Dad has moved on already?!

Oddtree2001July 1, 2005

I am 24 years old and lost my 51 year old mother unexpectedly 3 months ago. I discovered that my dad started seeing someone approximately 10 days after her funeral.

My brother and I are sick over this, for many reasons. The first of which is that my dad wasn't always very nice to my mom--not out and out abusive, but not the man he should have been--and to see him play prince charming to someone else now feels like a slap in the face. Why didn't my mom deserve to be treated that way?

Second, when confronted, my dad insisted "What, should I have to be alone forever?" Maybe not, but 10 days?? We should also keep in mind that my father ranted for YEARS about how his sister-in-law began dating within a few weeks after his brother's death. He now denies ever thinking or saying that anything was wrong with that. I think it's just too soon. For all of us. And I have my suspicions about a woman who would date a man who's wife had just passed.

Third, my dad has basically stated that my mom did everything for him, household wise, and so he needs a replacement. Was my mother just a maid to him, so easily replaceable? And I'm sorry, but I just don't buy that a 52 year old man is helpless. He's not.

He says he's going to marry her sooner rather than later. I know how these things go. New wife moves in, and every last scrap of my mother's existence will be erased from the family home--nevermind being able to even talk about her anymore. This makes me utterly sick.

My dad and I got into a fight, because I told him that my brother and I were not going to spend the first set of holidays without mom with his new girlfriend. He told us we didn't need to bother to come home for the holidays then.

I feel very alone in the world, and like I've lost my dad as well as my mom. My friends assure me that my feelings are justified, but he's going to do what he wants and so I have to react accordingly. My not wanting to spend the holidays with this woman is not me standing on principle either--the thought of having this new person around literally makes me physically ill to think about. The first set of holidays were already going to be rough--now they will be nearly impossible.

I'm not sure what I need, advice or a shoulder to cry on or what. I just don't understand why he's doing this. He says he's lonely, but we're ALL lonely right now and that's part of the grief. I just am sick that my dad wants to have some kind of happily-ever-after come out of my mother's death.

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Oh my gosh oddtree, no wonder you are upset, that is terrible! My dad didn't start dating until 2 years after my mom died and it was still hard/strange, but much more reasonable. I wouldn't go home for the holidays either, maybe your brother and you can do something together. I almost wonder if he was already dating her before your mom passed away or maybe he is trying to distract himself so he doesn't have to deal with his feelings about your mom. I am so sorry you have to go through this. Feel free to vent here whenever you need to.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 8:36PM
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Thanks Jennmonkey. One thing my dad said was, "I was faithful to your mom for 32 years..." and I said "well, you're supposed to be!" I think grief might very well be clouding his thinking. It just stinks all around. And my friend made a good point: This woman could be really nice, etc., but the way my dad is going about it is setting her up to be a really bad person to me and my brother.

I'd be willing to stop by my dad's on Xmas day or whatever when she isn't around. But my brother has a serious girlfriend who might be a fiancee by Christmas, and I have a serious boyfriend who will probably be a fiancee early next year, so we do have places to go to for the holidays. It's just not the same and never will be. And I want to honor my mother's missing place at the holidays, you know what I mean?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 7:42AM
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Oddtree -
Did he know this woman before your mom died? How old is she? Have you met her?

"my dad has basically stated that my mom did everything for him, household wise, and so he needs a replacement"
If the replacement is smart, she'll run!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 10:50AM
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Ha ha, isn't that the truth!

My dad says he was introduced to her by friends of his. Apparently she was married for 21 years, then widowed, no kids. No idea how old she is, but I'm guessing anywhere from 40 to mid-50s. She does not work.

I doubt very much he was seeing her before mom died, mostly because my dad is retired and, as my mom liked to put it, was ALWAYS at home :) But I can't be sure, especially since my dad blurted out the "I was faithful" comment without any warning or provocation on my part.

I've never met her, even though my dad wants me to, because I just can't handle that. If there's one thing I've learned about grief, is that you just have to do what you can handle, when you can handle it.

I just don't want this woman shoved down my throat and that's what he's trying to do. He's going to want to bring her to my law school graduation in a few months, he'll want her at every holiday, he'll want her to go to everywhere with him. And I'd say if it was just my dad that impacted, then fine, he can do what he wants. But my dad's party line has always been that you put your kids first, and it hurts so much now that he's pushing this woman on us when we've told him how much it hurts right now.

And then there's the issue: if we aren't 'nice' enough to this woman, will she ban my dad from seeing us, from going to our events, from going to our weddings? And will he do so? I know a wife/significant other can have a tremendous power over a man....I know this is putting the cart before the horse, but now that I've tasted the worst that life can throw at you, I feel like you need to be prepared. Sigh.

My dad says my mom would want him to move on. That might be true, but I had a very vivid dream in which my mom and I were looking on as my dad blathered on and on about this new woman, and my mom gave me this LOOK like "can you BELIEVE this guy??" and I think that's how she'd look at this. And she'd be angry that he's hurting me and my brother.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 1:43PM
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Oddtree, one (big) thing you have going for you is your awareness of the facets of this wildly uncomfortable situation, and its potential ramifications. But what a heavy thing to have to deal with right on top of losing your mother.

