How do I help my DH through his grief?(17 Posts)
Two weeks ago my MIL quite suddenly passed away. My DH the last 5 days has not got up from bed or left the house. I have been trying to force him to get out of bed but he thinks I'm just being horrible and forcing him to do things he doesn't want to do. I've been trying to tempt him up with different things ie it's a nice day a walk might help clear your head or we need to check on his dad (who is now alone) he just refuses to get up. He won't even get up to let me change the bed sheets. Ive to bring him his breakfast lunch and dinner to bed he is sleeping 75% of the time. I'm just really worried about him I know he's grieving and I can't even begin to understand how awful this is for him. But am I doing the right thing by trying to get him up and about or am being awful and should just leave him be? I know he needs to grieve and I feel so sorry for him but I really don't know what to do for the best to help him I feel if I leave him to it he's just going to stay there and never get up. Any advice would be appreciated!
I have no direct experience of supporting a grieving loved one, but my instinct would be to say to take him food and drinks, tell him you love him and give him a couple more days.
My darling dad is terminally ill and I suspect I’ve been grieving already. Honestly, at certain times, I just need to be left alone and to withdraw a bit from daily life. Just to wallow, process and be alone with my thoughts.
I’m not sure what your DH is doing is the best thing for him but I doubt you could force him out of it before he’s ready.
Are you in touch with your FIL? Does he have other support?
Maybe someone be along to offer better advice...
Thanks for your response. Yes I'm in touch with my FIL I visit him everyday as we really are all he has and he needs my DH for support but right now he can't give him it so I'm doing the best I can. It's just awful not being able to help, I feel like now that 5 days has passed its a stage were it's cruel to be kind might have to kick in? Although I don't know if that's for the best. I just wish I knew what to do to make this easier for him.
I'm so sorry to hear about your dad that must be awful for you both.
I hope your holding up as best as you can x
sophsmyth its horrendous .i lost my mother suddenly 5 years ago she was 62 no illness no warning just massive heart attack in her sleep .i got on with things because i was an only child and had to do all arrangements .it was after the funeral i felt it .and to be honest its not up to your hubby to support your father in law he has his own grief to deal with and thats enough .he has lost his mother and that is terrible especially for men it may be sexist but men do need there mothers what ever there age .has he any siblings
Thank you, it is unbelievably hard...
Your DH will no doubt be in shock, especially if MIL’s death was sudden.
I guess this is the start of a very bumpy road for your DH. Give him a bit more time, just tell him you’re there when he’s ready.
this is so sad and must be so hard for you both!
I dont think you are being horrible you are just trying to help but remember everybody reacts differently to grief. What may seem helpful to you might not be to him. Its still very early days at two weeks and some people do react by just wanting to be left alone to cry in the dark.
Id be worried if this were going on months and months after the event, but after only two weeks I think this is a normal reaction for some people.
As PP are saying id maybe just give him a little more time in bed before you start to worry. I understand it must be so hard seeing him like that but perhaps it is something he needs to go through. Just keep bringing him food and maybe suggesting something to do once each day... but if hes not in to it, id just leave him to sleep.
I was the same when I lost a family member... just a lot of sleeping and crying and I wanted to be on my own. Lasted a few months. And that was not even a parent so I cant imagine how id react to that. I think some people do have this period of sleeping a lot... and although if it goes on for a very long time it can be a symptom of a deeper depression, at only two weeks I think its pretty normal for a lot of people.
Thanks so much everyone I really do appreciate it. I will give him another while and see how he goes. It's hard trying to support him and his dad as DH is an only child and I've been left to deal with everything from funeral arrangements to closing bank accounts and getting her affairs in order. I just really don't want to see him slip into a rut of not wanting to get out of bed it's heartbreaking to watch. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and hope He feels ready soon to get up and about again.
How is DH now Soph? Hope you are both finding ways to get through this. I am aware that DH and I were not connected in the first couple of weeks after my Dad died. He couldn't work out my sadness or crying over the same topics, repeatedly! We'd already done crying over x, so why cry over it again??? You sound like you're doing a fabulous job for your DH. Keep going. And come back here to vent if you can. We're a safe space for that!
You sound as if you are doing what you can and that's about all you can expect, really. There are no rules about how to grieve.
But do look after yourself as well. I see that you are dealing with getting her affairs in order. I am in the process of doing that for my own mother, who died at the beginning of January. The admin is never-ending and please don't feel like you have to tackle everything at once. Eight weeks in, I'm still finding accounts that need sorting etc and it really doesn't need doing all at once. Do give yourself time to just be there - for your DH and for you - and take one day at a time if you can.
Thanks for the follow up posts
We are still in the same situation unfortunately but we have compromised that I'll leave him be until tomorrow and then he will get up and ready and I've made us reservations for lunch.
So right now I'm just going about my day as normal and checking in with him several times and doing whatever I can.
So hopefully tomorrow happens I think it will do him the world of good.
OP have you had the funeral yet?
My DF died a few months ago and there have been days when I felt I just wanted to stay in bed, but have made myself get up. Although there are times I take myself away from situations so I can be by myself and have a good sob
Hopefully you can get your DH out today, think it will help. It is very hard, especially when normal life for everyone else is just carrying on. You feel like everything should stop because your DP has died.
My DM and I felt it helpful (although very sad) organising the funeral, to think of things that would remind us of DF
@Sophsmyth How did things go today? You don't need to reply, but just wanted to let you know people are thinking of you.
It is so good that you have been your husbands helper and saviour in his time of need, Everyone has different feelings, and reactions when a death in the family happens. You are coping well with all things, and your husband may tell you that later.
We got out for a while yesterday which was fab! And he's even up and about now as we speak, so I think I can stop worrying as much now. Thank all so much such a great help
I'm so sorry Soph, your poor DH. I'm glad he seems to have picked up a bit. Just be aware that there may be days when he'll slip back into it, but hopefully as time passes less and less frequently. Do you have children? He may force himself to do things for them where he wouldn't get out of bed for you or himself or anyone else. If you can try and get him active that will release endorphins and have a positive effect even if it's only an hour or 2. Maybe you could take up a new sport together, or get into the habit of going swimming a couple of times a week?
That's good news. One day at a time, but it's good to hear he's up and about.
I'm glad he's seeming a bit more 'present' now.
Did you have a good relationship with your MIL? How are feeling?
I know how you feel as my MIL died 7 years ago, I just felt helpless & unsure of how to support my dh at the time.
I also know how your dh feels though, my ddad died suddenly 3 weeks ago, I'm an only child too. Honestly I'd love to go to bed & not get out but I can't, we've 5 dc & dh needs to work (they've been great re leave but we'd rather have it for the days I really need him). Knowing he's there for me when I need him does help though & I'm sure just by being there for him you're helping your dh & fil too (in some ways I'm glad my dad didn't have a SO).
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