Anyone with significant other who cannot understand your grief because they have not yet experienced it?

I lost my wonderful Daddy to brain cancer August 11th of this year. My grief comes in waves - one day OK, one day I am torn apart. I am having a difficult time getting life back on track in many ways, and I am usually fine with that. It has been an incredibly difficult year and I need as much time as I need. But what do you do when your partner, who by all means is a wonderful, loving, supportive person, but has never experienced the death of a parent, cannot understand grief and its many side effects?

I have lost count now of the disagreements we have had. I of course fly off the handle because I am so sensitive about it, and quite frankly, a bit selfish as I feel entitled to get through this any way that I can. I finally had to insist that we avoid discussing anything about this past year unless he could tread very lightly. All of the decisions I made, etc. were mine to make and until he lived though this experience I did not need his judgements because all it was doing was making me want to distance myself from him. I then excused myself, and told him I was going to get the rest of my tears out in private in the backyard. So far it seems to have sunk in. One part of me feels like "poor guy, dealing with crazy me", and another part is just enraged that someone I plan on spending my life with can be so oblivious to the biggest loss in my life thus Daddy "Daddio".

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it pointless to expect someone untouched by the death of their parent to ever understand? Should I be moving through my grief faster? I would love some input as this issue has really gotten to me. Thank you and peace to you all in this holiday season...the first without my sweet Daddio.

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Hello Bobbi, First let me say that I am so sorry for your loss. It can be said that it is difficult if not impossible for a person to feel the pain that you feel if they haven't experienced that same loss. Support and comfort can be expressed. It is also possible that one may experience the same loss as you and still they may not grieve the same way as you do. For some people grief can be very intense while not so much for someone else but it is comforting to know that it is possible to recover. This may take months, a few years or even longer it really depends on the person. The pain you feel in the beginning will lessen with time and life will gradually seem less bleak and meaningless.
Grief or mourning is part of the healing process because it provides a necessary emotional relief. Repressing grief can be harmful, mentally, emotionally and physically so it's important to look for ways to express your grief in a healthy way. The Bible does provide some practical ways to do this. Take care of yourself and live for the day when you'll say "life without end at last."
Hi Bobbi, firstly I'd like to say I'm so sorry for your loss.
I lost my mother August 11th 2008, some thing's have been alittle easier and some feel the same as if it just happened yesterday. I'm married with a child and after experiencing the loss of my mother, it has to be the most painful experience of my life. My emotion's were like a rollercoaster ride and all over the place and it's difficult for your partner to understand this as they haven't experienced what you have and may not have the same relationship with their father as you once had. Don't pressure yourself to grief faster it really doesn't work that way. If you need to cry, you should allow yourself to do so. Talk to your friend's,family member's people you feel comfortable with but allow yourself to grief and don't have any expectation's from those whom haven't been thru what your going thru, it's difficult for them to comprehend let alone understand,what to do or say at time's.
I know my life has changed forever now but I try to find strength thinking of what my mother would say to me as if she was still hear, after all she had to go thru the same experience too.
Take care, hope it made sense Anna.
Hello Bobby, when I read your posting, I could not believe it! I know exactly how you feel. It feels so good to know that I am not the only "crazy" person out there:-)!

I lost my sweet, precious father on July 28, 2009 and I was engaged to be married on December 28, 2009. Soon after my Dad's death my emotions became unmanageable and I quickly discovered that although my fiance was trying to help, he was hurting my healing more than helping. I postponed the engagement, then broke it off altogether. We were living together and he moved back into his place.

My Dad passed at the young age of 57 and my x-finance's parents are in their 80's and have lived a full life. Whereas my Dad spent most of his life depressed, disappointed, and downtrodden.

My engagement occurred earlier this year and we had not been together for long, so my circumstance may be different from yours. However, I felt trapped by his expectation of how I should grieve, how long I should cry for, how much time should go by between cries, and a host of other things. Mainly I felt like all he wanted me to do was "get better" so that our "little lives" could be the way it was before. What he failed to understand is that I will NEVER BE THE WAY I WAS BEFORE!!