Grief seems to bring out good things in some people, and dreadful things in others. If your dad has always put his kids first and is now behaving over-the-top selfishly, it may be in response to fear and depressionÂboth components of grief. Widows and widowers have a high probability of choosing their next relationship unwisely, and my unofficial estimation is that men are more likely to mess up than women.

You're right, of course: she could be a nice person, and he could luck out, but right now it feels as though he's headed for a cliff and dragging his kids along with him. I wish I had some brilliant sdvice for you, but I haven't a clue except to say perhaps you should weigh your options and figure out which has the best chance of serving you and your brother long term. You can't change your father's behavior; you can only choose your own.

I don't know how you feel about such things, but I have the strong feeling that your vivid dream was in fact a visit from your mom. So that's another (very big) thing you have going for you: her continuing presence in your life.

Best of luck, and please continue to talk with us about this.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 3:54PM
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boy- dad's heartbroken, isn't he?

you seem to have the hard facts of the case-

1)dad has always been something of a louse.
2) dad has always relied on mom to 'do for him'
3) dad is not merely seeking comfort in a widowed friend- he's full-out stepping out with a new flame.

and the dream would tend to back up that your mom knew more that you dad thought (if you're over 50, there is a tradition of 'don't ask, don't tell, but don't ignore it, either' that baffles us youngers sometimes)

she doesn't sound particularly heartbroken, either- she's not sitting in your dream sobbing, or trying to throttle this woman, eh?

maybe she knows something that you don't? like that this woman who doesn't work isn't going to take kindly to your father's thoughtless 'get me my slippers and my pipe, and fix me a martini' attitude...

you can no more prevent this than you can keep a girl from bleaching her hair, or a boy from riding a skateboard- and trying to just makes you look like a hysteric in most people's eyes- even if they sympathize.

it might be entertaining to just stand back, and quietly watch the whole thing collapse on him like a kid's club house.

whether or not you help him up afterwards- depends on how well he eats crow.

just keep an eye out for the predatory widow, who has nothing better to do than spend your inhertance.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 1:26PM
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I am so sorry about the loss of your mom. I am glad you and your brother have each other for support, since it sounds like your dad has not considered your feelings at all. How is your extended family taking your dads strange behavior???

You say your mom died unexpectedly. Did she have a chronic disease that suddenly got worse? Or maybe some illness she didn't mention to you kids? I ask because I'm trying to understand how anyone could possibly "recover" from grief over a spouse in less than two weeks, and even have the next "replacement" picked out! There is supposed to be a period of shock and numbness, even when a death is expected. Did you see any of that with your dad?

It sounds as though your dad does what he wants to without a lot of consideration for the people around him. Your grief is being magnified by his appalling behavior. What you want probably isn't going to matter enough to him to make him slow down with this new woman. get to decide what feels right to YOU with regard to interacting with him and the new woman. Give yourself some time to assess the situation thoroughly. You will probably pick up information that helps you understand what is going on. Maybe things aren't quite the way the seem to be right now.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from law school. I don't know what kind of law you were planning to practice, but with these unexpected developments, do you think you might find family law interesting? Best of luck to you in the coming weeks. Your mom must have been so proud of you.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 3:17PM
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I feel sorry for this man.

His children feel they can return to their lives, but he's
supposed to do ... what?

You should be happy that he is making a life for himself.

Would you rather have him move in with you? Join you in your household, and your friends ?

You don't even know this woman, and from what you said, she and your mother never met...but you assume that she wants to replace your mother? Don't flatter yourself.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:09PM
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Monica, those are harsh words to someone who recently lost her mother. I'm wondering if the situation pushed a personal button or two for you. I don't think anyone wants to deny this man the right to move on and find happiness, but ten days??

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 9:17PM
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Oddtree, I send you my sympathy at the loss of your dear mother....I just lost my dear mother a week ago and the pain and grief is so hard to go thur. Can't imagine what you are having to deal with. Certainly do not have any advice for you but do feel that you and your brother have every right to feel the way you do. "ten days" is to matter what!!! Just a suggestion...I would go and talk with someone...perfessional....clergy.....someone that does not have any link to you or your Dad or Mom. God Bless, Nora

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:25PM
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Alisande....The father is retired. Not a young man. He met a woman 10 days after the funeral, and now - three months later - they have a relationship.
How horrible.

I have seen many cases of adult children demanding that their parents not form relationships...because they believe that their parent should mourn indefinitly. Oh...the children resume their lives, but expect the parent to live in the past.

Yes, it pushed a button. A friend of mine's grandmother died. Her grandfather (in his late 60's) and a widow at his church formed a relationship shortly afterwards and announced they were going to marry.
His daughter threw a fit, and turned her back on her father.

My girlfriend did stay friendly with her grandfather (and his wife)...and when he died a few years later, her mother realized what she had thrown away.
Realized too late.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:48PM
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother, your father's behavior must be so painful.

But, I've seen this reaction a couple of times before, oddly from men, not women. My own thought is they are driven not just by insensitivity and lack of respect for their children, but also by fear. They are just plain afraid to be alone, and top of that, don't have a clue how to take care of themselves, the house, the laundry.

Our nephew's mother in law died one year ago, within one month his father in law was dating and quickly married. I feel sorry for the man (not enough to invite him to dinner), who knew he was so needy...and his disregard for his family has cost him the respect of almost everyone who knows him, men and women alike. Clearly, people who valued him before now view him as simply foolish, dependent and selfish.

