My boyfriend lost best friend and dad in last 6 weeks
In whatever way I can, I want to help this most wonderful man I love and have been dating for over a year now. In the last 6 weeks he's lost two of the most important people to him. First his best friend died (suicide, age 50), then 3 weeks later to the day his dad died (tractor accident, age 83).
They were not completely unexpected, his friend was bi-polar going through a rough divorce and my boyfriend had reached out to him the best he could, suggesting counseling, which he did get, and he was hospitalized twice in the last year. We were all praying it wouldn't happen, but it was still a shock when it did.
Then his dad had a tragic tractor accident, and he was a healthy and careful methodical man, but they think he had a heart attack and that's what caused the accident. That was horrible. The whole family is still reeling. They are a large close-knit family, live near each other in the country, and frequently get together for all sorts of occasions, which his parents hosted quite often. He was very close to his dad, built houses with him for a living, and his dad was his hero.
During the initial days of mourning, he wanted me there as much as possible. His dad thought alot of me and my son, and just days before his death, he and my boyfriend decided my son should call him "Grandpa". My boyfriend has never been one to go "inside his cave" in the entire year we've dated; he's always been so open and honest and loving. Now, he's turning inward, wracked with sorrow, his shoulders just heave and he sobs and he's very very quiet (we always talked and laughed ALOT).
I don't want to force conversation, but at this point I'm getting confused and having a hard time not taking it personally. He says he's not depressed, he's mourning. He's had dreams about his dad, and I know he misses his wisdom and input. So many questions, but I believe he prepared his son well. And he's very worried about his 80-yr old mother, but she is in good health and has lots of family and friends around to help her get through the hardest times coming up.
How long should this part of mourning last, or come and go? What is the best thing I can do to help ease the pain? I haven't been pushing him to do things or go places, I'm trying to take cues from him out of respect for his loss and grief. I'm not smothering him, he's made plans with me and asked me to join him visiting his mother, having dinner, lunch, volunteering to go to doctor appointments with me for my upcoming hip replacement surgery. But because he's acting differently now, I'm starting to wonder if there is actually a problem between us. We've always been so open, so I did finally ask, and he said no, but it was like he answered from "his cave".
It feels like there is alot unsaid right now...contrary to our normal openness. But I know that right now is not "normal" either. I feel like my heart is breaking because I need him too. Can somebody help shed some light on the situation? I've never been through these losses personally, and sure don't want to seem insensitive or unnecessarily worry myself and grieve over an imagined loss of my own - him.
Last edited by EllieM; 06-26-2008 at 10:35 PM.