Need Advice Helping a Friend Deal With a Loss

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Need Advice Helping a Friend Deal With a Loss

Mar 26, 2017 | 12:19 1 Always appreciate the insights a lot of you on Agriville share on tough issues, I apologize for it not being a marketing thread but thought this was the best place to post. I was wondering if anyone could lend some advice, or relate to this situation.

I have a friend that is not quite through a year of dealing with the loss of his son and business partner. It was a tragic accident that was unexpected and they had no time to say goodbye. Their relationship was one to admire. I cannot imagine the pain that this puts on people, and trying to get past it probably seems impossible. The people surrounding him are increasingly worried as his comments of late have turned darker. We feel he could be unknowingly pushing his family away in the process of trying to deal with the loss. We have tried to surround him with as much love and support as we can, but obviously can't be with him all the time. The anniversary of the accident is coming up and we are very concerned its arrival might be a breaking point. Its heartbreaking to see a family and farm that was so solid struggling with this terrible situation. We all want to help but are getting to the point something needs to be done on a higher level, and its always a fine line between trying to help and intruding.

We are going to talk to the Farm stress line for some guidance, and we have a therapist in mind that could help, but he would have to agree to that.

Has anyone dealt with this, or could share how you got past such a terrible loss?

We really want to see them happy again, and are trying our best to help without over stepping our bounds.

Thanks. Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 12:59 2 Your friend is fortunate to have people like you around who care enough to show it. And you are right - no one can fathom the depth of what he is going through. If they were close, it will be a pain that has its own special level that no one else can really understand.

A family who has been very close to us has gone through the same experience of loosing a son in an untimely manner 3 years ago. And I have seen firsthand the awful suffering they have gone through. Each anniversary makes it fresh and painful. Surprising expressions of anger, sadness, deep pain - grief has no single expression.

One thing that I've learned is that those who lose someone find some relief and comfort just by talking about the one they've lost. Remembering, revisiting experiences, allowing them to do this helps somehow to deal with the pain.

I once had a bull for sale and one guy who came to look at it seemed only half interested. I learned that he had lost his son a year or so before and so I carefully started asking questions about his son - how old was he, what did he like doing, etc, and the man, a complete stranger to me before this visit, just opened up and started to talk about his son, his family, his friends, other losses...we spent most of the afternoon just letting him talk about whatever he felt like.

When he left, he hadn't said another thing about the bull but said it was one of the best visits he'd had since his son died. He said this: "When we loose someone, we still like to talk about them, but not many people are comfortable with it". He expressed his deep gratitude just for the listening. I didn't have to say much at all, just let him know that I was listening and basically letting him direct the conversation by asking a few questions about his son as the discussion progressed. I'll never forget that. I called it the best bull sale I never made!

Another thing I've learned is that sometimes when we try to offer help, we cause more pain instead. Much caution needed. The tough part is that the only way out of it is through it. Professional or experienced help can be very useful to that end and you might be able to help just by finding such a source for your friend.

Wishing you all the best. And I know how painful it is to watch someone go through it. Reply With Quote
blackpowder's Avatar Mar 26, 2017 | 13:02 3 Perfect place for this post. Most on here are selfish and need wake up. Also, not many places to go.
Assume you in Sask as have a crisis line. Good for you.
As I am not qualified. All I can say is your friend is half way there if he has friends like you.
Time, talk, listening, all we can do at times.
Counselling a very tricky thing.
Only some qualified, only some get through to the target. Far too much misconceptions and stigma.
A journey one gets thru by not stopping. Godspeed. Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 13:02 4 That's a tough situation to be in I'm no help but just try to be there for him to talk to. If you are sure he will harm himself you should call the police. Hope it works out ok. Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Mar 26, 2017 | 13:17 5 I lost my complete response on my phone...(BP...grrr...android)

I cant imagine what he's going through. Part of my hopes and dreams would be lost and I would have a hard time carrying on the business. Let alone dealing with it on a personal level. Sounds like there is lots of support. Watch for signs of him harming himself talk to someone about them. As hard as it is to talk about suicide, it would put a world of hurt on those left behind to deal with it on top of the sudden loss of the kid.

