Death is a hard topic to discuss. Besides the obvious, it's difficult to grasp that someone once in your world is gone. It's even harder if you truly loved that someone. Sons, daughters, spouses, none of them would comfortably accept the person they cared about is no longer there. What about those uncommon relationships? How would you handle that?
Reddit user, u/[usernamedeleted], needed advice about how to talk to someone about a death when they asked:
Daughter [F20] died. What can I [M43] do for her boyfriend [M20]?
My daughter died three weeks ago. My wife and I are obviously upset but we're coping. I'm posting this because I'm a little worried about her boyfriend. I've been back to her grave three times and he's been there every time. Just sitting there. The first two times I left, because I didn't want to bother him, but yesterday I went over and talked to him. We went to a bar and talked some more.
I'm not going to pretend to know the guy, I had only talked to him 5 or 6 times prior to this. But he seems like the type of guy who keeps to himself, with not too many friends. He's also a bit of a nerd. He reminds me of myself actually, which is part of the reason I feel the need to help in some way. When we were at the bar he said a few somewhat alarming things , but these two stuck out: "she was all I had... I have nothing left" and "I'm lost without her."
I suggested therapy, told him that it's helped me in the past, but he had no interest in it. I offered to let him stay at my house, I can't imagine its very nice sleeping in the apartment that she died in, but he declined. I'm not really sure what to do. He said things that made me think he might commit suicide, but I don't know him that well so I can't be sure. He just seemed so gloomy. Advice is appreciated.
tl;dr:Daughter [F20] died. What can I [M43] do for her boyfriend [M20]?
Get To Know Him, FirstGiphy
I'm so, so sorry for your loss. This must be a very trying time for you and your wife.
As I am sure you and your wife have noticed, it is a lot easier to overcome grief when you have someone to share with, but this young man has lost the partner who he would normally have shared his grief with. It is very noble of you to want to try to guide him through his grief. But considering you don't know him well, I doubt there is much you can personally do for him except continue to be pleasant with him when you happen to see him, and try to keep in touch and talk to him if he is willing. If you know how to contact his parents, or if you know any of your daughter's close friends who might also be close with him, the best thing you can do is to inform them of the sentiments he expressed to you and that you are worried about his mental health and ask them to keep an eye on him and check in with him to make sure he is safe.
Just Include Him
My gf died when she was 21 and I was 26. What helped me the most was the family continuing to include me in their life. They made me feel like part of their family. They'd have me over for dinner on random nights, and I'd even spend thanksgiving with them and go to their lake house a couple times. I think it helped them as much as it helped me.
But I really didn't know how to grieve and would spend all day thinking like "what do I do now?"...Not a deep philosophical question but literally what do I do today/tonight? Passing time became incredibly difficult, so every time anyone included me in anything was greatly appreciated. I feared having to go home after work with nothing to do, knowing I'd be alone with my thoughts all night. She committed suicide, so it was impossible not to think about suicide. Not doing it myself, but just that it exists, and it's scary. Unlike other causes of death, you can't sweep that dark thought under the rug. It's right in your face. So just being around people I know was helpful. Being with her family was doubly helpful because I could kinda see how they were grieving and take cues and learn from them.
Put On Your Oxygen Mask First...Giphy
I'm so sorry, I can't begin to imagine.
As to what you can do... I guess just keep talking to him and giving him someone to talk to. Maybe invite him over for dinner or something, you all have a chance to talk about your daughter/his girlfriend and at least you know he's eating one decent meal that day. It's tough, you've got your own grief and your wife's grief and now you're taking on helping with someone else's as well... that's true grace.
By the way, remember the rule of the oxygen masks and if he is going down a bad way and it's exacerbating your grief then call his family or a mental health team in.
Go Through It TogetherGiphy
Find a local grief support group and go to the next meeting and bring him. Tell him you're going to try it just once, but want him to come along as moral support for you.
Find That Common GroundGiphy
First of all, I am sorry for your loss.
Second of all, you sound like a phenomenal human being for caring about your daughter's boyfriend. He sounds like he needs professional help as well as someone just physically being there. If you and your wife are comfortable with the idea, maybe have a weekly coffee/dinner/whatever with him and just talk about how you are all doing and/or your favorite memories of your daughter. I think one of the worst part about losing someone you love is that it makes you feel incredibly isolated and alone- maybe he needs people around him that know just how great of a person your daughter was so they can understand how profound his grief is.
Since you said he's like you, maybe connect on stuff you guys have in common so your relationship isn't revolving around death. If you're into Star Wars, maybe talk about the new Star Wars movie? If you're into D&D and are going to have a game night with people, maybe invite him?
