Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsWeddings · 8 months ago

How can I help my son's girlfriend to recover after my son's death?

They really loved each other, madly. Before she met my son she was struggling because she was alone and bullied at school. My son was the one to help her, love her and encourage her. After his death, one year ago, I was told from her mom that she is in hospital due to delusions and severe depressive state. I understand her mom wanting to deal with it alone but she could have told me before that since then the daughter had been in this state, at least I could try to help her. My son is dead and although there's no single day I don't think of him, life goes on. She has to live with it. She has to thank for the time she had with him, just like I do. Otherwise I would go crazy too, but I don't, cause I thank every minute spent on this earth with him. She must do the same. As I saw her in hospital having delusions and calling him while she was crying I felt like dying. As much as it hurts, she must learn to live with it. She must live, love, experience life, maybe one day find love again. I so want to help her but I don't know how. I wish I could find her some girl friends, but I am an aged woman. She is just 18, she can't be like this. Even the doctors don't say anything to encourage her. I don't know what to do, but I have to help her right away.

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  • 8 months ago

    There's nothing you can do right now. If they had wanted you to know they would have told you. They probably assumed you were grieving. Her family should get her the right type psychiatric help and counseling. You have to deal with this yourself also so your grief may not be good for her and seeing you will always be a reminder of him which may or may not be a good thing right now. She may need your help more in the future when she needs someone to talk to. I know you mean well; but, you say it yourself---she must do the same, she must learn to live with it---finding friends that were not friends before won't help. You also say she is just 18 and can't be like this; but, unfortunately she can. We all have different personalities and the way we deal issues. One last thing you say you are an aged woman--so you ( I would think ) have seen sickness, death, etc. before---you have a lifetime of knowledge and she doesn't. This may be her first step onto the sad side of life.

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Mom, I feel for you because my mother is in the same place. Not with an unrequited marriage but having had to bury a son. You're already behaving above and beyond in wanting to help someone else when the magnitude of your pain is so much greater than hers. She'll be able to find love again some day, you'll never get another son. But if she's really "delusional" it's not just because her fiancé died. She went into the relationship with some serious mental and emotional problems and this was just the catalyst that sent her over the edge. It's almost a certainty that had this marriage gone ahead it wouldn't have lasted because mental illness is insidious. But it would be kind for you to offer her your shoulder to cry on if she's willing. In truth it sounds like she was going to need a lot of intensive psychiatric treatment whether she married your son or not. You have a good heart. Just don't let yourself get taken advantage of when you've already got so much on your plate.

  • Tj
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    If you do anything, work thru her mother.

  • 8 months ago

    Just tell her what you told us about your son. You must've liked her a lot too.

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  • 8 months ago

    It is not your role to help her recover.  Even if she was functioning typically, it still wouldn't be your role.  You have found what works to keep you going, but please understand that not everyone grieves in the same way.  It sounds like she has some mental health issues beyond grief, which further compound her ability to do the work of grieving.

    Telling someone that they have to live, love, and experience life is not therapeutic.  You can absolutely be a presence in her life and be there for her, but leave the helping to the trained professionals.

    Also, be gentle with yourself.  Sometimes, focusing on someone else's grief is a good distraction from our own grief.  You can continue to live and love and experience and still continue to grieve- that's okay.  You can continue being thankful for the time you had with your son, and still let yourself have all of the normal feelings that come. 

    Most models of grief share the theme of the work being to accept the loss, figure out a way to maintain a continuing bond with the person who died, and how to navigate the world without that person.  It sounds like maybe you have done this work, while she hasn't even been able to begin yet.  You can't force it and you can't rush it.

    Source(s): Counselor with a degree in thanatology (death)
  • drip
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    This girl is mentally ill. You don’t have privy to what the doctors are or are not doing. This is not about grief or moving on. His death could of triggered her.  Making friends her age or telling her she will fall in love again isn’t going to help her.   Your good intentions could do more harm than good.  She needs professional help, which her mother is making sure she has. Leave her be. Let the mother know if she does need anything form you to contact you at any time for anything. 

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Her mother should have told you sooner.  My son passed away thirteen years ago...for a while I only got out of bed to eat and go to the bathroom.  I've come a long way...it took me twelve years to say aloud he passed away and I still get choked up every time.  I hope that you can help her but you are aware she needs medication and therapy.  The therapy probably won't help much but if you talk to her I'm sure she will get better.  You seem to be a lot more knowledgeable about this sort of thing than I was.  I wish you Luck and I will say a prayer for you two 🙏.

  • 8 months ago

    I absolutely admire your compassion for this girl. Howsoever, you must realize something very important. This girl has some type of brain imbalance that is causing her mental anguish. In situations like this, only psychiatrists and perhaps medication can help her..You simply do not have the education or the tools to bring this girl back into leading a productive life in our society.

    Your son's death has triggered something inside this girl that has been there all along and hidden. If all of us who have lost a loved one reacted like her, the hospitals would be full of grieving people.

    I suppose the best thing you can do is visit her and talk to her and share the wonderful memories of your son with her. She needs support, for sure, but other than just visiting her, it's up to her doctors to take care of the reason why she is in the hospital. She is not in the hospital because your son died, she is in the hospital because her mental capacity is compromised.

    I have two sons and I cannot imagine the anguish or Agony of losing one of them. As each day passes I hope you see less of a shadow and more of the Sun.

  • 8 months ago

    I don't know how to help, either. She's really young, so part of her issues is likely lack of life experience. Still, this situation is traumatic for all of you -- ESPECIALLY you if you're his mom. So so sorry

  • 8 months ago

    You can't.

    That's the sad truth.

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