I truly hope this new woman won't make it impossible to bring your mother into conversation; you shouldn't have to try to pretend there was not a woman before her when you are living proof. Be sure to talk to your brother and others about your mother for now, it's much too soon to keep your memories and feelings to yourself.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:51PM
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Monica: How insulting. No one ever said my dad couldn't "move on" with his life, but 10 days is lightening fast I don't expect you to understand my position, but comments such as "don't flatter yourself" aren't very productive and are clearly meant to be insulting to me personally. That's quite uncalled for, but I do realize that you have personal experiences which are coloring your opinion. Please go back and read the post: I am in no way "demanding" anything of my father, much less that he never form any other attachments. It's just very soon, very rash, and is asking a lot of my brother and I emotionally.

I am not turning my back on my father. Not in the least. I just am not going to put myself through emotional torture for him. The second Christmas after my mom's death? I might very well be ready by then. Not the first Christmas. I have to protect myself and my brother. I wish I could protect my dad, but whatever happens, I will ultimately be there for him as best I can.

For a man to be so unkind at times to his wife, then turn around and lavish loving attention on a new person, indicates to me that he either didn't love my mother very much, or realizes how awful he could be and is trying to make amends. But that's his conscience he has to deal with.

I don't care about inheritance in the least, as I can provide for myself. I just want my mother's photos if I can get them. She hated getting her picture taken, so they are hard to come by.

My mom caught a kidney infection, and had to go into the hospital for kidney failure. However, the damage was reversing itself and she was ready to be discharged when she caught sepsis and died in about 24 hours. My brother and I were with her. My father was not.

In my dream, she seemed really exasperated. Not hard to understand :)

I think my dad has always had abandonment issues: His mother had to be hopsitalized for several months when he was a child and then he had to live with relatives for awhile, he lost his only brother at a young age, and he positively FREAKED when it came time for me to move away from home. So from a psychological standpoint, it's clear the man can't handle being alone. But that doesn't change how all this impacts my brother and I, and it doesn't make it a great idea to rush into a new relationship.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 7:19PM
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I just recently learned that my dad is getting some cosmetic work done on his teeth and some new expensive glasses.

I don't begrudge my dad these things, but my mom needed some non-cosmetic dental work for several years and my dad always insisted there was no money for it.

My mom lost her glasses in the hospital and was in tears over it, because she could hardly see her loved ones when we came to visit. She begged my dad to buy her another pair, but he refused, insisting that they wait to be reimbursed by the hospital and he yelled at her when she kept asking for them. My parents aren't poor either, he could have gotten her another pair. In fact, my mother owned her own business and wrote him a check out of her own business account for the glasses, but he refused to get them. I guess he was just a tightwad when it was things for my mom.

Ugh, this stuff hurts. I just want to ask him why mom wasn't worth those things. But she WAS, she was, she was!! It breaks my heart to think my mother didn't get to see her children's faces her last hours on earth because my dad didn't want to shell out money for glasses.

I know this all sounds terrible, he really isn't a total ogre, he just has a bad temper and hates to spend money. Except on himself in recent days. Sigh. He should spend money on himself, but if he's going to spend money on the very things he denied my mother, I'd really rather not hear about it, because it makes me remember all the horrible episodes in the hospital.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 7:43PM
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Oh, heart is just breaking for you and your brother right now. What a horrific thing for you have to go through ON TOP of the hideousness of having just RECENTLY lost your mom. I think you seem to be handling this much better than I would...I do believe I would be ranting and raving like a lunatic! As for what Monica Pa a fellow forum member I am ashamed and embarassed. That was one of the most cold-hearted and rotten things to say to a person in your situation. Of course her friend's situation was entirely different than yours. And to say, "Get over yourself"...I could just spit I'm so angry.

Anyway, again I am very sorry for everything you are going through. Please keep us posted and know that we are here to "listen" anytime...and please don't let one person's insensitivity hold you back.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 6:55PM
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Adrienne, Thank you so much.

From reading the board, I understand that Monica has found a new partner after losing her husband last year. As such, I imagine she's sensitive to any criticism of a widowed person finding a new partner. But I hope she understands that this is...different, and no one is criticizing her. It's good she's found a partner. But my dad has as much as said that this woman is replacing my mom, and I'm sure Monica doesn't think of her new partner as a replacement.

People just don't replace one another, you know what I mean? There will never be anyone else like my mom, or Monica's husband, or someone's child, or you or me when we're gone. You can try and try and try to look for one, and perhaps that's human nature, but its hurting me so badly.

I am taking this better than I thought I would, but it helps that I'm away from home. My brother still lives in the same town though. He's the type to bury things down deep, but I know he's heartbroken.

In any event, I was dreading the holidays to begin with--I just lost my grandma 2 years ago, and the first set after her death was awful, she really was the matriarch. And now with my mom gone.... I just am not sure I can handle it, regardless of my dad trying to shoehorn someone else into our mother's role at the same time.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do, and who knows if this will even be an issue by then. I just have to take it one day at a time, and take comfort in knowing that my mom is looking over me and my brother and my dad right now. I love my dad and I know he loves me and my brother and my mom, but he has a lot of problems expressing himself and seeing how he can impact people.

