Our expert says:
As you have found, theory is of some help, but really not terribly useful in guiding one in how to deal with such sad situations. Much depends not so much on which methods a person uses to try to deal with their grief, but in how extreme they are, how useful or unhelpful, how long they last, and how much they interfere with other important functions.
Osolating oneself from some aspecs of ordinary life isn't uncommon ; but it isnpt useful if prlonged or extreme. That he asks : "Be kind to me" is an important step. Remind him that you are very keen to do so, but that its even more important that he be kind to himself.
Can you encourage him to talk about what he's thinking about this tragic eent ? Often, even if one had nothing whatever causally to do with the death, one feels guilty, and as though one should have done something to prevent it, even if it were unpreventable. If you can get him talking, you can discuss whatever he might be brooding about, and help him towards finding more functional ways of viewing the same elemetns of the loss.
Also, might he be interested, if you can find a local or reachable group ) the organization The Compassionate Friends, which is a self-help but guided group for parents who have lost a child, or any age ? Maybe he'd find that helpful, first as an observer, but with the freedom to join in when he feel ready to do so ?
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