Loss and time - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-15-2008, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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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?
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#2 of 5 Old 03-17-2008, 05:20 PM
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I see you have gotten no replies and I just wanted to say hi, and offer a hug. I don't know that I have any advice. I felt a strong connection to your name moon (my mom was Moonwater) rose (my daughters middle name) and bud (my favorite first dog, a German Shepard). I got my first lesson in grief this last October when my mother died at 63 years of age of an unexpected stroke. I lived 40 years without knowing that pain and consider myself very lucky. It will be wonderful for your dd to have some downtime together. I would just treasure your time together and don't be afraid to talk about him as much as possible.

Mom to DD born 1989 DS born 1993 and grandma to
DGS born 2005
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#3 of 5 Old 03-18-2008, 06:49 PM
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Hi, I lost my youngest daughter in an accident in 1992. That sounds so long ago, but as much as I hate to say and experience it: it never gets much further away. I think of her every day and have maybe slowed down on thinking about how if things had been ever so slightly different, it might not have happened the way it did. Your daughter will probably never get "over" this, but she can get "through" it. With luck (spelled sympathy, understanding and patience) you will all grow through the pain - not because of it but in spite of it. I was fortunate to have a strong web of a few close friends who helped me more than my rather distant (emotionally) family in surviving this tragedy.

If you ever need to talk or rant, count me as a willing receptor.

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#4 of 5 Old 03-18-2008, 08:26 PM
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You are doing more for her than you think. You are there for her and she knows that, she knows you love her and when she is ready, it will be you that she comes to to talk to not your ex's family. Grief is an awful awful thing. SOme days you feel like you have temporary paralysis and can't move and sometimes the emotional pain is so heavy that your body feels achy like the flu. I suffer from grief daily I know how your daughter feels. I don't know if time heals or if we just learn to shut it off little by little each day until we can function again. Her days will get better but it's important to go through the process and it's great that she has your support. You are a good mom.
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#5 of 5 Old 04-01-2008, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, kind mammas, for your replies. Just what I needed to hear!

I know that my daughter and I will have to find our way without our lost one, and that our being together will help this immensely. We talk on the phone often and email, but I know that being together will make the difference. I can't wait for her to get here!
Meanwhile, she's soldiering on finishing her degree at uni.

Since I last posted, I have sent my ex-MIL a b-day card and a mother's day card (in March in the UK). I also sent a b-day card to my ex (
I don't expect a reply or response, just wanted them to know that I care.
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