Anyway, thanks so much. It helps knowing that I am by no means the only person to have gone through this. Sometimes I really wonder how ANYONE gets through losing someone. I often here people use the term "moving on", but that doesn't quite describe it. I'm not sure what does...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 10:16PM
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Oddtree...I can tell you are a very sweet, sensitive person...attributes I'm sure you got from your mom. I can also tell that you are a very brave, strong person and I admire that.

"Moving On"...I'm not quite sure that describes it either. I think it's more of a learning to deal with it kind of thing. My sister passed away five years ago and I still find myself saying every now and then, "Oh my God...Laura is dead...Laura!" I just can't believe it for a few's almost as if I just heard about it. Most of the time, though, when I talk or think about it, it's almost as if I'm telling a story. It's devoid of emotion because it's not quite real. I think that's our mind's way of handling it otherwise we would be in a constant state of shock at all times! LOL Seriously, though, those moments of "lucidity" if you will are numbing yet sureal at the same time. However as times passes they occur less and less and you are finally able to think of yur loved one and smile instead of cry.

But, you have a long journey ahead of you, my friend. No need to sugar coat it because you already know that. That constant stomach turn and feeling that you will never feel better. The first year was the hardest for know, the year of "firsts". And yes holidays are excruciating. But somehow we pull through and suddenly you realize you look forward to the holidays again.

I don't envy you. My biggest fear is losing my mom...and someday I know it will happen and I cannot even imagine it. That is why I feel so deeply sad for you. But you'll be ok eventually (even though it doesn't feel that way right now) It's good that you are talking/writing about and all I can say is, keep it up.

Take care of yourself,

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 12:08AM
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oh Oddtree... I was surfing the net to see if I could find help for myself... and we look like we are in the same boat... SOrt of, each persons experence is different, but I needed to let you know you are not the only one out there.

My Mom passed 2years ago, suddenly of a stroke and Dad has had many not serious relationships but he's just entered one that I am afriad that will become serious... ALL the old feelings have come back and I miss my mom more than ever.

All I feel is pain. He's not even respecting my request that he not bring her by right now while I get used to this. I just want to scream. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 2:47AM
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I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. It must be hard to be more or less through the initial grief and then have something happen to bring it all back.

I think at the end of the day, we all want our remaining parent to be happy. But unfortnately we have all heard the horror stories of new partners refusing to allow the remaining parent to have contact with the child, or throwing fits if the deceased spouse is mentioned. Perhaps these new partners are threatened, and some of them I'm sure have horror stories of their own about the families not being accepting. But I believe and always believe that once you make children and are part of a family, that never dies, and you are obligated to them in some respects forever, and them to you. No, I don't mean that parents have to support lazy adult children forever, but an attitude of "I'm grown, you're grown, so who cares who I date and whether or not he or she will let me love you anymore" is appalling.

Maybe you could sit down with your dad and ask for some reassurance? Reassurance that your mom is never going to be replaced in his heart, and that you're still his family--that rather than breaking away from you to make a new family with her, you'll all come together?

I don't know, it's just hard, and I don't think you are being selfish. Sometimes these things work out great, and sometimes they don't. It depends on how it's handled all around.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 2:56PM
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I can't imagine the pain that you are going through now. My mom died a year ago in June. My dad has a woman friend who is just a friend whom he spend time with occassionally. The first time I saw them together, I had very mixed emotions. I want Dad to be happy and not lonely, yet it was not a good feeling seeing him walking beside someone else. BTW, Dad is 80.
Dad has told my siblings and me many times that he will always love my mom and that no one will ever take the place of her. He was a great husband and father and I believe those words. I know hearing those words from your dad would be of great comfort. Your dad may be grieving and feeling tremendous guilt for not having been a good husband. Maybe he's jumped into this relationship to run from his deep feelings of guilt and wants to rush into a new life to bury these feelings.
I echo what you said in your last post.
I think you should tell your dad all of your feelings and maybe he will open up and do the same for you. I really do hope for his sake that he doesn't remarry real soon. He may be grieving more than you or he realizes. I know of an older man who remarried shortly after his wife's death. The marriage didn't last any time because after he was in the marriage he realized how much he was still grieving. If this woman is wise, she won't rush into a marriage either.
I wish you all the best. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 7:03PM
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(((Oddtree))), hugs to you. I can't imagine what you're feeling. It sounds like you want some sense out of this thing and some reassurances. It is too fast. And you need him now, but he can't be there for you as he's too busy in his world. I don't blame you for being angry with him. What a normal thing to feel. You're right.

Grief takes time and it can't be hurried along. His actions send out a red flag... he seems desperate. Why is he feeling this way? Desperate people do things that make sense to us or them. To me, he sounds so very scared. Scared to be alone now that he's lost her. And now he's losing you two too. His actions seems like a cry and that part makes me really feel for him and for you. You don't deserve this, but he really needs you to be on his side. I know it's hard to do in this time, but he really really needs you, now more than ever. He sounds like he's been emotionally unavailable his whole life and his wife made him feel connected. That connection is gone. Maybe that little part of you who is still daddy's girl can help him feel a part of your life so he's not left out and he'll quit feeling desperate. I know it's a lot to ask just when you're needing him so much, but that's what a family is all about. You can do it gal!

We're here for you and if you need anything at all, you just ask.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 8:42AM
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My mother-in-law did basically the same thing in 2001, and I really think she's heartily sorry now that she was in such an all-fired hurry to get remarried. I can share some of the things I have learned.

