Helping my Girlfriend with a Loss
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
My girlfriend's grandfather died about a week ago. I have been very supportive and have made it clear that I am always there for her. She, however, I suppose chooses to deal with her mourning by alienating herself from both me and her friends; she does not respond to any communication. She says she needs her time and space to deal with the situation.
This is one of those situations where I am unsure of how it will end up; we are already a long distance couple and only see each other on weekends. I really want to give her the time and space she needs, but I don't know exactly what this means, and I am basically afraid to ask because it might be inappropriate.
How long do you think it will take before things return to a more normal state? Should I not communicate with her at all (even if I already expect not to hear a response from her) even if it's just to keep her updated? I have made every effort to help her and be there for her, but I don't know what to do now. I would appreciate any advice.
Losing a grandparent is often the first way a young adult has to deal with loss and it can be a harsh lesson. Teenagers and young adults often feel they're invincible, the whole world is in front of them, they can do anything. Which is why so many of them die in car crashes every year. Having someone you love die - and be gone FOREVER - is quite a shock to that "the world is my oyster" outlook on life.
I would definitely keep in touch with her in a friendly way and not make demands. Be there and send little notes of what you're doing and how things are going, so she remains a part of your life. One of the hard things to learn in life is that yes there are hard times but that you have to share them TOGETHER and not hide. A couple that can help each other though hard times is the one that gets through them - a couple that breaks apart on hard times isn't going to survive very long. So keep showing her that you guys are a TEAM, that yes she's sad but that part of being a couple is to SHARE that burden. That together you can accomplish anything - and that to hide from help is not healthy.
Everybody suffers a loss. Just read Hamlet. But what makes us adults is the way we lean on friends, lean on family, and move on with our lives.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com
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