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Old 11-02-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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Oh, I might also consider going over with just your brother. If not on the holiday, before.

I'm pretty sure she ONLY wants to talk about your dad right now.
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:56 PM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,121 posts, read 3,402,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks69 View Post
<snip>

Dad had a stroke on November 14, 2012. He had another stroke on Thanksgiving day. Was moved from the Hospital to a senior living center on December 23rd. He had a third stroke on December 24th and went back to the hospital. On December 26th he started a obvious turn down hill until he passed on January 17th.

<snip> The pain she has is just as fresh as it was 10 months ago. She will cry almost every time that we speak on the phone. So what do I do? I want to go see my mom. My wife and 14 year old daughter want to see her but she pushes us away. <snip> .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks69 View Post
<snip> We asked her if she wanted to come out here as by brother and I did that this past May when my daughter graduated from middle school. We me in Kansas City and shuffled mom to my home in Kansas. One week later we swapped back. She seemed to be fine at that point but now she seems to be falling apart.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcy1210 View Post
It's the holidays, Sparks. The holidays are time for families; for food, togetherness, and good cheer. <snip>.
I don't know but it seems to me that because your mom is approaching the one year anniversary of your dad's initial stroke (November 14th, 2012) and his eventual and subsequent passing on January 17th (2013) AND these months are the classic family holidays and noted for family get togethers across the miles...it's not going to be an easy time for her. Fresh wounds, as it were and just too many bad memories of this time of year and I think this is going to be a delicate time for her...for at least a few years to come.

It has been eleven years sice my husband became ill and passed away (same time frame of fall and winter seasons) and only recently have I been able to resign myself to the fact that it was not a bad dream and he is truly gone...forever. Except in my heart and the hearts of my children of course! My future life is still a question mark, I am very apprehensive about my senior years and in the end the only conclusion that I come to is...it is what it is. This is the life I have been given by the fickle finger of fate and I am left to mourn and shrivel or I am left to make the best of it and what I have. I choose to make the best of what I have and the blessing of life but it was a process of eleven years.

I say this to you because whether your mother realizes it or not she does need her family around her with and she will take comfort in you, your family, your brother (and his family?) being there for her during this time of blessing, family and all the gratefulness which accompanies our winter holidays. Holidays are not merely a time for eating traditional meals, playing board games, watching football, and exchanging gifts they are a time we are blessed to have our families and share the celebration of life with them.

I hope my view is of consolation and help to you in making the right decision...just my view on a cool and crisp autumn afternoon. Thanksgiving is coming and I will remember (as I have the last ten years) the last Thanksgiving I spent with my husband and how much it has meant to me and my children over these long and many years now. If you can, find a way to persuade your mom to spend some time with you and your family, maybe explain to her how important it is for your daughter to have this time with her family and especially her grandmother so she can create her own fond recollections, perhaps it will be helpful.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays when they arrive!
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Mom should go spend Holiday time with you or your brother.
It gets her out of the house where she experienced the death of your father.
That house, that city, the Holiday scene, will be the triggers to set off renewed grief.
Being in a different environment will be good therapy for her.
She can't have the same acute grief in a different environment When she returns the Holidays will be over and so too the triggers. Not so say she will stop grieving, but that acute "anniversary" situation will be somewhat relieved. Hopefully greatly relieved.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:40 PM
 
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Tell her the grandkids want to see her. If nothing else you go by yourself and let her have one of those boo hoo ugly cries. That grief has to come out so she can get on enjoying life with her love ones.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
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Thank you to everyone for your thoughts. Seems the majority are saying to just go and be with her during the holidays. I would like to say, I really don't give two hoots about Thanksgiving dinner. We can eat sandwiches and I would be fine.
I called my Aunt this morning (Mom's Sis) and without hesitation she said to call mom and let her know when we were going to be there and just go. She assured me the same as many of you here that she needs family during this time.
I do have thoughts of having a little "tough love" session with her but have not decided yet. Thank you again to ALL of you for your thoughts on this situation.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:35 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 10,730,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks69 View Post
Thank you to everyone for your thoughts. Seems the majority are saying to just go and be with her during the holidays. I would like to say, I really don't give two hoots about Thanksgiving dinner. We can eat sandwiches and I would be fine.
I called my Aunt this morning (Mom's Sis) and without hesitation she said to call mom and let her know when we were going to be there and just go. She assured me the same as many of you here that she needs family during this time.
I do have thoughts of having a little "tough love" session with her but have not decided yet. Thank you again to ALL of you for your thoughts on this situation.
Sparks,

What do you mean by "tough love" with your mom? I want to be fair and not comment until I understand your meaning.

