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Old 03-02-2016, 03:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 510 times
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Hello all. I am completely new to these forums.
I lost my step dad suddenly last June and it's been extremely hard on my mother and I. We don't have a large family and I am an only child. I have my own life and home now, and seeing how hard my mother is taking his death is quite literally the hardest thing I've ever gone through. I almost feel like my grief has been somewhat suppressed because I am trying to take care of my mother in hers. Things were beginning to get better, but then my moms cat got cancer and had to be put down two weeks ago and it's brought everything back tenfold. Her depression and alcoholism has increased and I'm stressed beyond belief, always worrying about her. Not a day goes by that she doesn't break down on the phone with me (I try to spend as much time with her as I can, but we talk everyday) saying things like she has nothing left, she just wants to die too, blaming God (she's Jewish), or saying she can't live without him because she can't handle being alone. It makes extremely concerned for her well being, obviously.

We're finally going to a grief support group tonight. We had to wait for the next "round" because all the groups close by were full. I'm a little apprehensive about it in regards to myself because I feel like my grief is doubled by dealing with the grief of my mother. I just don't know how beneficial it will be for us to be in the same group, but she's adamant about me going with her. I don't mind at all, and to extent I feel like the idea of it could help me, but I don't know how honest I can be with her by my side since a lot of what I'm going through has a lot to do with her and her well being, not just my loss of my step dad. I'm thinking that I should perhaps seek one on one counseling for myself. I just don't want to make things worse than they are by talking about the things that may make my mother even more depressed, scared, or guilty.

Have any of you gone to grief support with a family member, specifically a parent? If so what were the things that helped or didn't?

Thanks for reading and any input would be extremely helpful and appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:51 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
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I have participated in a grief group, but not with another family member. After my husband died, I went to the group but my son chose to go to individual grief counseling, also at our hospice. Every relationship is different, but although I felt very grateful and needy of his support, I also was aware that my grief was my responsibility, and that if I put too much on him, it would get in the way of his processing his own grief. So we talked about things, and expressed things, but I did not share everything. Several months later we actually talked about my feeling of not wanting to burden him with my grief when he had his own to feel. He agreed that he needed some "space" to just feel what he was feeling and not worry about how I was taking it.

So my feeling would be that it may be helpful to your mother for you to attend with her, but that you will not be free to express all of how you feel, and that you might benefit from something on your own. Your mom may eventually get to that point, too.

There is no question that grief, especially early on, is easier to handle when there is support and sharing. But I think there is a part of grief that softens only with time, and that is so intensely personal that sharing doesn't really help.

As far as the "wanting to die" feelings, you need to use your judgement about that. Some people may actually be suicidal with grief, and that should be taken seriously. But I think many more really just want the pain to end, and saying "I want to die" just expresses that. Also keep in mind that early on, it may be hard for your mom to even imagine a life without her husband, so death feels like the only alternative. As time goes by, hopefully she will be able to look ahead, even a little bit, and that will make those "giving up" feelings fade. I feel like little snippets of enjoyment help to encourage those hopeful feelings. I know they are hard to find at this point, but whenever you can, try to think of things that you mom (and you) have enjoyed in the past and may give even a few minutes of relief from the relentless pain.

Blessings to you both on this difficult journey.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2,850 posts, read 765,823 times
Reputation: 5396
Go by a shelter and pick up another cat. Bring it to her and maybe that will help.
Give her something to be excited about... I will keep you both in my prayers.
May God's loving arms hold you both while you grieve your stepdad's passing.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:31 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,633,393 times
Reputation: 33226
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyJune View Post
Hello all. I am completely new to these forums.
I lost my step dad suddenly last June and it's been extremely hard on my mother and I. We don't have a large family and I am an only child. I have my own life and home now, and seeing how hard my mother is taking his death is quite literally the hardest thing I've ever gone through. I almost feel like my grief has been somewhat suppressed because I am trying to take care of my mother in hers. Things were beginning to get better, but then my moms cat got cancer and had to be put down two weeks ago and it's brought everything back tenfold. Her depression and alcoholism has increased and I'm stressed beyond belief, always worrying about her. Not a day goes by that she doesn't break down on the phone with me (I try to spend as much time with her as I can, but we talk everyday) saying things like she has nothing left, she just wants to die too, blaming God (she's Jewish), or saying she can't live without him because she can't handle being alone. It makes extremely concerned for her well being, obviously.

We're finally going to a grief support group tonight. We had to wait for the next "round" because all the groups close by were full. I'm a little apprehensive about it in regards to myself because I feel like my grief is doubled by dealing with the grief of my mother. I just don't know how beneficial it will be for us to be in the same group, but she's adamant about me going with her. I don't mind at all, and to extent I feel like the idea of it could help me, but I don't know how honest I can be with her by my side since a lot of what I'm going through has a lot to do with her and her well being, not just my loss of my step dad. I'm thinking that I should perhaps seek one on one counseling for myself. I just don't want to make things worse than they are by talking about the things that may make my mother even more depressed, scared, or guilty.

Have any of you gone to grief support with a family member, specifically a parent? If so what were the things that helped or didn't?

Thanks for reading and any input would be extremely helpful and appreciated.
I think you should give it a chance and hopefully you will report back as to how it went.

I went to one alone and it helped me.

I don't think it's too good when the death is very recent, but it has been several months for your situation. They say you should wait a few months after the death to go to one.

Many times after someone dies people stop asking about you and "move on", people who have had losses understand you, it may be awkward at first as your strangers. But if you like the group and continue to go you get to know people. Hearing other people's stories and knowing you're not the only ones going through grief can help greatly. Although the circumstances can be different you have a common bond.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:09 AM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,233 posts, read 18,123,468 times
Reputation: 3419
I began grief support sessions one month and 4 days after my late husband's death last summer at his church. It is true that you need time to grieve before seeking help. I knew I wasn't ready to participate fully with others in my group but I wanted to meet others experiencing loss and to learn if the feelings I was having were normal and I learned everyone processes grief differently and that a lot depends on the relationship you had with the deceased. I'm only 55 so I have a lot of living left to do, especially since most of the 35 years of our marriage was consumed with my husband's health problems.

Go with your mother and participate as you feel able to. You will learn things that might make it easier for you to understand why your mother is grieving the way she is. Several churches in my area offer the same program so you might be able to join another program nearby where you can openly express yourself.

The program I attended allows you to attend future programs free. I missed several weeks of the original 13 week program I attended so I enrolled again so that I can catch up on what I missed.

GriefShare - Grief Recovery Support Groups - GriefShare
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:34 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
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Did you go to the support group? How did it go?

Thinking of you.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:03 AM
 
Location: In a house
21,902 posts, read 20,895,074 times
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I hope you did go to the support group--they do help!
I went to 2 different grief support groups--GriefShare at my church and then one at Hospice. Now I am just starting up therapy again with a therapist who was very helpful in the beginning. The groups helped a lot but I am only now beginning the grief of reality so that is where I personally need a therapist. I need to find out who I am and where I am going.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:49 AM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
Reputation: 4549
I attended an "over 50 spousal loss" grief group at my local hospice. It was very, very helpful, and I actually developed friendships of people who had similar losses to mine. I am so glad I went. I also attended a Griefshare group. I got less out of this, as my religious philosophy did not quite match, and people there have had all kinds of losses. It was well run, and I appreciated it, but I didn't get that much from it. I also went every few weeks to some individual counseling. This particular person had counseled both my husband and myself around his dying, so she knew him, and that was really helpful to me. I went to her for about a year after his death. But now I have moved, and having no counseling at all, and that seems OK to me. I am still working on "my life" and how to live it without him, but I think I can do that on my own and with friends, etc. I don't think its a rule that everyone should participate in these types of things, but I know they helped me to start living again, and to start understanding how to live with my grief.
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Old 03-04-2016, 04:51 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,233 posts, read 18,123,468 times
Reputation: 3419
Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
I also attended a Griefshare group. I got less out of this, as my religious philosophy did not quite match, and people there have had all kinds of losses. It was well run, and I appreciated it, but I didn't get that much from it.
Yes, if you aren't a churchgoer or don't believe, Griefshare probably isn't for you.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:03 AM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrc60 View Post
Yes, if you aren't a churchgoer or don't believe, Griefshare probably isn't for you.
Even if you are a church goer (I am) it my not be for you. The program is very conservative, condemns other religions, uses exclusions (If you aren't "born again", we can't help you..) The church sponsoring the session I took removed the pages of the work book that were like that, but the video sometimes reflected those attitudes. My group members and leaders basically agreed to ignore the more extreme religeous dogma, and were able to carry on as a group. So it was fine. Just something to be aware of.
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