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Anger and depression in the bereaved

(29 Posts)
antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 21:09:56

When can I expect my partner will begin to feel better?
AIBU to think he will never be the same again?
He is shocked and regretful following the death of his father ( sudden death).
We don't live together.
He is so angry and down. He is snapping at those close to him. He is a changed man.
He refuses medication or counselling.
It has only been two months.
He is pushing me, friends and family away.
He does not want to talk to anyone.I don't know how to help him.

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antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 23:24:26

He is early forties. His dad was mid seventies, his mum was the 70.

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Starcup Tue 09-Jun-20 23:21:08

How old were they when they passed and how old is your DH?

towelnolongerrequired Tue 09-Jun-20 23:13:27

If you can be there to listen then do, it's hell when you have nobody. But only if you can, it's not compulsory.

MegaClutterSlut Tue 09-Jun-20 23:05:11

Tbh 2 months isn't long at all. Mil was depressed and angry for around a year when fil suddenly passed away. Not saying this is how long your dp will be going to go through it. She was just fucked off with the world, not that he had a choice but angry at fil for leaving her

It's really hard op but all we could do is listen to her rant, be there to comfort her and support her through it

Tigger001 Tue 09-Jun-20 22:59:29

2 monthd is still so raw and soon.

I am just over 2 years of loosing my mum, who was my besy friend and such a massive part of my life, i saw her everyday, then within 2 months of having a "bad cough" she was dead, died of cancer.

I am still angry, i am still crying all the time. I know there are times it is difficult for my husbsnd to know how to approach, help or comfort me as there is simply nothing he can say to make it better.

Just be there for him as much as you can, grief is not just hard on them it directly affects but everyone involved.

antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 22:57:26

Thanks once again and good wishes to you all.

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EmergencyPractitioner Tue 09-Jun-20 22:53:30

It took me 1 year to get over my fathers death ( sudden but chronically ill) and 6 months for my mothers ( terminally ill for 9 months). I didn't want to talk to anyone and became quite hermit-like whilst I managed to go to work but didn't socialise at all as felt so exhausted. I am grateful to my friends and family for just waiting.

Tittie Tue 09-Jun-20 22:53:03

Hi OP. Sorry to hear what you and your partner are going through.

I lost my mum suddenly 4 years ago, and I would say that it's only in the last 1-2 years that I've stopped being so angry all the time. I used to try and pick arguments with DH over nothing, just because. It was shitty and he was so patient and kind with me. It slowly got better and like PPs have said, there were some days/weeks where I was fine, and others which would be worse.

Grief is often portrayed in media as several neat stages - anger, denial, acceptance, etc - but actually you kind of shift backwards and forwards between them in no particular order or timescale. He won't get over it, but he will learn to live with it.

Two months is not long at all, so it might be a bit soon for bereavement counselling. I've heard that it's more effective a little later down the line - some people even wait years before they feel they need it.

That said, it sounds like he is in a very bad place and you (and he) might benefit from professional advice. You could try an organisation like Cruse who has a free helpline: https://www.cruse.org.uk ( 0808 808 1677 ) and there's specific advice on their website for grieving while in isolation.

Good luck x

saraclara Tue 09-Jun-20 22:43:45

CherryPavlova

saraclara Read Kubeler-Ross.

I have. And as I said, he is stuck.

This is a potentially dangerous place that he's in. He has NO support at all to help him move on. He's not at work, and he's seeing no-one.

We all know how high risk men are when it comes to managing mental health. It's not good enough to say 'leave him alone, he'll come round'. We simply don't know what he might do, and that's why OP needs to talk this through with a professional.

towelnolongerrequired Tue 09-Jun-20 22:33:10

Also grieving in lockdown is much more complicated than in normal times.

towelnolongerrequired Tue 09-Jun-20 22:32:09

You can change quickly when grieving from seemingly ok to the depths of despair, to relative normality, anger, sadness and numb within one day, two months is early days and it may well get harder before it gets easier. I find four months harder than two months because reality is sinking in instead of being numb and protecting myself from my emotions. During the day it's manageable but at night it's horrendous. I rarely speak to my surviving parent (they weren't together) because it's not a good reminder.

antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 22:31:45

Thanks and my best wishes to each of you for sharing your grief x

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MarieInternette Tue 09-Jun-20 22:25:21

Hi OP. Sorry to hear about your partner’s situation. I lost my child, very suddenly, last year. It was very sudden and as a direct result of being on medication she should never have been prescribed. It should never have happened and so the disbelief, anger and injustice I feel is sometimes unbearable. But what I have learned is that in order to survive, I have to accept what I cannot change. This has become my mantra. I will have guilt and regret until my dying day and I haven’t found a way to deal with that yet. The only thing I learned from counselling is to try to be kind to myself.
Men often deal with grief differently to women. They bottle things up, whereas I can talk and cry freely about it. I have found medication (anti depressants) to help and so has my husband, even though he was never an advocate for such things. Maybe you could persuade your DP to speak to his GP on the basis of nothing ventured nothing gained?
It does seem as if he is stuck in “complicated grief” rather than the normal grief which you would expect from the passing of a parent, which whilst sad, is the normal order of things. Not that I’m suggesting you say that to him as that won’t help him at all.