That being said, I think I would still every now and again bring up therapy. Perhaps not in "you should do it" sort of way, but you heard about a therapy group and you might try it out. That way, he is always reminded of the option.
You're a good dad, OP. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.
Hugs Are A Good Place To StartGiphy
When I was 19, a girl I was very close to died in a car accident. Her brother is still one of my two best friends (I'm almost 40 now). She and I had dated all through high school (for me).
I remember at the visitation walking to see her in the casket and her dad was there, greeting everyone as usual. When I got to him I broke down. It's hard for me to write about now. I loved her so much and still do.
Anyway he basically held me up. I think he was the first adult to give me a hug during that time. My father was absent. My step-father was a drug addict. He showed me what a real man is.
I have two daughters now (4 and 5) and a wife I love dearly. I'll always remember how even though his only daughter was in that casket, for that moment he put that aside and loved me as much as anyone ever had. That memory has served me all through my life of what it means to be a man and servant of God.
Peace and Grace to you.
Keep The Memory AliveGiphy
Grief counciling would be the best bet.
Short of that then remembering the times you shared with your daughter (keeping her memory alive) I find is a helpful part of dealing with it, though everybody is different. It hurts when it is so raw but as time goes on the pain dims and those memories make you smile.
I personally believe the best thing you can do for anybody who leaves your life is to find happiness and remember them.
A Couple Of Tips
I'm pretty sure this is too late to get any attention, but all I care about is that you read this, OP. My wife's boyfriend before we met and married was killed in an unexpected altercation. Incidentally, I met her because her boyfriend was the brother of my best friend from high school. I met her about 5 months after he passed, and was able to see the good and the bad with how his family treated her. In addition I have history working as a hospital chaplain and have been with people during the grieving process and I hope I can give some insight.
- Take care of yourself and get your own therapy. My wife worried (and still mentions whenever the topic comes up) about their health a great deal as they really never coped properly. It is like the airplane oxygen masks - take care of yourself first or you will be in no real position to help others. I also believe that spiritual guidance is a very important part of processing tragedy, although some will inevitably disagree. Also, most counselors will tell you that the loss of a child is one of the most emotionally significant loss that can happen. I am touched by your care for your daughter's boyfriend, and please let that wholesome desire to give you energy to help him, but don't let that be a distraction for your own healing.
- Let him cope on his own terms. Offer advice and encouragement, but remember that everyone copes differently. Mistakes will be made, but it is a process. Your encouragement of therapy is a very good idea.
- Don't guilt him to stay near you. This is a big one, and it isn't always intentional. "Misery loves company" is very true. People commiserate over tragedy, and that is very acceptable for a time, but there comes a point where there needs to be a break. Right now, things are still fresh, so I personally believe that your mutual company is very acceptable. As time goes on though, if you see that he sticks around a little too much, it is best in the long run to find yourself occupied if he wants to visit. Subtle encouragement for him to branch out to help move through the pain is crucial - if that becomes an issue...
Maybe Just Give Yourself Some Credit?Giphy
I dont have any advice, but I just wanted to say that: your daughter died and you're worried about how her boyfriend is coping? You're a great person. The fact that this is even on your radar at this moment is a masterpiece of understanding and empathy.
People typically think of cannabis legalization as one of those cut and dry things.
If you don't use marijuana, you probably don't want to legalize it.
If you do use marijuana, you are probably pro-legalization.
... except it's not that simple.
Reddit user SaifurCloudstrife asked:
"Redditors opposed to marijuana legalization and decriminalization: Why?"
Normally when these types of questions are asked, you get a bunch of people who are pro-the-thing chiming in and that absolutely happened here.
Interestingly, that opened up discourse that got people actually talking—probably more than they normally would have. The constant back and forth helped people get down to the core of their beliefs and reasons.
I can't say minds or hearts were changed, or even that people had particularly good reasons (and there were some not-great counter arguments, let's be real) when it came right down to it, but conversations were certainly had...
"It's a drug."
"I have two examples in my close family that clearly show how devastating pot can be. This attitude to marijuana reminds me of the attitude towards cocaine in the mid to late seventies when everyone thought it was harmless 'nose candy.' "
"I'm against sentences for drug possession but many people would benefit from dealers serving 3-5 for selling pot."
"Honestly, I think everyone against it should come to Canada for a visit. It's been legal here for 4 years and absolutely NONE of the spooky stories have come true."
