(Quote) Christiane-898493 said:
Thank you, Kathy and Jerry. I hope you and your kids have found ways to come to term...
(Quote) Christiane-898493 said:
Thank you, Kathy and Jerry. I hope you and your kids have found ways to come to terms with the loss.
For me, I have been feeling pretty 'boxed in' lately... I got such criticism for seeking counselling for myself that I decided not to tell the family that I'm organizing counselling for my 3 and a half year old son. He's got a million questions that I'm simply afraid to give the wrong answer to.
I can't explain a heart attack to him... I don't want to lie to him either and as for letting him draw his own conclusions? I overheard him tell a neighbour's child that, 'Daddy died because he touched a cigarette once'. While it's a great anti-smoking message, I don't want him to get freaked out if he sees his aunts smoking!
My husband's family believe firmly in ignoring the child's questions and not discussing the deceased - at all. I've been told that the only reason my elder boy is so caught up in talking about his Daddy, is because I don't let him forget. Well... why should I want him to forget? I'm glad that he remembers anything at all! I think it's a good thing, that he can explain death, heaven and the reason he knows Daddy still loves him though he can't see him, to his friends - all without breaking down.
So... really, I guess this thread is just me checking, to be sure that my instincts are right. It's sort of my main goal in life, to do whatever is best for my children.
God bless everyone who's been there and especially, survived it with their faith intact. Heaven knows it took me a while to stop feeling angry with God, long enough to build my trust in Him back.
Christiane -- In the normal course of life, you shouldn't have lost your husband at an early age. First, there's the grieving on your part, and at the same time, seeing the need to go on because you have two children to raise. There's no problem or shame in getting counselling -- it really comes from NOT getting professional help if you need it. It's not unusual for people who lose their spouses to attend counseling sessions to help put things in perspective and be able to eliminate at least some of the stress. How can that be criticized? If your family has a problem with it, you don't have to tell them.
Do you really want your children to forget their father? It would actually be a dishonor to him to stuff all memories away. The children need open and honest answers. They can't absorb everything at once, so a gradual approach is more sensible. Also, you have to tailor your talks to their needs and intellectual capabilities. You can't soft soap the situation -- children have a way of seeing right through that. There's a way of being gentle in your conversations without euphemisms or being too blunt. They need to know that they didn't cause the problem, that they still have a mommy who will be with them, and some information about their father. Even the 3 year old won't remember much about his father. Right now, he's loaded with questions. Try to take them one at a time, or just a couple of them. There's only so much they can absorb.Certainly counseling can be helpful to the children.
Just in case the funeral home didn't make you aware of it, there are some bookets and pamphlets that can guide you as far as how to share information with the children. The funeral homes usually have some on hand to give out.
Have you talked to your parish priest? Many of them have experience in counseling and can add the spiritual dimension.
The big difficulty is trying to make sense out of all of this. If you're having a hard time with it, think of the children who are of such tender years that they can't grasp a lot of the concepts that come into play.
Be sure to make time for yourself -- some "me time". It'll help. Single parenthood isn't easy, as anyone here can tell you. Selflessness and sacrifice are standard for the role. Yes -- you'll be tired for quite awhile until the children are capable of taking care of themselves. Feeling overwhelmed is a sign that you need to step back and get things into perspective once again. My own thought is that single parents in situations such as yours are close to sainthood on earth.
Try your best to maintain spiritual health. It's good to have a solid foundation and can improve your outlook.
It won't be easy, but a countless number of people have suffered through similar situations and have made through just fine. If you can't rely upon relatives to be your support network, try your friends. Your situation isn't hopeless -- but it is difficult. While your children can wear you out at times, they are also a source of strength -- watching them grow and develop along with their laughter and merriment.
Place your trust in the God of your Faith. The Spirit works wonders. Don't be shy about asking the Almighty for help. That's His job.
Try to keep up that well-known British "stiff upper lip".
Blessings upon your endeavors.....