Jump to content


Photo
* * * * - 1 votes

How do you deal with an estranged parent who is dying?


  • Please log in to reply
84 replies to this topic

#1 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

Update: My stepmom sent me another fb message, and it sounds like they got the internal bleeding under control and he has stabilized, so short of something else going wrong, it looks like he's going to make it, though he'll still be in the ICU for some time. Heck, with my epilepsy and other medical stuff, maybe he'll just outlive me and I won't have to worry about all this.


I haven't spoken to my father in years. Not since long before dd was even born. We had... issues when I was a child (I won't go into much detail, but the issues were on his end, and probably due to some kind of personality disorder) and we tried to resolve them when I was a young adult, but it just didn't happen. I found it easier and less painful (as well as much better for dd) if we simply stopped speaking.

Well, my stepmom (his wife of three or four years, who I've never actually met in person) just let me know that he's extremely ill. She left me her cell number and told me to call. I called my mom to see if she'd heard anything, and apparently he's in the ICU and might make it, might not.

I'm just not sure what to do at this point. I really don't have any urge to reconcile with him, but I don't want the rest of my family to think I'm some kind of monster, either.

Any thoughts? Advice?

#2 Impish

Impish

    Domestic Goddess of Impishness

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15723 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

Do what you need to do to be ok w/the woman you face in the mirror.

Other ppl's opinions aren't what matter. Yours is.
  • momofkhm, Heather in Neverland, RoughCollie and 13 others like this

#3 TranquilMind

TranquilMind

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4895 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

I haven't spoken to my father in years. Not since long before dd was even born. We had... issues when I was a child (I won't go into much detail, but the issues were on his end, and probably due to some kind of personality disorder) and we tried to resolve them when I was a young adult, but it just didn't happen. I found it easier and less painful (as well as much better for dd) if we simply stopped speaking.

Well, my stepmom (his wife of three or four years, who I've never actually met in person) just let me know that he's extremely ill. She left me her cell number and told me to call. I called my mom to see if she'd heard anything, and apparently he's in the ICU and might make it, might not.

I'm just not sure what to do at this point. I really don't have any urge to reconcile with him, but I don't want the rest of my family to think I'm some kind of monster, either.

Any thoughts? Advice?


Well, you asked, so I'm going to say it. You put yourself and your feelings aside, and you go visit him. Be the bigger person, and let it go. You will never regret doing that when he is gone. It's never wrong to do the right thing, even if others don't appreciate it or if you don't get the response you hope you would.

I'd not let anyone die knowing I could have tried to make it right, but I didn't. I couldn't live with that. And I've lost nearly every family member I have, so this isn't just me speaking theoretically here.

Golden rule.
  • Patty Joanna, Reya, pageta and 1 other like this

#4 Susann

Susann

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 976 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

Do what you need to do to be ok w/the woman you face in the mirror.

Other ppl's opinions aren't what matter. Yours is.

:iagree:
I agree. I'm in a similar situation with my estranged father who is in a nursing home and I haven't seen in 12 years. I choose (with my DH support) not to visit unless my father unless he asks for me. I understand that he probably won't ever ask for me and other family members will disagree with my choice. But, I feel that this is the best choice for ME.

#5 SparklyUnicorn

SparklyUnicorn

    Radioactive

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 47695 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:19 PM

The only circumstance I'd consider going is if another family member asked me to go because they needed my support. Otherwise, nope.

#6 amy g.

amy g.

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3655 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

I'm sending positive thoughts your way. I'm in a similar situation. I haven't spoken yo my mother in over 15 years. I have no desire to.

She is not dying, but is not in good health. She was in the hospital again last week.

My 14 year old told me that it made her sad to think her grandmother might die without her ever getting to meet her.

I'm a Christian, so I told her that I would pray for God to guide me, and let me know if I should see her because I care more about God's will than being right or having my own way.

I also care very much for my siblings, and my refusal to suffer my mother puts extra work and stress on them. It is a lot to try to weigh and make sense of.

