It is quite amazing how we can form such strong bonds with our e-friends. I am sorry to hear about her loss. Do you have her actual address? If not, I would say it appropriate to send her an e-card expressing your condolences.
I would send a card, give her a few days to cope with the funeral and everything, and then call.
Many people don't know how to act or react to someone who has just suffered a great loss, so they avoid that person figuring that they'll help more than hurt if they initiate contact. This has the unintended consequence of someone who is grieving being left alone by friends at a really traumatic time.
I agree that you need to contact her. Not knowing what to say isn't a good reason not to. Just say that you don't know what to say, but had to call her anyway. It is extremely hurtful when people leave you alone when you most need their concern.
If they respond by saying they want to be left alone, don't be offended. The mere fact that you tried will resonate with them, and in time will give some comfort.
Wow, I'm so sorry for your friend's loss, how devastating. You are wonderful to want to communicate with her without intruding. I can't offer any advice since I can't even imagine the pain she must be feeling, but I can say I think it's great that you want to help her any way you can.
So sorry. I know you will be a good friend. Sometimes, there is nothing you can say, and maybe the time she will need you isn't now, but down the road when others forget (because she won't, and she will need that acknowledgment of her child).
I have a friend spending the night in my house right now who lost her baby last year to SIDS. And then her husband had an affair as his way of making himself feel better, so she's packing and moving tomorrow. All I can say, after being friends with them both after it happened, and now friends with her and I'm not sure what with the male half, as we work together, is just be there. Call, email, whatever.
Me? I went over on a nearly daily basis and chatted, talked about work or my parents or my SO. They appreciated the normalcy as opposed to others who came by to commiserate and get them all worked up and crying again. It's a horrible, horrible thing, and really they just need to not be left alone. A lot of people didn't call or come by, thinking they were "giving them space," and really they were puzzled and hurt at the absence of friends.
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I learned this week that my old vet (we moved away 3 yrs ago and had lost contact) lost his 16 yr old son in a terrible car accident. Just kids...wonderful fun loving, big future teenage boys leaving a church youth group on a Sunday night who took a curve on a dark country road too fast. Now 3 are dead and 1 is in critical condition. My heart is broken for their parents and grandparents and as a Mom I cannot fathom their loss.
I have sent a card and a gift to the memorial fund for them but haven't called. We were not close personal friends but after years of he and his brother taking care of my horses, you form a bond and I want to reach out to them somehow without intruding.
From this thread, it sounds like I should call--but do I look up their home phone number? or wait and call the office--which is probably closed for a time now. I'm not sure they would remember me as I was just a client but I feel like the OP, wanting to say how much we care and will continue to pray for them but not overstepping professional/personal boundaries.
find out if she is nearby. Go to the services if you can. Take some food especially things that can be frozen or used later. She may not want to do anything right now so see if there are basic needs that you can minister to. A gravesite? If the cementary will allow it, help her at some point decorate the site will bulbs or what not.
As for the person whose vet lost his son, do these things too but also if you knew the boy, write a letter (not email) about your memories of the boy. Paper copy is very precious. As I have buried three relative over the last three years or so I have appreciate the ability to have a physical copy of someone's thoughts. Having gone through family papers, one consistent thing I have found are letters and cards sent after a death were lovingly kept, even 70 years later.
I lost my son 5 years ago, and I can tell you from experience, that a call, a hug, a card, just acknowledgement of his existence is what is needed. In the coming days, a shoulder or an ear is good. Just ask what you can do for them.
MediaMD, I would send a card right now, in a week or two call if you want. Right now I promise they are overwhelmed. When my son died I actually stopped accepting phone calls, my family started taking messages, I just couldn't talk to so many people, especially if I didn't really know them.