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He is on a high dose of anti depressants. He refuses any suggestions we make to get involved. It's a horrible thing to say but he is just waiting to die so he can join my mum. It's heartbeaking seeing my Dad so sad.

Unfortunately, some people grieve a lifetime.

I know a woman who lost her husband ten years ago and she grieves as if he died yesterday.

I wish that I had an answer for you. I hope in time he will be able to accept that she is gone. This is hard for you as well because you care about him.

I suppose that you may have to accept the situation to some degree no matter how hard it is.
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Your dad is experiencing what's called "complicated grief". It's grief that isn't resolved. Grief needs to be addressed. Time doesn't heal grief, one has to work thru it. I lost my wife 2 1/2 yrs ago and although I no longer feel the deep sadness of her loss, I still have moments of sadness. By "working thru it" I mean he has to 1) choose to recover from it (it's a choice), 2) take action to resolve the grief, and 3) re-invent his life. You don't mention how old he is so this can make a difference. If he's in his late 80s or older, for instance, he may decide it's too much to do and just await dying. If he's younger, there's too much life left for him to be miserable the rest of his life. Taking action might mean joining a grief support group, reading books on dealing with grief, re-establishing friendships, even going to professional counseling. As for me, I joined the Alz Assn, became involved with church functions, facilitated support groups, and other things. It's something I CHOSE to do. An excellent book is "Getting to the Other Side of Grief (overcoming the loss of a spouse)" by Susan J. Sonnebelt, Robert C. DeVries. Re-inventing himself means understanding he is now alone and must do things by himself without the enjoyment of his wife's company. It's not easy but neither is a life of sadness. 2 yrs is too long to break into tears at the mention of his wife. Everyone grieves differently, but it can be overcome.
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AlvaDeer Sep 20, 2020
This is an incredibly wise answer. Really beautiful. And learned as we often have to learn in life, the hard way. I so admire you.
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2 years is not a long time...he may never fully function when thinking of her loss. Is it hurting you ? Is his upset causing you to get upset also, when you just want to try and keep going forward ? If it is his pain, let him go through it, unless actually harming himself, let him grieve how he needs to. If it is throwing you, then explain that to him when you can do so calmly, let him know that the love is shared and while very different loves, it is still something you need him to help you through also. We don'tcope well when parents are no longer super heroes, but there is nothing wrong with communicating to him that you still need the parent you have to be strong for you too, and that as a team you can get through it together.
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