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Does anyone have advice on how to help my mom?


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Ever since my dad's passing, I'm never quite sure of how to help my mom. I think about how awful I feel, how much I miss him, how depressed I am, and then I can't even fathom how terrible it must be for her. Mom and I talk every day about him and cry when we need to but her whole life has changed - they used to look forward to his retirement in a few years, to travel a little, to all the nice things they could do...now there is nothing. Nothing for her to look forward to, she feels empty and lost and alone, even though she has me and her grandkids with her every day.

Each night she goes home to that empty house, and I can't even imagine how lonely that must be....I know I can never fill his place, but does anyone have advice on how I can help her with her depression and feeling so lost and alone? They were married for 42 years, he was her love of a lifetime, and she was his, I just want to somehow help ease her burden, but is there any way?

Thanks for your time....

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Dear Pam,

Oh Pam, I don't think your mom is going through depression. I think she is going through all the phases of grieving and sadness of losing her beloved husband. And this is something she NEED'S to go through. Now, if this was going on for years, then I might say, she is in depression. Not everything is chalked up to depression. She's just very sad, and I understand that. TIME my dear, TIME. It will take time for her to get her thoughts together, but I'm sure she will as time makes things much softer. I am sorry she and you have to go through this, but I know you'll get through it. It's NOT EASY, but let your emotions run there course, and let mom's do the same. Just talking about your dad is a wonderful way to keep his memory alive. You never have to look far for him, nor does your mom, for he is ALWAYS in your HEARTS.

((((((((((((((((PAM & MOM))))))))))))))

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I don't know what to tell you dear. I know for me, my kids and this board have been my salvation and greatest help in the past few months. Each of us goes through this so differently that what works for one may not work for someone else.

With your fathers birthday just passed, it may be part of your mothers saddness. I know for me each holiday brings out the pain and I feel it more acutely then, than at other times. It reminds me of all the dreams Randy and I had that are now gone. And it hurts and there nothing that will take that hurt away.

You and your mom are in my prayers.

Much love,


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Pam all that you can do for your mom is be there for her when she needs you. You can not take the hurt or the lonliness away. Those are part of grief and so natural. When we lose someone who was the major part of our hopes and dreams nothing can take their place. You mom just needs time to adjust to being alone. In time she will find a way to get on with her life the best that she can.

Again I say just be there for her let her talk about him all that she wants to. There is nothing harder than to have all of the memories and the love inside of you and no one to talk to about it. Let her talk and you talk to her about him. Just because he died does not mean that he is no longer a part of her life. She loved him for a very long time. That love will always be with her. She just has to find a way to live with the love in a far different way. Right now sharing his memory with you is the best way that she can live.

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I'm going through what you are right now. My parents were married for 46 years and my mom never worked outside the home. With my dad being in the Army for over 21 years, they only had each other and us kids. They were so close and she misses him terribly. I'm taking her to Florida for spring break with my boys in a few weeks to the condo my parents went to every winter. I'm hoping this will help her some. She is trying to plan some mini-trips in the future with her sisters just to keep her occupied. It's very difficult but I keep telling myself that I couldn't keep my dad here forever in the condition he was in. He is at peace and somehow we are drawing strength from that. Hugs and prayers to you and your family!

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I will try to write even if I can't log in, will clear that later.

Your mom, is in the process of grieving, no person react

the same or in the same manner, all you can do is be there

for her, each day makes realize that he is gone and won't

be back, some days are easier some days are so hard to take.

You there and the children is what she needs at the present

time it is for her continuity of her life and she may be trying to see

each day as they come, and do the best she can to keep on.

Keep talking to her as you are doing and bring the good memories

back, it is hard to understand how a person may react to the death

of a love one, nobody will act after a pattern as there is none to


Be there for her, love her and she will grieve but know that there

is somebody near her that understand what she is going through.

Good luck Pam,



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I don't have any advice for you to help your mom. I don't have any advise for anyone to help me. We both are grieving for our loved ones are gone.

Oh, what I wouldn't give for just one more minute, hour, or day with him but that isn't going to happen. I can only hope for life after death to be with him again.

Time will heal both of us they say and I am sure it will for it has in the past but until a lot of months pass, right now we are both hurting bad, real real bad and no one can help. We deserve to be able to grieve all we need to. Forty-two and forty-six years is a lifetime with our loves and it can't be gotten over in a month or two or three.

I have placed a lot of pictures of my Buddy around the house. I want to see him in every room that I enter. I want to remember what he looks like for I am having a hard time picturing him in his better days. I talk to his pictures a lot for I am hoping he is nearby to hear me.

Give your mom time for time is all we have now. She knows you are here as I know my son is but that just isn't helping at this moment and time. I can only hope that my son is not grieving as bad as I am for I don't want that for him nor does your mom for you.

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I can only repeat what everyone else has said. I agree with Connie, your Mom probably isn't depressed she is probably just going through the stages of grieving. Losing your spouse is extremely difficult. Most of the time I feel alone even if I am surrounded by people. I have trouble making anyone understand that feeling. My boys have been a very big help and having my grandchildren around is a wonderful lift, but even when they are there I STILL feel alone. I want to be enjoying our children WITH Hugh not by myself. Time helps, I feel less despair now than I did in October. I don't think it will ever go away totally. I KNOW it won't ever go away totally. Its that connection to someone who lives with you and loves you. My children love me and I them, but they have their own lives and schedules. They don't plan them with me, they often try to include me but still, its THEIRS not Hugh's and mine. I should say at this point that I don't want them to live their lives accomodating me either and I am sure your Mom doesn't want that either. Our children have to be able to have their own lives and we have to walk through this grief to come out healed on the other side, we have to, by trial and error, find out where we belong now that our spouse is no longer with us. That is one of my biggest problems. I don't know who I am or where I belong without Hugh with me. I have always been 1/2 of a pair. Now I feel not only overwhelmingly sad and alone but I feel lost. All I really need from my children is for them to call me often, visit me often and hug me even more often. I sure hope the rest will fall into place and more time goes by.

Like Norme, I have many pictures of Hugh in every room of my house. I want to look at him and remember exactly what he looked like when he was healthy.

Your Mom will get through this and you will be their to hold her while she does. She is fortunate to have children who care so much about her.

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I believe your mother needs to work through her grief, that she is not experiencing depression, just deep sadness.

I would think that all you can do is be there for her and re-affirm that SHE is still needed and you'd rather she not "check out" any time soon.

My grandfather passed last June, he and my grandmother had been married since 1939 - 63+ years. I have watched my grandmother with her grieving process and have talked to her as a good grandkid would - soon after Grampa's funeral, she had a triple bypass. Her health had been heading down, but she was always taking care of Grampa and hadn't been taking care of herself - that caught up with her. She stayed with my parents while recuperating (at the time, my father was recuperating from surgery, as well....it was easier on my mother to just have her mom move in for a while). When Gramma was okay to be by herself (off the drugs), she NEEDED to spend time on her own, in THEIR house and cry...and cry...and remember...and cry. She says that she knows one day she will be with Grampa again, she's just not hoping for any time soon (she's 85).

Two of her daughters (there are four) took her to Florida for the winter and are keeping her busy. She's a little homesick but is enjoying the time with "her girls".

I think the secret (as I'm seeing it) is to keep busy, but to let the tears fall when they come. Gramma is moving ahead with her life, her house is up for sale so she can move to an assisted living "old folks' home" where she has her own apartment, but nothing that's too much for her to take care of on her own. I do not for one minute doubt the depth of her love for my Grampa, but I also know that for her to live "in the past" is very unhealthy. I believe she is taking a healthy approach to grieving and that she will always have my Grampa "with" her.

Just keep your mother close to you and communicate. She probably feels like she is caught between her love for her dear husband and the rest of the world in a macabre limbo of sorts....help keep her grounded.



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what i did to help dad was call a hospice grief counselor myself, explain dads situation to her and she herself contacted my dad and got him to come into group grief counseling. he says it saves him right now getting to talk to other people in the same situation and he really looks forward to going to it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest peggyd

Just be there for her, let you know you care. I lost my husband of 35 years only four weeks ago. It is devastating to lose your soul mate. You literally are 1/2 a person without them. But you have to handle it in your own way, the best way you can. It is difficult for anyone to understand unless you experience it. For everyone else, life goes on. Even for my kids, they have their families and I know they miss their dad but life goes on. My life is nothing like it used to be. My life doesn't just go on. Mike is missed constantly in every way in everything I do every day. He was my life for 40 years actually, 35 of those as his wife. I am constantly reminded of him. I see a mailman walking down the street (Mike delivered mail for 33 years). I see someone in a Notre Dame jacket (Mike was an AVID Notre Dame fan and always wore ND clothes, hats, etc.) Things he used to do around the house ... now I have to do. I hear a song and think of him. On and on and on.

Sometimes I just need to be alone. Sounds lonely but I feel I am alone with Mike in the house. My niece constantly asks me to come over for dinner. Right now I am enjoying my evenings "alone" in the house with Mike. I feel his warmth there. Maybe that will change. THen, I'll take her up on her offers. But for now ... I need this quiet time.

Only your mom knows what makes her feel comfortable. Keeping busy helps some people. Also what is helping me is keeping a journal in which I write everything I am feeling for that day. People must be sick and tired of hearing me talk about Mike. So I write to myself. It really helps. I can also look back at the journal some time in the future and hopefully see how far I have come, see some healing. Another thing that helps me is talking to some widow friends of mine. They alone know what I am feeling because they have felt the same way. That really helps.

Everyone handles it in their own way, I guess. Talk to your mom and ask if there is anyway you can help her through this. But most probably, there isn't. I know in my case there isn't. My one married son all of a sudden the last few weeks comes and "visits" me every Saturday. I know he is trying to be there for me but I feel like he is "babysitting" me. Sometimes it drives me nuts! Can't tell him that though. It's a personal process. Just be there when she needs you and she will let you know when that is.

I don't know if it every gets any easier. I am a newbie at this. I can hope it does. But I know Mike will always be in my thoughts and in my heart. He made me feel special. He made me feel loved. He needed me. And I needed him. We were each others support system. Each others best friend.

God's blessing on your mom and your whole family. May He help us all find peace.


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I know from watching Katieb's mom that there is no quick fix for this and time is the only thing that will make the pain any less. It will never be better, just more tolerable and thats what time will bring.

Its been 6 months since Katieb's Father passed away and my mother-in-law is still a wreck, however with each passing week, we can see a little improvement.



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