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My boyfriend lost his father last night, he had been I'll with cancer for a long time so he was somewhat prepared but he's still heartbroken. I don't know what to say to him or do for him, especially right now since we're seperated because of the virus. I tend to ramble when I'm sad, I'll send paragraphs and random stuff to him throughout the day most of which he doesn't respond to. He's trying his best to call me 3 or 4 times during the day for updates about the funeral and how devastated he is😭. My question is is it normal for him to not respond to texts or messages during the grieving process, or am i just overthinking all of it. Please help, what can i say to ease his pain?

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Yes, you are overthinking it. He is devastated. Ask what you can do. If there is nothing right now , ok that’s fine. But inane rambling just to be in touch is exhausting. 
 

Let him know you are there for him to talk when he needs to or listen when he needs to be heard. Don’t make this about you needing an answer from him. 

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42 minutes ago, nicolebelinger said:

My boyfriend lost his father last night, he had been I'll with cancer for a long time so he was somewhat prepared but he's still heartbroken. I don't know what to say to him or do for him, especially right now since we're seperated because of the virus. 

Very sorry to hear this. The best thing you can do is allow him to grieve and give him some space for that. Don't double text or ramble.

Be there but don't try to cheer him up, etc.

Send flowers/fruit basket to him and his family. 

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I will try stop the double texting, it's probably frustrating.

The boyfriend just called and unfortunately his 2 closest friends completely ghosted him. No calls or messages, nothing and they both live quite close to him. 1 of them was with him at the hospital when his dad passed away. To say the least he's gutted😭, he feels betrayed. Any advice on what to do?

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2 minutes ago, nicolebelinger said:

I will try stop the double texting, it's probably frustrating.

The boyfriend just called and unfortunately his 2 closest friends completely ghosted him. No calls or messages, nothing and they both live quite close to him. 1 of them was with him at the hospital when his dad passed away. To say the least he's gutted😭, he feels betrayed. Any advice on what to do?

I'm so tempted to break the lockdown rules and drive to him as quickly as possible but that would be putting so many people in danger. He insisted that it wasn't necessary for me to be there but now he's alone😭. He has his family yes but he sounded so hurt on the phone. 

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I lost my dad in August. All I wanted was comfort and to cry and be heard. Listen and give comfort when needed. 
❤️
His grief will come in waves. I still cry on the weekends when I have less to do . 
 

It takes time. 

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Grief is fickle.  If you feel him pull away, let him go.  One minute I wanted to talk about it and the next I just wanted to be alone.

In your original post you were concerned about him not responding to your texts.   I'd like to say on a normal day, it's not ok to not respond.  But this isn't a normal day and don't personalize it.  Just try to pick up on his queues and work with that.   Don't try to make it better and if he wants to talk, just listen.

 

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Don't rescue him. You need to calm down. Quell your angst and step out of the spotlight. 

He has his people around. Try not to feel so threatened.

Let him vent. Why won't you send flowers or a food basket to him/his family?

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On 1/20/2021 at 1:32 PM, nicolebelinger said:

My boyfriend lost his father last night, he had been I'll with cancer for a long time so he was somewhat prepared but he's still heartbroken. I don't know what to say to him or do for him, especially right now since we're seperated because of the virus. I tend to ramble when I'm sad, I'll send paragraphs and random stuff to him throughout the day most of which he doesn't respond to. He's trying his best to call me 3 or 4 times during the day for updates about the funeral and how devastated he is😭. My question is is it normal for him to not respond to texts or messages during the grieving process, or am i just overthinking all of it. Please help, what can i say to ease his pain?

Please do not send him long rambling texts or emails.  He has a lot on his plate.  This is not about you. It's about him and his family.  He shouldn't have to keep in touch with you 3-4 times a day.  Ask him if he needs phone calls made on his behalf -either on funeral arrangements/ visitation or things like getting cable uninstalled or anything to do with his father's stuff - so many phone calls typically or emails especially if things weren't done in advance.  When my father in law died here are some things I did:

made multiple phone calls to friends/family friends to inform them

gave people my number to call me with questions (and they did - like what kind of cookies should I bring to the house or a religious figure calling me to vent about why wasn't he chosen to offiiciate - and this way my inlaws family weren't bothered with this, or my husband)

Offer to take care of his errands/appointments while he is preoccupied.

Don't risk the virus unsafe stuff.  Also as far as his friends yes that happens.  Happened with a good friend of my husbands when his mom died several years ago.  I didn't unfriend the guy on FB and a couple of months ago he died.  My husband actually felt badly that he cut him off (meaning the friend went MIA when my mother in law died -and we'd been there for him when his father died!! - then did a lame call to my husband later with no reference to the death other than "oh when you have time let's meet for lunch" -my husband was hurt and didn't respond).  

