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Helping my husband through his grief (while coping with my own)


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My husband lost his father to pancreatic cancer last month.  They worked together, socialized together, etc, so the weight of this loss on my husband is huge, more so than it would have been had they not been so close.  There does not seem to be an aspect of his life where he does feel the loss of his father.  I was also very close to my father-in-law, and although I miss him everyday and still feel a great deal of sadness, I do not know how to comfort my husband and it is causing me a lot of pain.  He does not want to talk about it, he doesn't want to be comforted (with words, actions, anything).  Sometimes it seems like he wants to act as if everything is totally fine, and other times, doing so makes him angry and upset.  I don't know what to do or how to treat him...

I realize it's only been a month, but I feel totally lost and unsure of how to treat him.

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Itstoohard - What caught my eye in your post is that you feel your husband seems to want to act as if everything is totally fine and then gets angry....to me this is quite a normal reaction, especially for men.  If something happens in their lifes that they can't fix or control, they tend to what to pretend it isn't happening - but if others act like nothing is wrong they blow up.  All I can suggest is that you just be there for him, and on occasion mention his dad and how much you miss him or how much you think his dad would have liked something you two are doing....let your husband know that you too are dealing with emotions of loss, but realize that saying so may anger him, (not sure if what I'm posting is what I'm trying to say)....  Needless to say, it will be a bumpy road the two of you will be traveling....and it having been only one month, don't feel that there will be improvement quickly - there is no set timetable for this journey.   My heart goes out to you, and I hope you both remember to breathe deeply.  Take care!

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Itstoohard, My husband and I have been in the reverse--I suffering the loss of my son, and he suffering for me in my loss while also grieving his step-son.  It's tough.  My husband is so open to say to others that one of the most difficult challenges of his life has been to be the husband of a grieving wife.  He can't fix me, though he feels sometimes helpless that he cannot, because husbands want their wives to be ok.  I'm sure the same goes in the reverse, but the roles are different--the wife struggling because her husband's grief is crippling him in a way that he may feel ashamed for his weakness.  Husbands want to be the picture of strength and the protector of their wives.  But when broken, something snags the spirit and confuses and upsets the confidence.  I'm sure there is a lot more to it, and then it's a simple as he is just hurting deeply and missing his dad.  There is still a boy in him that has to let go of his father.  Truly, just being there for him and being patient is all you can do.  You could say to him openly that you don't know what to say or do and you are walking on eggshells, just so he knows that you care but don't know how to help.  Discerning his moods and what his reactions may be might come better with a little more time and deep observation into his personal behavior.  Pay attention even when he thinks you aren't, and maybe you can get some insight.  For the most part my husband felt helpless for quite a while, but he remained faithful to support me in whatever way he could through my worst and best of moments, and all in between.  I cherish him for that and and am so grateful, though I admit I am still working my way out of my grief.  It has been 2 years for me, but we've come a long way.  Time is a healer, and patience a virtue.  I hope and pray both will find you and give you what you need to support your husband through this terrible time of loss and mourning/grieving.  If in time things become harder, perhaps suggesting a support group or counseling may be of help..  ~Claudia

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Dear Members,

We are excited to mention that we are moving to a more new and improved message boards on MONDAY MORNING AUGUST 9th! The boards will be done for a few hours while we are making the conversation. Remember we posted information about this move a month ago. For some of you this might seem a bit sudden,  but when we were reviewing the site we determined the current message board you are using is out of date and the company that designed it is no longer in existence. The good news is this new message board will have new features that have been requested in the past like more fields we can add to your profiles and a chat room up to 20 people at one time. If we find the chat room is bursting at the seams we will add additional room for extra people. All your old posts, private messages and such will be migrated to the new message board. You might have to put up your profile picture again but not sure. The new company will be doing the migration for us. Here is a short list of some of the new features on the board:

- Custom Profile Fields

- Users can customize their profile pages by selecting a background color or background image, with tiling options.

- Facebook and Twitter Integration

- users can respond to multiple posts at once with "mini-quote"

- Pinned discussion threads - like welcome to our board etc.

- Announcements made across some boards or the entire message board

- Search: Users can easily find all content generated by a particular member, by clicking the 'Find Content' button that appears on the main profile page, or in the Mini Profile Popup which can be accessed throughout the board. The results page allows content to be filtered by application, as well whether the member created it or merely participated in it.

- Privacy: allows users to sign in anonymously, hiding them from the online users list. Users also have the option to disable personal conversations and user-to-user emails, as well as ignore other users if necessary.

The next exciting piece of news about the new message board is it will have a new domain name of www.grieving.com for search engine optimization purposes. It will still be apart of Beyond Indigo and can be found through www.beyondindigo.com. We will be redirecting your current URL's to this new domain name but we might miss a few. If that is the case simply go back to www.grieving.com or www.beyondindigo.com to find your message board thread. We will try to make the transition as seamless as possible.

The bottom line is the new board will give us room to grow our community and more options to interact better with each other.

If you have any questions please direct them to feedback@beyondindigo.com.

Kelly Baltzell, MA


Beyond Indigo Family

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