I didn't mean to get all religious on your thread, I just want you to know that I understand your conflict, and I believe you can trust whatever your heart tells you is the right thing to do.
  • PrincessMommy likes this

#7 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

Ugh, it's so hard to know what to do. I mean, I feel like I did try to make things right with him, and it didn't work- I just ended up getting hurt more. And if he does pull through, which is a possibility, then I have to say, "Well, I don't actually want a relationship with you, dad, because it isn't emotionally healthy for me or my daughter." But at the same time, I don't want my dd to learn that you don't give people another chance if they hurt you.

I guess this is one of those situations where there is no good answer. :(

#8 Tbog

Tbog

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3278 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

I have often wondered what I would do if I found out my father was dying. He has no interest in being a father, yet everyone thinks he is so great. He has always been phyiscally and emoitionally abusive. If they only knew....

I decided a couple years ago to forgive him. I let him know this in writing, and got no response. I communicate with my stepbrother, so I know he got the letter. As the child (albeit an adult child) in the relationship, I shouldn't have to beg for his love. I did what I could do according to what the Bible said I should do. I let go of the unforgiveness and moved on. There has been no reciprocation from him, no matter the attempts I made. I don't owe him anything....not even being there at his deathbed. It doesn't mean that I am callous or mean....it just means that I tried and tried, and just can't try anymore.

#9 Impish

Impish

    Domestic Goddess of Impishness

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15723 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:24 PM

Well, you asked, so I'm going to say it. You put yourself and your feelings aside, and you go visit him. Be the bigger person, and let it go. You will never regret doing that when he is gone. It's never wrong to do the right thing, even if others don't appreciate it or if you don't get the response you hope you would.

I'd not let anyone die knowing I could have tried to make it right, but I didn't. I couldn't live with that. And I've lost nearly every family member I have, so this isn't just me speaking theoretically here.

Golden rule.

I disagree.

I've heard too many stories of a last visit being a last infliction of deliberate cruelty by the person who was dying. When dealing w/the personality disordered, there's 0 guarantee of anything. It can be the source of incredible emotional pain.

Which is why my response is for Mergath to do what she needs to do to be ok w/herself, not anyone else. She doesn't have to face anyone else in the mirror, nor does anyone else have to live w/whatever aftermath there may be.
  • Jenny in Florida, Mommy22alyns, Dana and 3 others like this

#10 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:29 PM

I guess, now that I sit here and type it out, is that what I'm looking for is someone to reassure me that if I don't go, it doesn't make me a monster. When I did try to have a relationship with him the last time, to summarize his response was basically, "I'm glad you've come to your senses and now realize what a horrible child you were."

Um, no. He was a horrible, abusive father, and it took me a long, long time to get past the things that happened during my childhood. Honestly, I just don't think I can go through any of that stuff again. :(

ETA: And you've all made me feel very not monsterish, so thank you. :)

#11 SparklyUnicorn

SparklyUnicorn

    Radioactive

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 47695 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:32 PM

I guess, now that I sit here and type it out, is that what I'm looking for is someone to reassure me that if I don't go, it doesn't make me a monster. When I did try to have a relationship with him the last time, to summarize his response was basically, "I'm glad you've come to your senses and now realize what a horrible child you were."

Um, no. He was a horrible, abusive father, and it took me a long, long time to get past the things that happened during my childhood. Honestly, I just don't think I can go through any of that stuff again. :(

ETA: And you've all made me feel very not monsterish, so thank you. :)


No way. You are not a monster at all. I do not agree with the idea that family has to be accepted no matter how hideously they treat you simply because they are family. I think it's fair to cut family a little more slack, but there is still a limit.

And what the heck. He'll drop dead and that'll be the end of that while you will carry on with that as your last memory. (who is the monster now...LOL...but if we are getting right down to it)
  • KKinVA likes this

#12 Staceyshoe

Staceyshoe

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1876 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

It's nice that your stepmother informed you, so you don't find out after the fact. It doesn't sound like she was requesting that you come--just leaving it up to you. No pressure. Think long and hard, and make the decision that is right for you. So sorry you are having to deal with this!
  • sunriseiz likes this

#13 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:37 PM

No way. You are not a monster at all. I do not agree with the idea that family has to be accepted no matter how hideously they treat you simply because they are family. I think it's fair to cut family a little more slack, but there is still a limit.

