Abby: Man stunned by delayed grief over loss of wife
Dear Abby: My wife died recently. We were very happy. We had six beautiful children and were married for 58 wonderful years.
It has been a month since her funeral, and I have been able to cope somewhat with her loss. But suddenly, a couple of days ago, I experienced a tremendous wave of grief and thought I would go crazy with not being able to see her again. I began to be afraid I’d have to be hospitalized, perhaps in a psychiatric ward and medicated. But my son told me this condition (everything “hitting” you in a delayed reaction) has been documented in a majority of cases. Is this true?
— Grieving Texan
Dear Grieving Texan: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your wife. I am sure you feel her loss profoundly.
Not everyone grieves in the same way. Some feel numb and can’t understand why they can’t feel anything after a loved one dies. Others feel the loss immediately and can’t sleep, eat or stop crying.
Your son is absolutely right. What happened to you is not unusual. However, if feelings of being out of control persist, you should discuss them with your doctor.
Dear Abby: One of our in-laws recently confessed about a long-term affair. The details are widely known. The closest family members, and especially the couple’s adult children, are shocked, devastated and angry. No one wants to even talk to the cheater.
The aggrieved spouse wants to keep the marriage together. It is hard to imagine that time will heal these wounds. How can my wife and I support the aggrieved spouse and the devastated children? Should we try to re-establish ties with the cheater? If so, do we just talk about the weather, or do we acknowledge the elephant in the room?
— Trying to do What’s Right
Dear Trying: If you truly want to support the spouse and adult children, let them know you are there for them if they want to talk. If you socialize with the husband and wife as a couple, continue to behave as you always have with them and discuss the topics you always did. Couples can get past turbulence in their marriage more easily without unsolicited interference.
Dear Abby: I was paying bills and saw that my husband sent his mother flowers for Mother’s Day. It stung because I received nothing from him. ZIP. In the past, he has stated that I am not his mom, suggesting there’s no reason to celebrate the mother of HIS child who birthed HIS child on Mother’s Day 10 years ago. Should I be annoyed?
— Unsure in Oregon
Dear Unsure: Most husbands have more brains than the cheap, insensitive man you married. I am tempted to suggest that you “forget” him on Father’s Day and when he asks why, tell him he’s not your father. You are a mother because he helped you become one, and he shouldn’t forget that fact.
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