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My wife's dad died last night, how can I help my wife through this?

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 May 2007) 8 Answers - (Newest, 7 June 2012)
A male United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

ok i hope you can help me out here. i'm 33 and my wife is 32. She lost her dad last night and it very upset. I know she's grieving and everything but I've really never seen her like this before. last night when we got back from the hospital we went straight to bed and she virtually went straight to sleep. I woke up at about half 4 in the morning and realised she wasn't there. I found her sitting on the settee downstairs, i asked her why she was down there and she said she didn't wanna wake me.

After a chat i managed to get her to come back to bed. Going back upstairs she looked as if she was gonna start crying again but wasn't going to let herself. Anyway she got back in bed, i asked if she was alright(i know stupid question really).i just lay there looking at her, and you could see that she was virtually bursting into tears. I really didn't know what to do or say to her at this point i just lay there trying to give her a cuddle. I felt so uneasy around her an wished it wasn't happening- i know its wrong and that i shouldn't feel that way i just really didn't know what to do, but at the same time i wanted to be with her.

We've been friends all our lives and been together nearly 17 yrs so i've been there through the bad times. She said she doesn't get why she feels this bad, like she'll never be able to stop crying because she didn't feel this way when her cousin died. I told her it was probably because we were all expecting her dad to live and we knew years in advance that her cousin would eventually get worse and die (she died of MS) Anyway after about 10min she was just getting worse i told her to turn over but she didn't answer(she had her back to me), then i tried to turn her over she wouldn't budge. So after about 2 more attempts i decided to get out of bed and walk around to her side. just as i got to the end of the bed she virtaully begged me not to leave her, i told her i wouldn't and never will. I think she thought i'd had enough of her when i got out of bed when i was actually walking round to her side.

Anyway i eventually got that thought out of her head and she finally did turn to face me when i got back in bed we just lay there talking about how she felt and what her, her brother and her mum were going to do about the funeral etc. Today she has been really quiet and i have got the rest of the week off work so she hasn't got to be alone now its got to night time though she seems to be getting all tearful again-shes been ok throughout the day it's just the nights and mornings.

Do any of you have any suggestions on what i could do to help her more and how i can stop feeling so uneasy in this situation because me being like that i don't think helps her. I just want to be there for her more but it seems impossible.

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A male reader, Chadrosfrog United States +, writes (7 June 2012):

My wife just lost her dad on Tuesday. We all knew it was going to be soon when he went to the hospital seven days before. She cried when we would go to see him at the hospital, but everything was fine, because she knew that she would see him again. She told me, today, 2 days after he died, that she hasn't realized he is gone.

She told me that she was not feeling anything yet. We have only known eachother for a year, but I started crying on Tuesday morning when she got the call, because I knew what happened. I, two days later, am feeling fine and know that he is gone and have accepted that. The rest of her family is grieving.

Your wife is going through the three stages of grief. Denial - not believing that he is gone. Bartering - begging for it to have been her, feeling afraid that everyone is going leave her. Acceptance - Knowing that everything is going to be better, he is no longer in pain.

Right now though she doesn't see beyond the fact that the man that was there the day she was born won't be there ever again in this life. When she is ready to talk, she will. At least that is what my wife says.

At night, she rolls over on my chest and cries me to sleep, the morning, she won't let me go for anything; but during the day, we do anything.

I hope you made it to this point because this will really work. During the times that she is feeling fine, make the feeling last. Take her to the funniest movie that you can find, go swimming at the beach or rock climbing in the mountains. Prove to her - without words - that you will always be there for her - no matter what!

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (31 May 2007):

eyeswideopen agony auntYou don't need any help from the aunts, you are doing everything that should be done. You are her rock. Keep up the good work. I've lost both of my parents and know the pain very well. Time is her friend and it does get easier. She will have good days and bad days, especially around holidays. Death is part of life and everyone goes through this. Hang in there Buddy.

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A female reader, nicola79 United Kingdom +, writes (31 May 2007):

nicola79 agony aunti know how she is feeling, i lost my dad in september 05 and im still not myself. my dad was 44,fit and healthy and just died in his sleep. i was at work and my mum and husband were trying to reach me. when i was told,i went onto auto pilot to get to my mum ans dads,but soon as i got there i went to pot.

your poor wife is going through what we all do,but i do feel so much for her and just so much want to talk to her. but she wont want to talk just yet. tell her to cry if she wants to,tell her to scream and to smash something up. she will get some emmotions out then she should open up to you. once she does,and i know you wouldnt but never diss what she is saying and just do what you are doing now and be there for her.

after about 4 months,i was getting no better and my husband could see that i was going further down hill,so he tuck me to the doctors and was given medication. i am stillon it now and it does help me,but it doesnt help everyone. i miss my dad so so much and still wish and hope that he wasnt really dead,and he will come home. but that isnt going to happen. she will feel like this so much,and it will take time for her to get back to some sort of her self. but if she ever says anything hurtfull to you, please just take it with a pinch of salt and stick by her.

im always here if you want to talk ok.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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A male reader, Royofthe Rovers United Kingdom +, writes (31 May 2007):

Royofthe Rovers agony auntFirst of all my thought are with her and yourself at this very sad time.

Losing a parent is one of the worst things that a person can experience intheir lifetime and what she is feeling is total loss. hence the reason why she was thinking you were leaving her. You need to be there for her, and i mean really be there for her. You doing a great job so far and just make sure you keep up the talking and communication between you two.

The way she is feeling is natural and she needs to use you as a shoulder to cry on literally. It seems you two have a very good relationship so use this to your advantage. I myself lost my mother when i was young tho, but i can understand her feelings of loss and despair.

I know it is weird and uncomfortable seeing someone you love in that kind of state, but you have to be strong for her and show her you are there if and when she needs you.

Grieving takes different amounts of time to recover from depending on the loss and the person who is grieving, so be patient with her and she needs more hugs and communication from you at this point more than ever, just keep it up.

Theres no real answer to this but to be there as a friend for her while she goes through this. Give her your strength, and over time she will start to recover from this awful news.

My thoughts are with you both...


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A male reader, DV1 United States +, writes (31 May 2007):

DV1 agony auntDeath is a hard time for us- mainly because we're losing something important to us. It's kind of selfish, but we really cry because we won't have the same thing in our life anymore. All you can do is be there for her. Hold her, and let her talk. Don't interrupt her. Time heals all wounds.


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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 May 2007):

After reading this and feeling you emotion . . . all I can think is what a great husband you are!! No matter what you do, I'm sure that you will comfor her!!

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A male reader, Jamer70 United Kingdom +, writes (31 May 2007):

Jamer70 agony auntJust be there for her. Do simple things. Hug her, listen to her. Take the petty things away from her like chores. ust be an ear and shoulder during this terrible time in her life.Just show her how much you love her

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A female reader, candy00s United Kingdom +, writes (31 May 2007):

candy00s agony auntJust continue to be there for her and support her through this traumatic time.

Listen to her if she needs to talk - hug her and assure her of how much you love her.

With time this will get easier - her dad has only just passed and she is going to feel like this for some time. Just be there and help her get through the funeral.


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