Counseling/How to help my fiance with the loss of his father??
Okay, well... I'm 20, and my fiance Paul is 22. Him and I have been together for a little over 3 years, and he lives with my mom and I. My mom agreed to let him move in last year around this time because his father is a drunk and would verbally abuse him constantly and smack him around when he was drunk. One time he came over my house with a nasty black eye and marks all over him and my mom offered to let him move in because she knows he's a good kid. Honestly, we would move out but him and I are both full time students and cannot really swing it right now. He pays her rent, and he's really helpful around the house. He does all of the yard work for us, cleans up around the house and helps take care of our animals.
We actually just got engaged, because we were just in Disney World, and he proposed to me there. Well, we got home Tuesday night and my mom told me that there was a message for Paul on the answering machine but that she had just skipped past it when she heard it was for him. Well, his aunt called and told him that his father died that morning. Apparently he took a bunch of medication, downed a bunch of alcohol and died in his sleep. Paul was silent for the rest of the night. I hardly knew what to say to him except for "I'm sorry." He has hardly spoken since then and he just seems void of any emotion. When he got home from work yesterday afternoon, I asked him if he wanted to talk about it and he just said "No thanks, hun. It's fine." and went to take a shower. He seemed upset afterwards and I asked him again if he wanted to talk about it and he started cursing and shouting about how he just "wanted to forget the bastard, but he didn't have to die." He went on for a few minutes before calming down and he apologized for going off and gave me a kiss. I didn't expect him to go off like that because he's normally very quiet. Never talks more than he sees necessary and always has a very calm, even tone to his voice. I've never seen him get angry like that. I don't know what to do or say.
I don't even know how he's feeling, because I know he hated his father, and quite honestly, his father was a terrible person. But on the other hand, he was still his father. I don't know if he's sad or angry or a combination of both, or something else entirely. I don't even know how to approach the situation. I don't know if he's even planning on going to the funeral. I don't know what to do. I'm just really worried about him because he's hardly spoken. Last night he went up to bed really early, and I came up to lay with him. When I got upstairs, he was just laying in the dark looking at the ceiling, and when I laid down next to him, he turned over and put his arm around me. So I assume that means he wants me there? But I also don't know if he wants to be alone more, and whether I should be giving him more space. Can someone help me? I don't know what to do for him. I'm worried. What should I do?
Consoling a fiance who is grieving can be a difficult task.More often it seems that nothing you can do or say helps, donít give up. You canít take the pain away, but your presence is more important than it seems. Accept that you canít fix the situation or make your fiance feel better. Instead just be present and offer hope and a positive outlook toward the future. Accept that the personís grieving will be a gradual process.
It is sometimes difficult to know what to say to a bereaved person. If you find yourself tongue-tied or uncertain of what to do in the face of someoneís loss, here are some steps you might try.
1. Offer hope. People who have gone through grieving often remember that it is the person who offered reassuring hope, the certainty that things will get better, who helped them make the gradual passage from pain to a renewed sense of life.
2. Write a secret note. Try to include a warm, caring, or funny anecdote that shows how important he is.
3. Help out. Be specific when offering help. Volunteer to shop or do laundry or bring dinner.
4. Be sensitive to differences. People mourn and grieve in different ways. Religion plays a big role in how death is treated; Avoid imposing your opinion on your fiance.
5. Make a date. Ask your fiance to join you for a walk or meal once a week. Be aware that weekends are often very difficult, and suggest an activity. Low-stress activities may be best: watch a video at home together versus going out to a movie. Sometimes just being there without saying much is enough ó it may even be exactly what he wants.
6. Listen well instead of advising. A sympathetic ear is a wonderful thing. A friend who listens even when the same story is told with little variation is even better. Often, people work through grief and trauma by telling their story over and over. Unless you are asked for your advice, donít be quick to offer it.
7. Express your feelings. If you share your fiance sorrow, say so. Itís even all right to blurt out that you donít know what to say. Most likely, nothing you say will turn the tide, but your sympathetic presence may make him feel slightly less alone. (One caveat: try not to express your feelings so emphatically that your fiance has to take care of you.)
8. Handle anger gently. People who are grieving sometimes direct angry feelings toward the closest target. If that happens to be you, try to be understanding. That is, wait until well after the person has cooled down before raising your concern in a nonthreatening way.
Wishing you all the best and please accept my condolence Sara