My Dh's father has died completely unexpectantly - he wasn't an easy man, was basically an alcoholic, and my dh and him did not get on. We live far from the pil so didn't see them often. My dh has gone to be with his mother, and is in complete shock. I am so worried about the effect this may have on dh, I think he will be riddled with guilt about his father. To top it all me and dh are going through a really tricky patch in our marriage. Please can anyone give me some advice on how to support him?
Please listen to him, and encourage him to talk. When my dh's dad died he declared after 2 days he was fine. He would not talk. Months later he was ill, and when he saw the gp it all came out. That was when he could start to heal. If he won't talk to you has he got a brother or someone else who he could talk to ?
Thank you for replying. He hasn't got a brother, only a sister who he is not at all close to. I said to him this morning I didn't want him to feel guilty about his dad, but I don't think he is ready to talk properly about that aspect of it yet - although he did briefly acknowledge what I was saying. He is not good at talking about problems, he bottles things up, this is what I worry about. He has cried about it which is a good sign I guess?
I wonder if Al-Anon might be able to help? Was the dad's death alcohol-related? It would be awful if your DH felt that perhaps there was something he could have done differently that would have prevented this happening.
Tribpot - we don't know yet what caused it. He had other health issues and smoked like a chimney too. I think if it does turn out to be alcohol related, there would have been nothing that dh or anyone else could have done anyway. I come from a family that has a lot of alcoholics in it too and know that you can't change their behaviour at all. He might talk to a friend. It only happened this morning, so he's still in shock really - I think I'm just trying to be proactive about how to help him when he's at a later stage of the grief process, when I think the guilt will kick in...
Guilt is so common when somebody dies. Its part of the process. But it is notyour dh's fault, and I'm sure deep down he knows that. I expect he will be grieving for what he hoped might happen - that his dad might one day give up alcohol.
Yes try not to say much, but listen. I have a rough time with my family and well meaning people start talking complete crap trying to help, and I end up listening to them. So say little, and use ears instead. X