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Children In Grief - Panicky Feeling

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Our oldest son called from the states to say he's putting his Masters degree on hold for a year. He just completed his Bachelors and was about to start a graduate degree, but found he wasn't able to concentrate. He wants to work for a year until he's through the worst of the grief.

I supported him in his decision, talked about the grief, and advised him to find a counselor to help him through it, plus told him he could call me anytime day or night. I finished the conversation, and when I put the phone down, I couldn't stop sobbing. With anything involving our kids, my husband and I would talk it through. Now I have no one.

I'm not sure why - but I feel I've failed my kids. We didn't give them a normal life. This son is 26 and married, but I look around and see all these people even my age who still have their parents around. My kids won't have a grandfather for their own children. At least not on our side. I feel so bad for them. It brought all my own grief up to the surface once again, and now I'm almost panicking. Why on earth did this happen to us? It's unbelievable. Why did we "win" the lottery - the chances that my non-smoking husband would get lung cancer were so small - yet it happened.

Again - I'm turning to this group. It's been my godsend.


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Melina I completely relate. I too feel like I failed my kids. My husband was reckless on a motorcycle and died. Our kids are 13 and 17. I know it's not my fault and he didn't mean to make the mistake but I can't help but feel that it didn't have to turn out this way. My kids deserved more. I think the guilt is part of the grief process. The reality is that bad things happen to a lot of people no matter how hard they try to always live the right way. Why not us?

I hope you can put your guilt aside quickly. I know it's normal but I don't wish the pain on anyone. You are all doing a great job going through the emotions. Be proud. Cheryl

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You did all you could for your kids, you haven't failed them. Every day I see in the obituaries, people who are in their 40s, 50s, even younger, if this is a lottery, there's a lot of people who draw the same luck.

The best thing you can do for your son is take care of yourself so he won't feel responsible for you and be supportive to him as you already are.

It's very normal to feel distracted and unable to focus when you're grieving, and it's certainly understandable that your son is having a hard time with his studies right now. My son had a hard time when George died and George was his stepfather! It's good that he recognizes this and does what he considers best right now.



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It sounds to me like you did everything right for you son in regards to his decision. I think your feelings are normal in regards to the unfairness, and even in feeling like a failure. Of course, you absolutely have NOT failed your kids, nor did your husband. From your descriptions, they sound pretty together and this is success!


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