Jul 07, 2003 - 2:54 pm
Hello. I'm new to this group. I came here hoping to find help or advise with my situation.
I have a very dear friend who lost his wife of 13 years to cancer 9 months ago. We've been friends for 9 of those years. When I learned of his wife's illness, I offered my prayers and support to both. I had moved from Texas to Ohio a year before and could do very little else. At that time, I was going through a grieving process myself from the end of my 19 year marriage.
In September 2002, after his wife's death (she was only 50 yrs old), I again offered prayer and support to my friend. He called me about a month or two later and we immediately bonded. We began talking for hours at a time once or twice a week, then almost daily. First we talked about the old fun times we'd shared as friends and then about our recent troubled times.
I've listened to him talk about his wife, things he loved about her and things they loved to do together. I've also listened to him describe the helplessness he felt watching her die and being unable to do anything to stop it. And, I've listened to him talk about the pain and loneliness of being left alone, coming home to an empty house. They never had children.
I want to help my friend through this. He is so lonely and hurt, but I'm so far away all I can do is talk by phone or email. I listen to him talk about her but never ask questions. Can anyone tell me if I should ask questions so he can talk about it? What should I be asking? Or should I just keep listening? I welcome feedback or advise from anyone. I can't stand to sit back and watch him in this kind of pain. I must do something.