Tough situation....take care of each other. Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Mar 26, 2017 | 13:25 6 There's supposedly a grieving process. Maybe he hasn't completely made it through. It's not that you "forget" about it but deal with it and try to move on....I assume the timeline is different for everyone.

I've often said the first year after a tramatic event(death, divorce and such) is filled with "firsts"....birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc., under the new circumstances....usually not easy the first time around.


Sorry burnt....sounds like I just reiterated your points but I never read it until my last post.
Last edited by farmaholic; Mar 26, 2017 at 13:42.
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blackpowder's Avatar Mar 26, 2017 | 13:50 7 My neighbour lost a son in 1983.
For years talked of him in present tense. Still do if it comes up. Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 14:40 8 I don't agree calling just any rcmp officer, they need to know how to handle the situation if someone is going to harm themselves. Not on the same level by any means, my son had a woman, who we know is bipolar show up at his farm. She lived there when she was young. She had the idea that my son and family were away and was set to move in. Son called rcmp but told them under no circumstances were they to harm her, explained her situation. They said press charges and they would send a car. He told them he was not going to do that. They, all police forces, need more training for this and resources to back them up. My son was eventually able to locate a family member and she got the help she needed. Reply With Quote
SASKFARMER3's Avatar Mar 26, 2017 | 15:24 9 That is awful I hope it's not who I'm thinking about right now. Your a good friend to b concerned it's serious.
Right place for this topic, you seem to be going at it the stess line should have some help good luck Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 18:01 10 I can't even imagine the pain that your friend must be enduring. I am no psychologist and have very little experience with grief, thank godness, but I hear about all the opioid addiction and young people with an interesting life before them succumbing to overdose, and my heart hurts for their families. I have heard that people who are grieving feel very alone and when others are uncomfortable and avoid the subject, they feel like no one cares.

I don't know how your friend's son passed but I am sure your friend values your friendship a lot. Can you take him to some farm show and find him some distractions? I am sure that when he is alone his son is heavy on his mind. Thanx for being there for him. Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 18:05 11 I just remembered a story I read once where a guy lost his wife and became dispondent. His buddy grabbed him and took him shopping for a fishing boat and that became their weekly passion. The group grew and eventually 4 guys became old cronies together. Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 19:13 12 Call the cops on him is terrible advice. That will be the end of the friendship at the very least and most likely will just add to his problems. Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 19:31 13 Cops may not be a good idea I'm no expert at all I just don't want somebody to hurt themselves. Someone in this position does need some professional help. It's too bad there is such a stigma attached to mental health because there is no need for it. Reply With Quote
Mar 26, 2017 | 20:57 14 Unfortunately there is no formula that fits everyone. Someone to listen over and over and over to him is a start. A good counsellor is very valuable as well but it may take a few until he finds the right one for him. A counselor that works for one person may be exactly the wrong person for another. If there is a compassionate freinds chapter near by they can be a huge help but he will need someone to go with him initially. It will help him understand that terrible things happen to good people everyday and that he is not alone in his grief. Good for you for trying to help. God bless you both. Reply With Quote
Mar 27, 2017 | 00:01 15 Rather then call RCMP is probably better to call a councilor and explain the situation. That person will get you headed in the right direction. Farm stress line might be ok but I'd venture out of the regular travel circle to keep it more discreet. Essentially your going behind his back but caring for him at the same time. He just isn't "through" it. The stress from something like this is indescribable. He's sleeping but he isn't, his mind is running the entire time, night sweats, dry mouth, loss of focus. The last two seem minute but they are tells. It gets to the point you cant pull a wrench to remove a bolt because you just can't understand why you'd want to. Chances are he's never ever felt this way in his lifetime an extremely unique and bizarre way of living. It's the fact there's nothing to compare it to that is so scary. If experiencing it you likely don't remember ever feeling "normal" as its just the way it is. You want it to end and a return to normal but it's just a fuck of a hole. I don't know exactly how you get out, it just happens. Imo is a shift in focus from that moment to the next day. You need to get him to look ahead. Kind of like boat shopping. Spur of the moment stuff helps. Drive into his yard and tell him you want to look at a piece of iron or vehicle or whatever and insist he comes along because you value his input. Make sure it's a long enough drive he can open up if he chooses to buy don't push it and yet short enough there isn't too much awkward silence because there will be. It might and likely will take multiple attempts to get him to go with you but keep trying. Reply With Quote
Mar 27, 2017 | 00:29 16 It sounds like Ridgerunner is a great friend.
Lots of good suggestion on here from smart people.....only suggestion I might add is could a church minister/reverend or one of his trusted relatives help with the grieving process?
Farm stress line could be effective too?
Would local hospital/health region have suggestions?