First of all, no one has even BEGUN the healing process of grieving in ten days. He was, like most human beings, trying to get back to a life that felt safe, routine, comfortable and predictable. He's only fooling himself. And because you have not gone through your own grieving process yet, it's very disrespectful of him to expect you to just accept this woman when you are not completely over your mother's death yet. You may want to point out to him that you are still grieving for your mother and do not feel ready to meet this woman just yet. Take care of your self first.

That said, you need to understand that there is virtually nothing you can do about the situation. Your father, as an adult, will do as he pleases and make his own choices, whether you approve or not. Trust me, this is the HARDEST thing to accept. Life changes sometimes in the blink of an eye, and you can find yourself heading in a totally different direction today than you were yesterday.

My MIL started dating her present husband three months after my FIL passed away in 2001. They married in 2002, and he used a religious argument to hurry things along. She basically told us all to mind our own business when we started to question his motives, even though we tried to tell her from personal knowledge that he was a lazy, hypocondriac loser.

Prior to the nuptials, he sang to her, opened the door for her, brought her flowers and complimented her constantly, etc. Now he won't even sit on a riding lawn mower to help her out with yard work, and will barely get out of the chair to even feed himself.

There are alot of hard feelings amongst my husband and his siblings, but what's done is done and we still love my MIL very much. It's just VERY HARD to go over there to help her with anything with Lardbutt sitting in the next room screaming that he wants a soda. She looks positively MISERABLE most of the time BUT.... there's nothing we can do about it at this point-- she just wouldn't listen to any of us. I guess we all have to be free to make our own mistakes.

Peace to you-- it takes a Herculean effort to get things right in your mind sometimes.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 5:19PM
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Thanks, FerengiGold. From talking with many people, it is clear that this 'hurry up and remarry' phenomenon is pretty common. Sometimes it works out great, sometimes not so great, but the bottom line is, like you said, I have to take care of myself.

It's funny, because when my grandma was widowed at 57, some people tried to encourage her to remarry. She was horrified by the suggestion, in part because she had the great love of her life and didn't see a need to try to recreate that and most importantly, it was time for her to live for herself, as an independent woman. She missed grandpa terribly, but loved getting to know herself as a strong woman. She developed new hobbies, and generally did her own thing. She told me she felt like a new husband would just expect her to go back to being the typical housewife and live to please him and she just wasn't having that.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 7:23PM
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I just happened to jump into this forum, no reason really. You post caught my attention. I'm really sorry for the loss of your mom. I can't mom had a brain tumor removed 2 yrs. ago and has never been quite the same. It's a tough thing for me to wrap my brain around. My father would be as your grandmother (as was his mom, my grandma). He would never remarry because my mom is the love of his life. You've helped me understand where my cousins were coming from. My dad's sister passed away...9 yrs. ago? Something like that. Anyway, her husband was married within 3 months of my Aunt passing. Their kids were livid. I didn't understand. My uncle has Macular Degeneration (sp) and really can't see anything. He's had this since he was probably in his 40's. After my aunt died, the kids all decided he really couldn't live on his own, my aunt did everything for him. He wasn't the best husband. Bossy, is the probably the best way to describe him. Very religious and believed the man was head and what he said goes. I think he did the best he could...know what I mean? He moved into a high rise and met the woman next door and fell madly (?) in love. My aunt hadn't been dead for 6 months, we had a family reunion, and he brought her. Everyone was livid, except me. I really can't explain. He needed someone. She was there. If it made him happy, then I was happy. I've always liked him, he treated me better than his own kids. I didn't really understand what the fuss was. After hearing you put it into words, I understand now what is was that upset them so much. I now understand that in their grief, they said things that they really didn't mean. Like this woman was only after my aunts antiques. She wasn't. I think she was just as desperate as my uncle. I don't think of either of them as pathetic for moving so fast after my aunt died. I just think they were 2 people who needed each other. BTW, they're still married. I spoke to him recently. He still talks of my aunt as if she were the best thing that ever happened to him. For that I'm glad. I think that, maybe, just maybe, he needs to share that with his kids.

You also gave some very good advise to someone else...

Maybe you could sit down with your dad and ask for some reassurance? Reassurance that your mom is never going to be replaced in his heart, and that you're still his family--that rather than breaking away from you to make a new family with her, you'll all come together?

Very good advise, please use it...


    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 8:53PM
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The thing is, no one knows what goes on in an immediate family except the people who are a part of that family. I don't understand what it's like to lose a spouse, but my dad had the luxury of his parents living well into their 90s and dying warm in their beds. So he really doesn't understand how I feel either.

I know how my dad treated my mom. I was there. I know she got shortchanged. And it looks and feels like he is trying to replace her and frankly, any efforts for reassurances on his part that this is not the case only provides more evidence that this is exactly what is going on. much for reassurances.

I'm in a cranky mood about this, because we got into an argument about what to put on the headstone. He kept complaining about how "it costs for every letter, you know!" Fine, dad. I'll pay for it. Really.

The only solution for now is just to ignore it. Which is not a long-term solution, but I am too busy grieving myself to deal with much more drama.