And what the heck. He'll drop dead and that'll be the end of that while you will carry on with that as your last memory. (who is the monster now...LOL...but if we are getting right down to it)


Heh, yup. There's this little piece of my brain that keeps saying that if he has changed, maybe it would be worth it... But the rational part knows that's just not going to happen. He's been like this for sixty years without so much as the realization that he's even done anything wrong.

The fact that it's almost Christmas isn't helping either. Makes me feel even worse about myself if I don't see him.

#14 Pippen

Pippen

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3616 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:40 PM

I wasn't estranged from my father but he was an individual who had left a trail of wrecked relationships throughout his life and I needed to keep my distance. When he got word it would be at most a few months I booked a flight but he took a downturn and was in hospice by the time we got there. It was very hard emotionally for me to face but I thought it was important for both of us to have closure. I kept wrestling with the hard things that hadn't bubbled up in years--some since childhood--but the bottom line for me was that I now have a healthy, stable life and he couldn't hurt me any more.

I met his 5th wife whom he was separated from for the first time there in hospice. My brother who was estranged from him showed up a few hours before he slipped into a coma and they made their peace. My dad's wife turned out to be a lovely woman who gave him the hand's on care that I wasn't able to. I could tell from the nurse's comments that they were surprised we got on as well as we did but it really was a time to put aside the baggage and give him the best ending we could.

All in all, it was about a week until the end. I know it always doesn't turn out this way, but for all of our sakes I'm glad we went. I regret not going earlier.

I hope this helps. Do whatever it is you need to do. It won't be easy either way.
  • justamouse likes this

#15 SparklyUnicorn

SparklyUnicorn

    Radioactive

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 47695 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

Well I can't make you stop feeling that way, but really you need to stop feeling that way.

I think you are showing him kindness by not going there. You could go there and tell him what a miserable jerk he is and that he sucked as a parent and you hope he chokes on that and dies.
  • Dana likes this

#16 TranquilMind

TranquilMind

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4895 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

But at the same time, I don't want my dd to learn that you don't give people another chance if they hurt you.



This would be a primary concern for me. I remember reading a chilling blog post or article (wish I'd saved it) about a mother who had cut off her own mother (or parents, can't remember) for sins committed in her childhood. At any rate, when her kids were grown, her kids cut her off because, she realized, this is exactly what she had taught them to do for parents. She so regretted it, especially now that Mom was long dead, and that she knows she could have toughed it out for the limited time remaining.

I wish I could find it. It really affected me.

#17 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

Well I can't make you stop feeling that way, but really you need to stop feeling that way.

I think you are showing him kindness by not going there. You could go there and tell him what a miserable jerk he is and that he sucked as a parent and you hope he chokes on that and dies.


That's true. And I have a short temper, so in all probability, some variation of that will likely happen if I go.

I hadn't thought of it that way. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

#18 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

This would be a primary concern for me. I remember reading a chilling blog post or article (wish I'd saved it) about a mother who had cut off her own mother (or parents, can't remember) for sins committed in her childhood. At any rate, when her kids were grown, her kids cut her off because, she realized, this is exactly what she had taught them to do for parents. She so regretted it, especially now that Mom was long dead, and that she knows she could have toughed it out for the limited time remaining.

I wish I could find it. It really affected me.


This is what worries me. But on the other hand, I do have a really good relationship with my mom. I just don't know.

#19 elfgivas

elfgivas

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3219 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

complicated grief is just so darned complicated.....

i'm sorry. :grouphug:

you are not a monster, whichever of the many choices you make. it sounds over the internet as if you don't want to go, and are worried about how others will see it. is that close?

if so, then many of us here will give you the permission and blessing to not go.

if you find you are still worrrying about no going, then that may be a clue that you might need/want to go. or it could just be you grieving the father you wish you had had.....

sometimes it helps folks to decide one way, and then sleep on it. or not, as the case may be. then make the decision the other way. and sleep on it. see which way "feels" better. (neither are likely to feel good, but one may feel significantly less bad).

another option is to call the nursing station, tell them who you are, and ask for visiting times, and times when he's more conscious than others. see how you feel when you get off the phone. then, you could pick one of the times when he's likely to not be conscious, and go in. you can always request a hospital chaplain or social worker to go with you.

but only go if you think it will be in some way healing or less-guilt inducing for you...

