Saturday, March 15, 2008

How Can I Support Her?

I did have a different topic to blog about tonight, but that one will be saved for another, happier day.

As I've mentioned before, I think, I'm the matron of honor (ok, maid of honor -- I'm not old enough to be a matron!) for a friend's wedding in May. I called her earlier today to see how things were going, and she mentioned that the other bridesmaid was supposed to help her write out invitations today but had called and told her that she had a family emergency and wouldn't be able to be there.

I finally got off the phone with the bride as hubby and I were about to walk into the restaurant for dinner, so I resolved to call the bridesmaid when we finished dinner. (My parents wanted to take the wee ones on a sleepover, so we used the gift certificate hubby gave me for Mothers Day last year.)

My cell rang as we were finishing dinner, so I muted it. I happened to glance at who was calling as I was silencing it and realized it was the bridesmaid calling me unsolicited. Needless to say, this broke my usual rule about talking on cell phones while with others.

She didn't sound upbeat, and it wasn't good news. Her brother has passed away, and she's in Connecticut right now emptying out his apartment (he lived alone) and making all the practical arrangements. Since it's the weekend, they can't even get to the medical examiner's office to see the body. They aren't certain what happened, but it was likely an accidental overdose.

I feel really helpless right now. I don't like not being able to do anything to help. Her daughter is with her ex-husband, so she's taken care of. She's in Connecticut, so I can't help there. I'll obviously be at the wake and funeral, once those are scheduled (fortunately for me, in Illinois). I want to offer to take her to dinner or something to take away some of her pain, but ... how?

This is the first time that someone I've been close to has lost someone important to them, especially in circumstances like this. I did volunteer to talk to the bride to break the news to her, so she had one less call to make (in fact, I just got off the phone with her), but what else is there? Other than "being there" for her, which is so nebulous, what helps?


My Semblance of Sanity March 15, 2008 at 10:21 PM  

Call a restaurant that delivers an is local to her and order dinner for her. Pay via credit card over the phone.

Michelle March 15, 2008 at 10:35 PM  

Thanks -- I like the proactiveness but unobtrusiveness of this one. Once she gets back in town, I'll definitely do this on a night I know she'll be home.

Much appreciated!

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