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How Do You Get Your Kids Through This?

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It's been nearly two weeks now since my husband went into the hospital with what we thought was pneumonia and never came home again. His cancer, which we thought was in remission had spread all over his body. My shock, trauma and grief are one thing - and though it's unbearable now, I may be able to get through, if I could wallow in pain alone for a while.

My worry is how my kids are. Especially my youngest son, age 19. He doesn't say much about it. Our collective grief has been so huge, that he's just been a part of that. It's helped him to have his three older brothers and sister-in-law around. We've been reminiscing good times, playing a board game or two, eating ice cream and watching movies. But when they leave for universities again - it'll just be me and him. I'm worried about how he'll be. He's a shy, quiet kid, has a few good friends, but not very social on the whole. I've asked him if he'd like to talk to a grief counselor with me, but he doesn't want to.

My pain is so enormous, it's very hard for me to talk to him about his father's death without sobbing, so I've not tried. His brothers have talked to him a little, but he doesn't open up. He's due to start studying at a community college nearby, but doesn't really want to do anything except sit in his room and play his guitar.

How do I help him without collapsing myself?


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Try to get him to open up and talk to you about it. Or if not to you, to someone. Have you considered having him go to a grief counselor?

My son was in the Air Force when George passed away. He told me one morning, "Mom, I don't know what's the matter with me! I wake up crying, and sometimes (at work) I start crying for no reason!" I told him, "You're grieving, Paul, and it's okay. It a perfectly normal reaction under the circumstances, and people at work will just have to understand." We do talk about George from time to time, and I think it helps not to keep it bottled up.

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I have participated in a lot of counseling with my two kids. The one thing I have been told over and over, is to cry and even sob in front of my kids. They need to know that it is okay to be in pain. That it is okay to show that pain. To push it aside will only make them think that there is something wrong with showing their feelings. If they see you sad then they will know it is okay to be sad also. Tell your son all that you feel and ask him what he is feeling. Reasure him that you are on the same journey.He probaly won't want to share much with you directly. Our kids want to protect us from further pain. There are alot of great resources available for families. Hope this helps. Cheryl

Edited by MartyT
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Though Kailyn is very young, and crying in front of her is not the same as crying in front of older children, I do cry in front of her. I tell her that mommy is sad because she misses daddy.


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