melina Posted November 7, 2010 Report Share Posted November 7, 2010 I have no one to discuss this with right now (my husband was the one I leaned on in times of worry) - and this group seems to be a good place to pour out my feelings and have them understood. I would like some perspectives on grief and kids. I realize that some of you have small or young children and are probably struggling with this theme as well. But I figure grief affects younger children differently in the long run than older children. I don't know what's more painful. On the one hand, little kids will have few memories and won't feel that intense pain of loss. On the other hand they won't have the happy memories to look back on. Bear with me - this is a long post. Our sons are 19, 22, 24 and 26. All of them (plus one daughter-in-law) were at their father's bedside with me when he died. They've expressed their grief in different ways and I'm so worried about how it will affect them in the years to come. This is not what we wanted for them. We wanted them to have a normal life with two healthy parents who in time would become two healthy grandparents for their kids. All those dreams have been shattered. True, they had two healthy parents throughout their childhood, but when I see their friends around town, or visiting here at our house - I think about how they all still have both their parents. I feel as though our sons have become underprivileged - that their father was stolen from them. It's like a crime has taken place. My husband's father died when he was 19, and he had never had a good relationship with him, so he didn't miss him. My own father died eleven years ago - when I was 41, but I felt very little grief and I've never missed him either. He was never really a part of my life. So we agreed that our sons would have a father who was 110% there for them. And that's what they had. We looked forward to this fantastic relationship continuing until they were getting on in years themselves. Our next youngest son was home for the weekend, and his e-mail was up on the screen when he went up for a shower. Now I feel pretty guilty about this, but I read an e-mail he sent to a friend just a week after he lost his father. In the e-mail he wrote that he was overcome with grief, that his father was someone he could always count on, the family's rock, that he was the perfect father, and that he wished he could have taken his dad's place. He also wrote that he most of all just wanted to collapse and never get up again, but had to be strong for his mom (me) - because she was taking the death very hard. I didn't realize things were so awful for him. Since that time - it's been three months now - he's moved back to student housing, has been busy with college and friends, and seems to be coping well. Once in a while we'll talk about his dad and there will be tears in his eyes (and in mine, of course). He still hasn't found a girlfriend and says that he's a little afraid to commit to anyone. I wonder if he's afraid of experiencing new grief - not from death, but from maybe having someone break up with him. Our youngest son who's 19 hasn't expressed anything since his dad's funeral. He sobbed when his father died, cried at the funeral and when we scattered the ashes at sea. Afterwards he isolated himself in his room for quite a while, just playing his guitar and making music on his computer. Just recently he's started seeing friends again and has been taking a few courses, attending a few concerts. But he hasn't found out what he wants to do with his life yet. Our oldest son is married and seems to be doing better, though he had to drop his plans to take his Masters this fall because he was unable to concentrate. And our next oldest son is living with his girlfriend and doing well at university. He calls a lot and is very open about his grief, sometimes crying a little on the phone. He keeps me constantly informed of his progress through his grief and asks me about mine. I think having a partner helps both of the two oldest sons. I don't know how much to involve myself in their grief. I try to mention their father in passing, but I don't want to always talk about grief and loss. They have seen me cry and be sad, but they've also seen me cope and be strong. This is all so complicated. This is a situation where there should have been two of us - but of course this wouldn't be happening if there were still two of us. I just needed to express myself. Those of you with kids - big or small - what thoughts have you had? It's hard for me to ask about my sons' grief, because I'm still heavily grieving. I don't know if I have the strength to hear about their pain, though I've told them that I would gladly have taken their pain and carried it myself if I could. Sorry for talking at such length. Melina Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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