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What do I say to my friend whose 2 year old son is dying?

  • 23-06-2021 7:44pm

    My friend’s 2 year old has a brain tumour and is now reaching the end of his little life.

    What do I say to my friend to help him through this time? He told me recently that everyone keeps saying he’s strong, but he’s sick of hearing it.

    I really want to support him but I’m always worried I will say the wrong thing or cause more upset. It’s such a hard situation.

    Any suggestions of things I can say that might help or comfort him?

    I hope it’s ok to post this here. Thank you.


  • Do you know what, there is nothing to say. Anything you do say will sound like a cliché.

    Let him know you are there, and just listen. The next few months are going to be horrific for them, and the years after will never be the same. Just be there. Talk about his little boy. Don't avoid the subject.

    Let him lead, and just be there.

    Thank you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,884 ✭✭✭✭ iamwhoiam

    Tell him you are there for him when he needs you . That you will be willing to do anything at all he needs . Tell him you are thinking of them all right now and he only has to ask and you can help in any way
    He might need lifts or washing done or food brought or shopping done . Offer all of that and he will know you are there

  • Administrators Posts: 12,196 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Big Bag of Chips

    The horrible fact is there is nothing anyone can do or say to comfort him right now. He is living every parents nightmare and his grief will almost swallow him whole. Even as parents to the same little boy their grief will be personal and different to each others.

    Just keep listening, and don't feel the need to fill silences.

  • Registered Users Posts: 446 ✭✭ Ande1975

    All the advice is spot on.

    I lost a parent to a brain tumour and its the absolute worst.
    Losing such a young child to his horrific disease is unimaginable.

    All you want is knowing that there is someone there to turn to during and more importantly after. Even just to sit in silence and let them talk when they want to.

    I'm so sorry for your friend, son and family.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 662 ✭✭✭ DarkJager21

    This is just heartbreaking to read, I have no advice to give OP but my heart goes out to your friend and his child :(

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,628 ✭✭✭ Rubberchikken

    Be there for them after. Down the line when others have moved on and forgotten, mention the child's name, listen if your friend want to remember good times or bad.

    I'm sorry for your friend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭ Toby22

    It’s hard. One of my neighbours husbands is on a downward slope with cancer, she told me recently she is sick of people asking about him and offering platitudes (her words). Now when I meet her I don’t mention her husband, I just do chit chat and trivial talk and let her lead the conversation . I have a vegetable garden and hens and just drop stuff into her and she appreciates that

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,933 ✭✭✭✭ Gael23

    The best thing you can do is listen in the dark days to come of which there will be many. Be that person on hand when others have gotten in with their busy lives

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,476 ✭✭✭ Wildly Boaring

    Thank you for posting. Sorry for your loss. Heartbreaking.

    Came on this morning as found out that a child I know is dying. Can't think of what to say/do. Panicked completely when I met one of them yesterday.

    It's horrible, unthinkable for the parents. Anything I say is going to be ridiculous and trite. Had thought of talking about anything else and basically never mention it. Your post suggests this helped in your instance.

    But can/should we do more? Can't just walk up and offer to help. Be like some sort of charity case. A note to call/text if they need anything. **** knows...

    Unfathomable news to be given.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭ Fandymo

    You don’t have to say anything. Just be there and maybe some day he’ll want to talk about it and you can be a sympathetic ear. I don’t think there is anything you could say that would make much of a difference in this situation.