First I want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. There are no words in our human language to express that enough and to the degree it is felt.
About me/my family.
No unusual losses or tragedy. Just the basic life-challenging types (so far and hopefully it'll stay that way).
2 Kids, good marriage, pretty normal life. I watch my kids backs and they are my priority. I work steady....Basic, simple life.
About my 13 year old. Was so calm. Was so nice. Was predictable. Great relationship with him. Then he gets into Middle school.
He talks to his brother with a rage in his eyes and his voice sounds evil at times.
He doesn't sleep that well. He acts like he hates us all (a lot of the time).
I worry about depression with my children since I have it and have taken medication for it for 10 years. (can't function when I've tried to go off it). I'm constantly on the lookout for signs. Like you - I want them to not have problems like that in their adult-life....
So I start talking to parents of 13 year olds. Same background as me - but no depression in the family medical history.
Their sons have the same rage in their eyes. You know - the kind that makes a parent shudder.
That rage and that evil tone of voice is disturbing to say the least.
We have a similar problem in that you want to make sure that it's no unresolved grief and I want to make sure there is no underlying medical condition - so I feel you pain with parenting issues.
The hardest part of parenting is distinguishing with a teenager if there is a real problem that needs to be addressed or it's just some sort of a growing pain.
Keep in mind Barb, your boys will be OK because their mother is watching their backs and that means an awful lot! I feel for you with this situation and what you've all been though.
Good Luck and take care,