My son is not dealing with the loss of his father.. How do I help?

My son and I lost his father on Jan 1st 2012. At first he didn't mind talking about him, i asked him how he was feeling if it was getting any easier for him and he said no, he dont want to take anything (meds) because he said dad wouldnt approve ( which im kinda glad cause hes only 17 ) but I said something to him tonight about his dad tonight and he said mom why does everything always end up turning into dad I said what do you mean he said every time were together you always bring him up and I don't want to talk about it I don't feel comfortable talking about him. I miss my husband so much and I would give anything to have him here again, but I cant change what happened.

My question is how do I help him to understand that I know it's painful but I don't want him to hold it in or deal with it by forgetting about him. It took all I could do to not break down. I know he's hurting but I don't know how to help him.. Please if anyone has any suggestions that have gone through this I really need help.

Thank you,
Shannon

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Shannon, as you know, I've been where your son is.  When I was 11, it seemed like my mother would tell anyone and everyone the story of my dad's dying, the fact that he died the day after their 33rd wedding anniversary, and how difficult it was for her.  She told people in the neighborhood, at the grocery store, at the market, church, everywhere.  She always associated everything with before my dad died and how it was since he died.  It seemed that I couldn't get away from it no matter where I went.  I realize now that this was her way of purging and healing.  I realize she had to keep doing it to convince herself that it was real and not just a horrible nightmare.

 

I WAS your son.  I, on the other hand, threw myself into school, my friends, activities, anything and everything I could do to forget.  My dad would go to work about 4:30 a.m., so he could pick me up from school at 2:45.  He would wait for me at a tree right outside the school steps with the mothers of the other kids.  He would walk me home, and that would be our private time.  I was his only daughter, his youngest and last child.  I used to get teased about my dad walking me home, but I didn't care.  I had no idea he was putting his imprint on my life, to go out and find a man that loved me so much he would give up sleep just to be with me.  He wouldn't live to see me become an adult; he only had 11 years.

 

Your son is going to be fine.  I had the same reaction to my mother.  As I look back now, she probably went upstairs and cried, too.  You cannot grieve for your son.  You have to let him deal with it in his own way.  You're doing what my mom did.  She tried to be both mom and dad and pop psychiatrist, too.  You can do this, which is what my mom did.  She went out and bought me a diary with a key.  She told me to write down my feelings, to keep a journal.  She said the key was so that no one including her could violate my privacy.  It helped me immensely.  When my family and friends got uncomfortable with me talking about how much I missed my dad, I'd go write in my diary/journal. 

 

He will be all right, and so will you.  It is going to take time, and you both will have to find a new normal.  You have been so very helpful and understanding of my situation that I truly hope this helps you.  I've never been through this phase, but I sure know about losing dad.  Keep in mind that he is also worried about Y-O-U.  You are the only parent he has left.  He will be overly concerned about you as long as you live.  He has a lot of new concerns that come with being left without a dad.  Give him some time, and give him some space to grieve and mourn.  This is a time you can't have expectations about how he is going to grieve/mourn.  He is going to hurt your feelings sometimes, because hurting people hurt others.  He is in pain, and a painkiller won't help it.  I repeat he will come through it.

 

I'm continuing to keep you in my prayers.  I'll phone you within the next couple of days.  Go with God, my friend.

Hi Shannon,

 We lost my Wife last October 11th, we have two grown children, we also have a family owned and operated business. We were/are very close family. Both kids work for us or did. The kids would always bicker at work like they were 12 and 14. I'd get mad and fire them both or just one. They would always run to Mom and I'd end up taking them back. Moms gone now, a couple months back they started the bickering again, I told my daughter to go home for the day and take the next day off as well. Well she said I fired her, which I didn't but I didn't dispute it either.

  Any ways she hasn't really talked to me since then.

 My daughter was always Daddys little girl and my son was always Mama's lil boy. Thats why it was such a shock to her that I never called and asked her to come back to work.

