I felt helpless watching my mom deal with the grievance in the days and weeks after the loss of her husband of 40 years. Her world stopped. I quickly realized that the loss Mom was experiencing was very different from the loss of my parents. Even though we were both experiencing the loss of a loved one which is unmatched by the emptiness and deep sadness we all feel. My mom’s world stopped. She had lost a part of herself.

I tried to imagine what it would be like to be in his shoes. Observe mom’s actions to understand her thoughts and feelings, not just what she expressed. Mom’s silence said a lot. The pain I could see in her eyes for the loss of her husband, her best friend, her confidant and her protector, literally her everything about her. She withdrew from the present, reflecting that the reality of living life with loss was immediate and not what she wanted to fully accept. How could anyone blame her for how she felt her and here her three daughters of hers trying to help her deal with the pain, each in her own way, to ease the pain that was not possible?

“Why are we trying to fix?” What is it that bothers us so much? Is it because we see the person we love, who was always strong, able to deal with anything and everything… withdrawing? Is it so that we ourselves don’t have to deal with or accept what we were also feeling?

Mom got really mad, mad at herself for not being able to stop her husband from going for a walk like that changed the outcome. She was angry with herself, allowing others to protect her, to do things for her, which was not their responsibility because in her mind, it was her husband’s. Her anger grew, attacking her children, then her family and friends. Mom was mad at people who laughed and smiled and had fun. “How can they be happy?”, “What is there to be happy?” Her children tried to ease her pain to no avail. When providing grievance support to someone through her grievance: grieved, you should not try to dampen or control her anger; allow them to let the anger out. Denying someone the grieving process only prolongs that person’s suffering.

The more we tried to help our mother cope with her loss, the more agitated we became with each other. My sisters lashed out at each other as well as at me. In trying to help our mother, we were not dealing with our own grievance. When we were trying to figure out how to resolve the conflict, we created even more conflict. Grief consumes so much energy from a person that he can no longer think rationally. We become vulnerable when emotions run high and words cut deep, suppressing the grieving process. Complaint: Grief destroys families.

How do you deal with death as you go through the stages of grief? Step back for a while, go for a walk, get some air, and get away even for a short time. Separate yourself, clear your mind, believe me, the situation is not going to change, the only thing that will change is how you react. You will come back with a very different state of mind.

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