Chapter 5: Your family

Your partner or spouse

I've been there
Sharon describes the different ways she and her husband grieved.(3:22)Video transcript
Valerie talks about the misconception that everyone who loses a child breaks up.(3:22)Video transcript
Michi and Aimee talk about how counselling helped them understand their different reactions to grief.(3:22)Video transcript

Going through something like this can really rip a family apart. My husband doesn’t want to talk about it, and I want to yap about it. It’s difficult to manoeuvre, but I recognize the differences and am dealing with that.

If you have a partner or spouse, you may be finding it difficult to meet each other’s needs while grieving. It can be hard to be supportive, patient, and understanding. Your grief – and your needs – may be different than your partner’s; and what each of you needs can change. One day you might want to talk about what you’re experiencing while your partner does not. Another day you might want to focus on tasks while your partner wants to just “be” with you.

What may help

  • Even though you and your partner may be sharing the loss of your child, keep in mind that each of you may grieve in your own way.
  • A normal part of grief involves both moving toward and moving away from it. You and your partner may not be “in sync” with this, meaning that you may not always be available to one another.
  • Reach out to supportive people, such as family or friends, who may be able to provide some of what you need at this time.
  • Grief, even when shared, doesn’t take away the complexities of a partner relationship. If either of you are struggling with these, consider seeking help from a counsellor experienced in both grief and marriage challenges.