Bereaved spouses and partners

A place for widows and widowers to share their feelings and support one another.

I can't cope with my son's grief!

Posted by

I lost my husband in March, after a 4 year traumatic cancer fight aged just 55.

We have a married son with a daughter of 4 and a half and another born 2 weeks after his death.  We also have a daughter who has just graduated and currently living at home. 

So the eldest grandchild was just a baby and living with us at the time of diagnosis.  Despite countless efforts on our part we have never got along with our daughter in law. Like all young families they needed their own space but they shocked the wider family by moving 2 hours away. 

Needless to say, this caused much friction and challenges with visiting as my husband deteriorated. At the end he came right and stayed close by or travelled back and forth and held his dad's hand as he took his last breath. 

Later he claimed to be suffering from ptsd and barely spoke. I supported him as best I could at a distance and he seemed to improve. But there was a "disagreement" in the summer about holidays and since then about the sales of assets. Right now he won't pick up the phone to me despite my begging and he eventually messages he's sick of this year and talking to me. He posts memes on Facebook of mental health issues. If i respond to those in what i think is a supportive way I get twisted posts back from her (d.i.l) and her family who share her dislike of me. 

I love my grandchildren dearly though I've barely connected with the baby.  I only saw her recently because they came up for the funeral of my dad who passed away nearly 2 months ago in my arms. I last saw my eldest grandchild at a family party at the beginning of October. But she was excited, running around and not much time spent with me which was totally appropriate but when I asked if they could call round the following morning as they were staying,  they refused. The same thing happened following the funeral 3 weeks later when they left her with her other Nan. 

We lost my mother in law 18 months ago,  my mum 3 years ago and my father in law currently fighting pneumonia in hospital. So grief is no stranger. 

As we move towards Christmas I'm sinking lower. I feel like I've been treading water for so long but now I'm being pulled under. I do have support from friends and family which is brilliant but they can't be here 24/7 and they can't do anything about my son and are equally baffled,  upset and frustrated at his behaviour and of his wife. 

He challenges every decision,  seems to think he's owed money from the estate,  my husband's expensive toys,  money for holidays because I'm taking my daughter with me on a second holiday to escape Christmas. I offered to take us all to Disney next year but the d-i-l refused and walked off a video call to discuss why. 

They've made arrangements to see her family and others on a weekend trip to my area next weekend ( her parents live locally) that doesn't include me. 

I've asked  many times to see the children but they're too busy. Offered to go there but was ignored.

I'm so desperate now,  I intend to drive down there after work this week to give my Christmas presents,  even though i risk the door being shut on me. 

I feel as though I've done nothing but fight with them but at the funeral and ashes scattering of my dad he hugged me, says he loves me. But then he's back to being horrible again. 

I've asked him to come see me on his own but he refuses.  Suggested counselling etc.  

I'll happily do what well meaning friends suggest and leave him to come round in his own time but meanwhile I'm missing out on my granddaughters developments and my own grief is dragging me down. 

He used to send videos pictures etc but won't do that now and neither will she. In fact she removed herself from our family chat. I've tried asking her directly to arrange visits with the children but she won't help and tries to provoke me with cutting remarks. I just can't believe they could both be so cruel. I honestly have done nothing wrong. 

My daughter is also torn and has a similar struggle with him.  She intends to go travelling in the new year and the thought of months without her too is even more depressing. She's been away this week with her girlfriend and it was a week too long. 

I know I need proper counselling to help me follow a way forward strategy and manage my feelings but I don't know who to contact. 

Please someone help me!


Bowel cancer is shit! But we're choosing it to not be today! 

Posted by

Dear ,.I'm sorry to hear how your son and daughter in law are with you at the moment. Thank goodness you have got support from your friends.

If you want to follow up the counselling idea - 

.Look at the "in your area" section of this website, to see if there are any Macmillan or Maggie's centres local to you. Both of them offer one to one counselling.

Failing that, ask your GP to refer you, tho there may be a bit of a wait. Or does your local  day hospice have counselling as part of their bereavement services?

You can meanwhile talk to the helpline on 0808 808 0000 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week 

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
Posted by

Thank you,  I'll try those options. 


Bowel cancer is shit! But we're choosing it to not be today!