Grieving mother

Dear Queenie,

  When my son died last year my father was no help to me in my grief. He didn’t even want to attend the funeral because he and my son hadn’t spoken in years, and he didn’t want to talk to me until I was feeling better.

  He also disapproved of the way I spoke to some people who pretended to be my son’s friends but who told nasty lies about things they said he had done in the past.

  He told me to get mental counselling and didn’t want to talk to me any more.

  I did go for counselling and the counsellor said there was nothing wrong with me, I just needed time to deal with my grief, and my father was being unreasonable.

  Queenie, how can I make my father understand?—Grieving mother


Dear Mother,

  My condolences on the loss of your son.

  As for your father, he apparently is incapable of offering compassion, and may have been (may still be) feeling guilty about his estrangement from your son. I doubt you will ever be able to make him understand how you feel about all this, but further counselling may help you learn how to deal with him as well as with your grief.