  Today she calls me and I'm thinking shes going to hit me up for money, this last week has been especially hard for me with the loss of my wife. Almost unbearable. I thought I was tougher than I am, losing my Wife has just taken the wind out of my sails, I have no motivation to do anything. And don't really care. I've been sick for the last two weeks and stayed home alone, to much time for me to think.

   My Son came over told me that he was getting worried about me going off the deep end and that he didn't know how to do my job at the shop.

   That got me thinking some more and then it dawned on me that maybe I should seek out some counseling, I'm the type that doesn't think counseling is for me, might work for others but not me. So when my Daughter called today I told her that I was going to go to a meeting through hospice tomorrow night. That whatever I'm doing trying to deal with Mom isn't working, and I know Mom wouldn't want me to be in the state of mind that I'm in now  My Lil girl sparked up an interest, what time, where, and is it put on through Hospice. So I asked if she would like to go with me and she jumped at the chance. Maybe if you did the same and explained to your Son that he could help you by just being with you. Just a thought. 

John, thank you for sharing your story. I have us set up in a grief support every other Tuesday also setup by hospice, I think it helps me more than it helps him as he is always more sad when we leave there. We have been to 3 so far so I'm am waiting to see if in time it might help.

Vee, thank you so much I understand the loss of a husband not of a father since my dad is still here, which he pointed out to me one night when we were talking. Yes he does worry about me being home like last night was his girlfriend of 2 months birthday and he was going to dinner with her and her mother he asked if I wanted to go I never meet her mom and honestly I just had a rough day and I knew he was going so I thought this is a great opportunity to sit in my sorrow and cry with no one around, when I told him I was going to do laundry which was a lie he said no mom come with us it's better than sitting at home and you can meet new people. I'm glad I went we had a great time but when I got to my room I just cried my eyes out.

I did tell him there will come a time when we will be able to think of dad and not be sad but we will be able to smile and it will take along time but one day it will happen. He is just so missed and I don't know how i got this far without him. I am thankful for the time we did get to spend together but I guess im selfish cause I wanted much more and Godsplans were different from mine.

Thank you both so much for replying to my post. And Vee, I look forward to talking with you hopefully we can help each other through this. I may shead a lot of tears just a for warning :)
Kathy, thank you so much for your post. I am going to try to do what you suggest. I sure hope it works I'm at a loss on how to help him so I am listening to all posts on how to deal with him. I feel so bad for him I know I can't make it better I know but I have a hard time seeing him so darn hurt :( I just wish things were different for all of us, no one should have to feel this awful pain. This morning was a very bad morning for him all he did was cry I told him just because he isn't here in person he is still with us and he can hear us. He's all I have left.

I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to post, I know everyone is grieving an dealing with there own issues so it means a lot that you post.

shannon: you are welcome for the suggestion it may help if you give something very special from his father maybe  his watch or give him a choice to choose something special this way he will have something to carry with him where ever he goes this is just a long shot but maybe it will help i have my grandaughter george bionoculars because she remembers us gonig to the shore and george always bringing them with us my younger son i have him george camera because he has the twins and my oldest son already has a good camera my eldest son took his sword from xavier high school that george attended so they all have something they wanted my grandaughter is also getting georges according which his parents gave him when he was young again each got something they wanted to remember george by they are happy



Shannon said:

Kathy, thank you so much for your post. I am going to try to do what you suggest. I sure hope it works I'm at a loss on how to help him so I am listening to all posts on how to deal with him. I feel so bad for him I know I can't make it better I know but I have a hard time seeing him so darn hurt :( I just wish things were different for all of us, no one should have to feel this awful pain. This morning was a very bad morning for him all he did was cry I told him just because he isn't here in person he is still with us and he can hear us. He's all I have left.

I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to post, I know everyone is grieving an dealing with there own issues so it means a lot that you post.

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