One bright Saturday, Michael decided to give his heavily pregnant wife a break by taking their very lively five year old son for a drive. The two “soldiers” went to Michael’s brother’s house, picked up his two boys and headed for the beach. The group had a great time and returned safely to Ntinda where they were dropping off the two boys.
When he parked, the three boys excitedly bounded out of the car and raced into the house. As Michael started reversing the car, his son came running out of the house fearing that he would be left behind. And that’s when the car hit him crashing his brains out and splashing them all over the driveway. The cries from the house made him stop and get out of the car.
Shell-shocked, he gathered what was left of his son’s body and cuddled it for longest time, soothing him and apologizing as if it would bring him back to life. It took five muscular men to pry the boy’s remains from his hands to take them to hospital. From that moment, Michael switched to auto pilot; detaching himself from his emotions and reality.
After the burial, he couldn’t bear being at home which seemed so quiet and alien without his son’s noise and activity. He started hanging out in bars till morning, only going home to change clothes for work. He solicited for field work which would take him away from home for weeks. He was so often away that he didn’t see his new son until three weeks later. His wife complained, his family mediated but nothing changed. At the end of her rope the wife gave him an ultimatum; either shape up or ship out. Afraid of losing what was left of his family, he reached out to family and friends who suggested grief counseling.
Michael was diagnosed with a condition known as complicated grief. Complicated grief is like being stuck in an intense state of mourning. You may have trouble accepting the death long after it has occurred or be so preoccupied with the person who died that it disrupts your daily routine and undermines your other relationships.
“At first I was resistant to the idea because I know there are certain stigmas associated with having a counselor or therapist, especially within our communities. I always regarded counseling as something done by the mentally ill or those too weak to solve their own problems or basically deal with life. But now I know better.” Michael revealed.
Don’t sit back and watch grief consume your husband. If he is failing to shake off the loss, talk to a mental health professional right away. Left untreated, complicated grief and depression can lead to significant emotional damage, life-threatening health problems, and even suicide. He won’t get over it, but he can learn to live with the loss.
For more information visit Indulge Indulge Maternity Spa & Gym on Kabaka Road, Ntinda, Kampala or call 0772-573-441.