Disclaimer: Growing Pains doesn't belong to me. No copyright infringement intended.
The Seaver family was still in shock. Jason Seaver had been dead for six hours from a sudden heart attack. Oldest son Mike had performed CPR for half an hour before the ambulance had shown up, but it had been too late.
Maggie had tried to start making arrangements for her husband's funeral, but then she fell apart and retreated to her bedroom. Mike had disappeared immediately after Jason was declared dead, so Ben and Carol's husband Scott followed him. Carol, Chrissy, and Mike's wife Kate were now making the arrangements.
"I don't know how to deal with this except to sing," Chrissy confessed to her sister and sister-in-law. The twenty-one year old had been younger when her grandparents died, but this was completely different.
"We're all in shock," Kate assured her. The pregnant woman didn't know how she was going to be able to comfort her husband later on. Their children were going to stay overnight at her childhood home, and were already there. Fourteen year old Gillian had been hysterical earlier after learning of her grandfather's death, but she had since calmed down. Thirteen year old Christopher had been eerily calm about it, and still was, according to Kate's mother.
Gillian and Christopher were eleven months apart. Mike and Kate hadn't expected to have two children in under a year, but it had happened. They didn't regret having their children close together. Mike and Carol were fourteen months apart, and despite their constant fighting, they still got along.
Gillian had been three and Christopher two when Mike and Kate adopted a seven year old girl named Jenna. Now eighteen years old, Jenna was coming home from college to attend her grandfather's funeral.
Two years after Jenna's adoption, Mike and Kate had adopted a ten year old named Patrick. Nineteen year old Patrick was going to NYU, and already on his way home. He was stopping on his way to pick up Jenna.
Carol Seaver-Coffer sighed. She didn't know how she was going to get over her father's death. Luckily, Scott was there for her and her eighteen year old stepson Jack had taken five year old Seaver and two year old Erin out for the day. "I hope Mom's okay," she murmured.
"I'm sure she will be okay soon," Chrissy replied. She had gone to the bathroom earlier and heard her mother sobbing, but wasn't sure what to do. Should she have gone in and comforted her?
The door opened and Mike, Ben, and Scott entered the Seaver house. "I'm back," Mike announced as if it wasn't obvious. Despite the fact that she was trying not to cry over her father dying, Chrissy rolled her eyes at her oldest brother.
"We know," Kate told her husband. She winced as the baby kicked and decided to sit down. This baby had been an unexpected surprise for her and Mike. After adopting Patrick, the two had decided that four kids were enough. They loved adopting, but it was expensive. Mike and Kate figured they were done having their own biological children, but they were wrong.
Everyone got back to planning Jason's funeral.
Mike Seaver sat in the living room with several other people, just thinking about the fact that a lot of his father's patients had showed up. Nobody had expected that.
He really wanted to get the memorial lunch over with, but his mother had insisted on having everyone over. Most of the mourners had agreed.
"How are you?" Carol asked her older brother. She was worried about Mike. He hadn't cried once and seemed really angry. Carol had walked in on Chrissy and Ben crying multiple times, and sometimes joined in.
"I'm fine," Mike answered. He was so angry about his father dying, and didn't know why. One thing he knew for sure was that he was fine. Mike had grieved for his dad and could move on now.
Carol didn't believe him, but let it go. Her brother would fall apart eventually, and she would be there for him. That's what little sisters were for. Carol just hoped her brother grieved for the birth of his fifth child. Kate and their kids needed him. "Are you hungry, Mike?"
Mike shook his head. "I already ate," he lied. He didn't feel like eating right now. Mike wasn't hungry at the moment, but figured he would be later.
Maggie walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. She missed Jason so much. It wasn't fair that he had to die now. Their eighth grandchild was going to be born in a few months. They should have had more time together. "Carol, will you get me something to eat?"
Carol nodded and headed into the kitchen. She was really worried about her mother. Carol feared that her mom was going to end up back in the bedroom, like she had after Jason's death. "I'm scared for Mom," she confessed to her husband.
Scott hugged his wife. "I know you are, Carol. We're just going to have to help your family grieve," he comforted. Scott kissed her.
Carol smiled. "I love you," she whispered. She couldn't imagine her life without her husband and three children. Scott, Jack, Seaver, and Erin were four of the most important in her life, next to her parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.