MSR
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
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Sparks...My older son took pride in being "practical." He got over the deaths of his grandparents and "birth" dad pretty fast. You mentioned in your opening post that you were able to work-through your grief over losing your dad in a few months...My younger son was the total opposite. He was "crushed" and experienced overwhelming grief when family members died...My older son started changing the last few years before he died. He let himself "feel more" and had more compassion and empathy for others...I'm a widow myself and both my sons are dead now... I "feel" for you but I also "feel" for your mother too. She has to deal with all kinds of trauma and feelings and memories during the holiday season this year...I wish you both the best. (And your whole family.) It just seems weird to hear you talk about giving your mom some "tough love."
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn. States Resident View Post
Sparks,

What do you mean by "tough love" with your mom? I want to be fair and not comment until I understand your meaning.

MSR
Just that we are coming down to visit (we will stay at motel) and that this is the time of year that you need to be with family. Especially when the holidays is mixed with bad memories from one year ago. I would also encourage her to move on and find something to keep her occupied.

Expanding on that a little is this fact. My mom and Dad were married in 1964. They were both in their mid to late 20's. From that point on mom was dads assistant. She spent 48 years being his secretary, book keeper, errand runner etc..... She not only lost her spouse but she also lost her "job" if you will at the same time. Her world revolved around dad and his various business's over the years. She needs to find herself in the middle of all of this and find something to keep her busy.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,145,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks69 View Post
OK peeps, I just joined and went straight to the Grief and Mourning because I would like to ask for some advice.
I am a male, 44 years old. One of two boys in my family. My dad passed away in January 2013.
The problem is my mom. First let me describe her as one of the sweetest most caring persons on the planet. She was a superb mother that was always there for all of us. She has always placed her needs second to those of the people around her.
So what is the problem? I live in Kansas and she lives in Missouri. I have a brother that see's her about every week or two as he lives 30 miles away from her. With the Holiday's coming I want to take my wife and daughter to go see her at Thanksgiving or Christmas. However, she doesn't want us to come. She is pushing us away because as she says, she will not be very good company.
Dad had a stroke on November 14, 2012. He had another stroke on Thanksgiving day. Was moved from the Hospital to a senior living center on December 23rd. He had a third stroke on December 24th and went back to the hospital. On December 26th he started a obvious turn down hill until he passed on January 17th.
From my perspective (I hope this doesn't sound callus) I have known since I was a small child that someday my loved ones would die. I knew that some day I would die. When my dad passed away, I was obviously very upset. I grieved for about 2 months and that was it. I accepted this is part of life and now I need to continue on with mine. I miss my dad but I don't grieve any longer.
I can obviously tell that my mom is the exact opposite. The pain she has is just as fresh as it was 10 months ago. She will cry almost every time that we speak on the phone.
So what do I do? I want to go see my mom. My wife and 14 year old daughter want to see her but she pushes us away. It causes me great pain to be pushed away by her but I am trying to accept that. This is not about what I want or need it is about what my mom needs. How do I help her get over the hump to recovery? Do I go see her anyway? Do I purposely not go visit? Whether I go see her or not I think she will hurt.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Sparks, this is one of those situations where you just have to show up. Your Mom needs you more than you know.

It sounds like your parents were married a very long time, so it's only natural for your mother to still be grieving. But at this point she may need some help actively working to process the grief. Talk to her about that in person when you go for Thanksgiving.

Suggest she look for a grief support group to attend. Or even help her to locate one with an internet search or by calling her church.

Do be aware, depression in senior citizens is common but too often overlooked and not addressed. If she continues to stay stuck in her grief beyond the anniversary date of his death next January please get her in with her doctor okay?
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:08 PM
 
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Default Right intention but perhaps different words

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks69 View Post
Just that we are coming down to visit (we will stay at motel) and that this is the time of year that you need to be with family. Especially when the holidays is mixed with bad memories from one year ago. I would also encourage her to move on and find something to keep her occupied.

Expanding on that a little is this fact. My mom and Dad were married in 1964. They were both in their mid to late 20's. From that point on mom was dads assistant. She spent 48 years being his secretary, book keeper, errand runner etc..... She not only lost her spouse but she also lost her "job" if you will at the same time. Her world revolved around dad and his various business's over the years. She needs to find herself in the middle of all of this and find something to keep her busy.
Sparks,

First, let me thank you in clarifying your "tough love" comment.

