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Complicated Mourning

September 11, 2013

An aged mother passes away suddenly.

Her husband has Alzheimer’s. He get’s it one moment and looses it the next. With time, he likely has the capacity to integrate the experience, but getting there is a challenge.  The first few mornings are particularly challenging as he looks for his missing wife.

The adult children, whilst in the process of mourning their loss, must plan for their father’s emergent care needs.

The therapist’s role?

Be a witness to the pain and facilitate the planning.

Intensity of emotion between the adult children?

Part and parcel of the circumstance. The challenge is to keep it feeling emotionally safe and somewhat contained. Because of the father’s emergent needs, the focus must remain on getting services and a short term plan in place to provide a breather for longer term planning. With services in place and a short term plan, the family can then concentrate on their loss of the matriarch and more actively mourn.

And breathe.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.


Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

 (905) 628-4847

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.

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One Comment
  1. o.k


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