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Feeling helpless for a surviving friend


Amairgen

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I lost a friend 14 months ago to sudden illness, I've come to terms with it, but now I'm very worried about losing her surviving partner.

I met them when I had a work stint in a different city, they were extremely friendly and helpful to me, a stranger finding herself somewhat lost in a new environment. I became very good friends with them, but was closer to the husband as we found out we're distant cousins, aside from common interests and personality.

Not 2 months after I returned home, his wife passed away, within a span of 10 days, no warning, she suddenly fell ill, then into a coma and was gone. It was so surreal. 14 months have passed, and I can cherish all the good memories. But what worries me deeply now is her husband, he seemed as though he was coping, mutual friends assured me.

However I found out within the last 2 months, he's suddenly lost a lot of weight, his mood is brittle and his health is poor. I took a trip over for a week, initially he was very withdrawn and moody as everyone described. But over the week, he did seem to open up a little and was more of his old self. After I returned home, I kept in contact by calling and also exchanged emails. His mood did seem better and he was willing to chat.

This has been going on for several weeks, but just recently, when I rang, right up front he mentioned that guys don't like chatting on the phone unlike girls (that's an odd comment?) He said he preferred email. Unfortunately he's not exactly replying his emails either lately. So I'm just really worried about him (he's not very proactive about his own health at the moment).

I've never experienced a loss of his magnitude, I know I can never understand what he's going through, but I was wondering if anyone can advise me what would be helpful for him. I don't want to be intrusive but I'm very afraid of losing him too.

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I lost a friend 14 months ago to sudden illness, I've come to terms with it, but now I'm very worried about losing her surviving partner.

I met them when I had a work stint in a different city, they were extremely friendly and helpful to me, a stranger finding herself somewhat lost in a new environment. I became very good friends with them, but was closer to the husband as we found out we're distant cousins, aside from common interests and personality.

Not 2 months after I returned home, his wife passed away, within a span of 10 days, no warning, she suddenly fell ill, then into a coma and was gone. It was so surreal. 14 months have passed, and I can cherish all the good memories. But what worries me deeply now is her husband, he seemed as though he was coping, mutual friends assured me.

However I found out within the last 2 months, he's suddenly lost a lot of weight, his mood is brittle and his health is poor. I took a trip over for a week, initially he was very withdrawn and moody as everyone described. But over the week, he did seem to open up a little and was more of his old self. After I returned home, I kept in contact by calling and also exchanged emails. His mood did seem better and he was willing to chat.

This has been going on for several weeks, but just recently, when I rang, right up front he mentioned that guys don't like chatting on the phone unlike girls (that's an odd comment?) He said he preferred email. Unfortunately he's not exactly replying his emails either lately. So I'm just really worried about him (he's not very proactive about his own health at the moment).

I've never experienced a loss of his magnitude, I know I can never understand what he's going through, but I was wondering if anyone can advise me what would be helpful for him. I don't want to be intrusive but I'm very afraid of losing him too.

Hi,

I am sorry about the loss of your friend. Since her spouse is not comfortable talking on the phone, continue to email him even if he doesn't respond. Perhaps he may be uncomfortable at this point sharing. Have you asked him or discussed with him that he may look unhealthy or your concerns about his health? Have you discussed any concerns with him?

We will be here to support you,

ModKonnie

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Hi,

I am sorry about the loss of your friend. Since her spouse is not comfortable talking on the phone, continue to email him even if he doesn't respond. Perhaps he may be uncomfortable at this point sharing. Have you asked him or discussed with him that he may look unhealthy or your concerns about his health? Have you discussed any concerns with him?

We will be here to support you,

ModKonnie

Thank you very much for your support and reply. I have discussed with him about his health, made some suggestions which he did follow (but no feedback yet), but otherwise he isn't being particularly proactive (which I feel he needs to be as his condition isn't improving and his body is too weak to sustain this for a long time.) He does tell me he's getting better emotionally, picking up his old hobbies again, but on the other hand, he's been cutting off a lot of his social/work engagements.

He doesn't mention his late wife. I understand this could also be due to our cultural habits (We're Chinese, and I often feel many emotions are not easily shared). He hasn't replied my recent emails, I should continue to write him? I just read Widower2's post on keeping in touch, but I don't want to encroach into his personal space either (since he also specially asked me not to call).

Many thanks, I truly appreciate any advice that can help support my cousin at this time.

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