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I have 2 sons 18 & 22 who are with me at the moment since the death of my Mum last week, they have only had a few tears & it worries me they are bottling too much up to protect me. It was a long goodbye as she was ill for 2 years so not a shock to any of us & I also cared for her during that period as Dad has dementia. I have not cried yet because we are a very close-knit family with just me & my kids here so I am trying to hold it together for them. One is in the middle of his HSC so really bad timing for him as well with stress. Has anyone had experience with adult children & grief as I am out of my depth with this?


Posted by Mum, 5th August 2014


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  • I would say your adult children will be fine. Everyone grieves in different ways, at different level, for different lengths if time. At least they are adults and fully understand what’s happened, easier then having to tell young children


  • I see this is an old question and wonder how you all coped ?
    My first thought when reading your question was: in the same way we show healthy behaviour by example to our younger kids, in the same way you can do that to your older kids. With other words; when you don’t show your tears and pain to your children, they won’t show it to you. It’s ok to show your tears, cry out loud, feel sad and grieve in front of your children. By doing so you show it’s normal and send the signal of permission for them to do so as well.


  • Just because they’re not crying in front of you doesn’t mean they’re not crying. They could be grabbing moments here and there, quiet times when no one is around, to cry. They’re probably talking to each other and their mates about it. Maybe they’re holding it together in front of you to make things easier for you, which is nice


  • Horribly at first – then it gets easier, and easier. Noone forgets, it just becomes easier to talk about and you start to remember the happy things… Keep lines of communication open and let them see you emote too, my son actually walked into the shower fully dressed (19yo) because he heard me sobbing my heart out after losing Dad…. He just cuddled me…. It is a hard time love, wish you all the best xo


  • You neee yo stop bottling it up yourself if your sons see you open about it they may feel open about it. But from what you said they have cried and greived but you haven’t look after yourself


  • Sorry for your loss. Agree with one other mum, sitting down and talking it through.


  • Linda I’m glad they are coping & I agree with you it is better your boys remember their Grandmother as she was before the final moments. Hope your son doing his exams get’s the desired results also.


  • I think I have done the right thing as they are both coping very well, a few tears on the day & at the funeral but we kept it all upbeat & said that Nana would not want them to be unhappy which seemed to work. They keep checking on me but I am putting on the brave face because if I start crying I prob won’t stop & my youngest needs to finish his HSC without worrying about me, I have a very open relationship with my sons so have been truthful about what has happened. I am glad I advised against them being with my Mum in her final moments, told them they are better to hold onto the good memories instead of the last image being one where she passes away.
    Thank you for your comments much appreciated


  • Sorry for your loss, it is hard on you all seeing a loved one suffer. My boys were 15,20 & 21 when my Dad passed away. I knew they all grieved for their Grandpa but they tried to be strong for me which made me feel how protective they all were.


  • My kids were 15,12 & 11 when my mum passed away and we just sat down and talked about what had happened and I told them that if they had any questions no matter what they were to ask.
    I told them that it was ok to cry and to never hide it from me in case they thought it would upset me.
    Honestly it’s just best to be upfront with them and tell them how your feeling as that may well get them talking.
    Good luck and I’m really sorry to hear your sad news xx


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