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Estranged husband died 5 weeks ago

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He was the father of my children and died of a suspected drug overdose. We would see each other every other weekend over the last 4 years. Although he left us in a bad way I could tell he regretted what he did and we knew we still cared for each other but the relationship between  us was over. I'm not facing parenting alone. I'm so angry

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Valerie Lockhart

Dear Catherine,

I'm sorry for your loss. It's important to assist your children through the grieving process. Allow your children to express themselves openly. Don't shut off the lines of communication. Assure them that it is not their fault (or whatever else you know to be true and positive). Reassure them that what they are feeling—sadness, anger, guilt, or some other emotion—may not be at all uncommon. Tell them about others you know of who successfully recovered from a similar loss. It's natural for you to feel angry, but don't direct it toward your children. Write a journal of the good memories you had with your spouse, and share it with your children when it is appropriate. Be honest with your children. Your spouse's drug abuse can be a teaching moment for your children. Visit benefits.gov to search for financial benefits to assist your family. And do not assume that you have to hide your feelings in order to protect theirs.It's okay for you to cry. Crying in front of your children is both normal and healthy. It is almost impossible to hide your feelings from children completely. They tend to be very discerning and can often sense that something is wrong. Being honest about your grief lets them know that is is normal to grieve and at times to show your feelings. And, most importantly, pray with your children. May the God of all comfort take hold of your hand and walk beside you during this difficult time. 

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