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What do you do when kids call? They are all adults and living in different areas. See at least one of them every couple of months. Frequent calls. I am eleven weeks today. Today eleven weeks ago at this time he was alive and semi okay. Anyway sorry to ramble. They all have their own lives and set of problems. Know they miss their dad a lot. I rarely tell them how I really feel and basically lie. " I am okay, doing such and such  etc" . I dont want to burden them but other than this group and a grief support meeting once a week there is no one to tell I am falling apart. What to do? What do others do?

 

 

 

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I'm a pretty ineffective liar and my kids see right through me plus I want to use our time talking to give them a venue to open up if they need it. Two of my kids have young families and demanding jobs so frequently their grieving time is late at night. I figure it's good for them to know my struggles and my successes. 

Unlike the family I grew up in, I want my kids to know that grief is not something to be shelved and suffered in silence. I think it is healthy for them to know when I'm hurting. Maybe it all goes back to the adage: misery loves company. But I do think they will share with me things they can't share with spouses because I understand and their spouses; not so much so. 

I get to talk to all three kids pretty much every day; they call on their way home from work (advantage of three kids in three time zones) so we've had plenty of practice. 

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My daughter was home visiting when George went in the hospital, she was in between places so she stayed a few months...she definitely saw everything I was going through.  My son was in the Air Force (not deployed, in an office) and he came for a visit when George died but even after he went back, we'd talk on the phone about it.  He was grieving too.  It helped to talk with someone else that loved him.  They rebounded faster because their relationship was different than mine, but that's normal.  Losing a spouse goes on forever, even though we begin to adjust and it doesn't stay as intense as it was in the beginning.

I don't see any point in pretending.

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On 2/19/2017 at 9:12 AM, kayc said:

I don't see any point in pretending.

Our family is very emotional.  We don't hide it.  There are fights and whatever happens, we are always back together.  (Not physical fights).  Both my kids are bipolar and Billy and I both were enablers.  Now, they have to make it with half a person for their mom.  They knew mine and Billy's marriage, bad times, good times, and Billy was the world's best dad and granddad, except we both enabled our kids and they did not really learn to fly away from us.  I talk to them every day.  My voice just naturally shakes anyhow, but they know, they loved him too, so very much.  I think sometimes they might hurt as bad as I do, in different ways.  My granddaughter and Billy bonded from the time she was brought home from the hospital.  He was the only "Dade" she ever knew, so she lost a dad and a granddad all at once.  Maybe that is why she and I are so close.  My daughter just left an abusive relationship and I worry about her in this Land of Oz she has moved to, but I know it hurt because she lost her dad, lost 10 years of an abusive relationship and her daughter does not want to live with her. But still, we talk more than once a day. (No fussing now). And, I took up the enabling that Billy and I left off when he left.  We don't try to hide the hurt, but we all know we have to go on.  And somehow, this child has to find a life, but I definitely won't put her out of the nest either.  We probably all need family counseling, but somehow the bipolar gets in the way of that.  We all share the grief.  My daughter has a date tonight.  I hope it goes well.  I worry about her, my son, and my granddaughter.  

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On 2/18/2017 at 7:33 PM, Autumn2 said:

What do you do when kids call? They are all adults and living in different areas. See at least one of them every couple of months. Frequent calls. I am eleven weeks today. Today eleven weeks ago at this time he was alive and semi okay. Anyway sorry to ramble. They all have their own lives and set of problems. Know they miss their dad a lot. I rarely tell them how I really feel and basically lie. " I am okay, doing such and such  etc" . I dont want to burden them but other than this group and a grief support meeting once a week there is no one to tell I am falling apart. What to do? What do others do?

 

 

 

I  try not to let my kids know when I am crying, One is in Vermont and a son in San Francisco. The one in Vermont calls almost every day when  she is driving her kids somewhere. My son doesn't call as often, usually when he is driving home or taking his kids somewhere. I don't think when your kids live away and only come home once a year they don't miss their daddy as much because they don't have as many reminders of him to see everyday. It is different with my daughter in Montgomery. Sometimes I can't keep her from knowing and she misses him more because she lives closer by and came home every month or two. She is the one who always rushed home when he got in the hospital. We spent 43 days together in the hospital and the last week we spent the nights on a hospital couch.  I have broken down in front of her a few times but what can she do but put her arm around me and cry too. We both need help then. We don't have any support meetings around here in the daytime and I don't like to be out at night.  I broke down at the Drs office on Friday and when they learned why one asked could she put me on her prayer list and then a woman from the lab came in and talked and prayed with me. She said I was so lucky to have had all those years with my husband, She never had that , her husband left her with two kids to raise and she said all I ever wanted was someone to love me. Then the doctor came in and she talked with me for  a long time before she even looked at my lab results and walked me out with her arm around me. This was my first time going to this doctor and I was very impressed that her people would be so compassionate to me, a stranger. She wants me to go back to church but I can't right now, When I get around people I start crying and can't talk and I feel it embarasses other people because they don't know what to say.

