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3 months on and Mum is struggling now her support is fading..........

(6 Posts)
DrNortherner Thu 30-Jul-09 19:18:40

Straight after Dad's death her friends and family rallied round. Now, over 3 months later of course everyone is getting on with their own lives and mum feels forgotten about.

I live 90 miles away and visit her every other weekend, she has stayed with us on ocssions and we speak on the phone every day, sometimes more than once.

Despite this she constantly reminds me how sad she feels being so far away from me and that she misses seeing my ds. Every phone call consists of her tellng me who from her family has not rang her and how she is disgusted with them. She keeps coming accross things she can not do (use the strimmer/flush the downstairs loo/carry the hoover upstars/flea and worm the cat/read her gas meter/bolt the back gate/use the hoover/make an omelette, gravy, sunday diner etc etc

I know she is very lonley and I keep trying to suggest things to keep her busy but she is not interested in anything I suggest.

Does anyone have any experience in this? How can I help her unerstand she can have a life without my Dad, even though of course we would prefer it if he was still here.

I always knew my dad did such alot for my mum, it's only after he has gone I am realiing just how much sad

I miss him so so much. The thought of this beig my mums future frighten me.

Any advice much aprecieted.

dingdong05 Thu 30-Jul-09 23:41:39

Your poor mum, and poor you.
It's true, whilst everyone is supportive and "there" for you after a death, it doesn't often last. I found it very hard a few months after my dads death, and, whilst its not as though everyone forgot about it (my friends that is) they were just getting on with their own lives. It was really hard, and took a few months to settle down, with the help of a few councelling sessions.
Of course you both miss him, it is still very raw and it will be for a while. It sounds trite, but time has a hand in helping you to heal, and 3 months is no time at all.
I'm sure someone else will know more about the stages of grieving, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the depression your mum's going through is completely normal. I don't have any real advice about how you can help her now, but in the long term there's probably courses locally that will empower her to do stuff for herself more.
It's not an easy road and I wish they both of you all the best.

MummyDragon Fri 31-Jul-09 09:29:01

Hello DrNortherner,

I'm sorry about your dad. Hugs to you.

I went through exactly the same thing with my mum after my dad died. I lived half a mile away from mum at the time, but even though I saw her or spoke to her on the phone several times a day, this still wasn't enough for her. In desperation I did some research and it seems that sudden widowhood quite literally blows a woman's world apart, and she isn't able just to pick up and carry on after a few months; it takes quite a long time for her to reach some sort of plateau from where she can start to build a new life.

Note that it's a new life, not a rebuilding of the old one, and this takes a while to come to terms with.

The key here is that, when she is ready (and this could take months - sorry, this sounds harsh, but it is best to be prepared) she will start to put out feelers and try to start again with her life. All you can do in the meantime is be supportive, and show her that you love her, but do not try to replace your dad as this will not help her in the long run. If she is saying that she cannot cope with everyday tasks - well, you live too far away to do these things for her, and in any case these are her tasks, not yours, so perhaps you could suggest ways in which she could get help to do them? Friends/neighbours/local support groups etc?

I know how grinding the "poor me" routine can be, and this does not diminish the love you have for your mum, but it is hard not to feel resentful sometimes (or more often!). This is normal.

Cruse Bereavement Care are very very helpful. It may be too early for your mum to see them yet, but it might help you come to terms with things and to understand that you are not responsible for replacing your dad now that he's gone.

"How can I help her unerstand she can have a life without my Dad, even though of course we would prefer it if he was still here.
I always knew my dad did such alot for my mum, it's only after he has gone I am realiing just how much
I miss him so so much. The thought of this beig my mums future frighten me."

You probably can't help her understand that she can have a life without your Dad. She will come to this understanding in her own time, and Cruse could definitely help her with this.
It may get worse before it gets better. Again, sorry if this is not what you want to hear - I'm saying this coz I wish someone had said it to me 4 years ago! It will get better though. Please look after yourself, and don't allow yourself to feel that you must put your mum's needs before your own - you have lost your dad and you need support and love to allow you to grieve for him in your own way too.

I found that I was grieving for the loss of my parents as a unit too, as well as just for my dad. It took me a while to come to terms with, but <<huge cliche alert>> time is a great healer.

Good luck and hugs and please post on here again if you need to smile x

MummyDragon Fri 31-Jul-09 09:36:14

Just wanted to reiterate that it will get better, but it won't happen overnight and you won't realise it's got better until it has happened!

Definitely contact Cruse.

DrNortherner Fri 31-Jul-09 10:36:14

Thankyou so so much. Mummydragon you have hit the nail on the head exactly. I am starting to feel a little resentment, and then i feel guilty for feeling like that.

I have been going to see her every other weekend. Next weekend is my tim eto visit but I got the chance of a weekend away in a hotel for free via my job for me dh and ds, and it is our wedding anniversary and we all really need a break. My Mum just said 'what about me?' sad And now I feel guilty for going......

And what you say about grieving for your parents as a unit really hits home too. It is so hard doing things with my mum, because my dad would have always been there too. I keep wondering how on earth will I get through christmas? They always came to us and Dad so loved christmas, he would run ound with a black ba picking up rubbish, help with the dinner, he was such a doer. Where as mum just sits down and dad would run around after her. It seems that matle has now been handed to me......

It is a hard and tough journey, but it is comforting to hear other peoples stories.

Thank you.

StinkyFart Fri 31-Jul-09 10:42:07

DrN it is very hard, isn't it

You are still grieving, too, for your dear daddy

Building a new life, with a dad-shaped hole in it is horrid sad

MummyDragon, a great post

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