I need to decide if my attending a funeral would help or hurt.
Here is the back story. A few years ago one of my employees became more than an employee, she became a friend. She was going through a messy divorce from her (executive) alcoholic husband. She spent many hours telling me about their situation and told me time and time again how much she appreciated my friendship and allowing her to vent. This mess went on for a couple of years.
After her husband moved out of their beautiful new home, she was just starting to settle in, as a soon to be single parent to her kids. The youngest was 2. One day, the ex called her at work (she is a Nur.se Prac.titioner with her own patient base) and he threatened to kill himself. She called his parents and they arrived at the home, to find that he had in fact hung himself in the garage. (he had been told that day by his superior, that he needed to get his shit together, get treatment or his job would be eliminated....he was an executive for a local company)
At the time BigD was working a shift at our local hospital. When he arrived and saw this mans name as a DOA, he called me, knowing that I would want to help my friend. It was time for the kids to arrive home from school, and the house was being treated as a crime scene and BigD was very worried that the kids would come home to that.
I immediately called my friend, and asked if she wanted me to come over and snag up the kids or anything. After a minute, she asked "how did you hear?". I told her BigD was at the hospital and he had called concerned for the children. Her mother was on the way to intercept the kids so my help wasn't needed at that time.
Because BigD heard about the death while he was working at the hospital, and because he called me (even though it was not gossip, but sincere concern for the kids), the deceased man's parents went ballistic, and my friend wasn't too thrilled either. They were fearful that word would get out that their son/husband had committed suicide. (keep in mind, this is a fairly small community and you can't fart without your neighbor knowing). Anyhow, one thing led to another and the victims parents, and my friend, demanded that the hospital fire BigD as he had violated H.IPAA by calling me with the "news". BigD tried to explain that once a suicide call goes out over the p.olice radio, it is public knowledge, hence H.IPAA wasn't violated, but the hospital feared a lawsuit so they told BigD they were very sorry but that he was out. Since it was just an "off-d.uty" job, it really wasn't a huge deal to us, but it made us sad that he was let go, for trying to do the right thing at the time. This all transpired about 3 years ago. The friend had to quit working part-time for me and concentrate on building her own client base, as the s.uicide left her without any life/health insurance etc.
This morning, BigD called me to tell me that my friends 16 year old daughter and 13 year old son were in a horrific car accident going to school. The daughter was killed and the son, most likely, will not survive.
I am absolutely sick for this mom. I simply cannot imagine the devastating news she got this morning. I can't think about anything else.
The thing I need help with is deciding if it would be appropriate for me to attend calling hours or the funeral. She and I never argued, but it was made pretty clear that she was upset that I knew about her husbands death before it became public knowledge. Now, she has lost her daughter. I certainly don't want to upset her more, if my being there will remind her of her ex's situation. But I also feel that she is going to need to see that people care.
Please let me know your honest opinion. Feel free to pose this to your own friends and see if they have an opinion. I am really stuck on this one.
**I just got a call that the 13 year old boy died this morning at 8:57. His mother signed organ donation papers. So many people will have their lives begin again today, as this boys life ends. I cannot imagine the devastating grief of this mom.