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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Many times a week someone will tell me how strong I am, how well I'm taking care of my boys or how encouraged they are by me that I have kept going. I smile and say thank you but inside I feel like a complete and utter failure. Am I the only one?

I feel like my family is broken up. I try so hard to stay close to my boys but sometimes I feel like they resent that it's me that's still here. They were so close to their father that I sometimes felt like an outsider and now they are stuck with the one they have nothing in common with. My oldest has Aspergers (HFA) which makes conversation hard anyway but now it's almost impossible. My youngest doesn't want to do anything that is not on the XBOX. They both try to escape into the video games they played with their Dad.

I am trying my best but it doesn't seem like enough or good enough. I know some of it is in my head, as I write this I realize we miss the unity and balance that our family had. My husband was a good man and father, we are missing that and I don't know how to compensate for that missing piece. Feeling incomplete highlights everything wrong in your life.

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Comment by lizbeth4 on August 28, 2015 at 1:31pm

Everyone deals with grief differently, especially children.  My children were grown when their Father passed away and I know that each one of them grieved differently.  My 9 year old Grandson and his Papa were very close.  He is still dealing through his grief.  His counselor said to be there and listen to him and hold him when he cries.  I know it's hard to see the pain that they are experiencing.  But they have to go through it.  You are doing everything you can.  Hang in there!   My family dynamics were not the same when my Husband died.  We (family) had to reinvent out family.   We carry him in our hearts and memories but the family had to carry on.  It's hard but you will get through it.  I am thinking of you and your family today!!

Comment by breistl on August 20, 2015 at 11:23am
Laurajay my husband's friends, my cousins and men in our congregation has been very helpful and continue to be so but it's the same as it is for me, when you're at home, late evening or at night that that missing presence is ever more felt. We were very close as a family and we're just not the same or ready to deal with it yet.
Comment by Callie2 on August 20, 2015 at 11:19am
And I am sure that it will. I feel your pain. We would do anything for our kids to avoid them from having pain. We nurse them to health, we try to cheer them up when they are sad and to help fix their problems when they turn to us but this is something we cannot fix and as a Parent and grandparent, I know it takes your heart out and you feel helpless. For now, just try to keep the lines of communication open. We all must find our way down the path of grief.
Comment by laurajay on August 20, 2015 at 11:12am

sorry for the typos  but I could not edit without deleting the last post 

Comment by laurajay on August 20, 2015 at 11:11am

I remember reading a book on grief that explained when a close family member dies,  the people left Because the person left behind, the survivors, ha ve to find a way to divide up the role, the function,  that the deceased person provided to the family structure.  Well, this is not easy!  In many cases like yours there is no one to do this and you are not expected to be two people...are there other males like a brother or uncle that could spend some male bonding time with your sons?  Do father/son stuff?  What about a neighbor or someone at your church?  Try letting them know that you understand and feel that things are missing without their father and that you need to help one another fill the void .   I am after 3yr4mo  still feeling and knowing I cannor be two parents or two grandparents...long process.    Your feelings about feeling incomplete are real.  Truth is you are complete and whole  but you are only one person and cannot act as if you were two wrapped into one.  Be kind and remember more time needed    and more adjustments.  prayers.  lj

Comment by breistl on August 20, 2015 at 10:57am
Callie we are doing counseling. The boys will be starting group counseling in September with children their ages so I hope that helps some. They really won't talk too much with anyone which is frustrating because I want to help them, our friends and family wants to also but they won't let anyone in. It's just hard trying to help them while I'm still grieving and they refuse help when they need it most.
Comment by Callie2 on August 20, 2015 at 10:41am
It doesn't sound like failure, it sounds more like grief. They may be dealing with things the best way they know how. You may have these thoughts but deep down, I know you know they are irrational. I think children have a difficult time because they are unable to process and express grief in a way that an adult does.

My husband was a great Pop-pop with our grandchildren. He was very interactive and took them places, taught them things and spent a lot of time with them. I know his sudden passing had an enormous impact on their lives and I remember feeling a whole lot like you. It was painful for us all! I realized part of the reason was because they didn't want to cry or make me cry! I am Mom-mom and grandmom and still have a lot to offer them! Our role is very important as we fulfill different needs. Of course I cannot replace him but love is the common bond!

I don't know if grief counseling would be an option for your family. Maybe speaking with another adult, they could come up with different ways to channel their grief besides video games. Just a thought, I don't know. It's got to be hard for you but don't allow those type of thoughts to take over. If you can, try to change your way of thinking and be thankful the boys had such a wonderful and caring Dad. When I sit and think about how giving a person my own husband was, I realize how lucky I am to have the time with a soul who changed and shaped our lives. Part of him will always live inside us because of that. Hugs to you!

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