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How can I be there for my grieving partner?(7 Posts)
DP's mum has less than 48 hours to live after a 3 year illness. He's driven 4 hours to be with her and his family.
I'm at home with 6 month old.
How can I best support him? After advice for those who have been there. Thanks in advance.
What I wanted when my father was dying was for my husband to be with me, to hug me, to hold my hand, to talk to me, and to help me to feel cherished. He was unable to do that. It is lovely that you are asking this question. I imagine that your DP will want you to do all these things and to hold your baby and feel surrounded by love.
We are all different OP - don't think there's a formula but clearly you love him and will be there for him. You and his child will help simply by being there and loving him. Over and above that I'd suggest you make time and space for him to talk about his mum. Mention her, acknowledge her, don't avoid the subject. He might decide he doesn't want to talk but it still is comforting to be reminded that you are not the only person who cared about the person you've lost, that life won't actually ever be the same. It's over two years since my partner died and I'm grateful to friends and family who continue to include him in the conversation, to remind me of good times and funny moments, and to allow me to still be sad if that's how I'm feeling.
What I needed was for DH to take the lead on the house and our dd so I could collapse at will. I don’t know how many times in that first week I would be managing and then just have to go lay down and sob.
Thank you, and I'm so sorry you've all been through such a hard time. His work have counseling services too, I might see if he'll try it
I think he needs to be allowed to grieve first. It’s a roller coaster of emotions to begin with I was definitely in shock then one day I’d feel this all consuming sadness and hurt, it was a physical pain it made me feel very unwell. Other days I’d feel angry. But something I carry with me seven years later is the overwhelming realisation that life won’t feel quite right again.
All of these things are normal. I needed someone to just love me. To be there on my bad days initially trying to make some of the every day decisions for me because I just wasn’t able. Counselling might be helpful later on but I think he needs time and for me a suggestion of counselling early on might have felt like there was some rush for me to be back to how I was.
Is it possible for you to join him, if so ask if he would like you to come (not necessarily into the hospital/home but nearby) often people want to be hugged or literally just hold their hand, words aren't needed. Once the inevitable happens you can help by offering to do practical things, for instance making a basic comfort food meal for his family eg a stew or soup. You could take on putting the service together or drive them about, lots of stuff needs organising. Going forward, helping with sorting out belongings is helpful. Take your lead from him, he may want to sit hugging your baby and you hugging him, he may want to go for a long walk alone ... we are all different
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