*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission
Letting go of your child is one of the hardest things a parent will do, and it's often very difficult to deal with the grief left behind while trying to go on with daily life.
What happens if your partner isn't as affected by your child passing away and they want to be positive again much faster than you can handle it? Would they be right to feel annoyed and try to make you get over it sooner?
My friend Laura has been married to her husband Dan for 14 years. They had five kids together, two sons and three daughters. Laura is a stay-at-home mom, and she's dedicated all of her time to looking after their house and watching over their kids as they grow up.
Unfortunately, their family has had to deal with illness, and one of their daughters, Liana, passed away.
"You never fully recover from that kind of loss, and I will always remember her, but I must go on for the rest of my kids. What will they do without my guidance? I can't leave them to do whatever they want because their sister is gone," Laura said.
She and her husband have gone through this loss in very different ways, and he doesn't feel ready to let the memories go. He also can't just go on doing their regular activities, and she often finds him crying in corners of the house where their daughter used to play.
"I tried to make him see nothing will bring her back, but he keeps pushing and just gets sad when I tell him how things are. Why can't he be happy we still have our other four kids? Sometimes, I feel he's being ungrateful and doesn't appreciate the family he still has," Laura said.
It's only been two weeks since their daughter Liana passed away, but the mom is in a hurry to put it all behind them and focus on what her other kids need. And she doesn't understand why her husband keeps thinking about what's gone from their lives.
"He keeps crying about our daughter; we lost her, and he's annoying me. I want to look forward, not back. If I pause and think about it, I won't be able to go on. And I can't let him take away my motivation. He has to get out of that mood fast, or he could lose what's left of the family, too," Laura said.
She's been making his favorite dishes in an attempt to make him feel comforted, and his kids are talking to him all the time and asking him to play different games.
"We're all doing our best. He's not the only one who's sad, but he's kind of making us stop everything for him. And that's not fair. We're all still here, and we deserve love and attention," Laura said.
The mom ignores Dan when he's crying and is convinced that this way, he will stop faster and get more cheerful.
In the meantime, their kids are confused about which parent is handling things the right way and whether they should be crying or trying to be more active and find a new reason to smile.
How do you think this situation should be handled? Is it fair for the wife to get annoyed because her husband is grieving, and it takes him more time to accept what happened to their daughter? Should she let him deal with what happened in his own way without trying to make him get over it faster?
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