:grouphug:
ann
  • LMD likes this

#20 justamouse

justamouse

    Cottonheaded Ninnymuggins

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14475 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

One. Don't do anything because you think they expect you to, or because of what they might think of you.

Two. This is no one else's business, and they can't make you feel like a monster unless you let them. Don't let them, you did what you could to bring peace to the situation before. That's enough of anyone.

Three. This one is the hardest. Forgive him and if you can, go. Not for him, not to mend fences, not to hope that he finally gets a clue, but for you. Because he will die and you may not want to go NOW, but your 50 year old self may be upset for you not going. It MAY be something that you regret later on, and if you think you may feel that way, it may be something you want to do.


(((hugs))) Things like this are so hard. We more mourn what never was and should have been sometimes more than mourn the people we lose.
  • Barb F. in AZ, Harriet Vane and LMD like this

#21 SparklyUnicorn

SparklyUnicorn

    Radioactive

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 47695 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

When his wife let you know what did she say? Was it just matter of fact taking care of business? Or did she seem to want you go go there? That might factor into my decision too. I imagine hospital staff could have said to her, he may have a limited time left you should contact family. Then she goes home and contacts family. So meanwhile you are all upset and worried about this, that, and the other thing, when in fact it's not like anyone cares if you show up.

My mother died when she was 49. I was a younger adult. We had a very good/close relationship. When I went to see her in the hospital on the night she died it was the hardest moment I ever dealt with. I can't imagine doing that and going there with the thought she was cruel to me and that we didn't have any kind of relationship.

#22 amy g.

amy g.

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3655 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

I just want to address the story about the mother who cut off her mother and was later cut off by her own children.

I do talk to my children about it.

I tell them that if I every become destructive from dementia or a brain tumor or mental illness or anything, I WANT then to break contact with me.


I want them to put their marriages and their children first. If I can not be anything other than a destructive force, I don't want to take them down with me.
  • Jenny in Florida, momoflaw and Juniper like this

#23 SparklyUnicorn

SparklyUnicorn

    Radioactive

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 47695 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

I just want to address the story about the mother who cut off her mother and was later cut off by her own children.

I do talk to my children about it.

I tell them that if I every become destructive from dementia or a brain tumor or mental illness or anything, I WANT then to break contact with me.


I want them to put their marriages and their children first. If I can not be anything other than a destructive force, I don't want to take them down with me.


I agree. If I'm that out of my mind, how will I even know?
I'd just die over the thought of making my kids miserable because of that.
  • momoflaw likes this

#24 butterflymommy

butterflymommy

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1885 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:23 PM

If he was very abusive I would walk away and not look back. I know that is a not a pretty thing to have just typed but you probably know where I'm coming from.

Both my parents were extremely abusive and cruel to my sibling and me, but they made tremendous efforts to turn themselves around when we were in our 20s and we started having adorable grandchildren. I think they suddenly realized what was at stake. It's not enough for me to feel safe around them, but it's enough that I would be with them if they were very ill, and they have open access to my kids.

But if they hadn't made those efforts I'd have been estranged for years by now and totally no contact. It's just not worth getting your soul ripped out again, especially if you have responsibilities to your husband and children.
  • Dana likes this

#25 Tbog

Tbog

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3278 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

I wouldn't worry about giving the wrong impression to the kids. My kids know that my father isn't Grandpa to them. My stepfather is. They also know why. That he was an abusive man who has never cared to know me or my kids. They also know I reached out to him anyway. They are getting the impression of how not to live from him, not me.

#26 jelbe5

jelbe5

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1596 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:32 PM

Based on your post regarding the cruel thing he said to you, no I would not go. This is self preservation we are talking about. You have every right to protect yourself from further hurt and abuse. I am so sorry for the entire situation. You are not a monster and it would seem your father has some type of disorder, as you suspect.

