A close family friend just passed away today from cancer. He taught my older brother in high school and went to church with my sister. We saw him all the time and he was always so cheerful and upbeat, despite knowing that he was terminally ill. He is leaving behind his wife and four children, the oldest of them just starting high school and the youngest still in elementary.
The whole thing is just so sudden and unexpected. He wasn't being hospitalized and was still maintaining a regular daily schedule. Obviously everyone expected that he would eventually pass without successful treatment, but not in this manner. Apparently there wasn't even time for goodbyes, no lead up to his passing. He just didn't wake up this morning.
So here I am, having a hard time being able to put how I feel into words, and I'm not even a member of his family. I have no idea what it must be like for them. I don't know what to do. I want to be able to help them but I don't know what I could do or say that could possibly help at all. I can't bring their husband and father back.
How do you cope? How do you help others cope?