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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?      Home login  
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 varinia
Joined: 1/1/2009
Msg: 9
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?Page 2 of 2    (1, 2)
I would probably put it down in writing, so that he's not put on the spot, like he would be in a conversation.

I would write how badly I felt about the situation, that I'm here for him and that I don't if there's anything that I can do to help him coping. That I want to be sensitive to his needs at this time, but don't know what exactly the best thing is for him, whether he'd prefer that I be like always and not mention it, give him more space and stay away, spend more time with him to offer a shoulder to lean on. And that it would really help me if he could give me an indication how I could best help him cope with the situation day by day. And that I care for him very much.
 howdyFriend
Joined: 7/16/2008
Msg: 10
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 1:37:29 PM
Remind him you are there for him. Help do little things like housework, laundry, etc. And for a while afterward too. When my fiancee passed away in December, I had trouble doing laundry, making my bed, getting out of bed, doing any housework at all. I still am having trouble getting up in the morning, even though I used to be a morning person. But all of the other stuff I have finally been able to handle (most of the time). I also went through a period where I didn't want to eat.

Once in a while (once a day or every other day) remind him you are there to talk to him if he wants/needs to. And it doesn't hurt to give hugs, just out of the blue.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 11
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the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 2:17:59 PM
Helen makes a good point. My daughter and I were cautious about approaching someone at church whose daughter is very ill. She was obviously having a bad day but I reminded my daughter that sometimes when you are holding it together and people are being overly solicitious it can be their undoing and you don't want to make things harder.
 sinlov
Joined: 2/25/2008
Msg: 12
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the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 3:05:10 PM
Wow! this is a Sad but Great post or do I say Great but Sad. I never know what to say, or if I am saying the right thing when it comes to these situations, so I am very interested in the comments of others.

Wouldn't a lot depend on where you were at before, I disagree with giving him the opt out option. (after all if he wants to leave he will anyway). Right?

Reading his ques and being there whenever he needs you seems to make sense. I would give him help in anyway. I would want to give him ..dishes chores cooking;; ..... But would spontaneously pooping over, bringing food, doing laundry, and dishes be too intrusive or not?? Especially if just yesterday he has told you he needs space. Texting everyday or every other day. (Is this too much for someone who wants space???)
Enquiring minds want to know. I have read other forums today that say men run when they see you in "relationship" mode, so I am curious as to what others think about this.

What would his other children think of this (after all, they are grieving too. Will they think you are coming to take the attention away from them. Are will they want guest in the home? I am just curious, what will they think? You can only know by reading his ques and the ques of his love ones still in the houselhold.

I like the idea of writing your feelings down, (you did so rather eloquently above) (smile) giving him space w/o opting out. Maybe after a visit, give him the note or card. Tell him to call when or if he needs you or that you will only call ???? times a week?
I don't know best of Luck! Hope I didn't ramble too much!!!!
 Tarnished_Knight
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 13
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the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 3:49:54 PM
Be of a servant heart during his time of need.
Bring food for him and his children.
Cook meals in his home for him and children.
Hugs.
Talk when he wants to talk.
Clean house for him.
These are all activities that need doing but are often hard to think about in the face of death. (Unless he is like me in that doing the mundane is helpful to escape)
Don't get between him and the other children, allow them to grieve in their family way.

TK
{it's not the same but I/We lost our first child at birth. It's a sickening}
 ForumFilly
Joined: 5/14/2008
Msg: 14
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 4:59:56 PM
Just be there for him. Let him take the lead in the frequency of seeing each other. He may want to be reclusive for a while or he may need to be in your company more frequently. No one knows but he. Talk to him and tell him that you care for him and ask if there is anything you can do to help him through this unimaginably difficult time.

I wouldn't cut ties with him. Maybe go into friend mode for a while. Comfort him, lend a shoulder and an ear. When I lost my husband, I needed my friends to surround me with love, and it may be the same for him.

You and he are both in my thoughts and prayers in this time of tragedy.
 2fuzy
Joined: 3/12/2006
Msg: 15
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 6:33:49 PM
As someone who has delt with this don't expect anything from him and don't try to read anything into what he does or doesn't do
Everyone deals with this in a different way some get angry and look for someone to blame it might be you try not to take it personal
beyond that there is not much I can say to help
 DeepLuv09
Joined: 7/24/2009
Msg: 16
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 10:14:16 PM
OP

Wow. I avoided reading this thread subconciously....grief even after you have been through it is always a daunting one to handle...

People grieve in very different ways. Your biggest task in this is figuring out the ways in which your man grieves. Some people like to be left alone, others like for someone to be there so that they can lean on them. If you have a fairly good connection with him you can figure that out via his physiological reactions. You can instinctively tell if someone wants you around or if they want you to leave, you feel it in your body especially if you are connected. I don't know how good you are into tuning into energies, its nothing more than just feeling the aura around you, a silent form of communication. When you are next to him try and be conscious of this energy, even in speech, be a little more observant with the flow, take cues from him. If he seems to want to talk, encourage him to talk gently. If he has an air of 'leave me alone" don't verbalize it. Just gently leave him alone with an unstated "I will be back". I don't know if you get me but this kind of communication works very well when you are dealing with someone undergoing trauma or grief. It takes off the burden of them having to verbalize their grief yet gives them relief in that they are understood.

