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Old 12-06-2011, 10:23 AM
 
24,548 posts, read 14,875,373 times
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My brother and his wife lost their eldest 19 year old son a month ago and while both are grieving she is an absolute mess. When she is not sleeping she cries constantly and says things that indicate a deep deep depression. They are seeing a family therapist together. I have intervened as a support mechanism when they had other problems throughout their marriage with great success. This, however, is way, way out of my league. They also live in another state which makes it more difficult to help out and she is basically alone most of the time. All her family is here. My heart breaks into a million pieces for her and her pain to me must be unimaginable. The younger son is probably going to start feeling emotionally abandoned and a second rate chld the longer she spends every day sobbing and wishing she was dead. She even sleeps with his pictures and it's now been a month and she's worse instead of better.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with bereavement support groups for parents who have lost their children and if they were helpful or not. Also the name of any national group which could lead me to finding a local group. He was not murdered and did not commit suicide but it was a combination of pills and alcohol on a night out with his friends. Burned into her brain, if I may be so graphic was finding him ice cold, in a rigor state with vomit all over him. I don't have children though I was very close to him and as bad as I feel - she has to feel a million times worse. I want to find her some good help and I personally feel a support group with people who have also been through this would be the best thing she can do.

If anyone can reccommend something, please feel free to post it or DM me with any information.

Thursday
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,095 posts, read 56,964,608 times
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Thursday, I am SO very sorry for what your family is going through

Please consider contacting a group like Kindermourn, they may be able to help.

Homepage

Compassionate Friends is another good one.

http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:32 AM
 
24,548 posts, read 14,875,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Thursday, I am SO very sorry for what your family is going through

Please consider contacting a group like Kindermourn, they may be able to help.

Homepage

Compassionate Friends is another good one.

Home Page
Thanks, Loves, this is exactly the types of things I'm looking for.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,867,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thursday007 View Post
My brother and his wife lost their eldest 19 year old son a month ago and while both are grieving she is an absolute mess. When she is not sleeping she cries constantly and says things that indicate a deep deep depression. They are seeing a family therapist together. I have intervened as a support mechanism when they had other problems throughout their marriage with great success. This, however, is way, way out of my league. They also live in another state which makes it more difficult to help out and she is basically alone most of the time. All her family is here. My heart breaks into a million pieces for her and her pain to me must be unimaginable. The younger son is probably going to start feeling emotionally abandoned and a second rate chld the longer she spends every day sobbing and wishing she was dead. She even sleeps with his pictures and it's now been a month and she's worse instead of better.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with bereavement support groups for parents who have lost their children and if they were helpful or not. Also the name of any national group which could lead me to finding a local group. He was not murdered and did not commit suicide but it was a combination of pills and alcohol on a night out with his friends. Burned into her brain, if I may be so graphic was finding him ice cold, in a rigor state with vomit all over him. I don't have children though I was very close to him and as bad as I feel - she has to feel a million times worse. I want to find her some good help and I personally feel a support group with people who have also been through this would be the best thing she can do.

If anyone can reccommend something, please feel free to post it or DM me with any information.

Thursday
This is a stomach churning post. I am a parent too. I would hope these parents are considering all the professional help available to them including psychiatrict help and medicine. I don't think there is much we can do.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:49 AM
 
24,548 posts, read 14,875,373 times
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Originally Posted by Charles View Post
This is a stomach churning post. I am a parent too. I would hope these parents are considering all the professional help available to them including psychiatrict help and medicine. I don't think there is much we can do.
They are in family therapy and I believe they have gone to one group session. The decision up in the air at this point is having her come back up here at Christmas and live here for a while because she would be around family. My fear if that happens, is she won't get the help she needs. So, I'm proactively trying to find some group, in addition to one on one therapy, so she can converse and know people and get support from people who have also experienced this problem. I'd take her myself and go with her or whatever she needed, I just think I can only offer so much support and then it's beyond my scope and abilities.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: IL
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Thursday, I'm so very sorry. Compassionate Friends is a fantastic organization, I would highly recommend it too.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:43 AM
 
749 posts, read 1,092,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thursday007 View Post
My brother and his wife lost their eldest 19 year old son a month ago and while both are grieving she is an absolute mess. When she is not sleeping she cries constantly and says things that indicate a deep deep depression. They are seeing a family therapist together. I have intervened as a support mechanism when they had other problems throughout their marriage with great success. This, however, is way, way out of my league. They also live in another state which makes it more difficult to help out and she is basically alone most of the time. All her family is here. My heart breaks into a million pieces for her and her pain to me must be unimaginable. The younger son is probably going to start feeling emotionally abandoned and a second rate chld the longer she spends every day sobbing and wishing she was dead. She even sleeps with his pictures and it's now been a month and she's worse instead of better.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with bereavement support groups for parents who have lost their children and if they were helpful or not. Also the name of any national group which could lead me to finding a local group. He was not murdered and did not commit suicide but it was a combination of pills and alcohol on a night out with his friends. Burned into her brain, if I may be so graphic was finding him ice cold, in a rigor state with vomit all over him. I don't have children though I was very close to him and as bad as I feel - she has to feel a million times worse. I want to find her some good help and I personally feel a support group with people who have also been through this would be the best thing she can do.