#27 Susann

Susann

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 976 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

I have often wondered what I would do if I found out my father was dying. He has no interest in being a father, yet everyone thinks he is so great. He has always been phyiscally and emoitionally abusive. If they only knew....

I decided a couple years ago to forgive him. I let him know this in writing, and got no response. I communicate with my stepbrother, so I know he got the letter. As the child (albeit an adult child) in the relationship, I shouldn't have to beg for his love. I did what I could do according to what the Bible said I should do. I let go of the unforgiveness and moved on. There has been no reciprocation from him, no matter the attempts I made. I don't owe him anything....not even being there at his deathbed. It doesn't mean that I am callous or mean....it just means that I tried and tried, and just can't try anymore.

This is exactly how I feel.

#28 theYoungerMrsWarde

theYoungerMrsWarde

    Multi Offspring Manager (aka. MOM)

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2654 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

Are you going to regret later it if he dies without saying anything else to him? I had a bad (not necessarily abusive, but more emotionally neglectful) relationship with my Papa (grandfather/legal guardian for most of my life.) I was able to talk to him when he was dying and tell him I was sorry for being horrible back (which I was) and that I had forgiven him. He never said he did anything wrong or apologized for anything, but he told me he loved me. I'm glad that happened before he died. I would have regretted not saying anything if he died before I could forgive him.

#29 Zebra

Zebra

    Cool Looking Idiot

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1236 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

I didn't read all the replies, but you need to do whatever you need to do. Do NOT worry about what other people think. Person A will think you're a jerk for not visiting him, and Person B will think you're an idiot for visiting him. You cannot win in life with other people. Sometimes people need closure when someone is dying, and sometimes relationships are so horrible that you simply can't revisit them even if someone is dying.

Search your heart and do what is right for you.
  • amy g. and theYoungerMrsWarde like this

#30 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:57 PM

Thanks everyone. You've all given me a lot to think about.

For those that were asking, my stepmom left me a Facebook message that basically said, "Your dad is in the hospital in [city]. Here's my number. Call me."

#31 Sassenach

Sassenach

    Dinna Fash Yourself

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4155 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

I have no idea, but I've thought about this relative to dh's mother. We're on year 3 of not having her in our lives, and I don't see an end in sight. I think we'd go see her, but I don't know. :grouphug:

#32 Rosie_0801

Rosie_0801

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14565 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

I'd go, but I have spiritual beliefs that oblige me and, under these types of circumstances, the ability to bs so well I can even fool my mother if I need to. (And friends to vent to so I can keep it up. ;) )

But if you don't want to go, serves them right for having treated their share of your heart so badly that it withdrew and went somewhere safer.


:grouphug:
  • justamouse, Mergath and WoolySocks like this

#33 Mommy22alyns

Mommy22alyns

    Still not a magical fairy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9218 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:35 PM

No, I wouldn't go. My dad has become mentally unbalanced and just plain abusive and my mom is a cruel narcisisstic b*. I've thought about what would happen if they died and I'd frankly feel relieved. I don't really care what other people think about it, they have NO CLUE as to what they've put me through. I can't believe that my kids would cut me off one day because I severed ties with some abusive people.
  • Dana and momoflaw like this

#34 nrg

nrg

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 517 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

Mergath, perhaps you should call your mom and talk with her. You say you have a close relationship. Now is the time to build that relationship while dealing with your internal conflicts regarding your father.

#35 coloradoperkins

coloradoperkins

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2504 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

Forgive him and if you can, go. Not for him, not to mend fences, not to hope that he finally gets a clue, but for you.


I agree with this if you find it possible. You are not a monster in any way and no one should put any guilt on you for not going if that's what you decide.

But going isn't for the purpose of reconciliation (which you know isn't realistically going to happen). It's for the purpose of closure and letting go, which is for you, not him.

And is a good example for your kiddos too, as far as facing something unpleasant in the interest of letting it go once and for all.

Hugs to you whatever you decide.

