Hard week

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    It has been a heartbreaking week here. A student at teen's HS committed suicide last weekend and a woman in oldest's program passed away on Monday. Neither boy can/will discuss with- me - teen because he's a teen, and oldest because he can't. Oldest is just shy of inconsolable. He hasn't cried in I don't know how long, and he's crying off and on this evening (they were told today). I don't often get frustrated by his disability, but I am this evening. It's unfair that he has the ability to understand like any 21-year-old but is completely unable to meaningfully express himself. I don't know what to do for him other than to tell him how sorry I am, remind him of what a gift A. was, how she loved the program and loved to laugh (which I'm gathering from the note sent home, since he can't tell me what goes on at his program), and how it's okay and appropriate to be sad but that it will fade and he will remember only the good times someday. I finally just had husband put him in my lap tonight so I could hold him (and let me just say, it's rather difficult to hold him anymore - I should probably sit in *his* lap!!). I just didn't know what else to do. Given his obvious understanding of this, I'm wondering if I should take him to the service.... I'm sure he will be upset (meaning loud) at the service, but... I don't know. Part of not wanting to go is selfish on my part - it's an uncomfortable reminder of how fragile he is as well.

    Wee is harder, if that's possible. The young man was well liked, a superb student, an athlete, and apparently gave absolutely no hint to anyone at all that he was in trouble. Wee didn't know him, but I have to wonder if he knew who he was. It's a big HS but it is also very tight-knit. Wee is not terribly social but ... I think he's a lot more aware than he wants me to know. Like his father, he abhores talking about feelings. But like his mother, I think he's prone to depression. I just worry about him. How do you talk to a kid (non difficult child) about suicide? I did ask him today how he was doing. He shrugged nonchalantly and said "fine". I asked how he was dealing with- the grief that must be pretty evident in school. Shrug. I asked if any of the teachers had talked with- them about it (B. was a senior and I know that they did talk to sr. class on Mon, had a mass for him). He said "not really". In Wee-speak, that most probably means "shut up already, Mom". It's so hard to get a read on him - he's a good kid, very loving, but I think there's a great deal that goes on in his head that he doesn't share, which I guess is perfectly normal for a 15-year-old, but on the other hand... it makes me nervous, especially this week.

    I hope I get a flash of wisdom here soon.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wow, I am so sorry.

    I guess all you can do for Wee is open the door to talk...the rest is up to him. That's such a hard age.

    As for oldest, my heart just aches for him. The service might help him, even if he is loud. I doubt this woman would have cared that he was loud, and frankly, that's what I try to base those kinds of decisions on...what would she have wanted?

    Whatever you decide, tho, I'm sure will be fine. You know him best.

    Many, many hugs to you all tonight.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Sue, my heart is just breaking for you. Big hugs for you and your kids. I simply have no advice. When death hits that close to them it is just so devastating to watch.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    When I was in hs, I think I was a senior, a classmate was killed in an auto accident coming back from our Homecoming dance. He was a casual acquaintence, but it was very upsetting for me because until then, I never really thought of someone my age ever dying.

    I wasn't particularly religious at the time, but went to the wake (horribly upsetting -- open casket), and went to the funeral. I'm glad I went. It did help me put some closure to the whole thing -- made tangible what had previously been a very abstract idea.

    I think you're doing the right thing with oldest. And if he wants to go to the services, I think you should take him. He shouldn't be ashamed of his feelings, but if you feel he becomes too overwhelmed during the services, you could plan to make a quick and inconspicuous exit by taking a seat near the door. We all have to deal with grief of this type at one point in our lives, and what better time to help him process it than while he's under your care and guidance?

    As for teen, he may not have known the kid in question very well, and he may just not want to think about it. I'd still talk to him about it, because it's important to address potential fears or concerns, whether they're expressed or not, because they are probably there but being stuffed (my difficult child 1 is just like this). Perhaps your library has some books on the subject that are age appropriate -- you could check them out and leave one or two in his room to look at -- maybe with a post-it flagging an important page or passage. Then ask him about it in a few days. Maybe he reads it and will respond, maybe not. But I'd encourage him nonetheless.

    We haven't had to deal with this yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens eventually with at least one of my kids' peers.

    I don't envy what you're going through with them. I hope it's not too rough on your family!
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I am so sorry for your boys. My heart and prayers go out to them. May they find some measure of consolation from their friends and family during this time.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    I think that A must have loved those in the program an awful lot to bring out such a reaction in oldest. I also think that her family and close friends knows that she worked with the disabled and won't be bothered if oldest is inconsolable at the funeral. While his being so upset is disturbing to you, I still think he should go and I doubt he will be the only one of her clients there.

    As for Wee... I dunno. Do you think he'd at least listen to you tell him how upsetting you find the suicide of a teen to be? It may at least let him know that any stress or grief he's feeling is normal and to be expected.
  7. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    How heartbreaking. I'm so sorry that they've both been affected by these tragedies. It's so painful to see your kids deal with this type of pain. Sending big hugs.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sue, I'm so sorry.....prayers for your older son. Keep an eye on teen son.....these boys just don't want to talk. Enough to make a proud mother cry.