, and at times, I feel as though he just doesn't "get it", understanding losses. Thanks for all advice. You guys are super!

Emma in SC

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In my opinion, it is never too late. I lost my son and granddaughter 4 1/2 years ago, and I am still open to people saying "I'm sorry" or "How are you doing?" 2 years after my son's death, a jr. high classmate of his wrote me a kind letter and made a donation to the charity we had selected. I was touched. The other thing is that your friend will now know that you know. One of the hardest parts for my husband and me was to have to recount the events for those who had not heard. Anything you would have done immediately after is appropriate now, in my opinion.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:17AM
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Hi Emma. I also lost a son years ago. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

It's never too late to acknowledge your friend's loss. You know what is right. Do it.

I've said this before on this forum - Some days I forget that I am a widower. I remember my late son everyday.

No disrespect intended but your hubby does not get it.

Best wishes,

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:20AM
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I thank you both for your advice, and I am very sorry for all your losses. You were both thinking just as I was, and now I feel more confident that I am correct in my actions....I have talked to my friend on the phone, sent flowers and have a card on the way. I will try to keep up the contact more often. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 1:53PM
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Hi Emma,

HeavensÂit's never too late. It's been six years since I lost my daughter Jill, and every time I hear some remember her, always with great fondness, it makes me feel good.

My advice is to write something from the heart. Trust me, you won't set back her healing process. You may strengthen it.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 5:24PM
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You knew in your heart it was the right thing to do, Emma. I'm so glad you went ahead.

It is never too late.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 11:42PM
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I think remembrances are always appropriate regardless of the passage of time.

I think people appreciate "true stories", too.

None of us knows everything our loved ones did, none of knows how much our own loved ones meant to someone else.

It must have been 6 months after my 92-year-old aunt died when I gave her daughters copies of some things I had written, just little stories & vignettes, things that Aunt Lillie had told me, things that I remembered, things that happened when I was there & they were in school or somewhere.

It meant a lot to them.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 9:33PM
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I suppose I'm a little different. When my daughter passed on August 6th, 2005 the last thing I wanted to hear was that people were sorry or that she was in a better place or to see that look of sympathy cross their faces. I still don't.

Eight months after a funeral, in my opinion is a little late to be sending flowers or feeling closer than ever because you're a grieving mother. As you well know losing a child turns your world upside down. I've heard it described as the sensation of falling off a cliff knowing that there are sharp rocks at the bottom, praying you'll die and knowing you won't and that you'll suffer every day for the rest of your life.

Imagine how this woman is feeling! Her son was missing for over 3 months! I don't know if she knew that he'd fallen in the water, or if she thought he'd been kidnapped, if he'd ran off, if he'd been murdered and buried, what. All she knew was that he wasn't there and I'm sure she was half-crazy looking for him. Me-I panic if my son walks off in the grocery store, I can't imagine not knowing where he is for over 3 months. I'm sure she went through trying to convince herself that he was alive, then convincing herself that someone had taken him, or he was sick or hurt, or a million other things before they finally found his body and sent her delusions and hope straight out the window with a phone call.

Personally, I wouldn't dredge up her pain. It's been almost 9 months since the funeral, maybe she's ok with it, or maybe she's still recovering and fragile. You can't know.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 4:57PM
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As the others said, it's never too late. I'm positive that she would welcome any kind of condolence gesture. She is still very, very fresh with her grief. I don't think that any communication from you would make set her back. I remember after my 19 year old daughter left us, the first couple of years were a blur. When we lost my 19 year old daughter, I welcomed anyone who knew what I was feeling to come around or call. There is a strong bond there. It's a club that no one wants to be in, but each member is very special to me.
I would say don't hesitate for another second to contact her.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christin Cosby Memorial Website

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 11:07PM
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I respect your position, hecallsmemom, and you certainly know first hand about this sort of grief. However, I think that letting a friend know that you know is important, and in my opinion, there's nothing to "dredge up." My son and granddaughter have been gone over 4 1/2 years, and there's not a second that goes by that I'm not aware, on some level, of their absence. Some things are more poignant than others, but having a friend talk to me about them or ask me about them is always welcome, even if it brings tears to my eyes. I'm so glad the OP chose to get in touch.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 2:03PM
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I told my boys, that I would NEVER want them to not talk about their Grandmother to me.. To me, it would be horrible to think that her memory would be shut down because of my grief and sorrow... Send the flowers...

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." LOTR

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 1:17AM
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