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Unwelcome contact?


chaperone
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Hi, I have not posted in this section before and dont use any other online forum and it occured to me this may be a good place to pose a question I have been thinking abt for a while. I left university in 1993, lost contact with many friends and then have found out that various friends died over the last 20 years, one that I was close to at the time died 15 years ago. The question is , do you think it would be wrong to make any kind of contact with the family of lost friends so many years after the friend died?? If i lost my son/ daughter at the age of 29 I wonder if I would appreciate (or not) gettting contact out of the blue x years on,from someone I dont really know?

Any opinions welcome!

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Morning chaperone,

 

From my experience, bereaved parents at any stage in their life are usually glad that someone who knew their child still remembers them. 10 or so years ago I left flowers on the grave of someone I loved who tragically had died when we were both teenagers. A few weeks later I had a lovely note from his parents who were so touched that someone outside the family still remembered him. I am still in touch with his parents now.

 

You could write a note with no expectation of a reply as everyone deals with grief differently, but chances are - hopefully - they will be pleased and touched that you are thinking of them.

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Thanks Anna C thats a helpful response and good to help me consider consequence of making contacting eg no response back or maybe an on going connection.

Once I have worked out whether it is the right thing to do I have to try and work out how to find the families of the two friends I am thinking of, which will be a task as have no addresses or full names to go by but I think with some serious internet research I should get somewhere.

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Three 19 and 20 year old lads were killed instantly in a car crash just over a year ago. I didn`t have any knowledge of two of the young men but one of them went to my son`s primary school. He was a year older than Sean but his sister was in Sean`s class and they went to each other`s birthday parties every year. Sean and the boys sister hadn`t seen each other since primary school. However I felt compelled to attend the funeral of the lad whose sister my son knew. Just to offer my solidarity,really. I used to chat to their mother sometimes while waiting for the children to come out and she was such a nice lady. I heard that her husband had suddenly died three years previously. After the funeral Mass I went up to the mother and daughter,saying I didn`t know if they remembered me or not [which they both did] but that I wanted to come to offer my sincerest condolences. The mother`s face actually lit up and she gave me a hug when she saw me. She said she was delighted to see me and thanked me for attending. [sean had an appointment and couldn`t attend,although I passed on his sympathies]. Right up until the time I was due to leave I wasn`t sure if I should go or not. But i`m glad I did. And for that poor woman who lost her son,it was the least I could do. I think no matter how long time has passed people still appreciate a kind gesture, regarding their loved one passing away. 

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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When a child in my daughter's nursery school died, I saw her mother at a fair.  I went and said how sorry I was, she was delighted that someone had actually spoken to her, apparently the worse thing about the whole business was feeling like a pariah, people wouldn't talk to her as they didn't know what to say.

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When a child in my daughter's nursery school died, I saw her mother at a fair.  I went and said how sorry I was, she was delighted that someone had actually spoken to her, apparently the worse thing about the whole business was feeling like a pariah, people wouldn't talk to her as they didn't know what to say.

How terrible to lose a child at such a young age,Meadow. :(

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Thank you all for this.  A year or two back, I discovered, perhaps 6 months after the event, that the mother of one of my childhood friends, who used to be one of our neighbours, had died in some rather distressing circumstances.  I wanted to send her husband a card with my memories of her - she was always such a sweetheart - but my family persuaded me that it was too late and that I would only be opening up the wounds again.  I'll have another think about it. 

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I don't think it is ever too late to contact a bereaved family with kind words and memories.

 

Just after Christmas, through local media coverage of the inquest of we became aware that the son of one of my mother's ex colleagues had died over a year previously. After much discussion between my mother and a friend, both now retired, decided it would be best not to make contact with the bereaved family as what could they possibly say or do after all this time. Within a few weeks of this my mother bumped into the bereaved parents in M&S and having now meet a few times for a planned coffee and chat she realises that actually for the family just listening and remembering with them is exactly what they need plus trying to get back to the retirement they planned before they lost their son.

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I've also found that reaching out to people, however long after a tragedy, can be most appreciated. But I think Alison's family also have a valid point about opening old wounds - I'd be particularly careful about how to contact them - e.g. an unexpected email to a work address might arrive just before the relative is about to make an important presentation and throw him off balance... or it might be mistaken for spam and never read.

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