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Grief/stress coping

My sister in law is 10. Her mother (the two were very close and she was the main caregiver as the father wasn't much help) passed away 5 months ago from cancer. She only fought it for less than 2yrs.
Around the time the mother was in the thick of chemo, my SIL started to pull out her eye brows and eye lashes. Now that MIL has passed I noticed the other day that the skin on SIL's fingers and feet are peeling. I tried to get her to open up about why. She was very defensive, but in the end she did agree that it doesn't hurt when she peels. She still pulls out all facial hair.
Her dad and sister do not talk about emotions or express grief about their great loss.
I am reaching out because I loved her mom and my SIL so much and if I need to intervene and suggest counseling for SIL if the peeling and pulling is a coping mechanism. I need to know if this would be too nosy.
Side note: I know her nutrition consist of white carbs, sugar, and tomato sauce. Very little protein consumption.
1 Responses
4851940 tn?1515694593
Personally, I don't think you are being nosy.
You are concerned for the welfare of this young child who is 10 years old.

Obviously you would need her father's approval to either make her an appointment for you to take her to see the doctor or for the father to take her.  Write down your concerns on a piece of paper so that the father can give it to the doctor as dad's don't always pick up on emotional issues with their children.

I agree that her nutrition is not very good.  But the main issue is to help her to deal with her grief for the loss of her mother.  

The doctor would hopefully refer her to counselling that specialises with child bereavement.  Once the mental anguish and loss is dealt with, I am sure that the pulling out of her hair and pulling up of her skin will stop.

When you are with her, talk about her mother.  Just because her mother has passed away does not mean that she should be forgotten.  

Young children sometimes blames themselves, so do reassure her not to blame herself for anything that has happened and that her mother is now in Heaven.

The father and sister may benefit from bereavement counselling too.
Everyone's grief is expressed differently and it can take many years for them to come to terms with their loss.  Unfortunately, some people never do get over their loss and are unable to move on and live their lives.

If she was taught to say prayers, when you are with her, say a prayer with her to her mum.  If that is not your thing, perhaps you could still do that.  Anything that help the child is worth doing.

Best wishes.
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