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Death of my Nephew
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Death of my Nephew

My 18 month old nephew died unexpectedly in his sleep nearly 3 months ago (my husbands brothers son).  It has absolutely devastated the whole family - nothing is ever going to be the same again.

The reason I'm posting this is because I have gotten the vibe off quite a few people that I shouldn't have taken his death as hard as I have, the reason being that I am not his parent, sibling, grandparent or even a blood relative.  I don't really know what to do - I love him so much and I can't show that I miss him with all my being unless I'm alone or just with my husband.  I feel like I don't fit in, like I don't have a category in a sense, when it comes to my grief.

I think that aunts/uncles are forgotten when it comes to grieving and its not fair - its even worse for us who are married into a family and are not blood related to the deceased, but still watched them grow up, looked after them and saw them as their own children.

I have spoken about this to my husband, but not in detail - he is very private and I think he prefers it that his grieving process is forgotten about by others, but I can't let it go and I don't know why.  Its not fair.  I want to talk about my nephew, but when I bring him up in conversation its like nobody wants to know.  My own family have told me that I must let him go, that he wasn't my son - I am aware that he wasn't my son but I don't feel ready to let him go yet!  It hasn't even fully registered in my mind that he's actually gone - how can I let him go?

My relationship with my nephews mother has really changed since he died - we used to be the best of friends but now I feel like she doesn't like me.  I don't know why.  Around the time he died, a lot of people mentioned it on their Facebook status', etc. and she would always comment on everybody's posts except for mine - I know this seems a bit stalker-ish for me to notice but I did (she still does it now) and it is really painful for me.  Its like I'm grieving for the lost friendship too.  If I text her/send her a message, most of the time she won't even reply - she NEVER did that before he died.  I don't understand why she doesn't like me anymore.  It wouldn't bother me so much if she did it with everyone else but she only does it to me - I see her replying to everyone elses posts.  Even though I know she doesn't like me anymore I can't stop trying to be her friend again - I shouldn't bother with her anymore but I can't help it.

I have changed so much in these past few months - I've put weight on, become so lazy and feel disgusted with myself.  I study and work, but I can't bring myself to get out of bed for either.  I am failing with my studies and only work one day a week now (and I struggle with that).  I sleep all the time.  I'm surprised at how my husband puts up with me.  He started suffering from anxiety attacks after our nephew died - he finds it hard to get out of bed for work too.....Neither of us leave our house for anything other than work.  We have both turned into hermits - locked away from the rest of the world.  My husbands family have been complaining that we never visit them but my husband is scared to leave the house because of his panic attacks.

Life isn't worth living anymore.

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MrsIndependent,

I am so so sorry for your loss.
You have absolutely every right to feel pain for the death of your nephew whether he was a blood relative or not. It is natural and healthy to grieve over the loss of a loved one.
Your family may be slightly confused or irritated by your reaction to the boy's death, perhaps because they doubt that it is sincere. Some people find death much harder to handle than others, and my assumption is that your relatives didn't expect it to hit you so hard. This may also stir up some guilt for the ones who can more easily accept the boy's time to pass.

The point is, there is never a "right" length of time or method of grieving over the loss of a loved one. You could do a couple things:  Communicate to your nephew's mother that you miss your close friendship and ask if you can be of any assistance. At this time I don't think it is wise to accuse her or make her feel guilty for hurting your feelings. She's got a lot going on right now and that will probably push her further away.
When you do see her, mention that you want to be there for her as much as possible and to be strong for her when she's finding it hard to deal. Families are much stronger together.
Don't worry. Things may seem broken right now but with time, things will come together again. Do what you need to do to get through this-- write, talk to a counselor, or find forums like these where you can share your thoughts.
Use visualization tools to help you get out of the house and work towards a life you prefer to experience. You are not stuck in anything but your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you can change your life. I promise.

All the best,
Brittany
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Thank you so much for posting - reading this has made me feel better.

I understand what you mean about changing my thoughts to change my life - I need to be more disciplined.  I try, but I give up after about 2 days and revert back to my depressed state.

With regards to the lost friendship, I have already tried my best with her and offered my assistance - I think the best thing to do now is to leave her to it and if she needs me I will be there for her, however a lot of the time I feel a lot of anger towards her because I see her being normal with everybody else.  I will never voice this - I know she is going through hell and the last thing she needs is me accusing her of these things, but I can't help but obsess over it a bit.  I miss what we had - she was like my sister.

I don't show my grief to anybody anymore - I cry alone or I change what I'm thinking if I start thinking about my nephew.  As far as my family are concerned I am over him.  Sometimes I find it so hard though - the other day I was on the bus and my mind was wondering, the next thing I knew I had tears streaming down my face.  I often have a painful lump in my throat because I find I am fighting my feelings all the time.

I really hope things will come together as you say - I am sure it will one day and I will be able to accept all that has changed over the past few months, but right now it seems like a very long journey.

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Hello I'm very sorry for your loss, and I Pray that the babies' parents and you and your husband finds peace soon.  I can not imagine losing a child in my life that would have to be the most difficult thing in the world to have to go through.   Like Bee said there is no set time frame on when you "Should just get over it." and anyone who tells you that you need to let him go, you should be over it, etc are very unsympathetic and unaware of the stages of grief which are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  You don't necessarily go through the stages in order, and you can go in and out of the same stages many times before your pain begins to heal. Sometimes you must force yourself to go forward, as hard as it may be to do, it must be done.  

In order to heal you do not have to stop loving him, thinking about him, talking about him, or missing him, but you will have to eventually accept the fact that he is gone and he's not coming back.  You acquire the strength to move forward and not allow grief to consume your life by thinking of all the happy times you had with him while he was here, and from knowing that you will see him again someday, but until that day you are going to enjoy and make the most out of your life.  It has only been 3 months since he died and to still be grieving after 3 months is not uncommon.  It took my sister 4 years to get over my mother's death.  I Pray that you and your husband's grieving process progresses much faster than my sister's did because her's was a very unhealthy process for her.  It definitely took it's toll on her mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially.  

I believe you should consider temporally getting on some antidepressants and your husband some antidepressants and anti anxiety medications if neither of you are getting any better and getting out of your house within a week or so because severe depression and agoraphobia can both be very detrimental to your health if left untreated, and can be almost impossible to recover from if you don't force yourselves to get up and get out of the house.  You Do Not have to get over the loss of your nephew, you merely have to get around it, and that includes getting out of the house and allowing yourselves to enjoy life.  Start slowly at first, then gradually build up to doing more things you and your husband enjoys doing.  

I'm going to ask you another question as delicately as possible and am not asking to offend you in anyway, so please don't consider it that way.  As far as the babies' mother ignoring you and being mad at you.  Is it possible that when the baby died you had so much grief of your own, and was experiencing so much of your own pain that you were not there for her completely, and now she resents you for it?  On your Face Book post did you say I lost my nephew  or  did you say a very good friend of mine lost her son? (I'm just trying to help you figure out why she is so mad at you).      

I recommend buying her a card or writing her a letter telling her how much you miss her and (whatever the babies name was).  Tell her again how sorry you are for her loss and that you can't imagine how hard this has been on her. Tell her that it was hard on you too because you loved him so much, and that life will never be the same without him. Ask her to call you if there's anything she needs.  Tell her that you'd like to come to her house, so you 2 can talk and ask her if tomorrow or Friday etc.  @ 2 etc. would be good for her, and ask her to call you and let you know if that ISN'T a good day and time.  If she calls and says it isn't a good day or time ask her what day and time this week would be good for her.  If she doesn't call show up on the day and time scheduled in the letter, and see what happens from there.  I Hope This Helps Hun.  Good luck and God Bless.    




  I agree with a lot of what Bee's post said.  I would also like to add a couple of things.  First
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Hi hun,

Thank you for posting - I really do appreciate it.

Yesterday me and my husband had a good day - it was the first time we have talked openly about what has been going on, and we have both agreed that we are going to push ourselves to get better.  We have been to see a doctor regarding our depression/anxiety symptoms and we were told that rather than going straight for pills we should try exercise - that its a great way to release pent up feelings and anxiety.  I don't know - just this little step feels like such a huge breakthrough.....I feel hopeful, like I'm looking forward to tomorrow in a way.

With regards to my nephews mother - in my Facebook post I put down that I was devastated, but that I was going to be strong for her.  I have already sent her a card to tell her and my brother in law that I will always be there for them - she got my brother in law to thank me for it.  I'm not really sure what to think - I have decided to leave her to it and be there for her if she ever does need me.  I will never hold it against her or stop caring for her, its just that it hurts me deeply - she is a huge link to my nephew, I want to stay close to her, but she obviously doesnt feel the same.  She still goes out partying, talks to everybody else - she has just cut off from me and I dont understand what I have done.

I will be using my energy to get myself back together again rather than agonising over the details between myself and his mom - Im doing nobody any favours by behaving this way.

I am just so glad I posted - forums like this really don't get the credit they deserve, and the people that use them are brilliant.

Thank you so much honey - I truly appreciate it......xxxxxx
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1461073_tn?1308681148
Congratulations.  I am so glad to hear that you and your husband have taken that big first step.  I agree with the doc that exercise and getting out and about are better than medication any day.  I was afraid you'd gotten to a point that doing those tasks could not occur because your conditions or yourselves wouldn't allow it.   Medication sometimes is the only option for some people to help pull them up by their boot straps and head them in the appropriate direction for recovery. I am thrilled for you both that this was not what was required in your case.  

Maybe in time you will find out the WHY answers to your friendship questions.  It sounds like to me you are a very kind, caring person, and have made every attempt possible to resolve whatever has occurred between you two, with no avail.   Whatever her reasons are for acting the way she has been acting.  I hope she realizes someday what a good friend she has, and how badly her actions have hurt you.

I definitely agree with you that your energy is better spent on getting yourself well.  I Pray you and your husband both continue to move forward, and find happiness in your lives.
Again I'm so sorry for your loss.  Have A Wonderful Night and God Bless You Both.    


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Thank you.....xxxxx
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I féél 4 u,it nt nice losin any1 u care abt,and it aint nice  bein blocked out either,u tryin2hard 2be nice whn they wnt except it,if i was u id let thm cme2u,if they care enough they wil,u wil end up being d.pressed,god bless,and god rest wee child
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Hi hun,

You're absolutely right - I've tried as hard as I can to be a friend but it's pretty obvious that she doesn't really care about me as she used to.  It is a shame but I can't let it get me down.

Thanks love.....xxxx
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