Mom died suddenly 2 months ago and now dad doesn't want to live. Is there hope?

Asked by

He is not eating much, was married 60 years.

Answers 1 to 7 of 7
Expert Answer
3930 helpful answers
I'm sorry to say that this isn't unusual. My mother lasted five months after my dad's death. I've know couples who've died days apart.
When someone has been married virtually a lifetime, their mate has become a part of them. Add that to the fact that as people age their health generally declines, and you can see why they have a hard time finding the will to go on.
Give your dad as much love as you can. Let him talk about your mom and their early life if he enjoys that. Follow his lead. He may pull out of this. But if he doesn't, it isn't because of anything you did or didn't do. If he's decided to "follow" your mom, that's his decision. Encourage him to eat if he will, but don't pester him or make him feel guilty. Just keep loving him for now. For your sake, I hope he pulls out of this. It could happen. If not, know that he will be at peace when he follows his wife.
Take care of yourself. This is tough - I know.
Carol
I am so sorry about your mother, but there is always hope and you should encourage your father to go on for you and your siblings, if there are any. I lost my mom a couple of months ago, also, and I am having a hard time with it, but I have children and grandchildren and I want to be here for them. God bless you...
I expect the fact that your mother died so suddenly has impacted your father more than if he could had better preparing for it psychologically. If you have not already done so, I would suggest that you talk to a doctor about an antidepressant to assist him with her transition. Also, it may help that spring will be here soon and he will be able to get out into sun and renew his energy.

Another possibility, of course, is that he has no will to live now that she has passed and if nothing has helped, it may be time to prepare yourself and accept the fact that he may transition soon and that it will not be your fault but his decision to do so. I hope this helps.
I agree with the others here, there is always hope. It may be hard (I've been on the other side of the fence, depression isn't a pretty problem at all) but try your best and do all you can to give your father encouragement to go on. Keep on loving him, and don't do anything to make him feel even more upset. Whenever someone is depressed, and they're made even more upset (or even emotionally angry) their depression gets even worse. Take care of him, the best you can, and also, take care of yourself as well.
I too am very sorry for your loss and how devestating it must be for you to see your Dad in this state. I don't have much to offer except my hugs to you and I agree about gently encouraging your Dad to hang on to life as I'm sure your Mother would have wanted him to. There is nothing easy about this, my heart and prayers go out to you.
billdoris81, about three years ago my father-in-law died, after about 6 months of illness. My mother-in-law was in total denial of his imminent death, so really it seemed like he had died suddenly. I was on watch the night he died, and she was also with me. When he took his last breath and I told her he was gone, she threw herself on him, started pounding his chest, was screaming "don't leave me, I want to die, I have no reason to live". Oh my gosh it was horrible. She said she wanted to die so often, that I finally had to get in her face and tell her to stop. I guess my point is, even though it was a terrible shock for her after 60 years of marriage, she got through it. It was very important from that moment on, that I personally would make it my goal to relieve as much as the loneliness as I could. So for that first year she was pretty much my companion in everything I did. We as a family circled the wagons so to speak, and she made it. I also believe it depends A LOT on what the persons personality is like in the first place. Even though she was totally dependent on her husband for care (she has macular degeneration & dementia) she has always been really stubborn and that came into play for her mindset. So I would say, relieve as much of the loneliness as you can, surround your dad with people that love him & keep him occupied thinking about other things instead of what he's missing. But in the end, it's your dad that's going to have to decide if he's going to dig a hole and throw dirt on himself, or keep on keeping on. BTW this last year my family had to do this whole thing again with my own dad, after my mom died. He's doing well.
I know this is hard... My Mother says to me all the time, half of me is gone! My Dad died July 25 2010. My parents were married almost 63 yrs. I think you just need to be kind, gentle and listen. I do think it is somewhat harder for men to deal with than woman. I am not being negative about men, I have a husband and 3 sons and 2 grandsons. I just think it is a fact that woman seem to cope better, plus we are permitted to cry. I would just encourage him that you love him and that you need him. Often my Mother seems to feel unnecessary without my Dad. Which is really sad to me. So I point out to her how much we love her. Maybe you could get his grandchildren to call or write letters or visit. This seems to help my MOM. take care and God Bless...

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support