Take care. Reply With Quote
Mar 27, 2017 | 04:16 17 Macdon has very good and helpful thoughts. Well worth listening to. Reply With Quote
Mar 27, 2017 | 05:30 18 PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder there is some very good help out there. It takes a special trained counselor. It is the same thing that wrecks many lives and kills many of our EMS, Police and military. I could maybe get you some names of people that can help, but not on here gets pretty personal. Not sure where you are at but my son is Executive Director of Alberta Paramedic Association and has done lots of work on PTSD he has helped set up a group of counselors that are trained specifically in the field to treat symptoms. Wealth of knowledge out there it is finding and getting it. Reply With Quote
Mar 27, 2017 | 22:26 19 Grief is a very private journey that can't be rushed, and may never totally end, and everyone has their own course. A year is not a long time at all. Remember the loss, share the memory. Never forget that pain of the loss to your friend. It is all we can do for those who will ever live with such an immense loss. Reply With Quote
Mar 28, 2017 | 06:59 20
Quote Originally Posted by westernvicki View Post
Grief is a very private journey that can't be rushed, and may never totally end, and everyone has their own course. A year is not a long time at all. Remember the loss, share the memory. Never forget that pain of the loss to your friend. It is all we can do for those who will ever live with such an immense loss.

I agree wth your thoughts Vicki. One year is almost no time at all for a Greving father. After a decade it gets a little easier. It's so hard for people dealing with loss especially the first few years. I had a very close family member lose their son a few years ago. It absolutely broke our hearts. Although the pain of loss cuts into us deep and leaves a big scar for the rest of our lives the strength we posses deep within us always amazes me. People learn to carry on with the pain. As I get older in life I see this pain is a part of life. My heart goes out to anyone experiencing great loss. I know the feeling of loss all to well.
Last edited by Casered; Mar 28, 2017 at 07:23.
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Mar 29, 2017 | 15:45 21
Quote Originally Posted by Casered View Post
I agree wth your thoughts Vicki. One year is almost no time at all for a Greving father. After a decade it gets a little easier. It's so hard for people dealing with loss especially the first few years. I had a very close family member lose their son a few years ago. It absolutely broke our hearts. Although the pain of loss cuts into us deep and leaves a big scar for the rest of our lives the strength we posses deep within us always amazes me. People learn to carry on with the pain. As I get older in life I see this pain is a part of life. My heart goes out to anyone experiencing great loss. I know the feeling of loss all to well.
I want to thank you all for your replies, they have been very helpful. I have taken a lot of the things that have been said as great advice that will hopefully help in this situation. The above quote is a great finale to this thread. I can see now that there is no short term fix, and dealing with this loss is going to take time. Allowing him to talk, share stories and feelings while being supportive is going to be our jobs from now on, all the while trying to show him all the good things that are still in his life....his remaining family. Appreciate it, RR. Reply With Quote
Mar 29, 2017 | 18:11 22 RR it is friends like you that make life worthwhile at any stage, in every challenge. You and those like you are golden. Take care. Reply With Quote
Mar 29, 2017 | 18:40 23 I lost a child at 6 months of age and then lost my mother a month later. And my father passed away a year after my mom. And just lost my mother in law. Life isn't fair and I have major issues dealing with all the grief. I'am lucky to have two girls and a farm that keep me very very busy. I dread the day that life slows down and I have time to think. Reply With Quote