Post # 1
Ladies, I’m needing some advice. Right now my fiance is going through some emotional turmoil. His father just passed away a couple of days ago. He was older (late 70’s) and had a long history of health problems. For the past few months he was in and out of the hospital, but expected to recover. In fact, he was in recovery/rehab when he passed away. His death was unexpected given the circumstances.
I’ve never had a parent pass away, so I’m a little unsure of how to comfort him. He’s never dealt with death before and I can see his avenue of dealing is avoidance. He never wanted to visit his dad in the hospital because it frankly scared him. And I haven’t seen him shed a tear yet. I’ve told him I’m here for him and if he wants to talk about it I’ll listen. So far he’s been pretty unemotional. He hasn’t even taken any days off work.
I’m worried that if he doesn’t deal with his emotions it will crop up later down the road in a negative way. I don’t know if his is exactly healthy, but I also don’t have any solutions/suggestions.
Are there any bees out there who can help me out on what to say, or actions I can take to comfort him better?
Post # 3
@petalpetal: I am sorry for your loss (and his!). Would he consider talking with a family or grief counselor? I honestly am not equipped to answer this question because I don’t know the “right” things to do as everyone deals with this process differently. I just wanted to say I am really sorry for what your family is going through. I have an ill parent and it is never easy.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
So sorry for his loss.
People do deal with loss in different ways. When my mother died I really did NOT want to talk about it for a long time. Maybe take him out to dinner and over a glass of wine he’ll open up? I don’t know. If you’ve told him you’re there for him and continue letting him know that– without pressure– I think he will eventually start to deal with it.
Big hugs! It’s so hard to see your SO in pain.
Post # 5
So sorry! It just happened, so give him some time. It may just be too much to comprehend right now. If you think he is still in denial in a few weeks that is a different story but sometimes the initial shock/avoidance serves a purpose.
Post # 6
@MrsPanda99: The only other person he’s briefly talked to about it is his brother. I think the conversation with his brother only worsened him being open about it. I’m sure his brother is also dealing with his own way of grieving, but he was angry at my fiance for not visiting their dad more and being around more.
I think this added on extra guilt to my fiance’s grieving. He’s just been sleeping a lot to cope with it.
It’s not fair because everyone deals with death in their own way. My fiance’s way is by maybe making peace with saying goodbye in his own way by not wanting to see his dad in such a state different than what he was used to. He also hates hospitals because his dad had a long history of medical problems.
@prahajess: I’m sorry about your mother. Yeah, I’m definitely not wanting to put pressure on him to talk about it if he’s not ready. How long did it take for you to open up?
I think I’ll just try to make him special dinners and leave simple little love notes for him.
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
@petalpetal Now that I think about it, I remember that it was easier to talk to friends who were not close to my mom. I went out the night before her funeral with a friend and cried, but it was sort of subdued. Whereas, I knew if I opened up with family or really close friends, I could just lose it. If I had been with someone at the time, I might have seemed “closed off” or even cold towards them, just for fear of total emotional breakdown (not that there’s anything wrong with those!) It’s very human to protect yourself.
The grieving process is ongoing. My mother died 13 years ago and I still have moments of sudden, deep sadness– I know it will be more intense as I get closer to my wedding.
Depending on your FI’s relationship with his dad, it could be awhile. There’s no way to tell. And since it’s his first major death… it can be surprising how crazy-emotional it is. It brings up so many things!!! Anyway, I think you are on the right track doing what you’re already doing. He is lucky to have you, and he might not be able to tell you that now, but he knows it!
Post # 8
@prahajess: Thank you so much for your advice and input!
He passed away on what was supposed to be our wedding date next year. We’re definitely going to change the date now because I can’t imagine how hard the first year anniversary of his death is going to be, let alone have it as our wedding day.
Tomorrow is the wake, so I think he might be saving up his goodbyes and emotional breakdowns for tomorrow when he finally sees his whole family.
Again, thank you. You’ve given me a lot of insight.
Post # 9
- Wedding: April 2014 - Hotel Baronette Renaissance in Novi
I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. This is so sad to hear. 🙁
My Fiance just recently lost his grandpa very suddenly. He is definitely the type who will not acknowledge the feelings and will not show them (complete opposite of me). It was hard knowing what to do, but I could tell it was bothering him. I gave him the “do you want to talk to me about it” thing, but I mostly just went with the flow, and he later told me he appreciated it. As much as I wanted to coddle him, I just refrained. He needed time to process, and just being present seemed to be enough.
Post # 10
So sorry for you and your fiance’s loss. It is totally normally to avoid the issue right after a loss like this. I’m sure your fiance will open up when he is ready. My father passed away when I was in high school, and my older brother handled it much like your fiance. You being supportive is absolutely the right thing, and you really don’t have to say much of anything. Just be there, like I’m sure you already are.
Even without the conversation with his brother, your fiance was probably already feeling guilty about not spending more time with his dad. Honestly, his dad probably didn’t want his son to see him like he was! My dad died of cancer and I was also “scared” at times and didn’t spend as much time with him as I would’ve liked to, now that I’m looking back. But I know my dad wants me to remember him strong and vibrant, not like he was closer to his passing, and this comforts me.
Sending you lots of good vibes– you’re wonderful for caring so much about your Fiance during the healing process!
Post # 11
@petalpetal: Hi. Commenting because my fiancé’s mom passed away during our engagement. (She passed away 7 months ago.) I was close with her as well and I took it pretty hard. He didn’t want to talk about it too much either…
I just told him the same thing you did, that I was there if he wanted to talk about it. He didn’t really, but I think it helped him a little bit to comfort ME. (I kept saying it was supposed to be the other way around and he would just shake his head and hug me.) I suppose this is neither here nor there.
Anyways, instead of trying to get him to talk about it (which I really agree would help, but you obviously can’t force), maybe try to just be around for him. Take him out to movies, try to keep him moving forward, hold his hand. Sometimes it helps instead to express your support physically. This doesn’t necessarily mean sex, more like with your presence and with hugs and hand holding and the like.
I’m sorry for your loss. Good luck.