The loss is so significant for me that I don't know if I will ever gain closure. Trying to live up to my x-fiance's expectations, operate my law practice, raise my 15 year old son, dealing with my x-husband, be a good daughter to my Mom (I am my parent's only child), cope with how I feel towards other family members who I believe contributed to my Dad's death, and wake up every day to do it all again, was more than I could bare.

Rather that put my x through abuse, I realized that I needed to remove myself from the situation so that I can heal in the way that is right for me without his watchful eye constantly scrutinizing a process that is more excruciating, personal, and heartwrenching than words can express.

I feel more safe as it relates to allowing myself the needed space to grieve in the way that will hopefully bring about closure one day. I no longer have to contend with his time table or nonsensical suggestions. I don't have to feel guilty when I don't want to leave the house; when all I want to do is sit and stare or hold my Dad's ashes and cry.

This journey we are going through is like no other and I am so glad my suite mate told me about this site. He has put up with my ups and downs for three months, bless his heart ... who said, "lawyers are no good":)!

One thing that helps me so much is laughter ... seek out those who make you laugh and distance yourself from those who weigh on your soul and put more on you. We already have enough weighing us down.
I understand what you are feeling. I lost my Dad Oct. 3rd and my Mom 20 years ago. I got really close to my Dad after my Mom's passing. I will be going through my first Christmas and soon, my first Thanksgiving without him and I am very sad. My friends who aren't as close to their parents don't seem to understand what I am going through. Most still have one parent, some have both. I am out of contact with most friends. I have a tendency to withdraw when I am depressed.
Please accept my sympathy/empathy on what you are going through. I am there with you in many ways.
Dear Bobbie,

It seems hard to imagine sometimes that the ones closest to our hearts are the ones that hurt us the most. I am very sorry for the loss of you dad. My Father died last month of cancer and my family seems to be alienating me. My brother does not want anything to do with my husband nor I. It seems so crazy and a waste of energy to be so hurtful and mean to the ones you love most. Men are not in touch with their emotions like women are, it is a fact. My husband is the same- he does not talk about the important issues, he always runs. No, I don't think your grief will end any time soon. It make take a lifetime from what I understand. I have found writing things down and possibly presenting what you wrote to your better half may help him understand what really is going on with you. I too feel your pain and am here for you- Peace and Love June
My DH has experienced loss of a sibling* but not a parent, i've just passed the one month mark of my father's death and I do have up and down days- he is very supportive, but he doesn't understand all the SLEEP I need to get through this. I am tired all the time. I want to be strong for our family and my DD of 5yo, but this process is emotional and physically draining too. We are both in counseling, so I hope this will help him understand what i am now experiencing, everyone grieves differentely (in fact, you should google that term), and your partner needs to understand what your needs are- you may have top just tell him straight out what you need from him. I have found some very helpful podcasts on grief through iTunes- (university of delaware living with loss, and griefcast are two I like)- I hope you get through this difficult time and find the peace you need-

