Hello!

10 Answers

A friend of mine mother recently died and we bumped into her unexpectantly and said how sorry we were to hear about her mother, but then my other friend starting asking her questions like was she I’ll for long, how old was she, what was illness etc I was not sure if that was too much to be asking and jump in and stop her from asking any more or is it ok to ask these sorts of questions? I’ve never been in that situation before.


Posted anonymously, 24th June 2016


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  • Some people love to talk about the passing of a loved one and some do not; it can still be so raw. There is no wrong or right answer to this question. It depends on the individuals and it depends on body language; always look out for cues such as body language and facial expressions.


  • Are these 2 friends of yours friends of each other? If they are, it would most likely be ok. I’m sure your other friend would have declined to answer if she felt uncomfortable


  • I think it depends on the person. Some people like to talk about the deceased, part of the healing process but having said that I guess it depends on how recent or sudden the passing was


  • If your friend didn’t know the bereaved lady at all, the lady may not have been very comfortable with it. Is she had just asked how old the deceased lady was that was just showing interest.


  • I guess you have to gauge the situation. If you ask one or two questions and the person seems uncomfortable then its time to stop.


  • I guess it’s a fine line. Some people are more open than others. Personally I wouldn’t ask too much of someone recently bereaved as it might upset them.


  • I never ask those personal questions, regardless of how close I am to the bereaved or their family. If they want to offer that information, they will. Let the grieving deal with it in their own time and then, if they wish to offer the information, so be it!


  • If your friend was close to that woman, yes, I think it’s ok to ask those questions. I guess that if that woman didn’t want to talk about it, she would have let you know.


  • I think it was probably ok. Unless your bereaved friend was visibly distressed with talking about the details your other friend was probably just trying to show concern, and one way of doing that is by giving the other person the chance to talk (politely asking them details that maybe you wouldn’t normally care about). If she wasn’t ready to talk surely she is old enough to say so? Maybe you could catch up with the bereaved party again privately if you are concerned. If I had been bereaved that last thing I would want is to bottle up all the details and have no one ask anything (imagine how lonely/sad that would feel), but I guess it depends on the day / stage of grieving.


  • You did the right thing as you knew about her mother and your friend didn’t.Also you don’t know if they are ready to talk about it etc.


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