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It's All Too Much

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Hello again, thank you to everyone on this site for being open and honest about their feelings, it has helped me greatly over the last two months

My dad died two months ago at the age of 65, he was my foundation throughout my life and his death has really been difficult to say the least. My mom has stayed away from home since his death (he died 2 hours up north near their cabin). She decided to come back home 2 weeks ago to get things taken care of that had been pushed under the rug since his death. She didn't feel like she could stay at their house and asked if she could stay with my family and I ( 3 boys, my husband and a new puppy) for a few days. Of course, I told her she could. It has now been two weeks and I feel like I am drowning. I had found a way to live, go to grad school, work, teach and care for my family and cope with my grief in my own way. But, since she has been here all she talks about is my dad, his death, their life together etc.. I KNOW this is what she needs and I am glad I can be here for her, but it is constant pain with an open raw wound that keeps getting salt thrown on it over and over again. I can't and won't tell her to leave, but I'm not sure how to handle my own grief and hers. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you


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Beth, dear, I'm so sorry for your loss, and sorry too that your well-intentioned efforts to "be there" for your mom are proving to be more difficult than you expected. Clearly you're doing your best to be a "good daughter," but it's okay ~ and healthy, too ~ to acknowledge that you may have bitten off more than you can chew.

It sounds as if your mom would be a good candidate for a bereavement support group. Can you call your local hospice or mortuary to see what grief support services are available in your community? Clearly your mom needs someone to talk to about her loss, but you are a bereaved daughter in this situation, Beth, mourning your own loss of your father. At the same time it is difficult if not impossible to expect yourself essentially to be functioning in the grief counselor role for your mom, too. Because she has you to talk to right now, your mother may be resistant to the idea of attending a support group, but you might offer to go with her for a session or two ~ You could even be a role model here and tell your mom that you are attending the support group as much for yourself as for her. And who knows? That may turn out to be true!

I don't know your mother's personality or how close to or dependent upon you she may continue to feel, but the day may come when she gets tired of living with you, too. Perhaps you might suggest that when she feels strong enough, she could try to spend more time in her own home, with the understanding that she can come back to your home at any time ~ sort of a gradual weaning process?

I wish you well in this situation, my dear ~ and please know that you're most welcome to come here any time to share with us what you are experiencing as you travel this challenging path.

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hi Beth,

I'm so sorry that it's hard for you when you find it hard to hear stories about your Dad and your Mom needs to talk. It's so so hard when 2 people grieving for the same person need the opposite while grieving. I cannot talk about my Dad at all and neither can my Mom so we are on the same page there. Sometimes when I hear family members mention stories that I was around for I can barely breath, salt on the raw would as you say. I do like hearing stories (although it's SO RARE) from his brothers and cousin about when they were growing up...............I guess probably because I was not around then so I don't have attached memories to those stories but it's so rare, his family rarely talk about him. I talked to my Mom about it recently and she said after my Grandmother passed away none of the boys spoke much of her after either, not even my Dad.

I have no words of advice just wanted to share and acknowledge your post,

hugs to you


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MartyT, THank you, I have suggested counseling to my mom and it is not something that she wants to do. I am seeing a grief counselor through our local hospice (I used to run an inpatient hospice unit) and have tried to get my mom to do the same. She finally went home two days ago after being with us for 19 days, she got much stronger while here and got lots of her "to do" list done. It has been a difficult journey to say the least. I appreciate this venue more than words can say and am thankful to have found it. Thank you for your kind words and support! Beth

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Thank you for your kind words, it is definitely a difficult thing, on one hand you want to hear about the person you love, but on the other it is so very painful at times to remember that they are no longer with us. Thank you for your kindness. Hugs to you too!Beth

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