...but I'm not sure if it's for the worse. This past weekend was the anniversary of my stepson Kevin's death. His mom had put off the grieving process for months, and now it's finally taken hold. She can't think or concentrate. Or sleep. She would already go 36-48 hours without sleep in the previous months, but since the anniversary, this bout has gone on for 5 days! Right now, she's in bed finally snoozing. But what I mean by "things" is actually family. It's just like the books, actually, saying exactly what I've read: "Hey, it's been a year. Why aren't you better?" and "Come on. You need to get out." and "I just want to make sure you're all right." I realize now that what they're doing is normal, that they don't know what else to do. And why would they? But then we try to explain that what they're doing is only for your benefit, not ours. They want to come by and check on us to satisfy their own selfish needs. We emphasize to them that this is normal, but they, just like the books, take it personally, like they're being rejected. Kevin's sister had some issues when she was little, issues that she couldn't help, so now she has a bit of a wall go up when she anticipates any kind of conflict. The last time we spoke on the phone was yesterday, and it was about Mother's Day. She wants to do something with her mother, but is so afraid of being disappointed because her mom cancels at the last minute for everything. (That's another thing that Kevin's mom is going through. She can no longer plan things, because the anticipation makes her have a panic attack. So she cancels.) She says that she's done mourning and that she just wants to be happy. That's some serious denial! So she essentially told me to tell her mom that "I guess we need to be on a break because I don't want to be disappointed anymore." Exact words. I almost broke down when I heard that. A daughter, basically "breaking up" with her own mom?! Jeezus! I can't wait for Kevin's mom's own brothers to do the exact same thing. </sarcasm> God, I'm sad. Really sad. I'm Kevin's mom's liaison with the rest of the family. I've got to tell people that when she doesn't want to see people, it's not ME telling them that. It's HER! I'm speaking for HER! But they don't see that. They can't just STFU and listen for once. Stop dolling out cliched advice and just listen! Kevin's mom has been a giver all her life, and now she wants the rest of the family to step up, but they don't know how. They're learning, though. They're really trying. It takes all of me not to buy a bunch of coping-with-suicide pamphlets or print out an online handbook and shove it in their faces and say "JUST READ THIS!" I can't do that. They're doing the best they can. Who's to say I wouldn't be acting the same way?? The point is that the family is now officially in the splintered stage. I don't know how long it's going to last. I hope that when Kevin's mom is ready to make contact again, they won't blow her off and tell her "Well, you weren't there for me blah blah blah." Okay I should stop now, 'cause I'm getting angry. Thank you for reading. Anyone else gone through the same thing with their family? Did it get better? How long did it take before it did?