The bottom line is that it takes awhile to get used to a loss, and a quick remarriage feels like a replacement to everyone in that family. I don't think that's a strange reaction at all. Of course, whether it's truly a "I'm trying desperately to replace my lost loved one" sitation depends on the facts of the situation.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 12:51AM
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So sorry for your loss. I guess when they make it "official" she will realize what a prize she got when your dad starts treating her like he did your mom? My FIL died at 57, massive heart attack in 1978. My MIL died 12/28/04, massive heart attack. She NEVER dated anyone after dad was gone. She was content being with her four kids and their families. She said that she could not date anyone and she had already had the best man she could ever have in her life. I can understand your feelings especially about the holidays. I would plan on doing something without him, but see them a week or so later. If you feel that he is truly serious about this woman, you should gently try to get to know her. Hopefully, she will understand your feelings and is really a good woman. Yes, it was definitely too soon and he did it to avoid his grief and to make sure he has someone to take care of him - selfish and self centered for sure. You can not control him, but you have a choice in how you handle it. As I have told my son, you can have all the girlfriends in the world, but you will only ever have one mom and dad. Strive to make him a part of your life - WHEN - you are ready.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 3:21PM
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Oddtree-Hope you're still checking this post. Wow, your post really sounds familiar. I have a dear friend who lost her mom 3 yrs. ago--her mom was only 54 and friend was not yet 30. Her parents had had a good life, yet her mom was the "rock", the financial planner, the sensible one--the babysitter, in essence. Maybe 3 months after her mom's sudden death, her dad was dating, playing mack-daddy. She and her sister just went "Hmmpph. Uggh, so..." They watched him as if THEY were the elders....He basically careened a bit out of control...was playing one woman over the next...My friend and her sister decided their mother had given them all their good sense..they were SO FRUSTRATED! They decided that they just wouldn't let it bother them, that it was just more evidence that he was weak (good but, weak) and he needed someone to take care of him, couldn't figure out how to live on his own. Now when I ask her how her dad's doing she just laughs, and calls him "uncle-daddy" (i.e. he is no longer any kind of role model--wants to impossibly recapture his youth or something). My friend just prays a lot, talks to her mom (laughs) about all he's up to--she tells me her mom always knew it'd be like this.

You have every right to think that TEN DAYS is too soon, for crying out loud!! Anyone who says otherwise is feeling guilty themselves or just plain silly.

Best of luck and know you're not alone.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 11:52PM
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i know how you feel my sons wife has me someone new, altho i am not real upset about it ,it still bothers me.she moved out of there home and in with her parents so i see the erasing thing.its as if he never existed, and that hurts.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 7:44PM
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My mom died just four months ago at the age of 67. At first, my dad denied that he'd EVER date again. My parents were a very loving, close knit couple. Now we find out that he's been dating for two weeks now. It's been a scant four months and I feel betrayed, hurt, confused. I can't complain about the woman at all. She's lovely. I met her at the funeral and she knew my mom. I've decided I better accept the situation, or risk losing my dad. Any advice?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 10:40PM
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I don't think you have to pretend to be thrilled to pieces about it. I think you are well within your rights to explain to your dad that you want some time to process things and if he's at all a good dad, he should give you that. You have a right to grieve the way you want and for as long as you need to, and when you've lost a mom, that includes not having to deal with a ostensible substitute woman figure until you are good and ready.

If he's a good dad, he won't make you choose between grieving your mother and "accepting" his newfound social life. Maybe it is true that spouses get over being widowed with rapid-fire speed (I doubt it, despite how many try to claim that they do!), but that doesn't mean that children "get over" parents' deaths that quickly. Or ever.

If your dad is forcing you to--and forgive the phrasing-- accept a "new mommy" or else--well, he's being an insensitive brute. He has no right to do that. Hopefully that isn't the case.

Since he's only been dating for two weeks, I would sit tight and not worry about it. If you can't stomach dealing with them as a couple right now, then don't. No one with any sense would blame you. See your dad as you normally do on your own. If she's a lovely woman, she'll understand that the time isn't right at this time. If she throws a fit about some alone father-daughter time during the difficult mourning period, well, she ain't that lovely.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 11:29PM
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Good advice. Luckily my Dad isn't forcing the issue at all. He's kind of apologetic about it, but seems almost powerless to stop himself. I just think he's so dreadfully lonely and grief stricken that he wants the pain to stop. The lady in question is quite a lady. She told him that it would be inappropriate to be seen in public together so soon. She has shown a lot of sensitivity, maybe even more than my dad.

My dad claims that my mom suggested, before she died, that he might want to date this woman, after she was gone. He was shocked and told her that he could never replace her. He would never date again. She told him, "you'll need someone, I know you will." I don't doubt that for a second. My mom was just like that. She picked out her own casket and cleaned out her closets so that my dad wouldn't have to deal with it. She wrote out, addressed and stamped an entire year's worth of greeting cards for every special occasion so he wouldn't forget birthdays and anniversaries. I can completely believe that she also tried to pick a partner for him so he wouldn't be lonely.

So I guess I would say that I'm not going to pretend I totally accept the entire thing or that it doesn't hurt. I will, however, be open to the fact that my dad's loneliness and his pain are a tribute to how much he loved my mother, that he wants the happiness he had with her again. I'm going to try to look for the good in the situation. And hope for the best.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 4:52PM
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It sounds like it's a situation of "well, my wife wanted me to, so here we go." It does sound like she has a good head on her shoulders.

