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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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I'm a Gay male, 71. A very dear friend died very suddenly

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I'm a Gay male, 71. A very dear friend died very suddenly about three weeks ago. His partner of 43 years, a PHD sociologist is greaving a lot. I know that this is a necessary process but I'm also in fear for his health, both physical and mental. He relives the incident that took his parther while sitting at the breakfast table and cries.
All I have done up to now is listen to him. What else can I do to ease his pain?
Thank you
Hi and thank you for trusting JA with your concern,
The reliving is actually a very good thing. It helps the brain to process the trauma of this death. So continue to listen to him (as you have been) and the recounting should decrease. However, if 3-6 months has pasted and he begins having nightmares or flashbacks of the incident, he should be referred to a therapist for treatment of possible PTSD. You can find a trauma therapist at for a specialized therapy called EMDR.

In the meantime, your intuitive responses are on target.

PS If it was suicide there are some great support group

Hope this helps. If so, please press ACCEPT and leave feedback
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you,

I am particularly concerned with his reliving the witnessing of the death - the brightening eyes like he's just remembered and the shaking of the body after it hit the floor. I try to get him to think of all the positive things about his partner and to stop reliving the death.

What else can I do???

This was such a awful thing to see and go through. He may need to go to an EMDR therapist sooner rather than later. I don't know if he'll be able to switch to the positive thinking so soon. Other than help him get to helpful resources, there is nothing else you can do .....really....being there is all he needs from you.
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