*My DH lost his brother (A Marine) to murder on Christmas Day, and I never understood his grief, now he too has the loss of my dad whom he loved very much, I have to be stonger for him and me-heavy stuff for us right now -so I understand a little of what youre feeling-
I have found some very helpful podcasts on grief through iTunes- (University of Delaware living with loss, and Healing the Greaving Heart are two I like)-
Bobbi, I know where you are coming from my other part was mistreated by his and he was never told that he was loved by either of his of his they were old fashion . he lost his Dad his dad was a drunk all of his life now like father like son my husband is to but I stood beside him and now that my Dad passed away he tells me don't cry why are you crying that is stupid but I was very close to my Daddy I was the only daughter he had and I was a Daddy's girl. I am proud to say it and tell the truth I never in my 55 yrs saw my Daddy drink but he played a gutar for our church and tought a lot of other people to play .He loved his God, his Family and his country. HE was proud of all of his children all 5 of us and we were proud of him and I miss him so bad. Part of me is gone I loved him so much. But I do know where you are coming from with your other half. I ready for divorce and I plan on doing it after the first of the new year.
i lost my father since I was 2 years old. Eventhough i never met my father, but some how i still feel that i connect to him, because I look like him. I only knew him through his picture, and through my mother words about him.... You know, I lost him 40 years ago.the pain is still there. Over the time , you get use to your lost.I guest we learn how to survive over the year.I think i should be jelous with you, because you are still better shape than me. You had a chance to know your father. I bet you had many wonderful years with your father, other wise you will not feel heart broken like this. Your father must be the best father too.i wish i have one day to spend with my father. Please treasure what you have with him. It will always a part of you. About your partner, maybe he understand how you feel, but he did not know how to express his feeling to comfor you. this website is perfect to share your feeling and get support. i hope you feel better . God bless you.
I am sorry for your loss. I lost my father on Dec. 20 which was just afew days ago. He was 61 and had colon cancer. He died in my hands. I made a bed out of 3 chairs and held his hand while he died after being taken off life support. I was also the only family member who was in the room while they took him off and removed the tubes and ventilator. I didn't want him to be alone. I have 1 sister and 2 brothers.
It might be possible your husband doest know how to help you. Anger is one of the first emotions that comes out. It is actually always fear of something. I tried to do everything to be there for my mother. She kept yelling at me. She actually probably doesn't exactly know what she is feeling right now. It is so difficult to deal with that it can come out in all sorts of ways.
If you even could know what I have been through this year. My brothers and sister do things and support each other. I am completely left out. I have ADHD and depression as it is. This is really hard on me. I am alone. It seems like they don't even acknowledge that losing a father is so traumatic. I am just backing off. I can never do or say anything without my sister and brother rolling their eys. It is just hurting me. You need to go throug the greiving cycle in order to get through this. I think maybe your husband feels helpless. Counselling migt help. Both of your emotions and how long usually come out to the one we are closest too. To understand this on your husbands part and how to deal. Also yours. You are very lucky you have your husband there for you. He is he just doesn't know how probably. Just a guess. God Bless, Nicole
Hi Bobbi,
I can relate to your experience of having a partner that did not understand my grief when my step-mom who raised me died of colon cancer at age 57 in 2005. My husband's parents at the time were in their 80's. We spent every holiday with them for 13 years because, "they may not be here next year...this may be their last Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc." My parents were young and I expected to have plenty of time to spend holidays with them, visiting them out of state in the future. My Mom was diagnosed in April and died in June. I barely got there in time to say goodbye the day before she died. I felt the wind knocked out of my sails. I had no energy or motivation. Empathy is not a strong suit for my husband and I could not believe this was happening to me before him. I grieved, not only for the loss of my mom, but also that nothing would ever be the same in my family again. It can be so easy for someone else looking on to say you should do this or that, or should feel this or that if they have never experienced such a loss before. They don't understand that you just can't think straight the way you did before the loss and you don't have the energy that you are used to. A partner may still expect you to make the logical choices you did before the loss and can't understand why you seem so confused and chaotic. I understand that part. There really isn't a good way to explain that to someone who hasn't experienced that before. One of the hard parts is not knowing and not being able to tell someone else how long it will be before you feel and act "normal" again. Will this last forever? I wondered. I do hope you are finding some supportive friends to share with during this difficult time. I'll be praying for you.
I unbelievably (!) have now lost my mother too. I was just staring to make some peace with the loss of my father, and now my mom is gone? Adult Orphan now I guess. So unexpectedly, she had a stoke Christmas night, I spoke to her on the phone after EMS left, and she assured me she was okay but clearly they missed something, now they think she may have had a stroke! I don't know why she didn't go to hosp with ems! I found her TWO days later barely alive and they were just not able to help her at the hospital- she went into cardiac arrest and there was nothing else they could do... I have so many what if's, and why didn't I ...general guilt issues.
So today and the whole New Years' weekend I'm spending cleaning her apartment and suffering my terrible pain and loss... I just can't make sense of this right now. I managed to write half an obit, but will not make today's deadline at the paper here, I still have to notify her friends... please give me the strength I need for this!
Much too soon to lose antoher parent!


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