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06 Aug 2007

Dealing with grief/assisting my mum
Dear Doctor

My Dad passed away three weeks ago. Its very difficult and traumatic to cope with but I'm trying. The problem is that my family lives in KZN and I'm based in Jhb. So I feel quite alone in dealing with my emotions. I call my Mum four to five times per day to check on her - but every time we speak she is crying and overcome with emotion. I feel helpless as we are physically distant and I can't even hug her. My Mum is most times unable to offer me support as she is also dealing with the loss. I try to help her but hearing her cry breaks me down terribly. The distance, my grief and my Mum's grief is too much to handle sometimes and I feel overwhelmed. I tried to explain to my Mum that it really breaks me to hear her cry, yet I also know she has to cry. What can I do? Am I being selfish?
Answer 340 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Grief is really hard work, for each of us. You say your family lives in KZN, presumably with or near your mom--- shouldn't they be providing most of the support to her at this stage, rather than you ? You have your own grief to take care of, and should consider seeing a counsellor yourself ( most counselors ought to be able to help, the local hospice or cancer association might be able tor ecommend some especially experienced at helping with grief work.
You both need to feel free to cry, but maybe long-distance crying by phone isn't especially helpful for either of you
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