Edited by Batya33
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The boyfriend is okay now, I took your advice and cooled off, sending the occasional supportive message but generally let him deal with the situation, did this for 2 days. He called me today and he sounds okay I think, gave me a run down of the family drama at the funeral and how he's doing with his dads passing.

I just kept quiet and let him go off for about an hour. He confessed that he cried a ton but at some point he realised that Dads time was up and that he'd lived quite a long life(80 years). I think my baby will be okay❤

 

You all were such a big help, thank so much❤❤❤

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Just remember that the grief process can take a lot of time.  He won't get over this in just a week or two so be prepared for him to back off from you sometimes and "disappear".  It's not a reflection on you so don't take it personally.  Just give him the space he needs and don't keep pushing with an overload of texts. This is going to take time.

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Yes , remember grief is a process you aren’t done in a week. 
 

Even 10 years after our baby died my husband had an explosion of grieve because he kept it too much inside. 

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4 hours ago, nicolebelinger said:

The boyfriend is okay now, I took your advice and cooled off, sending the occasional supportive message but generally let him deal with the situation, did this for 2 days. He called me today and he sounds okay I think, gave me a run down of the family drama at the funeral and how he's doing with his dads passing.

I just kept quiet and let him go off for about an hour. He confessed that he cried a ton but at some point he realised that Dads time was up and that he'd lived quite a long life(80 years). I think my baby will be okay❤

 

You all were such a big help, thank so much❤❤❤

Were  you close with his father- did you know him well? My mom is 86.  I don't see her as her time being up in the least no matter what her age.  She's doing great. I love her so much.  If she heaven forbid passed away I'd be devastated despite that technicality of "lived a long life".  My sense is - he's in a whirlwind of family drama, the unreality of this, etc - it's not just about dealing with the situation as you put it - it's not a situation.  It's a process.  I wasn't close with my father.  He died 5 years ago, age 83.  I actually was ok.  And am ok - because we were not close, we had time to prepare.  My mom did ok too for a number of reasons. But unless your boyfriend wasn't close with his father, and had no unfinished business -it's typically a process like others wrote- it's not a "situation" that is handled or dealt with in any cut and dried way. 

As far as him sharing that he cried - it just seems odd that this would be some sort of confession that he cried. His  father died.  Crying was probably a great release at the time and when he was drained he told himself that at least his dad lived 80 years.  My father in law was almost 90 when he died 5 years ago.  My husband's best friend as he said at his funeral.  Yes, my husband was comforted that he lived 89 years but that comfort was like nothing compared to the grief, the grief process.  Just please keep in mind what the others wrote.  

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Never a good idea to expect reciprocity from someone who is grieving.

Don't compound the problem. He knows how to reach you when he wants to.

Allow this to be about him, not you. You will thank yourself later, and so will he.

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In our culture confessing that he cried is a big deal to be honest. Here there's this general belief that men aren't supposed to show any type of emotion, especially during times of death.

Maybe I should have given some sort of context. During mourning it's generally expected that the women close to the deceased can express so much emotion, as terrible and prehistoric as that sounds. I just want to clarify that him confessing that he cried alone in his car is quite a big deal and I'm hurting for him💔

His dad was sick for a loooong time so I could say he had time to prepare but it's obvious he's heartbroken. We'll take it one day at a time.

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28 minutes ago, nicolebelinger said:

His dad was sick for a loooong time so I could say he had time to prepare but it's obvious he's heartbroken. 

Of course he'll be heartbroken.  No matter how long someone is sick, nothing can prepare you for when the time comes and they pass on. This was his Dad. No matter what culture I believe humans are humans and death hits everyone the same (imo). He will grieve for as long as it takes, so just be prepared to give him the space he needs and don't bombard him with texts every day.  Give him time.

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My father passed away many years ago so I'll give you my perspective based upon experience from the bereft. 

Don't ramble with paragraphs, texts, emails, voicemails, etc.  Leave him alone.  Let him reach out to you; not the other way around otherwise you're hounding him during his devastated state and those who mourn don't wish to be bothered. 

He doesn't have brain space to respond to your texts and messages.  He's too consumed with his grief.  Back off.  Yes, you're over thinking all of it.  Keep it simple and leave him alone.  If he needs you, let him contact you. 

Remain separated during this pandemic because it's the responsible thing to do for you, him and society. 

You can't do anything to ease his pain.  I'm sorry but that's the truth.  His pain is very personal which he must bear alone.  Your intentions are good.  However, it's not within your power nor control (in a good way) to ease his pain.  The only thing that will ease his pain is TIME AND SPACE.  Don't hover nor smother.  Leave him be.  Grieving and mourning is a process which took me years to overcome.  Someday, time will dull his pain.  Granted, his pain will always be there.  The only difference is the tears become less. 

A kind, thoughtful gesture would be to send him a postal sympathy card expressing your deepest condolences, tell him that you will keep him and his family in your prayers.  Keep it brief and sincere.  It's all you can do.   Many times, minimal compassion is best.  Know your boundaries, realistic limits and exercise discretion.  Never be overbearing.  