All the best hun. Take it easy.
 LovelyM85
Joined: 7/25/2009
Msg: 17
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/6/2009 10:27:07 PM
I lost my Daughter 2 years ago, All you can do is be there for him, even if he just needs someone to listen... i lost countless friends when my daughter passed because " they didn't know what to say to me" totaly selfish in my book, I just needed people to talk to. So just be there. He'll thank u for it later. well thats all i got! good luck and god bless his son
 tekky_girl
Joined: 4/4/2009
Msg: 18
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the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/7/2009 4:40:45 AM
OPie, I am so sorry for your situation. I think you're handling it well and others have given, IMHO, good advice.

As far as what to say, a good friend told me when her husband died that she wanted to kill the next person who said, "I'm sorry" to her. Funny and understandable. "I cannot fathom your loss" works to me. Because I can't fathom the loss of a child.

People tend to say, "Let me know if there's anything I can do." In reality, the grieving person does not need the additional responsibility of letting anyone know anything. Rather, identify a need for him and just do it. Buy tickets to something for him and his other son to do together and clean his house while they're gone, for example.

FWIW, I suspect your dear friend would be blaming himself for what happened regardless. We do that as parents.

I wish you both peace.
 nplink777
Joined: 9/3/2006
Msg: 19
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/8/2009 7:55:34 AM
Been there...It will take time to heal his wounds. Don't force yourself to try to understand it might make it worse. Professional help maybe an answer..just be by him and if you feel he needs it, hey just tell him straight up.
 forest4thetrees
Joined: 10/5/2008
Msg: 20
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/16/2009 5:09:04 PM
Thanks for your perspective. I guess I just wanted to give him the option to do whatever he needed for himself, even if that was to pull away from me. And it was, for a while. Yesterday I took his younger kids for a few hours so he could get caught up on chores, and I've made dinner for him and the kids a few times too. Thanks again for taking the time to respond with your perspective.
 forest4thetrees
Joined: 10/5/2008
Msg: 21
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/16/2009 5:18:15 PM
Lonesomerick- I am so sorry for your loss (losses, actually), and so appreciative that you took the time to answer my post. I can more easily imagine your hell now that I've been through this, but I know I am still just on the outside, looking in through the windows of hell. And I have done what you've suggested, given him space but also let him know I will be there if/when he needs me. He does have good family and friends and three healthy kids, so he has a lot of support and love in his life, thank God. I hope you do too!
 Spence56
Joined: 6/30/2007
Msg: 22
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/16/2009 7:20:24 PM
I'm very sorry to hear about his loss. And by extension, your loss. I've buried two of my children and my dear wife. The thing about this is that while it's true that relationships survive this kind of tragedy, they do not necessarily survive unchanged.

Guilt is a powerful emotion. He will probably have traces of his sense of guilt the rest of his life. That's something you will both have to understand and live with. Hopefully, he will learn that there are two kinds of guilt. Meaningful guilt, where one realizes they are responsible for something and sincerely accept that responsibility and work to do whatever can be done to restore what was lost. Then there is irrational guilt. Where someone feel guilt for something they are not responsible for. That is probably the most terrible kind of guilt. It gets under the skin and burrows in like a cancer. For this kind of guilt, great patience on your part will be essential.

Your friend may eventually need some kind of professional help to get past this misery and be able to live his life, work, support himself and others, etc. Patience on your part is essential if you are interested in staying with this fellow.

I guess, what I would want is someone that lets me know that she wants to be with me even though I'm having difficulty. Even if you don't get to spend time with him, let him know you are thinking about him and want to be with him. Your caring for him will do a great deal to help him begin to rebuilt his sense of value. Extreme guilt destroys this sense of value, and when it reaches zero it can have terrible consequences.

I hope this helps..........well, it's what I think anyway.........
 forest4thetrees
Joined: 10/5/2008
Msg: 24
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/17/2009 1:36:25 PM
"I lost my Daughter 2 years ago, All you can do is be there for him, even if he just needs someone to listen... i lost countless friends when my daughter passed because " they didn't know what to say to me" totaly selfish in my book, I just needed people to talk to. So just be there. He'll thank u for it later. well thats all i got! good luck and god bless his son "

My heart goes our to you LovelyM85. I am very sorry for your loss and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I will keep you in my prayers and God Bless you.
 forest4thetrees
Joined: 10/5/2008
Msg: 25
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/17/2009 1:43:55 PM
Spence56- I am so sorry for your loss. I really appreciate your insight, thank you for taking the time to reply. I am so sorry you have become so knowlegable about grief, but I thank you for helping me to help my friend and myself (I've got some guilt too). My heart goes out to you!
 PANDA423
Joined: 6/10/2009
Msg: 26
the man I am dating just lost his son, how can I help?
Posted: 8/17/2009 7:42:06 PM
I'm so sorry for your friends loss as well as your own. The best thing you can do is just wait it out. He doesn't even know right now what he wants or needs. This is a long process - I know - I lost my daughter tragically almost 3 years ago and there was just nothing anyone could do. All you can do is let him know you're there and will be for as long as he needs, but honestly, I didn't speak with many people for months. He will probably be angry and distant and all sorts of other things - do not take it personally - as hard as that may be to do. Hopefully he can get through this, but really the best thing you can do is stand silently beside him. If he wants to talk, talk - if he doesn't, don't push it. There are no words to describe what he's feeling and there are no words you can offer to help. He will tell you what he needs when he's ready. He will be numb for quite some time, but hopefully he will come alive again. If you love him and can do this, and it will be hard for you, you may end up helping him and cementing a very solid relationship. Whatever you do - and this goes for everyone who may know someone who has lost a child - never tell a parent that their dead child is in a better place - never - tell them he/she is okay and at peace but never in a better place because as a parent, there is not "better" place for their child than right next them.
Good luck to you and I hope you all find peace.
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