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Honored Advisor

Need advice

A good buddy from my stint in nursing school has just lost his partner...long battle with leukemia, very touching to see their devotion. I really ought to attend the funeral on Thursday, but I am not able to handle funeral services, since Jenna's passing.

We did go to Mike's cousin's service this winter. I just couldn't stop crying, and I just kept wanting it to be over. It took quite awhile to compose myself, so we could speak to his siblings and widow.

Although we both been close to this guy in high school, it was not such a close relationship since we had all gotten grown. My reaction was way out of proportion to how I actually felt about him.

It was just too hard. I stayed depressed for quite a while afterwards. I really cannot afford, either emotionally or for all that my family needs me to do now and coming up soon, to be in a condition any less that my best.

I don't think I am up to another funeral so soon. I really love this friend, but just cannot even contemplate sitting through the songs, the Scriptures, none of it. I know it is supposed to be comforting, but I just went through it, and it was not.

I want to acknowledge this passing, but cannot confront the social situation. I think I would just make my friend feel worse, and might really drag my own spirits down that dark rathole.

Given this set of circumstances, what is the best way to support my friend right now, or in days to come?
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9 Replies
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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

Oh Kay I feel for you and so understand your quandary

You know when my daughter died I found the people that were not in my immediate social circle that took the time to come by the house just to see how I was doing after the funeral meant a lot to me.  And there were quite a few that did.  Let me know they really understood the magnitude of my loss.  And in the wonderful community we lived in there were people dropping by for several weeks.

I haven't got a clue who was and who wasn't at the funeral (I would have to look at the quest book) and it was a huge attendance, but I remember those people distinctly.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

Do not attend.  Maybe send flowers? Sent a note later explaining if you feel that is needed or visit the friend. It seems different communities handle funerals and visitations differently.

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Contributor

Re: Need advice

We have a pastor in our community that conduts funerals as if they were a graduation ceremony.  Graduating from this life to the next.  Helps the greiving process and becomes more of a joyous celebration.

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Advisor

Re: Need advice

I say don't attend. Send flowers as a symbol that you are "present" in spirit. Then, a couple of weeks later, arrange a visit with your friend. Bring some cookies. Take him to lunch or dinner if you can. Your support in the weeks that follow will really mean a lot. Good luck with your decision.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Need advice

The funeral of Mike's cousin a few weeks back, even though he was only 62 ( barely, like a day or two before he died) was more delbratory. The Masonic rites were performed,and the minister was very uplifting.

I kept getting more snd more emotional even with Mike holding my hand tightly. I kept stifling the impulse to stand up and just shout, " Please shut up!"

It just went on and on, and I was crying, and it took a long time outside...my heart was just not in the right place. My mind wasn't in the right frame for honoring Gary. I just shoudn't have gone...I guess I was still numb at my father's funeral, less than seven months after Jenna passed, although I lost it when our family doctor, who had attended her, came through the line at visitation.

It wouldn't bother me so much, except I love Paul so much as a good friend. I really didn't know his partner that well, so being upset at his funeral would just be too weird.

Thanks for weighing in. I had sent some money when he was having his marrow transplant. I know that helped. I may send some again, to help Paul with funeral expenses and incidentals, along with a note explaining my absence. There aren't very many people I hug and kiss on the cheeks when I see them, but he is certainly one of those precious few.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

Your reactions were normal.  This brought back my reaction at my uncle's funeral a few years after my dad's. I began crying and had to leave in the middle of the service. Then several years later my best friends dad died and I was in the kitchen area talking to the family and started crying.  I did not understand it at the time because I did not know their dad well.  Now I can see it more clearly. I was almost sixteen when my dad died suddenly.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

Kay,  Do they have a visitation where you can just come and go on your own timeline? 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Need advice

None was mentioned. The service was listed as a memorial, so maybe not exactly a funeral...anyway, I woke up with flu-like GI problems this morning, and it has gotten worse throughout the day. I wouldn't have been able to go, even if I had felt more emotionally prepared to do so.

Just now getting my act together to try gingerale again.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

Don't attend.  Send flowers or some momento.  I recently sent a small Willow Tree that the florist put with a dried centerpiece arrangement and my cousin loved it.  She said she changed it out for the holiday.  Then call or maybe take your friend to lunch or something.  It's difficult to get out alone when you're used to having a partner.

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