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 Post subject: Grief and how to approach gifts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:30 pm 
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Inflexitarian
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:28 pm
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Location: Funky Town
On Oct 15 one of my students died in a car accident. She was 13. Last week was awful, filled with services, viewings, memorial concerts, etc. Today her Mom and Dad came up to the school and brought a lot of the flower arrangements from her funeral to decorate the school, and it got me thinking. Typically, the week of a death there's loads of food and stuff. Then it tapers off. I know that in the next few months, with the holidays coming up, her Mom and older brother (who are now alone in the house...her parents are divorced) will have a very hard time. She was the type of kid who helped with everything and kept people together and kept the family busy in a good way.

So far we've donated money to get restaurant gift cards for the family. I'm wanting to organize a bi-weekly gift of some sort that would help them out and get them through this time of year.
What else would a family grieving the loss of such a young family member need?
Especially an active teen who was literally into everything she could. Now that she's gone they won't have 3-4 games, concerts and plays to attend each week. So there's about to be a LOT of down time.

I know very little about grief. The few family members and friends I have lost, either were in need of passing on due to illness or it was a shock that I was able to get over quickly...as they weren't an integral part of my daily life.

Does this make sense?

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 Post subject: Re: Grief and how to approach gifts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:46 pm 
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Has it on Blue Vinyl
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What a terrible thing. I am so sorry.

Can you organize people to deliver food to their house a few times a week for now? Have people touch base to help with lawn care and cleaning and errands and just be around periodically, if that doesn't feel invasive? When my flatmate's father died suddenly and unexpectedly (although of course it is not the same at all), the most important thing I could do was stay in touch and let her be in whatever headspace she was at any given moment. Sometimes she wanted to talk and sometimes she wanted to cry and sometimes she wanted to be alone and sometimes she didn't want to even think. It went in waves, and I think that can be common.


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 Post subject: Re: Grief and how to approach gifts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Inflexitarian
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:28 pm
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Location: Funky Town
The students are the hardest part cause they're all 12 - 14 and taking it really hard. Mom and Dad seem okay mostly. They're big into church so that have that part helping but I know even with church people they tend to taper off after a few weeks, thinking they're over it. Watching my friend around the holidays after her very sick little girl finally went the summer before was brutal. And she was expected to die.
Lawn care and errands are good ones! I know she did a lot of organizing friends on weekends too do lawn work for her Mom (who is also a teacher...so I totally get how busy she is!)

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~Sweet songs the youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom. To believe in the good in man.


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 Post subject: Re: Grief and how to approach gifts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:54 pm 
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So Totally Yiffy
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:48 pm
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I don't really have anything too insightful to say. I've went through grief too much as a kid. The best thing that anyone every did was sit down and let me talk. My advice is to lend an ear to them whenever possible...in a few weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Grief and how to approach gifts
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:50 pm 
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I just... I'm so so sorry.
I'm going to echo what other people say, see if you could get people to bring food/check in once a week or so.
Do they have a support system like a church or synagogue or temple or anything? I know that was really helpful to my aunt paula who lost her 13 y/o daughter about 6 years ago.

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