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28 Jul 2005
How can I help my brother?
My father died 16 years ago when my brother and I were 13 and 12 respectively. Although it has been difficult growing up without a dad, I have accepted his death and has had a very happy life to date (obviously there are days that aren't great, but you learn to cope)... My brother, on the other hand, is still very sad during this time of year (dad died in July) and even gets out of hand with drinking etc. On the anniversary of my dad's death last week, he phoned and asked if I was okay and survived the day? When I said that I was fine and have been so busy that day that it only hit me what the date was close to the end of the day, he got very upset saying that I have forgotten my daddy and what he has done! This is not the case -- I have a lot of memories about my father and loved and miss him a lot, but the reality is that he is gone.... My brother religiously visits the graveside every weekend and on special days (birthdays, christmas etc) and seem to not be able to get over this. SHould he go for therapy?
YEs, I think he ought to go for therapy, as you seem to be describing a variety of pathological grief, a sort of constipated grief, in which he has not finished working through it and isn't yet able to be free to enjoy his own life, with a positive input from his memories of his dad.
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