Apologies if this is long and all over the place, I'm writing as I think....
On the 3/10/13 my husbands mother (my mil) passed away rather suddenly. She was 45.
My husband received a phone call on the 29/10 from the hospital saying his mum had been flown up here (townsville) from where she lived and had suddenly taken a turn for the worst. This is the first we knew about anything being wrong. As if by fate, my husband had made a last minute trip home and got the call as he was literally driving into town, not far from the hospital. He went straight there and was told she had suffered several small bleeds on her brain but was doing well until Sunday arv when she suffered a massive stroke resulting in a huge bleed deep inside her brain. My husband was forced to make a choice- put her through surgery that only had a minuscule chance of saving her but would more likely do more damage, or keep her on life support and see how she went over the next 24 hours. The neurosurgeon said he didn't think she would survive regardless of the treatment as the damage was too severe. My husband decided against the surgery (which later was told he had made the best choice there).
I rushed up to the hospital to be with him. We were told to call all family that needed to be there to say their goodbyes. After meeting with the head of ICU and some other doctors on the Monday, it was agreed that she would remain on life support until Wednesday 2/10, to give everyone a chance to have their moment with her. She was taken off life support that afternoon and put up a good fight until the early hours of Thursday morning. Receiving that phone call from DH was heart breaking. He simply said "she's gone", and hung up.
The next few days were a blur of funeral planning. My husband was the one who did it all. He had been so strong- when people told him he didn't need to be, he said he did because his siblings (16, 14 and 12) were relying on him. The funeral was beautiful, but again he made himself be the strong one.
It's been a week since the funeral and I am worried about him. He says he is fine but I know he isn't. I've tried talking to him (without pressuring him), I've tried just being there for him.... He just pushes me away and says he is fine. I've had friends tell me he has said he is struggling, and while I'm glad he is talking them (no matter how little), its hard knowing he can't/won't talk to me. I don't want him to feel forced to talk to me but I want him to know that I am there- he doesn't have to go through this alone.
He is back at work now, and actually told me last night he is finding it hard being out there (more to do with issues there than what's happened with him I think), but he feels like he has no choice because we need the money (he is the sole provider) and he is the manager and the other guys have already worked a double shift to cover him while he was away.
How can I be there for him when he pushes me away? How can I make him see he doesn't need to be the strong one all the time- that it's ok to be sad, angry, confused, whatever. He needs to put himself first for once. How can I be there for my husband when he needs me the most??
Me + He =
DD1, DD2, DD3 & bun in the oven due May 2014