Help me help someone deal with grief


Well-known member
I'll try to make this concise, and to the point.


My, let's say, Significant Other lost his brother in law this past May, to a suicide. Totally unexpected. No signs, no indications, no nothing. They were very close.

I immediately drove to SO's house, and later that week, flew down to the funeral with him. I am fine with dealing with grief, my immediate reaction is 'Ok, it happened. What can I do?' and take charge. I have immediate calm in these types of situations.

Of course, the family was devastated, and understandably. I am very close with the family and I knew the deceased, also, and was sad, but... not like them, of course.

To add, maybe, a little something, I lost my grandpa this September, (after a very brief illness) and we were very, VERY close. SO's reaction was compassion, but also he didn't really 'think HE was ready to attend another funeral', which seemed totally ridiculous and selfish for someone to immediately react with. He apologised and all.... but here's the thing:

I understand their family had a tragedy. So did mine. So I am baffled by the separate reactions, and don't know HOW to help anymore. His family, it's still almost all they talk about, they still cry over it all the time and if he liked a restaurant they cry over that, etc... SO will spend TWO WEEKS at a time depressed over it and having it affect his life. It is stunting all of their lives, I feel. Everything is an 'anniversary'; 'It's been 250 days since he sat here in this chair', or 'He did (fill in the blank) so many days ago' or even 'After the funeral, it's been exactly two weeks since I got the card from (some random friend)'. It's just not healthy, it seems.

My family and I are sad, of COURSE, but it does not ruin our lives. We are happy we had my grandfather in our lives and choose to celebrate it, even though he was taken from us too early. Do we still cry? Sure. Are there places he loved to go, or places he loved to eat that we go to? Of course, and we have great memories and talk about them in a positive way, as a tribute to him, not as a depressing thing.

This may all make me sound horrible, and I know people react to grief differently... but part of me is kind of losing patience in a way. They need... HE needs to take this experience, accept that it happened, and remember who his brother in law was, and how great of friends they were and have good memories again. I understand suicide is way different to comprehend, and I'm sure they all feel betrayed in a way, but I also had a cousin kill himself by using drugs, so I sort of understand a bit more. SO's brothers are dealing much better than SO and the rest of his family are, the brothers deal more like I do, which means I know it's possible for this family to get back to normal.

I want to help. I love them and I don't want to be impatient or come off as mean or as being not understanding, but I just can't... I almost just can't deal with it anymore. I just think it's time they deal in a positive way, and start to move on with their lives.

Any advice?


Well-known member
this is very difficult.

I lost my husband last year.. suddenly and with no warning. He did die naturally though so that makes a difference.

Till this day I cannot forget the last evening we had together, his hands, his kind eyes, and many of his gestures.. and it's been over a year.

I don't know if this is advice but each person deals with grief in a different way.. and at different times. There is no recipe imo.. I have been dating a wonderful man for a few months, but I cannot commit as he would want me to because I still think/love my late husband. Maybe he would feel that I should move on and forget him.. but if he does he does not dare say that to me or it would be the end of any type of relationship we might have.

essentially, maybe this is a warning to you that there is something not compatible between you and the SO.. or his family. These are the types of feelings and emotions and methods of handling them that we learn in our family from day zero.. and to change that is to try to change that person -- something which never works.

I hope this helps you.

best of luck.


Well-known member
I recently lost my best friend/boy friend/future husband. He also suddenly passed away without warning. We've been together for 3 years, lived together and all. He was the closest person to me and I still struggle with depression. Some people take it a lot harder than others and they need a lot lot lot of patience. I've been suffering pretty hard and I still try to move on with everyday life by taking it slowly. However, I do have a lot of "down" days. My bf's mother was too broken to attend his cremation, so it is understandable that people cannot handle funerals etc.

I am really thankful towards the people that have stuck by me. I've had a friend who ended up giving up on me and abandoning me, which makes me sad, especially in a time of need. It is really up to you to how much you are willing to do for this person and what he means to you. What helped me the most is just having someone to hug me, spend time with me, bitch, whine, etc. Grief takes a lot of time, but it does get better later on. I take it really hard when people confront me in a bad manner about how I ruin myself, so it's a good idea to be careful what you say to someone. It's important to be positive. My ex-friend trolled me so hard. I had "I Miss you booboo" on my blackberry messenger and he said to me "You should keep that to yourself. Just saying........." and that really hurt my feelings. I haven't talked to him since (the friend that abandoned me). Keep cheering him on "Keep fighting, take care of yourself, these things happen all the time, but life goes on, set practical goals you can accomplish everyday, do things that you enjoy, etc"

I spent a lot of time talking about the things that my bf and I did, shared funny stories etc with family members and it helps. There are lots of moments of crying, but the more you cry now, the less you'll cry later on. It's been 4 months since my bf passed away and he'll always be a bf to me and I'll always be sad for my losses. However, I think the friends that spend time with me help me get through the most. Otherwise, I probably would have joined him in the afterlife by now.

Laughter is a universal cure and people have helped me be happy again, enjoy life and just have fun. Take him out, eat things he likes, watch funny movies, or do activities to keep him busy. I think keeping busy helped me a lot too.

Wish you the best and I hope that helps. Life is just random like that and a lot of things are uncontrollable. All we can do is make the most of what we still have and cherish it all.


Well-known member
Thank you both. Your stories touched me, and even made me feel a bit better, if that makes sense.

I would never abandon that family. I have known them for almost half my life and I've been treated as one of them for almost as long. I love them all dearly. I think it is just a bit of frustration on my part. I know they can be happy and deal with this. Also, it's just been an emotional summer, with the death in his family, and then mine. Am I feeling slightly selfish? Maybe, if I'm honest. When the brother in law died, I felt sad and grieved with them and spent days, weeks, just being there. Then I lose someone and I get 'I can't deal with this'. No one asks how I am, or how we're dealing, and I understand, that's ok really because we are a tough, loving family. And I am not a person who dwells on things or cries in front of people or anything (that's just how I deal), but I think maybe sometimes *I* would like to be asked. Even though I don't deal with things in that way, I wish that it were ok that I were sad for a day and need hugs without feeling like I'm putting HIM in a bad spot because it'll just depress him. I don't want to sound like I want it all to be about me, I just wish sometimes it was.

I guess I'm just frustrated and needed a bit of a rant and some eye-opening advice. Thank you.


Well-known member
i didn't want to read and run so just wanted to say i'm sorry that this has happened. i understand that you are getting frustrated now but if it were me i think i would take a while to get over it too. these other ladies have given some great input and hopefully that has helped you. good luck.


Well-known member
I really am the worst friend when it comes to grief I really never know how to comfort someone in such a hard time because there's nothing I could do to make it go away :/

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