Good article. My father died when I was eight, and I remember being told that
very same thing. It was not helpful.
Excellent advice, and thanks for sharing a personal story, Lois. You write
superb articles. I think some believe it is comforting to the family and son to
suggest such a thing. Maybe thinking it gives a sense of purpose. A great
reminder that Family members are not interchangeable.
I agree that it is certainly not appropriate to put this burden on the shoulders
of little boys, and this is a good article. However, I've also known of
little girls who may not have been told they were responsible to take mom's
place, but who were expected to do so. In fact, I think this happens often when
the mom is still in the home, but for one reason or another, is gone a lot and
the oldest daughter has great expectations placed upon her. All children need to
have the chance to be children.
I lost my wife when I was young and pretty much everything anyone said seemed
wrong. They were just trying to help though and were at a loss for adequate
words.Still other people seem to really be comforted by
everyone's advice and heartfelt comments. For the most part I think
it's just my personality type that I need to be alone or near alone while
grieving - not surrounded by people trying to make something better that
can't be made better. So the inevitable next time I grieve I'm going
to keep that in mind.