Of course, we all know the pain won't stop if he has a new woman. That's silly. But in some way he probably feels comforted by the fact that this woman was hand-picked and mandated by your mom.

I just would not worry about anything at this point. He might decide he doesn't like her, he might decide he does but does not want to re-marry, he might decide that they are great friends and nothing more. Besides, I've heard that many older people are choosing not to get married because it messes up their social security and estate plans--a very practical generation, it would seem. If they do decide to get married, I think you can rest assured that it's for the comfort, not because they are each other's long lost soul mates--from your description, your mom and dad were loving and well-suited.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 5:12PM
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I'm glad that you seem a little bit more at peace with the situation now.
Your mom seemed like a very wonderful lady and I'm sure that your dad must recognize that. I'll be that no one will be able to fill her shoes. They may end up just friends and nothing more.
As odd as it is to see our parents with another partner, whether it be friends or not, I guess it beats watching them dread each day with nothing to look forward to until they die.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 5:24PM
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This has to be so hurtful to you and your brother. In a way, it's two losses.
Hopefully, your dad will come to his senses, and slow down socially.
You're never going to forget the way he treated your Mom, and dare I say that deep down you wish it had been your Dad that died. But that's not the reality of what happened. You have a tough choice to make but I think you can make the situation work. If you can sit down and talk to your Dad and explain how "raw" your feelings are and how you're not able to handle another person in the mix, perhaps you can all agree to spend solo time together for the time being. Plan on an evening to have a holiday dinner together without her even if it's not on the calendar date then get together with your brother and celebrate the day with your own rituals. You and he are still a family; keep it together as a unit of 2. Call your Dad and wish him Merry Christmas or happy Thanksgiving, or whatever. If you push him away, then he's going to seek comfort from this woman since he seems incapable of being alone.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 7:30PM
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My mother died in December of 1983 after a 50 year marriage to my father who was abusive and a terrible husband and father. In June 1984 he married a woman we later found out he had been seeing before mom died. I didnt meet her because since my mom was now gone, I didnt feel I had to subject myself to my father. I secretly wished she would enjoy married life as my mother did. Well she did. Shortly after they were married she developed breast cancer and died a year and a half later. During that time she wouldnt stay alone with my father. She always had someone from her family live with them. After she died my father met someone else and married her within months. This one had an agenda. She moved in with my father but never gave up her apartment. After five months she divorced him and wanted half his estate. During the divorce he became very ill, had open heart surgery and a stroke. To make a long story shorter, he did recover from the stroke but was somewhat disabled with a limp and weakness. He lived by himself and had housekeepers come in. He died in 1995 a lonely sick man.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 8:24PM
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Mirren, I'm really sorry to hear all that. It sounds like your father wasn't what he should have been. You and your mom deserved better.

It's a shame the way he died, but it's even more shameful the way he lived--and that's squarely on his shoulders.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 8:43AM
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It has only been 1 year and 8 months since by mom passed away suddenly... Mom & Dad were married 48 years. They had a good marriage and were each others best friends, which is why I found it so strange that Dad starting seeing someone a couple of weeks after the funeral. The person he started seeing was my moms 1st cousin, which is also my godmother..... Every one assured me that men "do that sort of thing" because they need companions more than women do, and need someone to take care of them. My dad is perfectly capable of taking care of himself..he has always cooked, cleaned and taken care of himself. Here is the problem... Godmother was a single mother of 3 kids when she was young, worked hard her whole life to raise her kids (my cousins) and still has a job.(In her 50's) My mom never worked and my dad is retired, but has a great pension and retirement savings. They just announced their plans to get married. Godmother is quitting her job. Gee- I knew that was going to happen. Although she is my godmother, I have never been really close to her except for the occasional hoiday/birthday cards in the mail. I really hate to think that she is using my dad and don't feel right saying anything to him about it. I do know that me and my siblings never were close to her kids...there was always a rivalry. We went to private schools, had the best of things, while they struggled, went to public schools, etc. I just don't understand the need to get married!! Her mother (my great aunt) lives with her as well as her adult son. Where are they going to live now?? Is dad going to support them to?? I gave my dad my blessing, because it seemed like the adult thing to do and it is his life afterall. I just do not want to start a "blended family" thing- being involved in these peoples lives. And I dont want him to get hurt. It hurts that dad could move on so quickly after moms death. I don't understand. After they are married, not only will she be my godmother and cousin, now she will be my stepmother too!! And my cousins will be my stepbrothers and sisters!!!
Too weird!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 10:14AM
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Oh your so young to lose a mother, I am so sorry, and it sounds like you had alot of anger at your dad at the end- like him not buying your mom glasses/ I can understand how you say you feel like you lost both of them. I guess in a way temporarily you have.
My dad just died, aug 24, and its painful hearing my mom saying she would like to find a male companion. I can comprehend it, I will accept it, but it will still hurt my heart, feelilng like she betrayed my best dad. I would of been crushed if it had been 10 days. You cant change what has happened, - and I understand the pain of seeing your dad all smiling on the holidays if he has his new lady with him. I dont want my mom lonely as much as I am sure you dont want your dad lonely, but its such a shock to the system of being in the middle of grief and having this 'fighting' with dad/ (())))

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 12:42AM
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csk1, I'm sorry about your mom.

