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Help My Boyfriend Deal With The Loss Of His Son


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My boyfriend lost his son June of 2010 do to a extreme fall hiking. He had 3 sons this one that passed was his middle son. He won't talk about it to much he brings up some memories but usually he is just quiet. Holidays were really hard on him and I continued asking if he was okay and tried to get him to talk about things and how he feels but he wont he just shut down. Now he says I am pushing him away because I am always asking if he is alright I dont know he totally has changed the way he deals with me and it makes me feel as if there is someone else. He has went to counseling and they told him the last thing he needs to do is find a support group. I encourage that and said yes we need to and he says he needs to I said I need to learn how I can help you cope and deal with things as well. Am I wrong in wanting to help him? Should I back off? I may not ever know the exact feeling he has with the loss of his child but I too am hurting and in pain watching him. He now fears the worst for his other sons as well and I think that is only natural and his grieving period is going to be be a very long bumpy road. Does anyone have any advice for me in how I can help or look for other support groups that can help. Churches? I am willing to try anything to help him.

Thank you...

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I am going through a similar thing with my 19 year old.son. His father passed away suddenly in May of 2010. He has a lot of guilt for being gone that night as it was memorial weekend. My 2 younger ones were w him and my middle.child 12, tried cpr w help of 911. I feel guilt as my phone was on silent and my daughter couldn't reach me. He was the best man, and husband and we all miss him. We were divorced but I am still in pits of grief over his loss. My oldest feels bad because he says he could of saved him had he not been gone. This happen around 4;30 am. He wishes he had been grounded or something. Anyway, he refused to get help, and today at 19 he still won't. I tried as you do to talk to him and offer help but he won't. The last thing I wanted to do was push him and make him feel like he was grieving wrong, so j decided I needed to focus in my lil ones and me. So, I am in a grief support group and counselor as are my children. They go to a kids support group. It turns out that both told me that I was doing right by giving him space. They said not everyone needs help grieving or getting through it. Your boyfriend may be dealing w this in his own way. Maybe all he needs is for you to let him know you are always there to talk,.a hug or whatever. I would however get some help for yourself so you can learn ways to cope w this. I know from experience its hard when one or more grieve differently than you. We are all very open and talk about Mark,.his memory etc. We celebrate his birthday by letting off balloons, eating foods he liked and watching his favorite movies. We celebrate his life not death. On his death anniversary we just light a candle.on his memorial wall. My oldest doesn't really participate in this usually goes out or in his room. He knows we are here thkugh. And he seems to be doo.g well considering. So. I think you should just let him know you're there for him and of course you don't know his pain, but he has your love and support. Maybe when he sees you getting support and help he will too :) good luck, my thoughts are with you all. :)


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Dear one, I don't disagree with anything Theresa has said. The sad fact is that, no matter how certain you may be that your advice is sound, you simply cannot "make" another person do something the same way you would be inclined to do it if you were in his shoes ~ and this is especially true when it comes to grief. Sometimes an indirect approach works best. For example, if you find an article or a book that you've read that you think might appeal to your boyfriend, you might try just leaving it out on a table where he will see it, and he can pick it up if he is interested. Or you could say something like this: "I read this the other day and it made me think of you. I left it here in case you'd like to read it, too."

The best you can do is to educate yourself about what is normal in grief, which will put you in a better position to understand and support your boyfriend. You might begin with these articles:

Understanding the Grief Process

Understanding Different Mourning Patterns

You'll find links to many articles, books and Web sites to help you better understand the impact of child loss here: Death of an Infant, Child or Grandchild

Much has been written on how to help another in grief; you'll find links to dozens of articles and resources on that topic here: Helping Someone Who's Grieving.

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