Can anyone offer any advice ?
My husband died of cancer in April just 4 weeks after diagnosis ( though he’d had
health problems for a decade ) Our 26 year old son was very involved in his fathers care during his last weeks and present when he died at home . He was an amazing support .
He was living away from home and working hard at the time . In August however he moved back home and quit his job ( he’d been unhappy with his flat share and job for some months before his Dad got ill )
My sons been home for almost 3 months now and has no idea what he wants to do next , he spends all his time at home playing computer games and watching tv and has cut himself off from all social contact. I suspect he is mildly depressed but am unable to encourage him to engage in any activity such as getting outside or seeing close friends that would help him .
I am aware we all deal with grief differently . I find keeping busy , exercise and seeing good friends helps me , as well as crying etc.
I’m aware that I have had several more months than my son to begin the grief journey and to adjust .
I’m conflicted as to whether I should just leave my son be and trust that time will “heal” and bring change , or be more directive . I worry that he may sink into increasing depression and rut . I feel both worry for my son and irritation that he has reverted to teenage behaviour .
I have spoken with close friends who are very supportive but tell me what I know and I can’t help feeling “judged” as a parent . They mean very well but don’t have the lived experience Does anyone have any thoughts please ?
Can anyone offer any advice ?
Hi there, so sorry to hear of your loss and the way that it is affecting your son, it must be a really difficult situation to deal with on top of your own grief. I have no experience to draw on as I have no children but perhaps you could suggest to your son that he makes use of the Losing a Parent forum on this website? It may be that he finds an anonymous space with people who can relate directly to his situation beneficial. Sorry if this is of no use, I’m sure someone with more experience of children will be along soon.
My son, 33, is autistic, not severely but enough to make every day things a challenge. He didn’t always get on all that well with his Dad and was always, and still is, a lot closer to me. He’s talked a little about what happened, my husband died in February, but I don’t think he’s properly processed it yet. He didn’t come to the funeral thingy as he knew he wouldn’t cope and now seems to be putting off coming to terms with it until he moves. I have tried to talk more openly about everything that happened but I think he’s just processing things very slowly in his own way and actually seems more concerned about me. I don’t think it’s something you can tell your children to deal with as they will deal with it in their own way. As long as he knows you’re there when he’s ready to talk I think that has to be the most important thing.
Thank you for sharing your experience; it’s reassuring. I’m sorry to hear that your husband died and I imagine that your son’s autism must make it additionally challenging for him to process what’s happened .
Thank you for your kind words and good suggestion
He can be very emotional, more like me being artistic and musical, but does also bury things. I’m just giving him time and waiting for him to talk to me about his Dad, but he’s gradually starting to open up.
He sounds a bit like my son . Thank you for giving me faith in time and patience
Encouraging to hear that your son is starting to open up .
@May3 i am in a very similar situation. My son has given up his job as he got the paramedic call from there . He is the same deep in grief and not doing anything to sort his life yet . I don’t know what to do for him. We are at 5 months now . It is very hard
I’m so sorry to hear that ; although it’s helpful to know I’m not alone in this situation. Very traumatic for your son . It’s so hard as being a parent I find one always wants to “ make it better” but with this especially we can’t . I am trying to trust that time and patience and being available for my son when he needs me will eventually bring change .
It is hard . Wishing you strength .
Hi @May3 sorry to hear that you have lost your husband. My son is 23 and was with his dad when he suddenly collapsed and unexpectedly died. I was at work and missed the phone call by 30 mins. Time I got home he was gone. I did CPR until the paramedics arrived. He was 53 years old. I found like you that keeping busy seeing friends, crying and screaming helps. My son on the other hand is very inward. He went back to work and finds that is a distraction. He also had councelling for a few sessions. He had a few meltdown at work and talks to his good friend and sometimes my husband best friend will check on him. Is there someone who can talk to your son ? A good friend or family of your husband. Could he go to the doctor’s and speak to someone there. Shortly after my husband died my son went into the city and got drunk and had a massive meltdown. He was brought home by a responder. I can understand why you are worried about your son. I worry about my son as he doesn’t show his emotions and one day I am worried that he might have another meltdown. I think just keep talking to him and tell your son that you are worried about him. Maybe he doesn’t want to show his emotions incase he thinks it will upset you. I talk to my son about his dad every day and he lights a candle for his dad most nights. It is hard as you are grieving for your husband and watching your son grief is so heartbreaking. Take care xx
Hi , thank you so much for sharing your experience and for your suggestions .
I’m so sorry to hear how you lost your husband ; such a traumatic shock for you and your son .
He sounds not unlike my son in that he is an introvert but will “ blow” at times .( a male “way” ? females more likely to talk ? ) Good to keep talking to our sons both about their Dads and about our worry for their well-being .
My best friends husband is like an uncle to my son and has told him he is there for anything but I think I will ask him to make direct contact now .
I hope you have support and take best care of yourself