Q: It has been two months since my mother passed away. It’s my father, brother and I left to cope with this harsh reality life has thrown on us. Mummy was the lifeline of our home. Even though my I would help her along, she was the one taking care of every single household chore. Besides, both of us siblings would confide in her with our problems and she would help us with the best possible advice. Our relationship with our father isn’t as strong though not too bad, either. However, what we had with mummy was certainly not comparable to our compatibility with our father. Ever since her death, our family seems to have fallen apart, as my brother and I have trouble getting along with dad. He, too, feels lonely and we all end up arguing with one another over the pettiest of things. Please tell me how do we cope with the loss. Maheen
A: Dear Maheen, I am really sorry for your loss. Losing a parent at any age is the most painful thing. No matter what the circumstances have been, the absence of a loved one that once lived and breathed around you is the most heart-breaking experience ever. The vacuum can never be filled and no one can replace the love of a mother, not even a father. It seems that your mother was the foundation on which your family stood. All three of you are going through a period of grief which is understandable; however, it is better to move on in life. It sure is difficult but not impossible. Your mother would never want you guys to be this sad, at least not forever. Have an open conversation with your brother and father about the way you feel, you won’t be surprised if they feel the same way. Sharing each other’s feelings is the best way to cope with the loss. Let your family know that you all are there for each other despite the absence of a loved one.
Q: I am a 42-year-old married woman and have three teenage children -– two daughters and a son. I work as well as am a full-time housewife since neither my children nor my husband do anything to help me with household chores. We have two cats in the house who need to be taken care of as well and equally contribute in making the house look like a mess, along with my children and husband. With all of this chaos in the house, I hardly have any time left for myself. I neither go to meet my friends nor family because I’m always consumed with either my work life or cleaning up the house. I have done all I could to make my children understand the misery I am going through, but they never listen. My daughter does help me sometimes only if she is in the mood to or when she needs permission to go out with friends. I feel so exhausted and stressed with this hectic routine. Please help me! Romaisa
A: Dear Romaisa, having a family that pays no attention to your stress and exhaustion must feel miserable. This is wrong, and only you can do something to change it, as you have allowed them to take advantage of you for so long and it is time that they play an active role in taking care of the house as much as you do it. The situation you are in calls for a serious family conversation. This is unacceptable because all your children are teenagers, they aren’t kids anymore and must understand the circumstances in which you work both, in and outside the house. You, too, need some alone time and rest to feel better. Be very assertive when talking to them and do not give in to their pressure. Tell them how difficult it is for you to manage everything alone and how much you need them for help both, mentally and physically. And make them realise what happens once they are on their own. This might make them understand where they lack with respect to their love and understanding for you.
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