The week before Christmas 2007, my exDH's 19-year-old nephew was killed in a car accident. He was a passenger in a car driven by a friend on a country road in the north of England - late at night, being driven home by a friend, the driver was killed also.
[How many times do we hear this tragic story? I lost a cousin when I was 16 to a traffic accident. I remember the devastation that this caused for my family. However, this time, I experienced this loss from the perspective of a parent: there's no getting over it]
I repatted to the US after my divorce two and a half years ago, and my ex's family cut me off - however, an event like this drove me to end the divorce 'silence' and I spoke to my exMIL at length at the time, which was good. The funeral was on New Year's Eve, and I was in constant contact with my two kids (aged 25 and 20) still in England who were both there and we spoke at length about our family's loss. I was very touched by the fact that my exDH included my name, along with himself and my DS and DD, on the card for the flowers he sent to his sister.
Sorry for the lengthy back story. The thing is, I've discovered, not surprisingly, that my daughter has been suffering from anxiety and depression as a result of a culmination of the stresses of being in college, as well as dealing with the loss of her cousin. My ex's family is not a warm one, and I didn't get on very well with my SIL - even my DD didn't like her aunt very much, and her lost cousin was her favorite of their family.
My DD told me that her aunt announced to the family at the funeral that to cope with the loss of her son, they were going on a 3-week holiday to Sri Lanka.
Being six thousand miles away from everything has cushioned me from the worst. (Not a bad thing considering how traumatic the divorce was, although I have to say that anytime I think about it, I feel crushed all over again. I loved the boy).
My DD has been going to counseling and seeking medical advice. She graduates this year and is planning to fly over and spend most of the summer with me. I am VERY HAPPY about this and yet I am very worried about her. The world is never the same place after such a loss, and there's no getting "over" it - just getting used to the different world that becomes the world.
I am wondering what I can best do to help my daughter without encroaching upon her. I can't help thinking that until I can truly process and cope with this loss (intertwined with my "losses" as a result of the divorce), I won't be able to help her.
They say that time is a great healer (but no beauty treatment
I am powerless with regard to how my ex's family is dealing with this very sad and tragic circumstance. It is obvious that my daughter is having problems processing it all.
Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions?