unrelated

The mother of a friend of mine from high school (K) died earlier this year. K and I weren’t very close, and now I live on the other side of the world, so I didn’t even know about it until recently. A mutual friend, R, is close to both K and me. She had told me around Christmas that K’s mom was ill with cancer and that K was very worried about it. So when my dad told me he’d seen K at the cemetery, it was easy to guess what had happened (and unfortunately the guess was right).

R is a very kind and caring person. She’s one of the few people in real life that I actually talked about our infertility with. She has only had surprise pregnancies herself (but rough ones, thanks to HG) and yet was more understanding than many other people. When my mom died a few years ago she sent me a thoughtful handwritten card.

I want to write to K. It may be half a year later, but for her things may not have moved on as they do for the rest of the world. They certainly didn’t for me.
And yet, although one might say I “have been there”, I don’t know what to write except that I’m so very sorry. Perhaps because this is such a personal journey, finding your feet again after a loss. Perhaps because our family situation has clearly changed for the worse (sort of complicated, I may leave this for another post) that I don’t feel I have much of an encouraging story to share. And I’m not even sure if encouraging would be the right thing to say at this point – it doesn’t make the loss weight any less.
Suggestions, dear readers?

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9 thoughts on “unrelated

  1. I agree that anything at all is great. Maybe think about the things that brought you comfort after your mom’s passing? I got letters from old friends of my dad’s, and it was just nice to have people NOTICE. My own friends, actually, were totally crappy about it. I don’t think any of them did anything, and now that I think of it, that kind of sucked. SO! I think it would be lovely of you to write her something, anything, from the heart.

    Which makes me realize that I need to do the same, as I just learned a semi-friend’s dad died a while ago…

  2. I posted up above and put my PW in as my name…eeeks…made sure I changed it but wanted to let you know that newman is not posting comments on your blog :) It’s just Jen.

  3. I’m sorry that you lost your mom, CC. And that your friend lost her mom, and that you now get to revisit this loss through hers.
    I agree with what others wrote here. I think when one looses someone they love very much, offering encouragement is not the right way to meet them where they are at. In my opinion, it’s much better to acknowledge their loss and their pain instead. And in the case of your friend K, you sadly know a lot about how difficult this must be.

  4. Honestly, I think it’s never a bad idea to reach out to someone, even if you don’t know them very well or it’s been a while. And actually, I’ll bet K will appreciate your note even more now that time has passed and most people will have stopped checking in with her. You don’t have to say much — just let her know you’re thinking of her and that you’ve been through this and would be more than happy to lend support or simply catch up over the phone or whatever. My husband’s mother died from cancer when he was 19; then a few years later, my own mother was diagnosed with cancer and he was really great in just letting me know he was there (we were still only friends at the time, not together romantically!). But it made a difference to me that he’d been in my position and knew what it felt like to watch a parent go through these treatments and be in hospital and so forth…

    Long story short, both of you will feel better if you make this effort — even if it’s just a simple “thinking of you” email…

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