Secondly, I apologize for not acknowledging your loss of your father. Despite you requesting information how to address the upcoming holiday and wanting to have a plan ready, the fact remains both you and your brother lost your father when your mom lost her husband.

Third, CA shared personal experiences of loss as both a wife and mother. What new insight did you gain from her post?

Fourth, I join CA and will say while I believe your motivation is to help your mother and well intended; nonetheless, I'd strongly encourage you to use different terminology. Your adult, grieving mother is not your child. She gave birth to you. Maybe she used "tough love" with you as a kid, I don't know. But everyone is an adult now.

That doesn't mean you can't express your love and support for her and ask how you can help her the most. Or if you have concerns they can be shared as well.

Please be emotionally honest with yourself in answering this question silently or in a post if you desire. How comfortable are you with the memories of last year, seeing both of your parents struggle with you dad's clinical course and ultimate death?

Furthermore, while I totally acknowledge that most men are solution driven. That can be a tremendous asset at work, and perhaps occassionaly in your own home. However, your mother doesn't have to do anything just because you or your brother or anyone else says she should.

Unlike making a Pumpkin Pie using one of dozens of recipes, grief is individual making what your mom "needs" defined by her, not me, CA, Marcy, Tami, your aunt, the person at the grocery store check out, your brother or you. Again, you can lend your love and support asking her what is the hardest for her and listening to her answers or sitting silently and comforting her as she weeps.

I promise you I will write a public apology to you if I am wrong. Did you ever think maybe your mom didn't want her grown sons telling her what she needs to do to " stay busy" or a date when she'll feel better? Rather than saying that to you she just said no without explanation.

Your aunt didn't indicate your mom is incapable of making decisions or unable of caring for herself. Can you accept she needs to grieve and deal with the anniversaries and family holiday in the ways she is comfortable? You and your brother can be a tremendous help to her if you approach this situation with a mentality that you're there to enjoy seeing family, remembering your dad and acknowledging how difficult this time must be for her. You might even share an experience or two how you have struggled since you lost your dad.

Women process events and often turn to other widows or women who have had significant losses to just listen when they need to talk.... Conversely, many men are truly uncomfortable hearing or seeing someone they love suffering so much. Often that is why they try to find a quick answer or solution they think will stop the pain.

Unless your mom specifically asks you or your brother for advice or how to fix her roof, get tires for her car, fix her stove or a water pipe etc. she doesn't need solutions about how to progress with her life. She absolutely needs the love, acceptance just the way she is by her family.

You might want to make a list of supportive comments or different ways you can ask how you can help her and practice them in advance. This isn't a business transaction, this is seeing your mother. As you learned with your father, you don't know when your last time to see her is. Make this visit count.

She is busy as she can manage presently trying to adjust to probably far more than just the events leading to your father's death. She probably has more loses than you know as there are so many different types of loss with death. You essentially told us she was by your father's side both at work and home. I had Crick at work and home too and I'm still unraveling the different roles in the various settings. Maybe you could make a list of what you think your mom's losses were when your dad died.

Each time instead of telling her what "she needs to do," substitute your solution with a question so you can learn more ............Can you tell me more? What is the hardest for you etc. and really listening you might accomplish exactly what you want for her. But you aren't Telling her what to do vs. Asking how can you help, along with sharing feelings and memories. She may ask you and your brother to problem solve together situations she hasn't mastered. Give her your best advice realizing her capabilities now.

Your mom doesn't need, "tough love." She is an adult who may be struggling with the loss of her husband; I seriously doubt she's growing weed downstairs or buying ingredients to make Meth. She needs kindness and unconditional love.

Finally, you may be surprised if you utilize the suggestions you have received from me and others your mom may improve. You may even notice the same principles applied to your work yielding results you didn't think were possible.

If you need help preparing this new approach with your mom, I am confident some of those who have already posted will do our best to help you with different words asking about her NEEDS vs. what she needs to do. There are many wise posters in this forum have a lot of solid advice from experience. You can always ask us how to phrase something or how would a statement you would like to tell your mom be perceived by those who have been where she currently is.

BTW, kuddos to you for being fine with a sandwich. I wonder if your mom knows that?

Good luck,

MSR

Last edited by Mtn. States Resident; 11-02-2013 at 10:49 PM..
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