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Yes, please, give him the space to come to you when he is comfortable. 

As the others have said (and it appears you now have), don't send rambling messages and double-text him. You can see that it isn't effective in getting him to open up and respond. He knows you're there and will support him when he wants to open up. 

And I'll echo what fellow posters have pointed out: grief comes and goes. He won't be better in a couple weeks (or probably even in a few months - this will be a much longer process) and you will likely notice him pulling away again from time to time. It's generally not a reflection of the grieving person's feelings for their partner, but a response to the overwhelming pain and not wanting to be around people when experiencing it. 

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3 hours ago, nicolebelinger said:

 

💔his dad was sick for a loooong time so I could say he had time to prepare but it's obvious he's heartbroken. We'll take it one day at a time.

It doesn't matter what culture you two are from. What matters is giving him the space he wants and needs with his family and loved ones, rather than crowding him with your needs.

Be polite and respectful and send flowers/food basket, whatever to him and his family. It's not up to you to judge how he grieves.

 Also keep in mind that you are just someone he's dating. You're not part of the family.

 

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Culture is only an outward trapping of how one grieves. Grieving in the heart is the same across the board. It also doesn’t matter how long your parent was sick they are still YOUR PARENT. 

If you haven’t had a parent die yet you won’t understand. But there are no worst  deaths to people than their children and their parents. 

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1 hour ago, Seraphim said:

Culture is only an outward trapping of how one grieves. Grieving in the heart is the same across the board. It also doesn’t matter how long your parent was sick they are still YOUR PARENT. 

If you haven’t had a parent die yet you won’t understand. But there are no worst  deaths to people than their children and their parents. 

I think people can understand - to the extent of being able to offer support and empathize. I wasn't close to my father and I do think of him and I did love and respect and admire him and cannot imagine his struggles with mental illness.  But no I didn't experience it as a devastating loss and I still do not.  But I was extremely close with my awesome first cousin and dearest friend who died young of cancer in her mid 30s.  Many years ago.  I miss her so much and that grief process I believe allowed me to empathize even more.  

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8 hours ago, nicolebelinger said:

In our culture confessing that he cried is a big deal to be honest. Here there's this general belief that men aren't supposed to show any type of emotion, especially during times of death.

Maybe I should have given some sort of context. During mourning it's generally expected that the women close to the deceased can express so much emotion, as terrible and prehistoric as that sounds. I just want to clarify that him confessing that he cried alone in his car is quite a big deal and I'm hurting for him💔

His dad was sick for a loooong time so I could say he had time to prepare but it's obvious he's heartbroken. We'll take it one day at a time.

To me personally it doesn't matter if it was a long illness or sudden as far as how individuals process grief about other individuals - it may differ but "prepare" can help and it can actually make it worse because then you can't fathom why the "preparation" didn't help, etc.  

I agree that culture is irrelevant.  I understand he's not supposed to cry his eyes out.

I love what Cherlyn said about time and space.  I'll share this "tip" -when my husband's mother was dying especially he became withdrawn - like, he was so overwhelmed he shut down a bit.  So I was just "there". And - here's the important part -when he chose to speak to me about anything other than "oh we need milk" - I put my phone or device down if I had it, looked up from my book or the TV -I STOPPED.  I made good eye contact, I shut up.  I just let him talk -whether about his mom, hospice or work or whatever.  We're all so used to multi tasking and living in our phones that it did make a difference that I stopped everything and listened.  That was in 2013 and I do try my best to continue that even though he went back to being able to communicate "typically".  That is what I thought of when I read Cherlyn's post.

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24 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I think people can understand - to the extent of being able to offer support and empathize. I wasn't close to my father and I do think of him and I did love and respect and admire him and cannot imagine his struggles with mental illness.  But no I didn't experience it as a devastating loss and I still do not.  But I was extremely close with my awesome first cousin and dearest friend who died young of cancer in her mid 30s.  Many years ago.  I miss her so much and that grief process I believe allowed me to empathize even more.  

As you know I was not close to my father either due to his abusive nature  and mental illness. I was utterly devastated when he died his life was over. I have had many people die And my baby and my dad and my nana have affected me most. When I was told my dad’s plan to die my husband had to hold me while I screamed and screamed till I lost my voice . 

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2 hours ago, Seraphim said:

As you know I was not close to my father either due to his abusive nature  and mental illness. I was utterly devastated when he died his life was over. I have had many people die And my baby and my dad and my nana have affected me most. When I was told my dad’s plan to die my husband had to hold me while I screamed and screamed till I lost my voice . 

Yes I know we all experience grief differently. I am so sorry you went and are going through that.  My mother was relieved he was no longer suffering and she'd been his caretaker for decades (he died from alzheimers).  In the last 5 years I haven't been devastated but have had thoughts about him that surprise me as far as the extent to which I cared for him.  I did love and respect him.

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