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28 Aug 2007

Is this normal, Can you advise?
I have posted on this sight several times and you have really helped.
My sister's husband recently passed away and is really battling to cope with the loss. I am trying to convince her to go for councelling but she keeps putting it off. I am starting to think that maybe she is trying to "hide" from the reality and does not want to go through the motions of the healing process as that would mean his death is a reality and he is never coming back.
The thing that is really worrying me though is that she talks about him constantly in the present tense and refers to him as her husband and always brings up things in converstaion about him but it is always present tense. For example I'll say something on the line of "I really enjoy that movie" and she will say "oh yes so does my husband". I am worried because she is hanging onto him "too" much. I know that she must not forget about him and that she will always love him but I am beginning to think that constantly brining him into conversations as if he was still alive is not healthy. She is very young and I really worry that she is never going to heal. She gets very angry if anyone tries to correct her and explain that he is gone and that you cannot keep him in the present.
I am no pyschologist so maybe what I think is completely wrong. i would just like you to please tell me, one, is this a normal grieving process and two, in what way should I approach her and explain that she needs to start thinking about her future and accept that he has gone and that life for her still exists.
She keeps saying she will never re marry, never have children and it really worries me.
Please advise.

Thank you so much.
Answer 372 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Maybe in addition to just suggesting counselling, when she agrees and says she will see to it, why not offer to join her in choosing a counsellor, and to make the appointment for her ? Talking about her late husband in the present tense is a way of keeping him real and present for her. Some people mistakenly but sincerely feel that moving beyond the pain, letting go of it, is somehow letting the person they have lost become more dead. In fact, it's quite the reverse. When we can move beyond the sheer painful grief, we can move ahead in life accompanied by the happy memories of them in our life. It is too soon for anyone else to be talking about re-mariages or children, as those issues should be decided well in the future. Now there is the Grief Work to do. Do a google search as there are several good sites with advice on the specifics of grief and its management
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