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Holly M

Aunt not coping with loss of Uncle, lashing out at family members

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Holly M   

Hi All,

 

I just registered today and am in need of some advice. My aunt lost her husband last July in a car accident. Our family was devasted by the loss, but none more-so than her of course. She handled it surprisingly well for the first few months, but now that things have all but settled down she's really struggling and shes been drinking heavily, spending excess amounts of money... My mother moved in with her to be there for support, but my aunt spends her days berating my mother and treating her terribly, then turning around and acting overly nice to her.  Our family has a hard time being at her house now because it gets uncomfortable listening to her yell at my mother over little things. My aunt was never like this prior to losing her husband, and our family doesn't know how what to do. She thinks no one can help her and that no one cares. Does anyone have any advice on how we can support her? We don't want her to hurt herself but it seems to be inevitable right now. We're all lost and unsure about how to act with her. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Dear Holly,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your uncle. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you and your mom are doing the best you can to support your aunt. Its a very difficult time.

I know she is drinking to numb the pain and maybe quiet her thoughts. Losing a beloved spouse is a terrible shock. The pain and sorrow feel unbearable. Do you think she would be receptive to seeing a grief counsellor or joining a support group. Maybe she will consider accessing some resources through the community or church. There are so many books and websites that I find comforting and helpful. What's Your Grief, The Grief Healing Blog, The Grief Recovery Method, Legacy.com, Tiny Buddha, GriefShare.Org

There are so many phases of grief and we all handle it differently. Sometimes even those closest to us don't understand the depths of our feelings or thoughts. She is lucky to have you and your mom trying to support her.

My other suggestion would be for your aunt to share her story on the forum here that is for loss of spouse. There are so many caring and loving people there that will also listen and support her. And hopefully let her know she is not alone in her struggle.

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