Dad passed away 7 months ago and was married to Mom for 62 years. Mom (88) says she just wants to die. How can I help? - AgingCare.com

Dad passed away 7 months ago and was married to Mom for 62 years. Mom (88) says she just wants to die. How can I help?

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My mom is in relatively good health and lives alone but with good friends as neighbors. I wonder if she is depressed or should her feelings be expected after losing her husband after so many happy years together. I live quite a distance away with a family and job so relocating to her state is not an option at this time and she does not want to leave the state she lives in to come north to me. how can i help?

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How can you help? Call her often. Daily is ideal, but as often as you can consistently manage. it doesn't have to be *for* anything, it's purely to give her an opportunity (which she may choose not to take, it doesn't matter, just keep going) to say what she's feeling.

That, and let a bit of time pass, and then see where you are. In the fullness of time she may want to revisit her options; meanwhile be glad of her good neighbours and allow her to mourn.
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Help her find a grief support group and maybe even attend a few with her if you can - she's lost a spouse, and you've lost a dad. Normal grief responds to that, and to time. A persistent sad mood and suicidal ideation, especially with any plan or intent to harm herself would need a psychiatry/psychology evaluation and maybe treated. How is her sleep and her appetite? If those are seriously affected, e.g. weight loss or early morning awakening, it more likely has gone from normal sadness into depression.
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Let her have her feelings. If your mom says she wants to die because she's in so much pain from losing your dad don't say to her, "Oh mom, you don't mean that." Hear what she's saying. Validate her feelings. "Mom, I know you must miss dad more than you can say." Then let her know that you'll call tomorrow to see how she's doing. All you can do is try to be there for her. You won't be able to stop her pain nor should you try but you can try to comfort her.
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It is a very hard thing to lose your spouse of so many years. Life changes drastically when that person you're used to seeing every day is no longer there. Depression is very common. Often they work through the pain in a year or two, though they never forget their spouse. If the depression is too severe, taking an antidepressant can sometimes help. There is no easy answer to grief. It hurts and people have to live and work through it. All we can do is be there for them to listen and encourage them. I encourage you to look up some good sites on working through grief. It might give you a good idea on ways that may help with your mother.

My mother lost her husband of 64 years three years ago. It was very hard, so I know there are no easy answers on how to help.
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