"I love you too, Carol." Scott pulled away and headed upstairs to be with Ben. Ben had bolted up to his old bedroom to be alone, and he wanted to hang out with his brother-in-law for a little bit.
Three days later, Mike Seaver came home from work to an empty house. Kate was sitting on the couch, eating leftovers from the funeral. "Where's the kids?" he questioned.
"They're visiting your mother. Gillian and Chris decided that they needed to spend some time with their grandmother," Kate explained. She thought it was a great idea. She was hoping to get her husband to cry over Jason's death. He hadn't cried once, and it was really starting to bother Kate.
Mike sighed. He was still angry over his father dying, and having the kids around helped the anger recede. Kate helped as much as she could, but her pregnancy hormones had mixed in with grief, which really wasn't a good thing. He was having nightmares about trying to revive his dad, and they kept Mike up all night. So far, he was keeping this from Kate. "What are we going to do tonight, Kate?"
Kate smiled at her husband. "I can think of something." She leaned over as best as she could and kissed Mike.
Mike and Kate began to make love for the first time in days. Mike needed to feel alive and to stop thinking about the fact that he had just lost one of his parents.
Ben Seaver was really starting to get irritated with his brother. Mike was trying to pretend that he wasn't grieving, and it wasn't working well. He also seemed really angry, something that needed to be stopped. "We need a plan to get him to grieve in a healthy way," he explained to Carol and Chrissy.
Carol sighed. "How are we supposed to do that, Ben?" She wanted to help Mike, but didn't know how. Kate was due to deliver in two weeks, and trying to get him to break down before that sounded stupid.
"Carol, you're the master at getting him mad. You two have been fighting since the day you were born," Ben pointed out. Chrissy nodded in agreement. One of her first memories was of Mike and Carol fighting.
"You're right," Carol conceded. Getting Mike mad enough to fall apart sounded like a great idea, but she didn't want to hurt her brother. That seemed cruel.
"I can sing him a song," Chrissy suggested. It was a stupid idea, but singing might help her brother. She had never felt so helpless when it came to Mike.
"Where's Mom?" questioned Carol. Maggie was supposed to be a part of this Seaver family meeting, and was nowhere to be seen.
"She's in the bathroom crying and pretending not to," Chrissy explained. Her mother had grieved in a variety of ways lately, and trying to help her only got Maggie more upset than she already was.
"I'm going to check on her." Carol got up and headed towards the bathroom. She wanted to be there for everyone, but it was hard when she was grieving herself.
Ben and Chrissy began to discuss the plan some more, to tell Carol what to do with Mike when she returned from comforting their mom.
Mike Seaver entered his parents' house and tried to ignore the pain he felt at coming in through the kitchen. That's where he had found his father and unsuccessfully tried to perform CPR. He was too angry to even acknowledge the fact that he hated the kitchen now. "Why is everyone here?" He was so confused.
"How are you feeling, Mikey?" Maggie asked. After hearing what Mike was going through, she had pushed aside her own grief to help her son.
Mike didn't even grasp the fact that his mother had called him his childhood nickname. "What's going on?"
"We're here to help," Chrissy replied. She had a bad feeling about tonight, but didn't want to say anything.
"Help with what?" Mike was so confused. Why were they were trying to help him? He didn't need help with anything, except maybe his children. Kate was due soon, and panicking over her going into labor was not the thing to do.
"Grieving Dad's death," Carol told him. Like Chrissy, she had a bad feeling, but was going to push forward with this.
"I'm grieving just fine," Mike snapped. See, there was that burning anger again. He didn't understand it at all.
"No you're not, Baby. None of us are," Maggie replied. Now that she was starting to let her depression fade away a little, she saw how badly Jason's death was affecting their four children. Mike seemed to be really angry, Chrissy was constantly crying, Carol was cleaning the house repeatedly, and Ben was throwing himself into work.
"You need to let your grief come out," Chrissy told him. She felt stupid doing this, but Mike needed her, Carol, Ben, and their mom. Mike was slowly slipping into a depression, even if no one else saw it.
"I'm fine," Mike insisted. Why wasn't his family letting this go? He was moving on from his father's death. Really.
"I think you need to admit how you're feeling about Jason's death," Kate explained. She missed her father-in-law so much and it hurt her to see Mike not handling anything.