When my husband needs comforting the only thing I can do is give him a hug, a touch on the shoulder, pass him a tissue and maybe make him a cuppa. It’s what he does for me when I’m upset. It’s all anyone can do. I wish you well.

ChewtonRoad Tue 09-Jun-20 22:14:02

There is no timetable for grief, and no two people will grieve the same way.

Your partner may wake up in the morning and think "it's going to be a good day" and five seconds later may think he'll never have another good day, ever. The sudden loss of a parent may mean that along with grief there could be guilt with "why didn't I know?" or "why wasn't I there?" as well as anger that his father has died and he won't see him again.

His world has been turned upside down, and there's no map to point the way forward. It's a sad situation but he's got to go through it himself.

It's generous of you to want to help, and that you're willing to be available when he wants to talk or just be with someone is a huge positive thing to offer. Time does help, although he won't think that right now. My condolences to you both.

antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 22:04:49

He is a people person and has totally shut himself down. Such anger.

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CherryPavlova Tue 09-Jun-20 22:04:36

Sorry Typo. Kubler-Ross

antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 22:03:54

It is complicated grief for sure. They were very close but had a tumultuous relationship. There is much regret.

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CherryPavlova Tue 09-Jun-20 22:03:56

saraclara Read Kubeler-Ross.

saraclara Tue 09-Jun-20 22:03:48

If the guy isn't working, that's another danger sign (if he should be but hasn't been able to), or it's a negative if he has no job at the moment. Because there's no distraction and no safety net of people who see him every day and can pick up on what's going on, or talk to him.

saraclara Tue 09-Jun-20 22:01:36

CherryPavlova

Two months is a very short time. Grief goes through a cycle of five stages. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression or sadness and finally acceptance.
You are expecting too much too quickly. Normal grieving can take a couple of years to get to the acceptance stage. Maybe avoid being anything but available to listen and tolerant at such an early stage.

You can’t fix it or make it better but you can be a gentle presence. Don’t try and be supportive or to make it better. You can’t. You can’t compete with bereavement either. You just have to let it run it’s course.

I disagree. It's far too easy to brush off really dangerous problems with 'it's early days'
Two months after losing a parent it's not normal for an adult to have totally closed themselves off from everyone they care about. It really isn't. Of course one's still sad and grieving after a loss, but this man is clearly stuck.

It's very dangerous to say 'leave him alone and let it run its course'. This is a complete change of character and he doesn't have a support system.
I don't know what the answer is, but my advice to the OP would be to call a bereavement helpline and ask for advice.

antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 21:53:01

His Mother is RIP.He has no siblings but many cousins.He is not working.seeing red is a good way of describing it. I don't know who he is anymore and he doesn't want my support.thanks

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steff13 Tue 09-Jun-20 21:52:41

I would text every couple days, with no expectation. Something like, "Hey, I just wanted to let you know I"m thinking about you and I'm here if you need to talk."

HappyHammy Tue 09-Jun-20 21:47:43

Poor man. It must have been a terrible shock for him. Did they have a close relationship. All you and the rest of the family can do is offer to be there if he needs anything or wants to talk. Is his mum around ir other family who will also be grieving. Grief affects people differently and theres no timescale but prolonged grief does need addressing. Is he working at the moment.

ParkheadParadise Tue 09-Jun-20 21:45:27

2 months is very early days for someone who is grieving.
When my dd died I stayed in my bed and ignored DH and my family. I was lucky I had a very supportive family but I can clearly remember coming downstairs and 3 of my sisters were talking in the kitchen, when I came in they all stopped i seen red and opened the front door and tossed them all out.

Unfortunately you can't make him better. In the early days I sometimes thought I was going mad and have several different emotions on the one day. Counselling did help me, but it took months before I could think about it.

antiquetongs Tue 09-Jun-20 21:40:07

Should I back away then? Not call or message? Thanks. He doesn't want any interaction with anyone.

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