When tragedy strikes a family it can do one of two things. It can pull people apart or it can cement them closer together. As families are patient and understanding with each other, communicate, and give each other time to heal, relationships can be strengthened. Here are some success stories from two widowed women with adult children.
“We talk about their Dad, both the good and the bad. I really think it helps to talk about him a lot. He is in just about every conversation we have. In the beginning we would talk about the accident and the events of that day quite a bit it helped to make sense of it all in our minds and come to terms with our new reality. We don’t do that anymore. If they need to vent I let them vent. We talk things out. We make more of an effort to get together and do things together than we did before my husbands death. It has made us realize how important family is and how quickly it can all be taken away. We are closer in many ways since the accident.” – Denise
“We talk a lot about their Dad. We reminisce a lot: funny, sad, good & bad. We haven’t put him on a pedestal but when someone remembers something about him we bring it up. It helps to talk about him. I too think we are closer since he died although we were very close before. I think it’s made us all appreciate & tolerate each other more. They were all very close to their dad and miss him terribly but their faith of forever families has become stronger.” – Kathleen
For others, the death of a spouse can be an opportunity for family members to live together and help one another. Another widowed shared,
“My adult daughter decided to live with me after my husband passed on. She is single and has some physical and mental problems and can work only part time. We each have our down times with grief, but we have agreed to be honest with each other about how we are feeling, so we can comfort and try to lift each other up. We try to do fun things to make our lives worth while. We try to go to the Temple once a month in the months that the weather permits. It greatly helps us.” -Sherry
Relationship that were healthy and solid before the tragedy are generally easier to maintain. If you had strained relationships you may experience additional hurt. It’s important to remember that everyone is hurting and people often hurt others unintentionally. Family relationship can always be restored through forgiveness, showing forth love, and patience.
Don’t give up if you are experiencing difficulties in your family. Relationships are worth fighting for. Families can be a great strength and support, but those relationships take constant work. Have faith and keep trying. If you are doing good things good things will eventually come back to you in time.