Grieving partner isolating

Hi, my partner has very very recently lost his dad after complications following a heart attack a few months ago. For the few weeks before he died my partner went to stay at his mothers house to make daily hospital visits easier, his mums house is a little over 2 hours away, about 30 minutes drive the other side of the hospital from where we live. Essentially where im struggling now is that he was due to come home after his dad passed but now feels unable to do so. We’re stuck in a really hard place because we also have children (3 under 7) as a partner i have done everything i can to juggle maintaining the house and family routines whilst also supporting my parter, visiting the hospital several times a week and essentially burning myself to the ground with neither of us stopping to consider how things would go if he died. I’m trying so hard to understand and be patient and as a partner i really really want to just say absolutely, take your time and space but as a seriously emotionally drained parent im struggling to be clear whether leaving me to just manage is my job in this case or whether (as friends keep saying) he should still see the need to be physically in the house even if i continue most of the practical tasks. It feels like this could be an indefinite timeframe which is understandable given the nature of grief but… kids cant wait, they keep asking for him and i reassure them he loves them and misses them and will let us know when he feels ready to come home but it hurts that after so long he wouldnt want to come home to us. Ive done a lot of reading and listening to try and understand as best as i can what this may be like for him but he doesnt want to talk much at the moment and communication is sporadic. He says he loves and misses us but really just wants to be alone. I really dont want this to teae us apart and i would absolutely appreciate some perspective as im desperately trying to figure out how to continue to do it all when im on my knees especially as I actually was quite emotionally impacted by the illness and death of his dad and have felt incredibly isolated and expected to manage and juggle it all with no real space to catch up on sleep or process any of my own emotions. Any perspectives or help on how to be the anchor for him and our family right now and how not to feel full of fear that this may tear us apart would be appreciated. Thank you :pray:

Wow, you’re really going through it at the moment aren’t you? Is there any way you can get him alone, away from the house and tell him everything you’ve just said here? It sounds like he is blocking it all out and focusing on himself and the impact his father’s death is having on him, but he needs to face up to his own family responsibilities, too. Try to make him see things from your perspective and remind him that he has three small children who need their dad?
I don’t know his character, obviously, but he can’t use this event as an excuse to turn away from you.
I hope things will work out for you. :people_hugging:

Thanks, honestly its so tough right now and things at home are slipping and I just feel so unimpotant and unloved and then I feel so selfish for even suggesting its a struggle I just cant imagine living like this for months as i’m essentially going to have to start rebuilding my life as a single parent in order to get back in track and be able to manage. I’m just so stuck between trying to understand how much grief impacts people and how accepting to be and also how concerned to be. Its still early, the funeral was only a week ago, knowing he was due to be home by today was like a lifeline so when he changed and said he didnt know how long he’d need now I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. Ive been trying to validate my own feelings because i know the do matter but Ive mostly been trying to understand and be compassionate and see things from his side. He texts daily pretty much and I dont mind if somedays i hear nothing and others he’ll have a bit of a chat but theres no boundaries in place and i’m constantly wondering what the right things to say or the right amount to text is. He wont meet face to face even just for the company and wont have a phone call. He says he feels so upset and guilty that he’s upsetting me and the kids so much but he just doesnt have the bandwidth to face stepping out into life. I’m trying to be gentle with him, i cant imagine the pain he must be feeling to withdraw and it hurts me that hes hurting so much but yea i keep getting the same message that when you have kids they’re the important ones. Im so conflicted. The little voice in my head of course says maybe we just dont mean that much to him now but im mostly trying to override that through understanding how much pain hes feeling and why he doesnt feel able to come home until hes ready

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Its been so horrible having to think about timelines and expectations when its the last thing i really want for him. We’d generally be glued at the hip quite a lot so suddenly having so little contact has felt like such a shock. Fortunately I already attend counselling and have been able to increase my number of sessions which has been some relief for a place to actually be able to talk. I still get flashbacks and memories from my time in the hospital with them as well and i didnt know his dad well but i do have my own memories of him and was very involved with the ups and downs that happened and on the days i wasnt there id often get calls from my partner as he just needed a space to talk. Change is scary and its very much felt like ive been forced to deal with all that emotion and cumulative loss that was triggered from losing members of my own family and many things alone and yes abolsutely ive struggled with keeping up with meeting basic needs mainly for myself. My friends are getting tired of stepping in to help with the kids and my main support is pmheabily pregnant now so I really feel like Im out of time and will need to start looking into finding a job and childcare for our toddler and Ive had to quit my course which is a huge loss to me and our family as well as I just dont have the capacity to get it completed as time has run up on that. Its definitely been a lot and it feels like i need to step into a future that focusses on me and the children and try and do it in a way that leaves the door open. These things would be manageable for another week or two id say but its unfair to set that time for him. Wow its been a lot and I feel like im having to make all these decisions alone and I really miss having the one person id usually talk it all through with of course. Its a time of great change and im trying to find the time to sit with everything I feel while i figure out how to bring us out of the survival mode we’ve been in for the last few months. I really appreciate the time taken to reply with your thoughts

It is good that you are able to share how you are feeling and how kind people are to respond. You are doing the right thing reaching out to talk about your feelings.