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How with death?

Long story short a teenage boy died in my parents house. I helped my mom clean up the blood stains in her carpet. She is beyond devastated and it was in no way her fault but it happened in her house and she feels responsible. She has completely lost her will to live. What can anyone do for her?


Asked by staciandababy at 11:37 PM on Dec. 31, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 38 (102,010 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • She absolutely has to get into some sort of counseling.

    Answer by Brawn at 11:41 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

  • I agree, she needs to get into counseling

    Answer by musicmaker at 11:54 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

  • Counseling, immediately.

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:01 AM on Jan. 1, 2014

  • Agree with all of the others - professional help NOW!

    Answer by goldpandora at 5:24 AM on Jan. 1, 2014

  • She can't navigate this without professional help, and she needs it quickly.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:44 AM on Jan. 1, 2014

  • How the heck do you force someone to get counseling?
    You can tell her what you think, & make the suggestion. If she seems disinclined because it's too intimidating to take on figuring out where to start, etc., then you could offer to help narrow down options (which could be as simple as advising her to consult her primary care physician & ask for a referral to "someone who would be helpful," or more involved such as doing some research/legwork yourself if you are local.) If she is intensely resistant, I don't know. Encourage her to talk to her doctor, or if you are local perhaps you could go along to an appointment & bring up your concerns TO her doctor (in your mom's presence.) A shock like this IS traumatic (which also triggers any unresolved traumatic memories she may carry; they can be part of implicit not conscious memory) & you can contextualize whatever you observe in her that way (that it's typical of trauma.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:47 PM on Jan. 1, 2014

  • But in the meantime as far as what YOU can do, I suggest you focus on listening to her. (Focusing on actually hearing her.) Whatever she is expressing that caused you to describe her as "beyond devastated" and having "lost her will to live" is what you'd strive to "hear." If she talks about how she feels responsible, listen.
    If you decide to attempt to support her in this way (listening), then please be aware that her distress is not something you need to "smooth over" or fix for her by way of reassurances, protests (that it wasn't her fault & she isn't responsible for this), or distractions. The deep listening IS what you are "doing" to help.
    Feelings have to be processed (talking people out of their "horrible" feelings doesn't help them to process through the emotions), and having someone who listens fully, unconditionally, is what facilitates that process. This quality is what is helpful about professional help!

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:59 PM on Jan. 1, 2014

  • P.S. Of course you can assure a person that it wasn't her fault, that she is not responsible. It is not about "agreeing" that she somehow IS responsible! The distinction is being able to hear whatever painful thoughts & feelings she has, rather than immediately negating exactly what she's feeling/expressing. (For example, if someone said "I hate myself, I'm so stupid," then staying with the person in that painful space & responding with empathy for the feelings might mean observing how it sounds so hard, "it sounds like you don't feel very smart & don't like yourself very much right now," versus "Oh honey, how can you say that? You're SO smart!") It's being able to witness & "allow" the message of pain. A counselor is able to listen & allow feelings/thoughts to be what they are, as they are, and trusts in supporting a healing process within an individual rather than taking over & "doing" something to heal someone else.

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:19 PM on Jan. 1, 2014

  • Maybe you could start w/ an appt. w/ her PCP. If she goes to church, contact her clergy. Hospice offers free grief counseling, but personally, I think she needs extra help w/ this one. Besides her grief, she has been thru a trauma. She is probably in such a daze over this, that you could step in & take over. I don't think she will fight you on this one. She can't do this alone. So sorry. *hugs*

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 7:09 AM on Jan. 1, 2014

  • How the heck do you force someone to get counseling? Just set up the appointment and tell them to go? Who will pay for it?

    Comment by staciandababy (original poster) at 5:55 AM on Jan. 1, 2014