My mother passed away and my partner disappears

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    Hi I’ve been seeing my partner for around two years but we don’t live together due to work and children from previous marriages.

    I had my mother pass away recently and although we were not in contact due to an abusive childhood. When I found out I reached out to my partner via text straight away as they were the first person I wanted to connect to. I didn’t ring as I still had family around and I received a text back to to show shock and an apology that they couldn’t talk right now it was a weekday, I said I understand I still had family here.

    My partner reached out again 6 hours later to ask how I was feeling over text, said to call if I wanted to talk. They sent me flowers 2 days later and I rang to thank them for the flowers and we talked for awhile. That was 3 days ago and I haven’t heard from them since. We talk everyday.

    I haven’t reached out and they have not reached out to me, It feels strange that they didn’t make an effort to come and see me, or stay in contact like they normally do. I haven’t wanted to talk but now after 3 days of not hearing from them I’m wondering as a person who has lost someone if it’s up to me to be making contact? At the time I kind of assumed they would make the effort to see me in person without me asking ? We live an hour apart.

    My week has gone on, I’m
    Not angry they didn’t make the effort to see me, but I would have driven to them but going silent seems a strange response ? Is it up to me to reach out ? I left it initially as I was dealing with my feelings and now it just feels weird, the no contact.

    #942647 Reply

    Is this P by any chance? Very few women post on this site referring to their partner in the third person plural and that’s what P does. And this situation sounds like something P’s partner would do. If not, sorry for mixing you up with someone else.

    I agree it seems rather odd but I think that your partner is probably just giving you space, not abandoning you as they sent you flowers and asked if you wanted to talk. Just call or go visit.

    #942648 Reply

    Some people don’t know how to respond well to the grief of others, and some have different needs than others do and go with what they might think they’d want in the same situation. But then will course-correct if told otherwise.

    State your needs outright and see what happens. It’s a tricky time so give your partner the benefit of the doubt (unless they’ve broken your trust in the past and this is another example of a pattern of bad behavior — but I’m thinking not if they called and sent flowers?). Don’t make them mindread. They may think you want space, since you said here you didn’t really want to talk for a couple days, and won’t know otherwise unless you tell them. Or they may think if you wanted to see them, you’d have said that, and you’re still busy with family visitors instead.

    I’m sorry for your loss, even if your feelings around mourning an estranged parent are complicated. It’s still tough.

    #942685 Reply

    I’m sorry for such a complicated loss. I want to suggest finding a support group for grief, or a grief counselor as soon as you can, in order to process some of this.

    Sometimes people need help knowing how to be there for you. If you want to give them a chance, let them know how to show up for you and be specific — if you can.

    Unfortunately through the years I’ve lost a handful of people I was very close to, some family, some friends. Not every one knows how to handle a loved one when death is involved. Some people don’t know how to handle it — it scares the f%#@! out of some, others lean in hard in all sorts of ways.

    Think about what you need — knowing your love language really helps during times like these. Do you need them with you physically, do you need someone to listen to you, do you want them to take care of you while you process things? Maybe ask for general help and explain you’re not really sure what you want, but that you want them in your life while you work it out.

    A few times I had to hold the hand of my partner and outline what I needed during times like these, but they always did what I asked, with no complaints. I was able to be specific because I had experience. I felt like we both won — I got the support of my partner, they felt like they were helping me.

    It wasn’t a perfect solution but we have to give grace to those we love when they haven’t walked in our shoes.

    Again, I’m so sorry.

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