Mike rolled his eyes. "I'm okay, Kate. Stop worrying about me." He should be worried about his wife. She and the baby didn't need to be stressed out over something stupid.
"We're all worried about you." Carol had never been more worried about her brother. Although she and Mike fought a lot, there were times they were there for each other.
"You don't have to be worried about me. I'm really okay with Dad's death." Mike was lying, but trying to convince himself that he was telling the truth.
"Michael Aaron Seaver," tried Ben. He had been the baby of the family for twelve years, but he could at least try to get Mike to listen to him.
Mike glared at his younger brother. "Benjamin, leave me alone," he warned. He was getting angrier by the minute, and hated this feeling. He had never felt like this before, and it was starting to scare him.
"Michael, we just want you to accept the fact that your father is dead so you can start grieving," Maggie explained. Even though Mike had been hurt before, he had never acted like this. He was starting to scare her.
"I don't need this." Mike went to bolt out the door, but Ben got in front of it. Scott raced to the kitchen door. Scott had been silent before, but he knew that Mike needed help. Leaving was not going to help at all.
"We know how much you loved Daddy," Chrissy said. She was pretty sure that this was going to end with everyone crying, but didn't say that. The Seavers were hurting badly enough, and saying that would just be stupid.
"Dad's dead. I've accepted that." Mike was lying again. His siblings, wife, and mother could tell.
"No you haven't, Mike." Ben really hoped this didn't take too long. He was worried about Mike, but trying to convince him of the fact that he was grieving was pretty stressful.
"Why are you doing this to me? I told you that I don't need your help. I'm fine." Mike was getting angrier. He was pretty sure he would punch something if his family didn't leave him alone.
"Dad's never coming back and that's scaring you!" Carol accused. This was the part of the plan that she could get behind- Get Mike angry enough to fall apart. It had to work.
"It's not scaring me, Carol. Leave me alone." Mike was beginning to get more irritated than angry, but he wasn't telling them that.
"We're not about to leave you alone. You need us," Chrissy said. She wondered if singing would help him, but quickly filed that thought away. Singing wouldn't help. Their father had been in a band in college, and that might just throw Mike into a deep depression or something.
Carol decided to take another chance and made her move. "You had to wait for the ambulance to show up, Mike. You were performing CPR, but it wasn't working. He was dead, and you couldn't bring him back!" Carol felt really bad about this, but she couldn't back down now. She was too far into the plan.
"Why are you doing this to me?" Mike didn't understand this at all. He and Carol fought sometimes (Okay, most of the time), but she wasn't cruel. She had never been cruel when they fought.
Maggie almost told her son that Carol was being cruel to help, but decided that work wreck the plan. "I'm going to go upstairs," she decided. Maggie couldn't stand to see her son break down over Jason's death. She was barely handling it herself.
Ben shot a confused look towards his mom, but didn't say anything. He knew his mom was still grieving, and it hurt her to see Mike acting like this. "You failed!" he accused his brother. He was going to beg for forgiveness after that, but he wasn't sure he was going to get it.
"Shut up!" Mike screamed. He hauled off and went to punch his younger brother, but Ben grabbed his arm and prevented that from happening. They hadn't fought like this in a long time, not since Ben had arrested during Maggie's campaign.
"You're just mad that you couldn't save him. You screwed everything up! You remember what Dad said about you when you were a teenager!" Carol pushed. She really hoped Mike didn't try to punch her next.
"Shut up!" Mike yelled again. He was so angry at them. He was angry at everybody. Why didn't they understand that and leave him alone?
"You loved him and he failed you! He died!" Chrissy yelled. She figured it wouldn't hurt to get in on the screaming, and it seemed to be working. That was the important thing.
Ben reluctantly let go of Mike. Mike ran towards his father's office. He couldn't get the door open, however, because Maggie had locked it.
The oldest of the four Seaver children began punching the door. "Please open!" he screamed.
"Leave him go," Carol whispered to Kate, Ben, and Chrissy. Mike needed to let his anger out.
Mike continued to punch the door until he sunk to the floor and began to sob. Carol, Ben, and Chrissy crowded around their brother and began to comfort him.
It would take a long time to heal, but Mike Seaver had just started the process. The Seavers would grieve for Jason for a long time.