Estranged mother's upcoming funeral....

EnglishtulipOctober 4, 2011

I had not spoken to my parents for 7 years. Since I had my daughter 10 years ago. I had not let my father anywhere near my daughter although my son now eighteen has always had a relationship with their grandparents.

I asked my mother 7 years ago, had she wondered why I never let my daughter near my father and she said she had wondered. I told her that as a child my father had interefered with me and I needed to protect my daughter from him. My mother denied it and turned the whole family against me. They labelled my father as the 'victim'. They told me it was disgraceful for accusing my father of such a thing. So, I left town and started a whole new life for myself and my 2 children. My son has left home and life is just myself and my 10 year old daughter.

I knew my mother was dying as my son has stayed in their life. My daughter wanted to know why I did not let her see her grandparents and I told her she was too young to know. This morning my ex husband called me to tell me that my mother had passed away this morning. I shed a few tears, felt a bit wobbly and then explained to my daughter what had happened and why she was not allowed to see them. She said she understood that I wanted to protect her, but then got upset that her brother knew them and she would never see her gran.

I will probably go to the funeral for closure but my mother knew a lot of people and they are all against me. My whole family have more or less disowned me (I am 41 not a child) I do not like situations where there is hostility especially when I have every right to be there. Actually, my son phoned me a few months ago and then handed my mother the phone, she sounded like a stranger and I did not want to talk to her whilst she explained that she had inoperable cancer. I pretended the situation was not happening. My ex husband knows my story but says I am a cold hearted ***** for not caring. She always shouted when I was a child - 'don't ever make me choose between you and your father because it will be your father every time!'. I will never forget those cruel words. From the outside, people saw them as a nice couple and they were quite popular.

I am wondering what sort of person am I to worry about what these people think of me, when I have just been told that the person who gave birth to me is lying in the mortuary on a cold slab. I feel numb.

My mother never showed any remorse and just stayed out of my life.

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

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"She always shouted when I was a child - 'don't ever make me choose between you and your father because it will be your father every time!'"

Suspect your mother liked the movies. That line came from "The Sundowners" released in 1961. Spoken by Deborah Kerr at 2:18 in the clip linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Where the line came from

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:10AM
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OH my god,Any normal mother would never put their husband before their child,especially after hearing what you told her.What a terrible thing to go through.No, Ive never been in a similar situation and couldnt possibly understand how you feel,but I really dont think if that was my mother I would go to the funeral,she would of been dead in my eyes years ago.I was just wondering how come you felt it safe for your son to be around your father?and asolo I really dont think that saying in that film was anything to do with it.crazy thing to say.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Hi and thankyou for your reply to my post.

I cannot stop crying and reliving my childhood with her tucking me up in bed...being there for me when I lost 2 of my sons and other 'normal' things that an adult remembers from childhood.

I knew she was dying but did not seem to care. An aunt of mine spoke to me on the telephone a few years ago and said the whole family were ashamed of me for saying such a thing about my father. She is a regular church goer too - some christian!

I always made sure my son was safe but was more over protective of my daughter. I am getting visions of what he did - no ...have to shut those thoughts out!

I tried to keep my son away from my father but he went behind my back and carried on seeing them. (when my ex husband was in charge of the children he would let him sneak to my parents' house. When my daughter learned to talk, she told me where my son was going. My very very old grandparents still sound of mind wanted to see my children but I refused as when they disowned me, they disowned my children also.

She did in my mind die a long time ago, but I need the funeral for closure. I will not speak to any of them. My son (he left home last year) is going to stay at his dad's house and go with his dad. His ex, says I should forgive my father as he has already lost a son (my brother died a few years ago) and one of his grandchildren. He knows the story, how could he let my children be around that man???? he said that my daughter would never have been left alone with him but I should at least have let my mother have a relationship with her grandchildren.

This is horrid having flashbacks of my childhood, I cannot stop crying, for what? not for her I hope, but for not having a normal mother daughter relationship. I have nothing to feel guilty for, she chose to believe him and turned the family against me.

I can just imagine the funeral, talking about ME! like I am some evil woman. It just isn't fair!

oops sorry for the bitter rage lol but again - thanks for your thoughts on the matter. S x

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 5:49PM
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"crazy thing to say."

Maybe not. Maybe a different perspective that the statement wasn't from the mind or heart....maybe just repeated rote from a movie capture-moment because she didn't have intellect enough to articulate what she really meant. There are many people who speak in aphorisms, cliches, and familiar remembered lines with frequency, especially when stressed. I don't know in this case but thought OP might be interested in knowing where it may have come from.

If the question was whether or not to go to the funeral, I believe I would. I don't know if "closure" is in the cards for you but applying some dignity, grace, and class within the circle of those who, you say, think ill of you based only upon hearsay could do a world of good....if you can handle it. Just don't pretend you can if you can't. Funerals are bad places for scenes.

What you didn't say, though, is whether or not your mother knew at the time it occurred that your father was "interfering" with you. Or was your disclosure to her years later the first she knew of it?

I'm assuming as I write this that the offense your father committed was inappropriate sexual contact. Do I have that right? I am unaccustomed to this being described as "interfering" and am concerned I may have the wrong idea.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 5:52PM
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yes to the last poster - I meant inappropriate sexual contact.
I am familiar with the film you quoted and it made me chuckle because that is how she used to say it to me, as though she were in the film.
I told my mother what had happened when I was 34 years old. When I was 20 years old I told my father I knew what he had done and he cried that he 'knew that was why I had left home at 16'. He did not deny it. This was said at a family party where too much alcohol was consumed and it was not mentioned again.
This funeral will be the most uncomfortable situation I will ever have to put myself through but it has to be done.
Thankyou for your input and yes I am stressed and typing any old how....just emptying my head I guess.

Thanks again

S x

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 6:23PM
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You will be ok at the funeral. As Asolo says, act with dignity, sit at the back away from the hurtful people.

The day is between you and your mother.

Be secure in the fact that you have done nothing wrong.

Perhaps you should find yourself a good counsellor and talk about all the feelings you are enduring at the moment to help you get some clarity.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 3:42AM
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your ex said you should forgive your father because he has already lost a son.that doesnt make sense to me.what is he saying you should forgive,somthing more to this,I suspect.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:09PM
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My ex has a strange spin on life (hence him being my ex) He is under the impression that my father has been 'punished' because his son has died and I took his grand daughter out of his life and now he has nothing.

My ex is sick

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 3:46AM
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what goes around comes around,he deserves nothing.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 5:25AM
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My ex husband has now informed me that he, his girlfriend, her children and his family are all going to the funeral as they saw her more than I did over the years.

I'm not happy about that-I could scream with frustration!

My ex's girlfriend hates me and thinks I am evil.....I don't care what she thinks of me - she slags me off and calls me unspeakable names in front of my young daughter and upsets her. That is another can of worms lol

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 9:29AM
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