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<p>My partner and I have been together for almost 2 years.  It's coming up on the 3rd aniversary of her father's death and she's having a very hard time with it - to the point of becoming despondant, crying, missing work, and obsessive thinking about the death itself.  It's hard for me to understand how she would be upset to this level 3 years later, but I'm trying to be understanding because I have not had a parent die and have no idea what it must be like.  He was not a young man and had had health problems for some time, but i think it still was shocking and unexpected to her.  It's also hard for me to understand, because her father was extremely abusive to her for her entire childhood.  I know he was still her dad and she loved him no matter what, but I can't help being angry at this man I never met.  She is probably angry at him also, but won't come out and say that.  I'm sure that these mixed feelings can't be helping her cope with the grief.</p>
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<p>How do I help her cope?  What can I do or say that would be "the right thing."  Can someone please tell me what you felt like and what thoughts were going on in your head 3 years after a parent died?  I try to ask her, but she clams up.</p>
 

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<p>Grief can take a long time to work out. It took me a good 10 years (really, more like 12 or 13) until I could even *talk* about my dad without crying. There was really nothing anyone could have said that would have made it all better. Just simply acknowledging that she's sad, that that's OK, is really all you can do. I think it might be even harder for people when their abusive parent dies, as you have to deal with all the guilt about maybe even feeling glad that they're gone, in a way, but also mourning their loss and wishing you had made some sort of peace with them while they were still around. Complicated stuff. It sounds like her grief is interfering with her life...missing work, etc. I would definitely recommend that she talks to a counselor. Myself, I wrote a lot of stories, and that helped me, but that is my thing. Does she have an outlet like that?</p>
 
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