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Martha Jane, I am going to Mount Ida Friday.  I have business.  I dreaded this happening.  I will probably cry all the way up there and all the way home.  I decided I would go a different route and then I remembered we lived 3-4 years out in those country mountains, sometimes going in the middle of the night back up those dirt country roads just to see wildlife.  Thinking about it bothered me.  When we lived there, it was a new house, mountains all around us.  It would make a Class 8 wind tunnel sometimes.  I think that is what it was called.  One time it picked up a wheelbarrow and moved it from one side of the house to the other.  These were mini-tornadoes.  One time I was burning off brush and the wind the fire made blew up one of the wind tunnels and took part of the fire and set it down on the other side of the yard.  I had the hose (long, long one) and put the fire out, but that was a phenomenon I had never experienced.  Something to do with living between the mountains.  I guess like those dust devils you see out west, only seem stronger.  No, I cannot go that way.  Billy lived his Jeremiah Johnson life there.  All I could see was if something happened to him I would be left alone in a foreign land.  So, we moved to town.  He could just take off walking and walk up and over the little mountains, just exploring.  Not hunting at all.  Taking the dog out.  No, I cannot go back that way.  This is something I don't want to do but knew eventually I would have to.  But, when we moved to "town" the little mountains were all around too, so he could just take off walking.  Just like his hitch hiking from his home town to play American Legion ball in the bigger town.  I thought I would feel his essence here.  I'm really dreading going back up there though. No matter where I go, he is still gone.

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Well, I never call anyone unless its positive , funny, or is family matters.....I always keep it upbeat and informative and because of distances, only offer reassurances if asked upon...My kids are always curious of my social life...Don't want me to drink alone ....They like that I'm out and about and not holed up in the "Man Cave"(where I watch sports) for hours on end...We contact by text at least weekly and by phone about the same......and Facebook messanger

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Thanks for all the different thoughts. For now, I will try not to burden my kids. The two that call the most frequently also have a host of their own problems. The one is in the military (special forces) so really have concerns over him and our daughter and her husband have job problems...both just waiting to be laid off. The other two dont call so often but definitely have a lot on their plates too soo I guess this great site will be my release. Thanks again for this site.

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Autumn2, we will never quit worrying about our kids.  I don't know their relationship with their father, but they are at a loss also.  Both my son and daughter want to do things that would make their dad proud.  These are middle aged kids that Billy and I both enabled.  We discussed it a bunch with each other and both of us knew, if given a second chance, we would raise them the same way we did.  There was an old saying "how will they learn if they never hit the floor."  Our job for the whole 54 years was to keep them from hitting the floor and my job now is to try to help also.  Half my income goes to pay for what we have bought for them.  They know this and are trying to help, but we have held them up for over 50 years, and I hope they can learn.  They are as lost without their dad as I am.  That is mine and his fault.  

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For me it depends on how they are feeling.  My adopted daughter is in another state.  She has a wonderful and supportive boyfriend/future fiancée who has been terrific throughout, but that is about her only support network in the area.  Further, because she isn't a blood relative, she doesn't have a lot of outlets to the rest of the family that she talks with about her emotional state.

But she is very open and emotionally expressive.  With her, I get a gauge of whether she wants to talk about it, and if she does I let it all come out because I think it helps us both. If she isn't in the mood to talk about it, I usually deflect with whatever humor I can manage, and steer the conversation to more mundane topics.

With my stepdaughter it is a little different.  We had one emotional conversation almost immediately after Christine passed, and since then she has completely avoided any emotional conversations.  She has been using avoidance as a coping mechanism on a lot of fronts, to the point she will disappear to friends houses for three or four days in a row, come home to get fresh clothes, then repeat the process.

With her I tend to avoid the emotional discussions, but put feelers out every chance I get to see if she is ready to talk.  I thought she was one night, but after I talked about it a little, she went to one word answers, repetitive non comital questions, and really negative body language.  It couldn't have been clearer if she had been wearing a sign that said I don't want to talk about it.

I guess it really breaks down to trying to figure out where the other person is in their grief and how they want to express it.  I don't lie, but at the same time if they aren't ready, I can deflect and find another place to talk about what I am going through.  Places like this for instance.

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We talked about avoidance in our grief group yesterday.  While we can't avoid our grief continually, I have seen people use it to eke out their grief, or mete it out in doses they can better handle when they're ready.  This may be the case with her, we can't entirely know unless/until we see it play itself out.  I do know we all handle our grief differently.  I've also learned that you can't circumvent grief, it has a way of catching up to you sooner or later.  We had someone come on this site once that had lost his girlfriend twenty years before.  He didn't do his grief work.  Twenty years later, he's married and has kids and guess what, his grief hit!  He then had to go through the grief process because you really can't avoid it forever...it will come searching for us.

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