To grieve or not to grieve?

Topics related to family life.

To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 14 Jan 2015, 22:13

Six years ago, the only child of an acquaintance of mine died suddenly. She was 19, and it was apparently due to some undetected heart problem.

Her parents were obviously distraught, and it threw the girl's mother into a deep depression. She was there when her daughter simply slumped over at the breakfast table, so the shock must've been enormous.

Since then, she's paid 2 trips a week to her daughter's graveside, and although she's not quite so withdrawn now, it's had a terrible effect on the parent's relationship.

The father, who loved his daughter dearly, now says that it's time to move on. He thinks that the regular visits're becoming too much, and they aren't helping to erase the pain of their loss, but the mother insists that it comforts her, yet she won't let her husband anywhere near her, which proves, in my opinion, that she's certainly not over anything, and that she's still grieving heavily.

The couple, who were once so happy, are now like strangers. They've had counselling, which went on for months, but it hasn't helped the mother to come to terms with her loss. The husband now says he's given up on his wife. I've known the pair for quite a long time, and he's certainly not a cold-hearted man. I told him that people grieve at different rates, but he's getting to the point where he's thinking of leaving. His wife, also a lovely woman, barely speaks to him and won't acknowledge that the situation's ruining their lives.

Do you think she's right, or think that her husband should be even more tolerant?
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby pilvikki » 18 Jan 2015, 07:07


it's not a question of right or wrong, they each have to do what works for each on their own.

I've seen this happen before and the pain is unreal, so yes, it'll take a lot longer than a "normal" grieving process.

however, it appears as if the wife has gone obsessive and fanatic, like something broke and she does not wish to fix it. one might wonder why she has dedicated her life to still visit a grave site twice a week, normally it slowly gets thinned out until only the birthdays etc are used to visit.

the poor woman is not well and I can't see how she'd ever get well without professional help.

he... pretty sure he'd be better off on his own. they're basically room mates now and not even good at that.

such a shame, so sorry for them.
User avatar
pilvikki
Royal Poobah Penguin
Royal Poobah Penguin
 
Posts: 40729
Joined: 07 Aug 2007, 23:32
Location: france

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 18 Jan 2015, 08:51

Thank you. I was leaning towards those thoughts myself.

The mother still has odd sessions with a bereavement counsellor, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. I, too, feel that her loss's become all-consuming, but trying to put myself in her position, would I act the same? Losing a child must be one of the most awful things ever, but probably even worse when it's your only one.

It's a very sad situation, because both of them loved the girl. The husband's done his best to attend these twice-weekly graveside vigils, but he's now wanting to move forward, never forgetting, but putting the past to rest. It seems to me that his wife, in her grief, is pushing her husband away, almost like an undeserved punishment, but I suppose no one knows how they'd react until they went through an experience like it themselves - and who'd want to? : (
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby pilvikki » 18 Jan 2015, 09:22


I've no idea how one even survives such grief...

loosing my dog to old age was bad enough.
User avatar
pilvikki
Royal Poobah Penguin
Royal Poobah Penguin
 
Posts: 40729
Joined: 07 Aug 2007, 23:32
Location: france

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 18 Jan 2015, 19:16

You're so right. Losing a pet's terrible. I still feel "the girls" in our house, and expect them to come bounding up to me when I come in. I wonder if that's because I still have their ashes? I didn't get to bury them last year because of not being able to find a nice bush or plant to put them under, that was in season. As soon as the bad weather goes, and the ground gets softer, I'll find something appropriate.

When we have children, we never expect to outlive them do we? Sadly, it happens sometimes, but I can't visualise the pain of it, although eventually, you'd hope to move on in small ways and make the most of a bad situation. : (
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby Yogi » 19 Jan 2015, 10:41

I know of a woman who lost an infant to SIDS. She became clinically depressed for several years and blamed herself for the entire incident. There is more than simple grief going on in both these incidents, and what is going on affects the quality of life adversely. By definition that is an illness. Grief is normal, but illness is not. If the husband in your story is strong enough to do something proactive, he would encourage his wife to get psychiatric therapy, not grief counseling. But, as you point out, these situations are never easy to cope with. Not everyone is strong enough to help a distressed mind.
User avatar
Yogi
Oracle Class Poster
Oracle Class Poster
 
Posts: 7013
Joined: 04 Aug 2007, 19:37
Location: Chicagoland

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 19 Jan 2015, 17:57

I totally agree Yogi. The problem over here is, that psychiatric therapy isn't readily available unless you can afford to go privately.

The woman in question was given antidepressants by her doctor. She no longer takes them, but her grief's as bad as ever, so after counselling, she was referred again.

I don't think her husband knows what to do any more, and it's quite possible that, as in the case you mentioned above, his wife either blames herself in some way, or blames her husband. Totally irrational of course, but when a person's under that kind of distress/duress I believe that it DOES make them ill.

I see the couple quite often, so when I get the chance, I'll perhaps suggest to the husband that he pushes for his wife to see a psychiatrist. There's a long wait for these type of things, but after 6 years, I suppose that a few more months won't hurt. : (
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby Yogi » 19 Jan 2015, 18:55

It's a shame you can't get the help you need when you need it there, but the only alternative seems to be for him to abandon his wife. Do you suppose that would help or hurt her more? Sometimes people recover from mental disorders when they are shocked by some rock bottom reality. Losing all she has might be the catalyst she needs for recovery. Or, it could make her worse, if that is possible.
User avatar
Yogi
Oracle Class Poster
Oracle Class Poster
 
Posts: 7013
Joined: 04 Aug 2007, 19:37
Location: Chicagoland

Re: To grieve or not to grieve?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 19 Jan 2015, 19:15

I really haven't thought about that alternative Yogi. The couple're delightful in every other way, but the tragedy's blighting their lives.

If I'm honest, I don't know how the husband's stuck it for so long. Everyone used to remark on what a close and loving couple they were, but rather than things slowly improve, the wife, however nice a person, seems stuck in a cycle of abject grief.

I think if her husband left, it'd kill her. To lose two of the closest people to her'd be the end of her world, and yet I can't blame her husband for beginning to think that it might be best if he broke away. I don't think he really wants to, but his wife isn't the same woman that she once was, and his expression says it all. He looks tired and dejected, and had to leave work to become his wife's full-time carer.

I was going to post this a while ago, just to see what others thought, but didn't like to because I'm talking about some very real and nice people here, but having seen and spoken to them recently, I can see that nothing's changed apart from the husband seeming at the end of his tether. He's still very kind towards his wife, and in between talking about the graveside visits, she seems to be outwardly coping ... only she isn't. All conversations return to the same subject, which I find very sad. I can appreciate that the woman's had a terrible loss, but if I can say this, there are equally as bad things which folk have to endure - if not worse sometimes. At least their poor daughter didn't suffer, but I don't suppose that comes into it from the wife's way of thinking. Perhaps I'm wrong in thinking that way. I haven't had to go through it, thankfully, although we were close to it with our own son not so long ago. : (
User avatar
Ice.Maiden
Golden Poster
Golden Poster
 
Posts: 70045
Joined: 14 Aug 2009, 23:31
Location: Peak District


Return to Family Relations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron