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Helping my partner with loss

Dear all,

I have been reading the forum b/c my partner lost her mom a few months ago to a longterm disease.  I am doing my best to support her during this tough time. Her father had passed away many years ago, which of course compounded these feelings.  Any advice about the best way to support her?

In addition, I wanted to gain others perspectives about a specific issue.  Previous to her mom passing away, my partner had always wanted more children (she has children from a previous marriage).  Since her mom passed away, she has really begun to fear how much time she has left, and if she can parent again given the time she has.  These questioning feelings have shocked us both.  Have any of you experienced a change of heart like this? Is it just the initial panic of goinig through such a life alterning loss?  I would appreciate any thoughts or advice.

I love my partner dearly and really want to support her the best way I know how...
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332074 tn?1229560525
First let me say the thoughts she is having about not being around long enough to have more children is completely normal. It is common to have these feelings after losing someone so close to you, because you start realizing your own mortality. In most cases these thoughts will go away after the healing process starts taking over, but in some cases it becomes and irrational fear. If it becomes irrational, I urge you to convince her to seek help. As for being a good partner, I urge you to let her talk as much as she needs to, even if it seems irrational, because she has to get it all out to start healing. One thing that I know that really hit me wrong when I was going through it was when my husband would say he understood. That was something that made me want to choke the life out him, because he had no clue how I felt. So, be as supportive as possible but choose your words carefully. Lastly let me say that sometimes it may not seem like she needs you there, but she really does, so try to have broad shoulders, cause you are going to need them.
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Avatar universal
thank you for your thoughts....

i have been trying very much to choose my words wisely, and you are right, broad shoulders do help. i think you can drive yourself crazy trying to do the right thing - but you are right, being there is the right thing, wherever she is in that moment.

i want to give these fears time to subside....im not sure how long that is really, but part of me is afraid she will never go back to the way she felt about it before. i know i cant worry about that, because it will unfold in time.

the best thing to do right now is support her as she heals.....
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332074 tn?1229560525
I can tell you for a fact that she will never go back to the way she was before because her past had her mother in it, and that will never be that way again. However, that does not mean that she will not ever be normal again, it will just be a new normal. For instance, if she goes to talk about something, her timeline will now be either before mom died or after mom died. Her heart will become more passionate for people that lose loved ones, because she will now be able to feel their pain, and I could list hundreds more, but reality is, this will now be her new normal life and it won't be a bad life, it will be alot like the one she had prior to losing her mom, but on a much deeper more compassionate level. The journey to her new normal life maybe a long one, but the best thing for someone on the outside to remember when they are trying to be supportive is, to go on living is much harder then dying.
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Avatar universal
I agree a lot with jml- it is coming up to a year since my boyfriend witnessed his friend die in an accident at work. I was there for him through it all which was hard for me but I found you have to just listen and be there through it all- I never pretended to understand but let him talk at me for hours if he needed and we came up with a code of when not to talk about it and when he'd want me to distract him with nonsense.
He went a bit odd about wanting to change his life plans after the accident- he wanted to just go away and travel alone, or with me if I could, but before that we had talked about settling down and really starting to save for a family.
I was so scared he would just leave and we would lose what we had but I eased him out of his fantasies about just getting away and now we are stronger than ever so I would definitely say it was part of the healing process, even though it was scarily real at the time.
Maybe gently remind her that although illness may strike her, so could a bus hit her etc, or she could live to be a hundred and ten, and if the latter is the case would she really feel happy to not have given it a chance to have more children with you?? obviously be kind and patient with it, I think she will come round. Also never stop telling her you love her and that you'd love to have children with her because she is such a strong beautiful woman.

Hope this helps, x
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