Jump to content

How do I inform brother's ex gf of his death?

Recommended Posts

I wasn't sure which section to post this in. Pretty new to the forum, I have been poking around for quite some time now though and see how useful it can be to people. Now, where to start. Well I think the topic title pretty much says it all really, but I'll give some background info first.


My brother moved over to the US about 4 years ago to work, for the last 2 1/2 of those years he was involved with a girl who was, and still is, in college (he was a few years older than her). He moved back to the UK following their break up. They did however maintain brief contact (phone and email) despite their break up, for what purpose I'm not sure, maybe to revive their relationship or maybe to stay as friends, I'm not sure. Tragically, he was involved in a car accident in April just gone and sadly passed away.


We have been to hell and back since his passing and have only really just finished sorting out the things that he left behind and then the subject of this ex gf came up into discussion. Now, although it was not stated in his will, he had always expressed the wish for his personal belongings to be divided between friends so that they could keep a reminder of him. We have began to do this with close friends and then the subject of the ex came up again. We have not yet informed his ex of his passing, she doesn't have any way of contacting us to find out of his whereabouts but we assume that she would have still been phoning and emailing him (his phone has now been disconnected and his email closed down so any messages I assume will have bounced back). It wasn't that we didn't want to inform her of his passing, or simply forgot, it was just that to our knowledge the relationship was over and there was little need for it to happen right away. We have since learned from friends that they may have been trying to rekindle, but that is only a possibility.


It is our wish to give her some things of his for rememberance purposes and such to remember the happy times that we know they did have together and I seem to have been given the responsibility to contact her etc. But I am afraid of what her reaction will be to be honest as I know she can be a bit fiery at times, which is why I am seeking some advice. I have a feeling that her reaction will be one of "bull * * * * " and she will think that we are just lying to her as a way to get her out of his life. I'm especially worried as I don't really know what the status of their relationship was. She is quite young and I don't think she will take this news very well and I believe she may be in disbelief. The last thing my family needs right now is to be accused of such allegations like lying to get her out of his life, I'm sure that she is already ticked off about not being able to contact him and I personally feel like it will put a black mark next to his name if she doesn't believe us and I want my brother in her eyes, to be remembered as a good man.


I am asking for advice on how to handle this and maybe of what to expect. Also some advice of how to handle things that she may say if she is in disbelief about everything. We need to resolve this with as little grievance as possible because we are still grieving as a family and I don't want to go back and tell my family that she didn't believe the situation as I feel it will cause them a lot of pain.


So any advice on how to approach this subject would be gratfully received. Anything I could say to make this as painfree as possible. It has been easier to inform people nearby because they are still actively involved in our lives, but having to tell this to someone thousands of miles away is a different thing altogether.


Any suggestions would be appreciated, thank you.

Link to comment

welcome to enotalone. do you have her email or contact information? better yet, a phone number. i would just call her and tell her what happened. i'm sure that her intial reaction will be that you are lying or it's a joke, but i'm sure she will believe you after a few minutes. i'm sorry that this responsibility has fallen on you. i bet it is tough. if she really doesn't believe you, you can email her a death announcement, if it was online or something. or, tell her to look up the records in the county where he died. i'm sure it's part of the public record. in any case, she must know something is up if they have been in regular contact and she hasn't heard from him.

Link to comment

I'm sorry this has happened to you.


I think the best thing to do would be like annie said....just call her up (or email, if you dont have her phone number) and just tell her calmly what happened. Honestly, even if she wasn't the *firey* type she would probably react with some disbelief. Try to remain calm...after all, you've had a few days/weeks to start the grieving process.


There is no easy way to do this. I'm so sorry. But you're doing the right thing by contacting her and offering to give her a few of his possessions.

Link to comment

I am not so sure that she will react with disbelief because she is mean...I think the disbelief would be a natural reaction to the shocking discovery. So I would suggest when you talk to her, do it kindly and gently in a soft tone so that she will understand by your tone that you speak the truth. Explain what had happened and tell her that his personal belongings are being sorted through and items are being given to friends and family, and would she be interested in having something to remember him by. Be gentle with her...she will indeed be shocked, may cry, may be disbelieving...it will be difficult for you but remember that it will also be very painful for her...especially because she had no clue until long after the fact. She might be processing pain right now because he has not responded to her and she has no clue what has happened. She may have spent the last couple of months angry at him for not responding...so upon learning of these tragic circumstances, she will have to come to grips with how angry she was and the real reason why he didn't respond. So be patient and understanding...this will come as a very horrible shock to her.

Link to comment

You know what you should do, since you're concerned about her not taking you seriously?


You should offer to send her an obituary, and a program so that she'll know you're being honest with her.


I think it's so sweet that you are informing her of your brother's death. And I'm sooo sorry, that your brother has passed away. I can only imagine how painful it is.


If she becomes angry, I would just tell her that calling her was a curteousy. I would tell her, if she doesn't want to believe the truth, that's her choice.


I would leave it at that.


Gosh this is such a tough situation. You're holding up really well it seems. Just remember it's okay to cry or be upset, it's all just apart of the grieving process.





Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

hi - i see that you re-posted the same situation, but that isn't allowed here. i can move this thread into a different forum if you'd like.


basically, this is a hard topic. not in the way that rocket science is hard, but you just have to suck it up and do it. here is a script:


"Hi Martha - It's John Smith, Bill Smith's younger brother. i hate to be the bringer of bad news, but bill passed away in a tragic car accident on xxxxxx. i am calling to let you know, also to get your address so i can mail you a few of his things, which was one of his wishes for all his friends to get some of his possessions.'


if she says, 'no way, you are joking!' you can say, 'i wish that i were joking, but i am not. the wake was held at xxxxxx and he was buried in xxxxxxx cemetery. you can call them and confirm. you can also check the county death records, or i can mail you his obituary.'


it's not easy, but you have to get it over with. i'm sure she will believe you in a few minutes.


sorry for your loss

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

i am so sorry for your loss!


i would write her something rather than talking to her, so that you are not confronted with her initial reaction. as someone else already suggested, if you have a newspaper clipping or anything else officially stating the death of your brother, this would provide proof for her.


i think it is very kind of you and proofing your love for your brother that you are trying to do what you feel he would have wanted.


if i was the girl in question i would appreciate this very much

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...