Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Support for Trish from another bereaved parent

Hi Only read part of the article question from Trish about her son completing suicide and about some of her feelings, thoughts, actions to date. My heart goes out to her and i am so sorry that she is part of this fratermity where just try to live as "normally" as possible in a now very abnormal world. While there are differences in the way our precious children died and each person's grief is uniquely theirs, there are some things that we may well have in common. Please reassure Trish, that I left Bruce's room the same way for many many yrs and only dusted surfaces. When I was able to, I took pictures of every inch of his room and then very slowly dissassembled his room. In a trunk are the sheets he slept on that I never washed. In my closet was the last towel he used...never washed. I carry a shirt he wore (it had his sent - like some of his sweaters) with me on every trip. All that she is doing, feeling,sensing is so very "normal." While it may not be for everyone, I am so happy you suggested Comp Friends. Paul and I were members for several years. It may not be for everyone and each at their own point may move away from the meetings for whatever their personal reason may be. Same for therapy. I was receptive; Paul and Marshall were not. I shopped very hard until I found someone who could work with the excruciating pain and the type of pain that is fortunately alien to more people than not. Acceptance of and respect for our different ways of grieving is of paramount importance as it takes it many shapes and forms. My belief becomes stronger, especially when a young sibling dies, that the siblings are the "lost grievers." People ask parents, grandparents etc how they are doing; oft times the surviving sibling(s) are left out of the verbal compassion and personal contact that is desparately needed. I am very sensitive to these siblings and when people ask me "what can I do/say to relatives and friends, I never fail to mention reaching out to the siblings whose loss/guilt/aloneness now abnormal world is just as profound as for parents. I wish Trish and her family Gentle Moments and my hope is that they listen to their own internal drummer as they try to take steps forward. It does not get better; it just gets different.

Support for Trish from another bereaved parent

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Hi
Only read part of the article question from Trish about her son completing suicide and about some of her feelings, thoughts, actions to date. My heart goes out to her and i am so sorry that she is part of this fratermity where just try to live as "normally" as possible in a now very abnormal world. While there are differences in the way our precious children died and each person's grief is uniquely theirs, there are some things that we may well have in common.
Please reassure Trish, that I left Bruce's room the same way for many many yrs and only dusted surfaces. When I was able to, I took pictures of every inch of his room and then very slowly dissassembled his room. In a trunk are the sheets he slept on that I never washed. In my closet was the last towel he used...never washed. I carry a shirt he wore (it had his sent - like some of his sweaters) with me on every trip. All that she is doing, feeling,sensing is so very "normal." While it may not be for everyone, I am so happy you suggested Comp Friends. Paul and I were members for several years. It may not be for everyone and each at their own point may move away from the meetings for whatever their personal reason may be. Same for therapy. I was receptive; Paul and Marshall were not. I shopped very hard until I found someone who could work with the excruciating pain and the type of pain that is fortunately alien to more people than not. Acceptance of and respect for our different ways of grieving is of paramount importance as it takes it many shapes and forms. My belief becomes stronger, especially when a young sibling dies, that the siblings are the "lost grievers." People ask parents, grandparents etc how they are doing; oft times the surviving sibling(s) are left out of the verbal compassion and personal contact that is desparately needed. I am very sensitive to these siblings and when people ask me "what can I do/say to relatives and friends, I never fail to mention reaching out to the siblings whose loss/guilt/aloneness now abnormal world is just as profound as for parents.
I wish Trish and her family Gentle Moments and my hope is that they listen to their own internal drummer as they try to take steps forward. It does not get better; it just gets different.

Dan Gottlieb
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About this blog
Dan Gottlieb is a psychologist and marital therapist and has been in practice nearly 40 years. His career started in community mental health and substance abuse until his accident in 1979 made him a quadriplegic.

Since that time, he has been in private practice. Since 1985, he has been hosting a radio show called "Voices in the Family" on WHYY FM, Philadelphia's NPR affiliate. He was a regular columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1994 until 2008. He is also the author of four books.

www.drdangottlieb.com

Voices In The Family on WHYY

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