"The only real differences is that people buy their weed in nice, clean stores with clear labels and not on street corners and our tax dollars don't go towards harassing people for a weekend indulgence."Giphy
"It stinks and makes people lazy."
"And often the weed smokers don't care if they are a pain in the butt to others and that kind of apathy is a huge no for me."Giphy
"I live in WA, where rec weed is legal."
"I rarely ever smell pot smoke. And I have the nose of a bloodhound."
"Yes, more often than as a teen when it was still illegal, but far less than any amount to be pro-prohibition about it."
"Plus, I mean, there's lots of smells I f*cking hate but wouldn't enact harmful laws over- Axe body spray being one."
"Laws can be made regarding where you can smoke."
"In Australia you can't smoke inside or within a certain distance to entryways. The only space you smell smoke is at an outdoor pub, designated smoking areas and occasionally when walking."
"It took years, but people become accustomed to new rules. Knowing Americans though, you guys will be on the brink of civil war if they brought in similar restrictions."
It's TOO Good
"I've read that the potency in pot these days is a hell of a lot stronger compared to say 20 or 30 yrs ago."
"The huge increase in THC levels should be a huge concern for people. The pot being legalized today is not the same I smoked when I was much younger."
"This argument has been rolled out again and again since I was in elementary school (~30 years ago) and I never understood it."
"THC is remarkably non-toxic, it's so much less toxic than many common substances people ingest on a regular basis (aspirin, and plenty of other OTC meds, as examples), to the point where actual THC toxicity is caused by physical rather than chemical/metabolic actions."
"Smoked cannabis is also much easier to titrate (dose appropriately), since the effects are nearly instantaneous - take a couple hits and you'll know if you've had enough within seconds."Giphy
"As opposed to an accidental edible overdose where you might not know for a couple hours that you've taken a heroic dose."
"So a higher % of THC by weight in cannabis flower shouldn't be an issue, especially considering that back in D.A.R.E. they used to tell us that smoking cannabis was SO MUCH WORSE than smoking tobacco."
"Cannabis was supposedly so much 'harsher,' one joint contains 'toxins' equivalent to an entire pack of cigs, etc...which is total bull, but even if that were true...wouldn't that mean that stronger cannabis is less harmful, since you don't have to smoke so much to achieve the desired effect?"
"Can't have it both ways."
It is high potency because it is illegal. It's easier to transport a half pound of skunk than 10 pounds of trash weed."
"Look at states that have legalized. There are low thc strains available and easily accessible."
"Because dipsh*ts will start smoking it in public places where others can not really avoid it, like is the case with cigarettes currently."
"Also yes: F*ck cigarettes."
"Yep my problem is drugs in public."
"I do not care if you do drugs as long as your doing them in a private place. I don't want to breathe in your smoke and get lung cancer."
"I don't especially care what folks get up to on their own, it's when they make everyone around them a participant that it aggravates me."
"Plus, depending on the setting, it's really inconsiderate."
"I have a friend whose job does random drug testing and he left a bar because a bunch of folks were smoking inside and he was worried about work."Giphy
Go Away, Government!
"I'm for legalization but as someone that worked for corporate cannabis, I'd loathe seeing those scums run the market."
"My state Governor tried writing a recreational cannabis bill on their own terms since we are surrounded by recreational territories."
"They stated they didn't want it to lead to a ballot measure because that's worst case scenario (didnt think voters were educated) than proceeded to write the most comically bad legalization bill that existed - before completely dropping it because they couldn't write a competent law."
"I am about as anti pot as they come, but if they are going to legalize it, why wouldn't they make it legal to grow your own? (Rhetorical- I know the answer… same reason "they" are legalizing it… tax money)"
"This is what I am screaming. For them it's only about money."
"They are waiting for the rich to install a profit making infrastructure before they let us peasants enjoy anything."Giphy
"If I had any good reason it's because idiots insist it's not addictive and it doesn't impede your senses. So they drive and do dangerous sh*t while high."
"My issue isn't the severity of the impediment. It's that people refuse to admit that it does alter the mind."
"I already have one person insist they smoke weed and drive because they know their body."
"Now imagine if someone openly said that about alcohol and how you'd react. It's a really dumb mentality to have."
"If anything I'd push for it to be illegalized ALONG WITH alcohol and cigarettes."
"But prohibition taught us that is not the way to go."Giphy
The Same Path As Alcohol
"I believe that if it was legalized, it would become a much bigger part in society, much like how alcohol is now."
"I do have a problem with public drinking and personally view alcohol as much worse compared to marijuana."
