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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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My Friend's Situation - July 13th 2013, 08:41 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of death or grieving, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

After what has unfolded in the past 24 hours, I feel like I need to get this off my chest right now at 1:30 in the morning. I met this great, outgoing guy probably 8 months ago over an online game. We soon became very close friends. I knew something was really bothering him over the past few days, so when I was video chatting with him earlier, I asked him if he needed to talk to me about something. That's when he broke down into tears. He told me his mother had late stage cancer and was probably going to die in a few months and that his girlfriend was involved in a severe car accident and was fighting for her life in a hospital. I was at a loss for words. After about 5 minutes of crying, he told me that he needed to go calm down, and we stopped chatting. Needless to say, I am very bothered and worried by this recent turn of events. I'm not sure how I should respond to him after this latest turn of events. I really need advice on how I should talk to him about his mother and girlfriend.




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Re: My Friend's Situation - July 13th 2013, 09:47 AM

Basically tell him that you're there for him. That he can talk to you whenever he needs about anything. That you're sorry to hear about his mother and girlfriend and hoping that his gf pulls through.
   
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Re: My Friend's Situation - July 13th 2013, 09:43 PM

His girlfriend didn't pull through. There isn't much I can do but comfort him through this difficult time.




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Re: My Friend's Situation - July 14th 2013, 10:06 PM

My condolences to your friend. He's certainly going through a lot right now, and while many of us wish we could wave magic wands and make everyone's pain go away, that's simply not possible. All you can do is be there for him. If he needs space, give it to him. If he needs to cry, scream, curse, etc. be there for him. It may help to educate yourself about what can be expected during the grief process, so that when your friend behaves a certain way, you won't be thrown completely off-guard. We have a short article about the many faces of grief, which can be viewed here. There's also a TON of literature for teens who are grieving. I personally recommend The Grieving Teen : A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends. I've been reading through this book, and it answers so many practical questions for the person who is grieving. Let your friend know that you are there for him, and that help is available to him and his family members.






   
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Re: My Friend's Situation - July 14th 2013, 11:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSY View Post
My condolences to your friend. He's certainly going through a lot right now, and while many of us wish we could wave magic wands and make everyone's pain go away, that's simply not possible. All you can do is be there for him. If he needs space, give it to him. If he needs to cry, scream, curse, etc. be there for him. It may help to educate yourself about what can be expected during the grief process, so that when your friend behaves a certain way, you won't be thrown completely off-guard. We have a short article about the many faces of grief, which can be viewed here. There's also a TON of literature for teens who are grieving. I personally recommend The Grieving Teen : A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends. I've been reading through this book, and it answers so many practical questions for the person who is grieving. Let your friend know that you are there for him, and that help is available to him and his family members.
Problem is, his girlfriend was the last person there for him. His mom is on her deathbed and his dad is either passed out somewhere or in a bar. He's already tried to kill himself once now. I'm the only person he can talk to now.




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Re: My Friend's Situation - July 15th 2013, 02:05 AM

With all due respect, that doesn't (and shouldn't) have to be the case. Clearly, there have been a few things going on for a while now, both internally (the suicidality) and externally (the family dynamics). You have been a wonderful friend to him, and I encourage you to continue being that wonderful friend; however, as his friend, I also urge you to encourage him to seek help elsewhere. Bereavement counseling could be a great starting point. If his mom is receiving treatment from a hospital, hospice, etc. then your friend can receive referrals to individuals and/or agencies that offer bereavement counseling (where I work, family members and friends of hospice patients can receive one year of free counseling following the death of their loved one). If your friend is a minor, then he can call child protective services and tell a social worker about his situation. Your friend doesn't have to rely solely on you for help during this very difficult time, and you shouldn't have to bear the burden of being responsible for his well-being. That will almost certainly lead to you feeling worn out, and therefore unable to be as supportive for your friend as you would like to be.






   
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