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Depressed by my daughter's death

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM

By Yvonnie Bailey- Davidson, Gleaner Writer

Dear Counsellor:

My daughter died a few months ago and I am deeply distressed. Every day I cry because I miss her so much.

- Angela

Dear Angela:

Death is one of the most painful experiences humans have to deal with. You need to have the support of family, friends and co-workers. In the first weeks, there are usually a lot of people around offering sympathy and support. However, the number of supporters gets fewer as time passes.

If you have close family and friends, they can help you cope. Grieving is a lifelong process, as one often feels no one can fill the void that has been created. The pain will get less with time. The memories will always be with you because that is how the brain operates.

Treasure the pleasant memories and thank God for giving her those years. It is difficult during times of grief to give thanks, but it is important to remember the good times you shared.

Keep mementos of her in a scrapbook and keep a journal to daily record your feelings and activities. Writing about her will make the memories vivid and help you through the stages of grieving.

Some people find writing poems or stories about the individual to be helpful in coping with the loss. The person's body is no longer with you but her spirit lives on in you. In grieving, you are mourning the loss of great expectations and plans.

Parents want their children to grow old with them. It is the hardest thing to bury one's child, as the mother-child bond cannot be broken.

Grieve as you must, treasure the precious memories. The Lord said blessed are they that mourn as they will be comforted.

Hyperactive son isn't focused

Dear Counsellor:

My son is hyperactive and isn't focusing on his schoolwork. He has a short attention span and is easily distracted. I need to improve his academic record.

- Ann

Dear Ann:

All mothers want their children to shine in the academic arena. Working with the class teacher might help to improve the grades of your son. It would be prudent to get a psycho-educational assessment done on him. The educational aspect should be quite detailed.

You need to know the learning style of your son as well as his strengths and weaknesses. Many times people are sick, go to visit their doctor and right away they start to improve. The increased attention and concern paid to your son, as well as highlighting his strengths, will help to motivate him.

The teacher should be involved as she will have to show increased interest in your child and help him deal with his weaknesses. Discuss with the teachers the techniques that can be used to deal with his symptoms. Classroom management is key to helping struggling students to improve. The behaviour, affection, attitude and interest of the teacher are important.

You should check for the homework and help to get him organised. Ask about his teachers and friends and get a feel for what goes on in the days.

His father is important as he needs a male exemplar to guide him into manhood. Males need male role models to help to motivate them.

There may be different factors behind your son's behaviour. Take him to a therapist, who will record a detailed history and thereby identify the factors causing the symptoms. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder comes to mind, but that is not the only possibility.

Show lots of interest in your son and let his talents shine. This will help to improve his grades.

Email questions to Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson at or call her at 978-8602.