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I can almost get to the point of dealing with my own grief, but I am wrecked by my kids' struggles.

My 13 year-old daughter has been having a very tough week. She just had a physical last month, so I don't believe there is anything physically wrong with her, but she keps having 'breathing problems' and feeling dizzy. She tells me she thinks she is having panic attacks, and she is afraid she will stop breathing. Last night she was crying in bed, and told me that, although she knows it is ridiculous, she is afraid she will stop breathing in her sleep, and no one will know.

The last time Tay saw Mom, mom was unconscious and struggling to breathe. Is that part of her fear? I thought we were helping the kids by letting them say good-bye, but what if it was too traumatic for her psyche? Next week I am taking her back to her dr. for confirmation that she is physically OK, and I have brought up the idea of counseling to her, to help her calm herself down when she is so afraid.

Then, also last night, I went in to check on my ten-year old son after he had been in bed for an hour. He was awake, and seemed upset. He finally told me that he had just had a dream about Grandma. The gist of it is he saw her and told her he loved her--she said she loved him too. He told her he missed her--she said she missed him too. He asked her why she had to go away, and she said, "It was just my time." Tears were rolling down his face. I told him I thought it was very lucky that he could dream about Grandma (I've yet to) and talk with her in his dreams. I told him that those words were exactly what she would have said. She would want him to know that she was OK, that she loved him, and that she was watching over him.

The kids were so blessed to have Mom a part of their everyday lives. She was our before and after-school care person, and she volunteered daily in the school cafeteria. Maybe starting school again has drudged up some hidden feelings, I don't know.

That is the problem--I'm the mom, I'm supposed to know how to handle things. I barely know how to handle myself--I'm so worried I'm messing things up. They were so lucky to be loved so much by Mom, and have that close bond with her. It just hurts so much more now that she is gone.


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I would consider trying some counseling for your daughter. I worry about the same thing ... I have a 13 year old daughter who is SO close to my mom.

The things she is experiencing sound exactly what I had when the doctor told me he felt I was mildly depressed and wanted to put me on antidepressants. I thought I had a sinus infection and the doctor was way off!!! I had the dizziness, fear of not being able to breath, anxiety ... I didn't go on the antidepressants at that point because I wanted to get pregnant. I was in my late 20s. After the birth of my child ... boom ... horrible post-partum, and then I did go on them and it was the best thing I ever did.

I certainly wouldn't rush at least to put a 13 year old on medicine, but some counseling might be very helpful.

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When my ex husband died my grandchildren were destroyed for a while. He had been such a big part of their lives. He was bigger than life to them then in the blink of an eye with no warning he was gone. They didn't know how to handle it. Their parents were so upset that they had no way to help their children.

My oldest grandson was in his first year of college and had a girlfriend. After Denis died he cried about everything. He never wanted to go out or have fun. His grades started falling and he almost lost his girlfriend. Each person is affected differently.

Having been through so much with firt Johnny and then my ex I could see so clearly what he was doing. I had a talk with him one day and told him that I understood. I told him that his paw paw loved him so much and wanted the very best for him in life. I told him that he would never want to see him so unhappy because of his death. I said that he would want him to have a good life and fun and never feel that he was betraying him because the real betrayal would be if he didn't live the life that his paw paw was so sure and proud of him for. He still has problems but is not afraid to have fun or be happy anymore.

Your daughter is having panic attacks and they are so frightening that they can cause other serious problems. She needs to see someone who can explain what is happening to her and why. She has to know that her grandma had a disease and that she doesn't have it. She is not in imminate danger or stopping breathing. She also has to know that she can go to sleep and know that you are not going to stop breathing either. She is frightened and her fear causes the panic attacks and those frighten her more. She really needs help before it gets any more out of control. Please keep up with this and let us know how she is doing.

I'm sure your son has his problems as well but it sounds like he may be handling them a little better than she is.

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THe local hospice may have a grief counseling program Mine does. I can not speak as a parent having no Kids of my own. THis is a link or 2 that may help some from my point of view.

http://depression.about.com/gi/dynamic/ ... /children/

http://depression.about.com/gi/dynamic/ ... nager.html

Hope something helps!! RandyW

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Hi Kelly and my thoughts go out to you and your kids.When I was 14 my little sister got ran over by a car in front of our house. She was 6 years old. She was the sunshine of our family.Shortly there after I started having panic attacks. Fear of not being able to breath and unwanted thoughts. Usually bedtime was the worst.I never told nobody about them because back then you never heard of panic or anxiety attacks and I was afraid people would think I was crazy. Not until I read your letter did I realize the connection of my panic disorder and my sisters death. Im sure now that they were directly linked to each other. I have since been recovered and do not fear them anymore. For the most part I believe they came from a fear of being out of control. I hope your daughter speaks freely to you or someone else about what is going on. I suffered for many years in silence.Those attacks can be terrifing when you dont know what is going on. A book that helped me very much was called hope and help for your nerves by Dr.Clara Weeks. I hope you and your children all the best. Mike

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One of mom's neighbors actually took her son to counseling after mom died because he was so upset.

It's a very good idea.

It's normal for the kids to be affected in such a profound way. These aren't Florida they visit once a year grandparents. These are true ingrained parts of their lives. If they were unaffected...that would concern me more!

That said, I'm sure the schools have resources. Some medical plans do.

I hope all the kids can one day smile fondly remebering their grandparents.

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