neighbor's son died

newhomeseekerMarch 23, 2009

My next door neighbors' 18 year old son passed away this weekend. He was killed in a car accident five minutes from his home. It was a one-vehicle accident during the early morning hours. Tragic. I do not know these neighbors well (didn't even know their son's name to be honest) Have lived next door to them for four years. I feel horrible that the only interaction I ever had with their son was yelling at him to stop shooting his bb gun at our house when they first moved in.

I can only imagine how heartbreaking it is to lose a child. My ex boyfriend (first love) was killed in a car accident when I was only 17 and he was 20. To this day, I still miss him and this happened 13 years ago. I know it is probably different when you lose your child. But I do know the pain never goes away, it just dulls over time.

I want to reach out to them somehow but am unsure what to do. I have thought about sending a card or flowers (but honestly, they wouldn't know me by name). My fiance thinks he should stop over and talk to them but I feel its a bad idea as they probably just want to be left alone and we've never really talked to them any other time (except when they first moved in, and to tell them their 14 year old son was shooting at our house). We live out in the country and people mostly keep to themselves. I didn't even know it was their son until I read about it in the paper and put two and two together. What should I do? If you've been through a similiar situation what did any of your neighbors do?

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I lost my son last Sep 2008. Because you have never really befriended the parents and you don't know their son's name, I think you should just send a sympathy card with your name and in parentheses write "your neighbor next door."

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Freezer food is always a nice gift. It depends on how involved you want to get. You could offer in your card that if they ever need anything, you're just a driveway away.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 11:13AM
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My thought is that people never follow up on the "if you need anything" offer;
they just don't take it seriously, it seems like a conventional politeness.

Just take over a casserole, in a dish with your name taped to it or in a dish that you won't mind not getting back (things are too confusing at times like this), & tell them you're sorry for their loss.

At that time, you might make the "call on me any time" offer in person.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:57PM
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My 21-year-old daughter died last month. Neighbors I had never met came with cards and food. Just this week a neighbor came with a present of plants for me from her preschooler. I am so grateful for the courage these people have had to express their sadness and support. I do not feel so alone in the world knowing that people care.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 7:46PM
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To jillsmom - please know that I am thinking of you - I hope you have people to rely on in weak moments; I think the people here will be a great help.

My boss & his wife lost their 27 year old daughter last weekend - cause unknown as yet, but the essense is that they have lost their child. I work very closely with him & I hope he & his wife can find a way to deal with it, and I hope they do reach out. I agree that this is a loss that will never heal.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:23PM
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When our son and granddaughter died I was struck by the kindnesses of people who were virtual strangers to me. While the "if I can ever do anything..." rarely gets people to ask you for things, I agree that a gift of food, cake, brownies, cookie, freezable casserole and a card would be nice. All you need to do is hand it to them. I would ask you to bring it in a disposable container and make sure they know it's not to be returned. Often returning creates a hardship in itself. The things that you will accomplish is having them know they have your sympathy and that you know what happened, saving them awkwardness should they ever casually run into you.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:10AM
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