If anyone is interested in an update about my situation, here goes: I made it pretty clear to my dad that this woman is not a part of my family, and never will be. (She cheated with my dad while my mom was still alive (and encouraged him to leave her dying bedside to go see her! among other atrocious acts), I'm not sure if I updated this post to include that piece of 'lovely' info). Therefore, I don't feel bad in the slightest in saying that I will never meet her; she will not attend my wedding; she will not hold any of my future babies, she's a non-entity as far as I am concerned and I just plain ain't interested in entertaining the tart's existence. Period. Now, I'm not putting all the blame on her, as my dad is obviously a real piece of work too (an understatement!), but I have to be related to him. He accepted that, and never mentioned her to me anymore, and still doesn't.

According to my brother (who lives in the same town), my dad has a couple of widower friends who have recently gotten positively taken to the cleaners in divorces from their "from the funeral home to the wedding chapel" brides--losing paid for family homes and large chunks of pensions in the process. My dad has apparently backed off this relationship considerably, and is no longer considering marriage of any type.

Last christmas, I spent the holidays at my fiancee's house, and saw my dad at my brother's wedding (he got married Dec. 23). This Christmas, we will again spend the holidays with my fiancee's family, but I intend to invite dad, brother, and sister-in-law to MY home a few days prior to celebrate. My house, my rules, needless to say.

I guess my situation is a bit different than most--my dad and his "lady" friend betrayed my mother prior to her death--so it's far easier and more justified for me to have the stance that I do. But I do know a few other people whose parents remarried, and the situation is helped by the parent not forcing the idea of an "insta-family" on the children. The life with the spouse is distinct from their life as an original family, and it is always 100% clear to everyone that the original spouse was truly beloved, and always will be. That's the best you can hope for.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:06PM
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I am glad you updated your post. It sounds like your dad has gotten a bit wiser since you lost your mom. I am glad things are a little better for you. I assume you have taken the bar exam by now, and are moving on with your wedding plans and your life. Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 6:58PM
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I'm sorry to everyone that lost a loved one under these circumstances.

CSK, was there any question growing up if your dad and godmother dated?

Oddtree, sorry to hear of your dad's cheating. I grew up with it all of my life, except it was my mother cheating. Things came to a head when dad needed stem cells & I was going to be the donor. I found out I may not be his. We ended up doing a DNA test; dad hung on that last day just for the test. He died 2 hours later. Results were positive, so I'm happy. Mother said she needs to find a man for sex on the way to the funeral home less than 24 hrs after he was gone. I don't doubt she's dating but I really don't care. We don't speak any more.

Good luck, keep your chin up. I hope your dad comes to his senses before he gets taken to the cleaners.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:41AM
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Well this is all to familiar with my life right now, my mom died 8 months ago, and he has already proposed but to whom is the interesting part...... to my moms isn't that just sick. They started seeing one another instantly, they claimed they were only friends, and that nothing was ever going to be further than that. Well he just got back from a cruise for new years with her, and he told us he gave her a ring... I am so lost, and confused, hurt and mostly I feel useless, because he lied to me. That hurts the most, he got so mad at me over the summer for thinking anything was going on between them so mad he got up in my face yelling at me. well now he wants to marry her???? I am having a very difficult time with this. So anyone that can help me deal with this somehow please let me know, I need all the advice one can get on this matter. I will be asking god for his strength to get me through. I miss mom so much, she was the glue and without her we all are falling apart.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 11:44PM
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lilladybug, I'm sorry. I know how much this sucks for you. My dad wasn't gone 24 hours and my "mother" was saying she needed to find a man to get .....

A few weeks later, she accussed him of cheating on her because she found Viagra. The funny part of this (well not really) my dad stayed alive long enough to give a DNA sample to prove I was his kid. Dad loved me that much that he hung on; died a little over 2 hours after the swab. She cheated on him for as long as I could remember....

If your parents marriage was bad (like mine was) I guess they feel free to go out and date. I stepped out of the picture for 9 months because I couldn't deal with it. I'll tell you, it did wonders for my stomach.

Have you thought about counseling? I will probably go at some point if I still need it when I can physically drive myself there.

Hang in there.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 7:11PM
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Dear Roselver,
Thank you for responding to my letter. I have not received counseling yet, have the support of my siblings, they all are in it with me. It is so wonderful to have them to talk to. I just can't believe that we have to go through this right after my moms death. Sounds like you have had it rough too. how old are you??? I am 37, lost my mom suddenly too. I miss her so, I wonder why we have to go through this at all. It's just not fair that death has to have such an impact on all of us. I know it's not suppose to be easy, but this is life altering, forever, not just some short time but it's forever...... I will never be the same ever again without her here. I miss her tremendously, and as the days go on it gets harder it seems like. I just wish my Dad would have consumed his life with us kids and his 9 grandchildren. My mom would have, she would have made sure we all were taken care of and ok, and my Dad, well he has chosen elsewhere to find comfort, and that is what I don't agree with, but I am not him, and have not walked in his shoes, I have to take this as a learning experience of what not to do if I am in this situation, because I will want to be there for my kids, and not for myself all the time. I love them dearly, and I would never want to hurt them when they are already hurting enough with the loss of a parent. Take care all, and God Bless You....... lilladybug

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 12:24AM
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