#36 Juniper

Juniper

    Mistress French Vanilla

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1436 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:32 PM

((((((hugs)))))) I think I would be asking myself what the worst thing is that could happen if I did go, and could I handle that? If he just shows himself to be as cruel in death as he was in life than the only thing you have lost is some time and emotional energy. He won't be able to hurt you anymore and you will know you did ALL you were able to. Then I would be asking myself what my goals were. My goal would be to know I had done all I was able, not because of societal pressure, but because of my inner conscious. I would go in without expectation of him. I hope that makes sense.

This does not mean you are a monster if you cannot!!!! Sometimes we just are not strong enough. Sometimes the wound is too deep. I get that.



Edited: (at least this is how I imagine I would approach it when my father gets to this point.)
  • justamouse and ltlmrs like this

#37 SparklyUnicorn

SparklyUnicorn

    Radioactive

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 47695 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

((((((hugs)))))) I think I would be asking myself what the worst thing is that could happen if I did go, and could I handle that? If he just shows himself to be as cruel in death as he was in life than the only thing you have lost is some time and emotional energy. He won't be able to hurt you anymore and you will know you did ALL you were able to. Then I would be asking myself what my goals were. My goal would be to know I had done all I was able, not because of societal pressure, but because of my inner conscious. I would go in without expectation of him. I hope that makes sense.

This does not mean you are a monster if you cannot!!!! Sometimes we just are not strong enough. Sometimes the wound is too deep. I get that.



Edited: (at least this is how I imagine I would approach it when my father gets to this point.)


If he is the same it's upsetting. If he is suddenly sorry...that's still a kick in the head. Really there is no good that can come of this that I can see.
  • Mommy22alyns likes this

#38 Juniper

Juniper

    Mistress French Vanilla

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1436 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

If he is the same it's upsetting. If he is suddenly sorry...that's still a kick in the head. Really there is no good that can come of this that I can see.



Sure it is. But in all honesty I am going to be upset either way. That is kinda what I meant by costing "emotional energy." The situation is upsetting regardless.

:)

#39 SparklyUnicorn

SparklyUnicorn

    Radioactive

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 47695 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

I dunno, I guess my way of thinking is "out of sight...out of mind".

#40 KungFuPanda

KungFuPanda

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6465 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:45 PM

This is what worries me. But on the other hand, I do have a really good relationship with my mom. I just don't know.


Please don't worry or feel obligated to maintain a relationship with an abuser simply because they are a blood relation or you're afraid of being judged. I don't think that would send a positive message to your children. You can let go of your pain, and even forgive a person without physically putting yourself in their path.
  • Jenny in Florida, NorthwestMom, BLA5 and 1 other like this

#41 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6630 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:46 PM

Mergath, perhaps you should call your mom and talk with her. You say you have a close relationship. Now is the time to build that relationship while dealing with your internal conflicts regarding your father.


I talked to her earlier today. She's not going to see him either, which I completely understand. They were married for over twenty years and her house is only ten minutes away from the hospital he's in, but he was even worse to her than he was to me during their marriage. She has PTSD from it, even now that it's ten years after their divorce.

Which is another reason I'd rather not go, now that I think about it. If I drive up there, my mom is going to feel obligated to come with me, and seeing him is going to make her mental state worse. She still has panic attacks when she thinks about him. I can't imagine how much it would affect her in a negative way to have to actually see him. :(

#42 Jenny in Florida

Jenny in Florida

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7279 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

I have to agree with Impish. You will have to live with your choices and your feelings about them for a long time. So, if it were me, I'd spend some time thinking about how I might feel about the various outcomes and make my choice based on that.

I will say that I am estranged from blood family members, too, and I can't imagine anything that would be compelling enough to send me running to a bedside for any of them. (Well, maybe one.) I would feel like a horrible hipocrite showing up at the last second to act out an emotional reconciliation. I prefer my theatre on stage.
  • Mergath likes this

#43 Heather in Neverland

Heather in Neverland

    Princess Consuela Bananahammock

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7129 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

I haven't seen or spoken to my father in 13 years. Neither have my brothers. It is mutual. We don't want to see him and he doesn't want to see us. Actually, he doesn't want to see ME and my brothers are standing with me on this.

