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Helping grieving DP

(10 Posts)
MrsAlwaysRight Tue 02-Dec-08 15:58:38

DP lost his mum in July. Up until recently it didn't seem to have really sunk in, he has been trying to hold it together for the rest of the family. Someone he works with has recently lost a parent and this seems to have made him think alot more about losing his mum.

He is really angry and snaps at the smallest thing, takes innocent comments as a personal attack. He just says he feels really angry all the time. I have said anger is a perfectly normal emoticon to be feeling at this time.

I have been lucky enough never to have lost anyone close to me so can't really understand how he must be feeling. Is there anything I can do to help him?

He is very worried about how his dad is coping and I don't think his family have any idea that he is struggling himself.

Thanks in advance for any advice smile

munkeebiznessunderthemistletoe Tue 02-Dec-08 19:26:13

Hi MrsAR,
My DP lost his mum very unexpectedly 4 years ago, and I was in the same situation as you- I had no idea how to help. I tried to give him the chance to talk about it as no one else in his family could cope with anyone else's grief, but avoided the subject when he wanted to. I encouraged him to tell me how f-ing angry he was, and hugged him afterwards. It was a very tough time for him, and consequently our relationship, and I had to take quite a lot of flack for a while but we did get through it. I got in the habit of biting my tongue when he snapped, waiting for a quiet moment and then asking how he was feeling about his mum. It seemed to work, mostly.

It sort of came in waves- he'd be fine for a bit, then have a period of feeling very angry/ depressed but over time it slowly eased. (I do mean slowly... 2 years ish)

Oh, and I also bought him a book on grief which he read very little of but at least it was there to tell him what he was feeling was normal. I had to choose carefully because lots of them were about dealing with the loss of a partner, so it took me a while to find one about parents that wasn't for children.

He still gets upset now, especially since the birth of our son who is, of course, one grandma down. Mostly, I feel helpless in the face of the grief but I'm the best he's got so I just try to listen and understand.

Sorry, haven't been much help with practical advice but you have my empathy. xx

MrsAlwaysRight Tue 02-Dec-08 22:02:06

Thanks munkee for your reply. It is hard taking the brunt of it although understanding the reasoning behind it makes it slightly easier to accept.
He struggles seeing my mum with our daughter as although he thinks my mum is great it makes him think about all the things his mum is missing out on.
I've said to him it is still really early days and that it will take a long time to come to terms with what has happened. I think Xmas will be tough for him and his family this year sad
I guess I have to just accept that it will be a drawn out process with ups and downs and just play it by ear being there for him as best I can.

GooberKingWenceslas Tue 02-Dec-08 22:06:45

Sorry. Can't help. But you have just described me.
Lost Mum in June, I'm as angry as can be, most of the time, the rest of the time I cry.

MrsAlwaysRight Tue 02-Dec-08 22:11:53

Goober - sorry for your loss.

mother3 Tue 02-Dec-08 22:36:02

it depends how close they were.my husband and i just found my great uncle dead on sun.i am still angry he died as he was such a part of my life.All you can do is be there for your partner and his dad.Does he have any other bro sisters to speak to??GRief does eat u up in side.Even that we did do all our best for my uncle .Its guilt that should have done this should have done that.I am sure your dp is in pain.

MrsAlwaysRight Wed 03-Dec-08 16:11:04

He hasn't discussed it recently with his Brother. Speaking with SIL, BIL doesn't seem to be talking about it either. Maybe I will suggest he speaks to him as may do them both some good.

munkeebiznessunderthemistletoe Wed 03-Dec-08 19:09:03

It is tough to take the brunt of it, I know! What I used to tell myself was that one day the tables will be turned and I KNOW I'm going to be awful when my mum dies. That helped.

Justme32 Fri 12-Jun-09 00:33:18

Hi I am looking for some help and advice. My partner recently lost his mum very suddenly and unexpectedly. Unfortunately I had not met his mother.

I just don't know how to help him as I have not experienced the loss of a parent.

I keep reassuring him that I am here for him if he wants to talk, or will give him space if he wants some time to himself, a hug if he needs one but apart from that that I really really don't know what else I can do. We do not live together as we have only been seeing each other for a about six months.

I do feel as if he is shutting me out a little but realise that he must have so many emotions flying about inside his head he probably cannot make sense of it, let alone try and explain how he is feeling.

I just really want to let him know that I won't let him down and realise that there are tough times ahead.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

mumoverseas Sun 14-Jun-09 21:07:44

Hi Justme,
I think you are doing all the right things, reassuring him and being there for him.
I know thats what I need. My lovely mum died 3 weeks ago and my DH has been less than supportive and is at times being a complete arsehole (rolling eyes, sighing very loudly, saying 'come on, its been a week now, get over it' etc) The funeral is tomorrow and today he has been on the phone to a lot of his family and friends saying what a hard time HE is having.

Your partner is very lucky to have you and the best thing you can do is be there for him and give him a little bit of space if he needs it and patience. Good luc

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