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My girlfriend's parents died


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It was the first week of May when an unexpected thing happened. My girlfriend was eating with her younger brother and parents at the restaurant of their grandma, when 2 men entered and shot my girlfriend's mom and dad, her younger was shot too ,but thankfully he was able to dodge the bullet. My girlfriend crawled so she wouldn't get hit. Her parents died. It is really heartbreaking for me to see how much pain she is in. We are in a long distance relationship so it's hard for me to check on her from time to time. I visited her together with our common friends for just awhile. I really wanted to stay ,but the driver insists we should go. It is hard for me to see her trying hard to look fine in the outside ,but seeing her eyes full of pain. It's only been less than a week. How can I be there for her while we are in a ldr? 

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Wow, I am so sorry for your GF, that has to be the hardest thing in the world to experience.  I'd strongly encourage her to see a professional grief counselor, especially under the circumstances, her little brother too.

Here are some links to articles that I hope will be of some help to you...there are other links to articles on some of those too. 

http://www.griefhealing.com/column-helping-another-in-grief.htm

And ones that might be of help to her: 

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2011/10/helping-grieving-parent.html 

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/p/blog-page.html 

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/10/seeing-specialist-in-grief-counseling.html 

Marty should be along soon to respond...

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My friend, needless to say, this is a unique kind of loss that deserves the attention and support of a therapist who is qualified to address your girlfriend's traumatic, near-death experience and the post-traumatic stress that follows, the horror of nearly losing her brother, as well as the compound grief of losing both parents at once, so suddenly and so violently. I think the best you can do in this situation is to learn all you can about traumatic loss and PTSD, so you'll have a better understanding of what may be your girlfriend's reactions. In addition, you can strongly encourage her to seek the professional help she needs and deserves.

You are in a difficult and challenging position here, and you cannot expect to know exactly how to react or know what you can do to help, especially from a distance. You might consider a few sessions with a qualified grief counselor yourself ~ someone familiar with traumatic loss who can guide you through this difficult situation. You're literally walking through a minefield here, and my heart reaches out to you.

Although the specific details in these people's stories may differ from your girlfriend's individual experience, I hope that the following articles will lead you to many relevant and helpful resources:

Surviving A Child's Homicide

Surviving A Partner's Homicide

Traumatic Loss - Links to Resources

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Kayc, before writing about what happened. I searched for a lot of websites that could help me comfort my girlfriend. I stumbled upon this website and saw your interaction with a guy whose gf's father died. I really thank you because even though your posts weren't for me I related to the guy's situation and I followed what you said , to follow my gf's lead. I talk to her everyday and sometimes I tell funny stories and she laughs.. but I know deep down that what she's experiencing is heartbreaking. The funeral will be held tomorrow and I'm not sure if I can go because my parents uhh they don't even know that I have a girlfriend. So.. I bought her a locket necklace with a picture of her mom and dad. The picture was taken in their house so I thought she might appreciate it. Do you think it's alright if I give her the locket? 

Kayc and MartyT, really thankful for sending the articles.. 

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I think the locket sounds like a wonderful and most thoughtful gift!  

If you don't feel this is the time to discuss your relationship with her to your parents, you could begin by referring to her as a "friend" you want to be there for.  Good luck, I'm glad she has someone to turn to in her grief.  Just know that grievers experience pretty much everything, and some of it may not make sense to others, but it's "normal" all the same.  Be there to listen and care, beyond that, this is pretty much something she'll work out herself and hopefully she'll get some help with it.

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So, we went to the funeral.. I couldn't have an alone time with her because there were a lot of people, but I was able to give the locket and otw home she texted me that she really appreciated it. When we were about to go home one of her peers asked where they would reside after.. and she told us that there is a chance that they migrate to uk and every word stung because I wanted her to go to uk because she is safer there (since they receive threats) but at the same time I want to hold on to her I mean I cannot imagine my parents giving me permission to go to uk..so it means it might be our end hypothetically  at the same time before her parents died everything was planned out.. We were supposed to be collegues in our field. It was supposed to be only a few months that we will endure ldr be cause she was in a vacation. We were fresh grads and will be workig together in the same company. We had plans but now there is no plan anymore.. i hate the fact that having this thought makes me selfish .. but in the end it's just thoughts I'll never ever encourage her to stay here I mean whatever her family decides i'll just support her and if we we weren't really meant to be then so be it.. i'll just love her as long as she lets me .. even if ill get hurt in the end..

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I'm sorry, that is hard.  You are being grand about it, but at the same time you are beginning to grieve yourself for what might be the end of a relationship that was very good.  And that's hard.  

Even though it's not a good time to put pressure on her, I hope she is aware of how you feel about her, in the end, the decision about where she goes is up to her.

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If you don't know what to say, just say that ~ because there is nothing you can say to fix this, my friend. All you can do is to be there for her in any way that she will allow ~ listening without judgment and without reproach. And as I suggested earlier, 

On 5/11/2017 at 11:28 AM, MartyT said:

the best you can do in this situation is to learn all you can about traumatic loss and PTSD, so you'll have a better understanding of what may be your girlfriend's reactions. In addition, you can strongly encourage her to seek the professional help she needs and deserves.

 

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She will absolutely need a professional grief counselor with what she's dealing with.  She may not have heard of them, so you might want to suggest it, they are her best hope as they know how to guide one through what they're feeling right now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am so sorry.  It is a common grief response, one I also have endured.  If you read through the "Loss of Love Relationships" you'll find many similar stories.  It's very hard for them to be able to focus on a relationship at the same time as their grief.  Often they don't even know why they're responding as they do.  I have learned not to personalize, it wasn't anything wrong with me, or even necessarily the relationship, it was the misfortune of loss and grief that changed everything.  When enough time had passed, we were able to resume as friends, but many aren't able to do that, you can only do that if you've let go of the idea of there being anything else...it doesn't work if one is secretly hoping for more.  For many, that is hard to do.  I'm older, and valued having him in my life, his wonderful sense of humor, how caring a person he is, I felt it enriched my life enough that it was worthwhile to keep him as a friend.  Before I reached that point, I cried every day for months, I grieved the relationship, I focused on ME, and gave myself the self-care I needed...that is the best advice that can be given, that we attend to ourselves and give ourselves the time to grieve and heal.

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