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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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My sister -in-law lost her husband to suicide ll years ago.

Customer Question

My sister -in-law lost her husband to suicide ll years ago. I apologized to her for using the words "get over" when I was talking about moving on and asked for her forgiveness. She and I hugged but now she barely talks to me and told her family I said the words "forget him". I feel so sorry about this. What can I do now?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

I am sorry to hear of the loss and the subsequent pain from such a tragic death.

CoachJenK :

It seems clear that emotions are pretty high.

CoachJenK :

There is a way to heal this and although you have apologized you might need to do it again and maybe in writing a letter with heartfelt words so she can read it in her own time and hopefully take it all in.

CoachJenK :

It is not uncommon for any of us to say things in the moment, when we dont know what to say, that may end up being inappropriate and by what you are saying this is the case with you and there was no malicious intent.

CoachJenK :

So letting her know how sorry you are for your insensitive words and they came from a place of not knowing what to say and also wanting her pain to go away.

CoachJenK :

It was insensitive but not with mal-intent.

CoachJenK :

hi.

CoachJenK :

how does all of that sound to you?

CoachJenK :

did you refer to her as mentally unstable?

Customer:

Thank-you for the advice. I will write a letter. No I did not refer to her mentally unstable. My husband did. We were all worried about her when she left and walked off into the night without letting us know. She is under treatment for bi-polar depression and has been for over 20 years.

CoachJenK :

I can understand and I truly commend you for wanting to care for her and make amends. With her illness and the suicide of her husband she is reeling.

CoachJenK :

I believe that a heartfelt letter could open things back up. It may take some time but with some loving persistence things can heal.

CoachJenK :

Please ease up on yourself too as we all say things that are misunderstood or that we regret. We are all human.

CoachJenK :

I think even by reaching out here you are on the right track and I dont hear a woman who is refusing to look at her part or want to make amends so please as best you can be kind to yourself too.

Customer:

She appeared to be moving on. Even stated to me two weeks ago that she was finally enjoying her life. This summer was rough on her because she had a college granddaughter living with her and using her car. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the helpful comments.

CoachJenK :

it is my pleasure. Reach out to me anytime.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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