My mother is grieving


Dear Brooke,

As you know, my father died a week ago.

In addition to my own thoughts of loss and sadness and grief, I have a lot of thoughts about what my mother is going through. They had been married for 48 years.

Some of my painful thoughts are:

They were everything to one another.
It must be so lonely.
Her shock and pain must be unbearable.
I can’t bear to see/imagine her sad and in pain.
I’m the only daughter who’s close by.
I want to help but I don’t know how to do it so it feels natural (not like charity for her, and not a burden on my own life).

Perhaps the most poisonous thoughts are variations on this:

I’m going to be ok but I don’t know how she will cope.
I’m better off than she is in this (it’s my father not my husband; I have more going on in my life to sustain and uplift me, including self-coaching tools).
This is the end of her life but not the end of mine.

I’ve thought of the following alternative thoughts:

My mother is grieving ; it’s painful to us both and that’s ok.
I can only manage my own pain and grief.
She has her own path to walk, and she will find the resources she needs.
Love will show me the way.

I’d love additional insights and suggestions if you have them.

Thank you!

Clotilde.