"However, since drinking is already so ingrained in our society, it's not like we can get rid of it. I'm just hoping that weed doesn't follow in the same path as alcohol."Giphy
"Im so sick of all these CBD oil pyramid schemes popping up!"
"The testimonials are all, 'I broke my spine in half and had to get it surgically fused together. Now all I have to do is rub a drop of CBD on it, and the pain is gone!' "
"And I'm not against it, I actually use high grade CBD at night to help me sleep. I fucking hate going through a rep though, they always try to hard sell me on topical CBD for my back pain that's like $80 for a little jar, or $30 bath bombs."
"I have discs squeezing out of my spine, I'm pretty sure a dab of hemp oil is gonna do jack shit for that."
"And the cancer patient abuse!"
"Smoking or ingesting edibles with THC for pain management and appetite is super helpful for cancer patients, but cbd wont do anything. Not to mention getting an ounce of good weed wont set you back much, but getting a tiny vial of cbd can set you back a couple hundred bucks."
"With our healthcare system in the states, we know damn well cancer patients are already in a hole of debt. I'm worried legalizing will encourage these CBD lies."
"It's the new snake oil."
"My MIL is that person. She's was touting its Indica strains ability to outright cure cancer the last I saw her."
"Cancer patients get hit very hard with the cannabis oil scams. What kind of evil sh*t do you need to be to take advantage of desperate people?"
"I agree with you about people thinking its the grand cure all, but that's why I feel we SHOULD legalize."
"The main reason I want it legalize is so they can do more research on the things it does help. It's effect on tremors alone is fascinating."Giphy
So what have we really learned here? I'm not really certain.
Lots of people's reasons seemed under-informed, but just as many people had legitimate concerns.
Sure, those concerns could just as easily be applied to alcohol, but lots of Redditors admitted that and seemed to take LARGER issue with alcohol than cannabis. It was honestly difficult to find anyone (aside from the smell people) who was 100% against it.
And that, dear reader, is possibly the biggest takeaway from this. Attitudes are changing.
Sorry, D.A.R.E.—looks like we said yes to drugs. Well, cannabis at least.
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Chosen family is family. Sometimes they are the closest and most important family. Just because you share blood with someone, doesn't mean you have to form a bond.
That's why best friends are so important.
BFFs are forged in many ways. They're there for you in triumph and sorrow. They hold your hand. T
They know where the bodies are buried because they helped bury them. That's why it's so heartbreaking to lose them.
It's just a bitter pill to swallow when it's a relationship you thought was going to be endless.
Redditor FindingDale wanted to hear all the reasons why sometimes we just have to say goodbye to certain people in life, by asking:
How did you lose your best friend?
I've lost a few besties. Some through death. Some through personal growth and some just because it was time. That was an important lesson. Just like lovers, friends also outgrow one another.
I'm ExhaustedI Cant Modern Family GIF by HULUGiphy
"I got tired of it being all about her all of the time. I couldn't tell her anything in my life good or bad because she would make it about herself." ~ Wide-Fig-1063
"He was the passenger in a single-car accident. The driver was drunk, showing off, and drifting on an unfamiliar dirt road in California. They found the car at the bottom of a 70-foot cliff. Everyone in the car walked away except my friend, who died instantly."
"He was already passed out drunk himself so he likely didn't feel anything, but it was still such a terrible senseless way to go. That was 10 years ago last June. He was barely 21, the nicest guy you'd ever meet, and one hell of a bassist. Miss ya, Jake." ~ FormerLurker3
"Best friends since we were 12. Best Man at my wedding when we were 28. Day after the wedding he never spoke to me again. No explanation. Calls and texts went unanswered. He would avoid being at any social event I would be at, which was a few because we had the same circle of friends. Tried for two years to keep that friendship alive." ~ Tionek
"I had a weird dynamic to continue because of trauma. We had been friends for most of our lives (26 years) and every conversation was all about her. I was fine with that because she had a traumatic childhood and I knew she wasn't super socially with it. I'm happy to listen when my friends need it."
"Then she just unloaded on me saying I wasn't listening enough to her problems and how I had mistreated her by not asking enough pointed questions about abuse she had suffered as a kid. This was days after a three hour call where she did all the talking and it was mostly about her abuse."
"I was six months pregnant at the time and all I could think was "do I really have the bandwidth to take care of two babies?" I haven't spoken to her since." ~ keepinitcornmeal
It's WeirdFriends Tv GIFGiphy
"His wife tried to sleep with me. I didn't let it happen and I told him about it. They reconciled and had more kids, then it got weird whenever I was around so we drifted apart." ~ mycowild
Yeah, beware the partner of a loved one who is trying to trap you in a scandal. They are shady. Take that drama and run fast and far.