If anyone can reccommend something, please feel free to post it or DM me with any information.

Thursday
A support group would be helpful, compassionate friends is one that I know people have found helpful. The most helpful groups will be the ones who only deal with the loss of children. While all loss is painful the death of a grandmother or beloved aunt or even elderly parents is not quite the same as losing a child.

I do have a bit of advice for you though since you care so deeply about them and their loss and want to help them.

First, you cannot help them get better. It is hard for some to hear. There is nothing that will make that pain go away. Imagine losing a limb, you can survive, adapt, and appear mostly normal but that limb is gone and you will never be completely normal and whole again.

Second. She nor he will be better in a month. They are probably still in shock, and denial, which is completely normal. Their emotions will be running rampant for the next year. It is completely normal to switch from sadness and despair to denial to anger to numbness and etc. Sometimes all in the same day or even hour. After a year she will probably have a better handle on keeping her emotions in check around other people but she and he will still have that profound sadness that will never go away.

Third. Everyone grieves differently. Just because one person can keep it together and put on a fake suit saying they are ok doesn't mean everyone can. People also grieve on different timelines. Some do their heavy grieving early on and some it doesn't hit until much later because they think they have to be strong and take care of other people or they push it down because it is too painful. It will eventually come out. The people who do heavy grieving right at the beginning tend to do better than the ones who bottle it up.

The best thing you can do to help is lend a supporting ear, do not judge on how well you think they are handling this. Do not give advice on what you think they should be doing to handle this better unless you are asked on something specific. It is wonderful that you care so much about them and it is hard when you want to help but there is only so little that you can do.

I am sorry for your family's loss and the tough times that they have ahead.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:08 PM
 
24,548 posts, read 14,875,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skahar View Post
A support group would be helpful, compassionate friends is one that I know people have found helpful. The most helpful groups will be the ones who only deal with the loss of children. While all loss is painful the death of a grandmother or beloved aunt or even elderly parents is not quite the same as losing a child.

I do have a bit of advice for you though since you care so deeply about them and their loss and want to help them.

First, you cannot help them get better. It is hard for some to hear. There is nothing that will make that pain go away. Imagine losing a limb, you can survive, adapt, and appear mostly normal but that limb is gone and you will never be completely normal and whole again.

Second. She nor he will be better in a month. They are probably still in shock, and denial, which is completely normal. Their emotions will be running rampant for the next year. It is completely normal to switch from sadness and despair to denial to anger to numbness and etc. Sometimes all in the same day or even hour. After a year she will probably have a better handle on keeping her emotions in check around other people but she and he will still have that profound sadness that will never go away.

Third. Everyone grieves differently. Just because one person can keep it together and put on a fake suit saying they are ok doesn't mean everyone can. People also grieve on different timelines. Some do their heavy grieving early on and some it doesn't hit until much later because they think they have to be strong and take care of other people or they push it down because it is too painful. It will eventually come out. The people who do heavy grieving right at the beginning tend to do better than the ones who bottle it up.

The best thing you can do to help is lend a supporting ear, do not judge on how well you think they are handling this. Do not give advice on what you think they should be doing to handle this better unless you are asked on something specific. It is wonderful that you care so much about them and it is hard when you want to help but there is only so little that you can do.

I am sorry for your family's loss and the tough times that they have ahead.
Oh, I agree completely with everything you've said and have abided by that. The only thing I've asked her to do is to take my calls once a week, I'm not a councelor and everyday may be overkill, and if all she wants to do is cry on the phone with someone on the other end, that's fine. Like I had mentioned I think it's important she connect with others who have experienced this and that the whole matter is way beyond my league or scope when lending support. I can only be available if she feels like pouring it out - rather than harm herself, talk to her once a week so she doesn't completely coccoon herself, and if she does move back here temporarily, be available to take her to sessions and meetings. Telling her what to do, how to do it and what timeline she should do it in isn't even in my thoughts. My brother goes home everyday at lunch to check on her. In fact, in my own mind, the truth is, she will never 'get over it' it's just a matter of finding a way to 'cope' with it and again, that's out of my league.

She had had issues with depression and prescription medicine addiction many years ago which we got through as a family and I lent my support to help her through that, which is also one reason why the group counceling is so vital, because psychiatric medications for her are almost out of the question unless she is in a hospital setting.

Last edited by Thursday007; 12-06-2011 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:45 PM
 
Location: IL
12,158 posts, read 6,092,615 times
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I also forgot to add this, it's important to remember there are also specific support groups depending on how the child died. For example if death was the result of murder or suicide, a specific support group would be preferable. I don't expect you to disclose the details, but I just wanted to add that.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:37 AM
 
24,548 posts, read 14,875,373 times
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Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
I also forgot to add this, it's important to remember there are also specific support groups depending on how the child died. For example if death was the result of murder or suicide, a specific support group would be preferable. I don't expect you to disclose the details, but I just wanted to add that.
I totally agree. I disclosed those in my first post. -Thanks.
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