Supporting husband

Hi, and thank you.
My hubby’s sister died very unexpectedly two weeks ago aged 34yrs. I don’t know how to help him; I’m lost. I’m heartbroken for him.

Unfortunately my brother died 20yrs ago, also very young & unexpectedly aged 29yrs. It’s brought make so many many memories

And advice, tips to help my grieving husband??

Hi

I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you’re having a really difficult time trying to help your husband in his time of grief.

My husband lost his Mum last year after a long degenerative illness. It was awful for months afterwards as he and I deal with everything in different ways. He just went quiet and wouldn’t talk about it at all. I felt completely useless but just mentioned from time to time that I was there if he needed to talk. I also asked him how I could help but he said me just being there for him was enough. He didn’t cry once (not when I was around) but he took about 2 months off work. He just dealt with everything in his own way. Now, 18 months on he feels much better and can talk about his Mum and remember the happy times. She had Alzheimer’s and he felt like he’d lost the mum he knew many years ago.

I lost my Mum at the end of July this year, again, after a long drawn out illness (it began 30 years ago). She had Huntingtons Disease. I feel many different emotions including incredible shock and sadness that she’s gone. I feel guilty that I’m relieved that she died as she is no longer suffering. I also feel guilty that i didn’t do enough for her (which is odd because she lived in the same house and I was always here for her). I have cried a lot and talked about mum loads to family and friends.

My Dad is still struggling daily to come to terms with it all. He was Mum’s full time carer. He has been going to bereavement counselling which I believe has helped. As he lives with us i can pop down to see how he’s doing which is really handy. Sometimes we just have a mutual “moment” and a hug and then just carry on.

I hope me telling you all this has helped a little. Your situation is totally different to mine and your loss is very recent. You also have the loss of your brother fresh in your mind. I bet it doesn’t feel like he died 20 years ago. Maybe take each day as it comes and be gentle on yourself and those around you. I know it’s a cliché but the passing of time has made everything a little easier for me. However, I dread losing my Dad now. Still having lots of sad moments but not feeling quite as traumatised as I was 4 months ago. What was ‘normal’ for me (ie having my mum around all the time) has completely changed and everything is different now. It takes a lot of adjusting and I am nowhere near to being ‘there’ yet (whatever that means) but like i say, every day is a step nearer to feeling a little bit less lost.

I hope none of this sounds patronising. It’d it does it certainly isn’t intended to be. Reading stuff on this site makes me realise just how different everyone’s experiences of bereavement are. Just reading what people has written has helped me. It makes me feel less alone.

Wishing you all the very best.

Katy x

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