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Ageless Stranger
08-18-2008, 01:41 AM
I don't know if this is suitable for the round table but it seemed the best fit to me.

I myself have known very few people who have passed away and so I don't have much experience with this, though I have an intimate knowledge of depression due to past experiences with family members and my own life.

In my story, my character is a widower, his wife has been dead for ten years and yet he is still emotionally crippled/deeply depressed. Some people have told me this is implausible but I know two people whose death would leave me utterly broken for a very, very long time. So my question in this; does it seem plausible for someone to suffer depression and still mourn for someone who has been dead for ten years to the degree that it profoundly affects their day-to-day life?

joyce
08-18-2008, 01:58 AM
I would believe a character that is suffering from a death of a loved one, ten years later. I also believe it happens all the time.

WendyNYC
08-18-2008, 02:08 AM
I would believe it. My grandfather died 7 years after my grandmother and I think he never got over her death, even a little. All the family members say he died of a broken heart.

Siddow
08-18-2008, 02:08 AM
Yes, it's plausible.

Somebody who deals with this or has been through this will probably be more help than I, but as a reader, I would believe it the most if I saw evidence of the character not being able to get past it. Doing things such as picking up her favorite flowers at the market, or setting two places at the table, or telling friends that he'll have to check with her about plans for the weekend before remembering that she isn't there...pulling back her covers or never washing her pillowcase...keeping her clothes in the closet...you want to ride the fine line between being plausible and ridiculous. After all, he has survived ten years without her, so he has some function.

Beach Bunny
08-18-2008, 02:17 AM
In my story, my character is a widower, his wife has been dead for ten years and yet he is still emotionally crippled/deeply depressed. Some people have told me this is implausible but I know two people whose death would leave me utterly broken for a very, very long time. So my question in this; does it seem plausible for someone to suffer depression and still mourn for someone who has been dead for ten years to the degree that it profoundly affects their day-to-day life?

Yes, I think it is plausible. It also depends on a lot of things like the character and how he deals with stress, how the wife died, whether he has received counseling, how the people around him have behaved. etc.

Mr Flibble
08-18-2008, 02:23 AM
It's plausible - but as always it depends on the execution.


I would believe it the most if I saw evidence of the character not being able to get past it.

That's what you have to show. A lot will also depend on how the loved one died ( ie if your MC was driving the car the night they crashed and so feels guilty) and what sort of person he is, what support he had.

I think your plausibility is going to be all in the details - and exactly how it affects his day to day life. Not being able to get out of bed because of it seems extreme, but being unable to form any new close emotional attachments / self enforced loneliness / grumpiness with people who dare to be happy etc would be very plausible.

citymouse
08-18-2008, 02:24 AM
Yes it is plausible. My neighbor's wife died more than 12 years ago. He went into a depression and has not left his house in all that time.
The death was the root cause, however, at this point he's killing himself. No one, no circumstance is causing it. He lost his life's love and now he's fallen in love with the pain.
C
"Every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of
happiness."...Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Jackfishwoman
08-18-2008, 07:27 AM
It's plausible - but as always it depends on the execution.



That's what you have to show. A lot will also depend on how the loved one died ( ie if your MC was driving the car the night they crashed and so feels guilty) and what sort of person he is, what support he had.

I think your plausibility is going to be all in the details - and exactly how it affects his day to day life. Not being able to get out of bed because of it seems extreme, but being unable to form any new close emotional attachments / self enforced loneliness / grumpiness with people who dare to be happy etc would be very plausible.

yes, well said. As the writer, you have to make us (the reader) feel the anguish and pain. You must do this and do it well or the emotion will not be authentic. Since you mentioned you have not experienced the death of a close loved one yourself, I suggest meeting with people who have - hold their hand, look into their eyes, hear their stories and feel it as if you were there with them.
Also read books - fiction & non-fiction - written by people who have experienced such loss.

Stormhawk
08-18-2008, 08:55 AM
I had a friend whose mother died when she was a young teen - it took her five years to stop kissing her mother's photo goodnight every night. We've since lost contact (she's moved interstate), so I don't know how she's going now that she's nearing the 10-year anniversary.

katiemac
08-18-2008, 09:16 AM
Another "yes" vote.

Woodsie
08-18-2008, 09:23 AM
Absolutely.

gypsyscarlett
08-18-2008, 10:56 AM
I don't know if this is suitable for the round table but it seemed the best fit to me.

I myself have known very few people who have passed away and so I don't have much experience with this, though I have an intimate knowledge of depression due to past experiences with family members and my own life.

In my story, my character is a widower, his wife has been dead for ten years and yet he is still emotionally crippled/deeply depressed. Some people have told me this is implausible but I know two people whose death would leave me utterly broken for a very, very long time. So my question in this; does it seem plausible for someone to suffer depression and still mourn for someone who has been dead for ten years to the degree that it profoundly affects their day-to-day life?

Of course it is plausible! Every human being deals with loss differently. Some people are criticized for being depressed too long and are urged to, "snap out of it." (uhm, yeah sure. You can bet anyone who says that has never suffered depression) Other people are criticized for getting in a new relationship before "a year is over." Both criticisms are horrible.

tehuti88
08-18-2008, 08:42 PM
It's perfectly plausible to me. I haven't suffered such a major loss as this character, but there are still certain events that affect me and my behavior years after they've happened. What's more is they're events that might be seen by other people as "minor" and "not worth being upset about" even back when they happened. I used to get a lot of "Just get over it!"s before learning to keep things to myself.

It depends on the emotional state of the character and how they handle loss or pain. Some people (like those who rebuked me) get over things quickly and don't let them bother them for long or even upset them in the first place. Other people, like myself, are very sensitive to such things, to the extent that even seemingly minor events can impact us negatively for years to come.

It all depends on the personality.

Ageless Stranger
08-18-2008, 09:09 PM
Ah thank you for the encouraging responses my friends! Very good replies and as many of you have said, it does depend on the details. Thank you all for the excellant responses.

Peachnuts
08-19-2008, 04:41 AM
Of course.
My other job is a nurse ( makes me an expert about everything!)and this would not be abnormal.

jenniedee
08-19-2008, 05:14 AM
Absolutely plausible. It depends on the character's personality, and the circumstances surrounding the loved one's death, as others have said.

I typed a few personal thoughts about this but decided they weren't appropriate for a public forum, but please feel free to PM me if you want more details based on my own experiences.