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I have a friend who lives 4 hours away. She is quite older than myself, but still is a dear friend. Her husband died last year from cancer and she still grieves terribly for him. She has sent me a card in the death of my dad, and I am writing a letter and would like to know how to address her grieving, what to say about the difficult time she is still having coming to grips with her husband's death. Does anyone have any suggestions of what to say, how to word things? I would so appreciate it...Thank you! 3 sisters

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Contact your friend often, by mail or phone or email. Stay in touch. Don't be afraid to bring up your memories of her husband. "I had a great bratwurst today and I smiled to remember how much your Jim loved them and kept a list of which places made good ones!" Any little detail that comes to mind is worth sharing. At that distance you are not going to take her out to dinner or go to a movie together often, but be creative about increasing your presence in her life. Decide together on a movie you'd both like to see, see it by the end of the week, and then discuss it on the phone. Or do the same thing with a book. It is good to touch on memories of her husband and your father, and it is also good to relate to the rest of the world out there. I'm sure you have mastered the art of long-distance friendships -- now would be a good time to kick it up a notch or two.

I have been a widow nine months. I am amazed at how long the grieving process is continuing. We each grieve in our own ways, at our own pace.

For this letter, I suggest keeping to the topic of your father's death. Say how much it means to you to have her support. Say that you are sad and that you are taking comfort from the many friends who have contacted you (or whatever is true for you). In other communications in the future you might share your grieving experience. Tell her about an incident that was very hard for you, and ask her what kinds of things she finds especially difficult. She might benefit from having someone she can open up to.
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I'm not sure how you'd gracefully mention this, but two of my good friends participate in widows groups through a local Catholic church. You don't have to be a member of the church to participate. They've both found it to be very helpful. The groups do activities, so you're around others in the same situation who understand and appreciate the grief. I'm sure other churches do something similar. Another member of the group actually met a guy (a widower) through the group and they're now dating. It's not like a singles group though, it's about 99% women.
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Hi 3 sisters, I would just tell her she is in your thoughts and that if there is anything you can do for her to let you know. That should do it. It is very nice of you to be thinking of her. She will appreciate the gesture I am sure.

Eddie-
So sweet. Blessings to you and yours. (((( hugs )))))
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I'm pretty sure she's holing up and isn't talking much; with anyone. There's no cookie-cutter formula for grieving, and most people I know who've lost someone would rather be by their lonesome so they can let it all out. It'd be nice, however, if you could get away and spend every other weekend at her place. That way you can grieve together, and celebrate her husband's -- and your Dad's -- life instead of mourning their loss. In the meantime, tell her she'll see him on the other side eventually.

I became a widower at the age of 28 and never re-married. With her passing, every now and then I feel as if a part of me died with her. My sons have her eyes. They utter phrases she used to blurt out when they chatterboxed too much: "I bet you flap your gums in your sleep;" or when she was stunned by something: "I almost dropped my dentures!" (she didn't wear any).

People say I'm married to a ghost. ... But that wonderful woman is everywhere. We'll meet again when my time comes.
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