Why?Peering Looking GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"No idea. He slowly stopped answering calls, texts, emails... his wife, even more so. I'd occasionally stop by to see them and everything appeared to be OK. They never stopped to see us, even though his mother lived just a few miles away. I just quit trying." ~ NagromTrebloc
"It was October 16, 2015. I was working from home that day when I saw a call from him at around 9:15am. I had to ignore the call because I was in an online meeting. At 2pm my Dad calls my phone, which is unusual since he knows I'm working. I answer it."
"He is speaking quietly and very calmly. He says, "Son, I love you very much. I have some terrible news. Jared passed away this morning." Jared's wife was calling me from his phone to say she found him dead. I couldn't process what he was saying."
"I said, "That's not funny. Jared, his wife and me and my wife were supposed to meet up next weekend for dinner." Jared had sleep apnea surgery that same week. He had taken a painkiller and Benadryl together. It stopped his heart. He died 2 days before his 40th birthday. We were friends since grade school."
"We did everything together, he was my brother. He was the best man at my wedding earlier that year. I had just shared my son's heartbeat with him via a text message 2 days before. Jared was so excited to be his crazy uncle. I miss him every single day." ~ SnooCapers1425
"Codependency. I became basically obsessed with her and it just became too toxic. I had to cut it off because it was eating me up inside and she didn't deserve how I was treating her." ~ SuccessfulEggplant82
"Good on you for recognizing the problem you were having. It takes a lot (and I mean a crap ton) for an individual to come to this realization. Most people like to live in denial or fight it. I did the same thing and by the time I realized it, it was to late. I hope your able to get through it." ~ Nakanon85
"I noticed that he never came to my place to catch up. I stopped going over to his place to see how long until he noticed.... It's been 5 years now 🤷♂️." ~ Mr_Nonesuch
"Over the years I have observed in number of friendships that its always me that makes the call. They always are delighted to hear from me. If I organise something they come. They just don't make the effort. I have been best man five times so I don't think that its because the friendships are not valued. I don't know, am I missing something?" ~ Yarray2
"My ex wife. Even after we split we stayed close, co-parenting, helping each other out. She died 3.5 years ago. I could have made peace I think but after her death and our daughter was living with me full time I found out about how abusive my ex had been to her when I was around and it felt like losing her all over."
"Like I thought I knew who she was in the 13 years we'd had both together and separated, but it turns out I knew nothing. Now I'm just angry about it, like how dare you get to do this crap and then leave me to clean up your mess."
"How dare you have peace when my daughter has nothing but struggles and therapy. I felt like we were robbed of the good person, the good mother I thought she was." ~ Scarecrowqueen
Far Far Away...Jake Gyllenhaal Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Friend moved to the other side of the planet, with their spouse, to be nearer to both their families. I never understood what real friendship was before friend was in my life; and now they're alive, but not here." ~ ClutchCrgo
One of the natural parts of life... saying goodbye. Or in some cases getting ghosted and forgotten. Either way, chin up.
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Humans have had an undeniably significant impact on our environment and the other species that inhabit the planet with us.
What might happen if humans weren't here to exert that influence, though?
What if we never had?
Reddit user Mompkey asked:
"Which species do you think would be dominant if humans didn't exist?"
"Wolves. They can, and have, successfully adapted to most of the various biomes on the planet."
"There's a reason we domesticated them and took them everywhere with us."Giphy
- Everything is garbage
- Garbage is delicious"
"I would agree, but now I'm wondering if our presence is the reason cockroaches have thrived as well as they have."Giphy
"Sharks, they are the dominant species on 3/4 of the Earth's surface already, they have survived mass extinctions and would thrive even more without humans mucking up their habitat."Giphy
"Humans are the only species that seek to dominate others. Other animals just want to live in the balance of nature. They're just trying to survive, they don't have time to take over the world."
"Pinky and The Brain theme song played in my head."Giphy
"We've killed off so many throughout history but of the ones that remains intelligence and versatility would be the key factors. Their food supply and habitat would greatly increase in our absence so with this being said.........primates."
"We are simply the superior primate therefore we are the dominant species. That opposable thumb is a mf when you have a large brain."
"Wouldn't it be just another off shoot of humans like the Neanderthal or heidelbergensis?"Giphy
While we'll probably never know definitively which species would truly thrive without us around, it's still fun to speculate.
Do you have thoughts?
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