Dear Annie: My wife and I lost our 30-year-old son to a careless driver three months ago. He left behind two beautiful children and a devastated family. Our grief has been overwhelming. My wife and I have managed to get back to work, and we’re keeping up with household chores and getting out with our friends. But my wife can keep up the facade for just so long. Her heart is broken, and at least once a day, something reminds her of him so powerfully that she breaks down and cries.
The problem is my wife’s sisters. Initially they were full of comfort and solace, and my wife was able to talk with them for hours and let it out. Now, though, they think she should “get over it and get on with her life.” When she can’t refrain from crying, they tell her she needs to get help. It seems her grief has become annoying and uncomfortable for them, and they don’t want to deal with it anymore. Last night she was visiting them and began sobbing. They went inside the house and left her to cry in the yard alone.
Annie, the loss of a child is like no other grief you can imagine. You don’t get over it. You may learn to adapt and live with it, but you will never be completely whole again. .
We’re attending meetings at the Compassionate Friends and that helps, but the only cure is time. Please tell your readers if they know someone who has suffered this terrible loss to provide open ears and open arms. Please don’t get impatient for the healing process to be over. – A Grieving Dad
Dear Dad: Our hearts are breaking for you, and we know you are devastated. But you are right that others cannot appreciate the depth of your grief, and consequently, they are not equipped to handle the unending flow of tears. They want to help, but nothing they do makes a difference and they become frustrated. Please stop expecting them to fulfill this need. It is asking a great deal. Your wife’s relationship with her sisters will be better served if she (and you) talk to a professional grief counselor. Please make an appointment soon.