I have thought about this same scenario many times. If my father were dying and HE asked to see me, I would go. I am so far beyond that magical moment of reconciliation, but I would honor a dying man's wish. But if he did not ask for me I would not go. Period.

The relationship,is over and has been for over a decade. I don't believe in pretending for the sake of appearances.
  • Barb F. in AZ, melmichigan, thescrappyhomeschooler and 1 other like this

#44 Juniper

Juniper

    Mistress French Vanilla

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1436 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:52 PM

I haven't seen or spoken to my father in 13 years. Neither have my brothers. It is mutual. We don't want to see him and he doesn't want to see us. Actually, he doesn't want to see ME and my brothers are standing with me on this.

I have thought about this same scenario many times. If my father were dying and HE asked to see me, I would go. I am so far beyond that magical moment of reconciliation, but I would honor a dying man's wish. But if he did not ask for me I would not go. Period.

The relationship,is over and has been for over a decade. I don't believe in pretending for the sake of appearances.


I think this is a great point!

#45 thescrappyhomeschooler

thescrappyhomeschooler

    New Muggle Studies Teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8784 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

I didn't read all the replies, either. I don't speak to my father, either. I did arrange for the kids to meet him last year for a lunch because they were curious about him. My father has had 3 heart attacks and prostate cancer. After the first heart attack, I made overtures to have some kind of relationship with him, but it never happened. He's just not really interested in one. I have often thought about whether I will go to his funeral or not, and I don't think I will. I don't see any point in pretending I had a relationship with him or pretending to feel any great loss over him. I grieved and mourned for that non-existant relationship many years ago. Do what you think you should, and not what you think family members expect.

#46 Impish

Impish

    Domestic Goddess of Impishness

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15723 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

I was thinking about this.

And it occurred to me, that only in the parent/child relationship is the victim of abuse not only expected and encouraged to keep a relationship w/their abuser, but guilted and made to feel like carp if they don't.
  • WTMCassandra, Barb F. in AZ, Jenny in Florida and 8 others like this

#47 Jenny in Florida

Jenny in Florida

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7279 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:53 PM

I was thinking about this.

And it occurred to me, that only in the parent/child relationship is the victim of abuse not only expected and encouraged to keep a relationship w/their abuser, but guilted and made to feel like carp if they don't.


Agreeing again.

#48 caroljenn

caroljenn

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 663 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:55 PM

Well, you asked, so I'm going to say it. You put yourself and your feelings aside, and you go visit him. Be the bigger person, and let it go. You will never regret doing that when he is gone. It's never wrong to do the right thing, even if others don't appreciate it or if you don't get the response you hope you would.

I'd not let anyone die knowing I could have tried to make it right, but I didn't. I couldn't live with that. And I've lost nearly every family member I have, so this isn't just me speaking theoretically here.

Golden rule.


I agree completely. I've lost both parents, all grandparents and now my sister too. You will never get another chance to say what you need to say, or at least say goodbye. My brother didn't say what he needed to my mom and still isn't over it. It's been 15 years.

#49 sunriseiz

sunriseiz

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 511 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

One. Don't do anything because you think they expect you to, or because of what they might think of you.

Two. This is no one else's business, and they can't make you feel like a monster unless you let them. Don't let them, you did what you could to bring peace to the situation before. That's enough of anyone.

Three. This one is the hardest. Forgive him and if you can, go. Not for him, not to mend fences, not to hope that he finally gets a clue, but for you. Because he will die and you may not want to go NOW, but your 50 year old self may be upset for you not going. It MAY be something that you regret later on, and if you think you may feel that way, it may be something you want to do.


(((hugs))) Things like this are so hard. We more mourn what never was and should have been sometimes more than mourn the people we lose.



:iagree: Well said. It's so hard.

:grouphug:

#50 caroljenn

caroljenn

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 663 posts

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

Okay, I should have read the earlier posts. I'm sorry. If he was abusive to you and your mother, than I think you have every right to not go.

If your stepmother called, maybe he wants to see you. Maybe he wants to say he's sorry. Too little, too late, yes, but it would still be nice to hear.

But you still have every right to not go.