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  1. #1
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 09:38 AM
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    Default my "grandfather"

    So, apparently my mom's dad died today. She forwarded me the obituary. Now, he and my grandmother divorced a long time ago, he barely ever saw my mom and he had nothing to do with his other daughter (my aunt). I remember him showing up at our house a couple of times during the '70s looking for my mom and asking me "do you know who I am?"
    Well, anyway, in the obituary, it is stated that he is survived by two sons and four grandchildren. No mention of my mom, no mention of my aunt, no mention of my sister and I or our four cousins. He seemed like a decent enough guy, and I doubt he wrote his obituary, but it's complete horseshit. I feel bad for my mom, but I don't know what to say to her about it next time I talk to her. I could give a shit about the guy, but I never could ever really get a reading on how she felt about him. I know a couple of times I remember her getting sad about him, and I know she's made efforts through the years to stay in some kind of touch with him, but it's painfully apparent that she did not exist to him. My grandmother did him wrong, but it's still horseshit the way he treated the girls. I don't know how old they were when he and my grandmother split, but does it really matter? Weird thing is that in spite of him, I always felt that side of my family is the best as far as taking care of each other (my father's side of the family consists of a bunch of people that don't talk to each other any more). Unfortunately my grandmother and her sister who were the leaders of the family are gone now, but still my mom and aunt and their remaining half brother, I trust to look out for one another. Anyway, guess what I'm really looking for is suggestions on how I should handle this with my mom?

  2. #2
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    Not knowing the dynamics of the relationship between you and your mom, this is tough to answer, but a good starting point might be, "Mom, I'm sorry your father passed away. I'm here if you want to talk about anything, OK?"

  3. #3
    Summer Nights in Cabo SNIC's Avatar
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    Billy, sorry about the loss. I know it has to be tough for your mom, but like you said, he probably didn't have anything to do with the writing of the obituary.

    I think all you can do in this situation is just be there for your mom. Let her know you love her and how awesome she is to you.
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    Just be there for her.

    Family dynamics are so wide-ranged in life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raldo View Post
    Just be there for her.

    Family dynamics are so wide-ranged in life.
    Yup. She just may need someone to listen, talk to, and be there.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddE View Post
    Not knowing the dynamics of the relationship between you and your mom, this is tough to answer, but a good starting point might be, "Mom, I'm sorry your father passed away. I'm here if you want to talk about anything, OK?"
    I've never been through anything like this but I'm guessing Todd has the best way of handling it.

  8. #8
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 09:38 AM
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    thanks all. I did call her this morning and she seemed to be okay, although it sounded like she was breaking down a little bit when I told her my feelings of her or my aunt being left off the list of survivors. But out of the deal, she may get a brother - apparently the girls were kept from the boys totally. I guess her father had a tattoo that said something like "in my heart forever - Shirley (Shirley was my grandmother's name)" and he always told them it was for his sister (who I guess was also named Shirley). But one of 'em was digging through stuff and found pictures of the girls and he was the one that called my mom to let her know that their dad was gone, and I guess they're going to meet after all these years. Apparently, everybody else didn't want her or my aunt to know until after the funeral so they wouldn't show up. I told her if I lived up there I'd be tempted to show up just so I could see the look on their faces when they asked me "How did you know Paul?" And I could say, "I didn't - he was my grandfather!". Told her I also felt like putting something in the guestbook for the funeral home that said something like "Please accept my condolences - Bill, grandson, son of Eileen, daughter". She said she thought about that too, but decided against it. She thinks my sister's going to take it bad - she probably will - she gave two of her children "Paul" for a middle name. I still don't know why! I'm not even sure she ever met him.

  9. #9
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:53 PM
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    I raised a kid whose father pretty much abandoned him. One day when he was about 14 I come home and he's talking to me about random shit and suddenly goes 'Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you...(his father's first name) died"

    very matter of fact about it

    a family member saw the obit in the paper and called him.

    this kid and his sister were part of the "second family" before his father ultimately reconciled with the "first" family... screwed up situation

    the obit was placed by the first family and did not name the second family at all. The second family was not commonly known among the extended first family and first family's friends...and frankly I agree that a funeral was not the time to start the discussion...the funeral is for the living, and they are already bearing a loss, to add to the sadness would not have been helpful to anyone, regardless of what a jerk the dad had been

    this kid never knew what it was to have a real father, and I think it hurt him to know that there were others who had the benefit of having this guy as a dad but now the door was closed on that forever...that is probably what your mother is feeling...that unknown factor of "why not me", and "now I'll never know"

    in our case I have often wondered how much the first family kids really know about the second family kids and if they would want to know of the existence of these other siblings....If it were me, especially now that everyone is an adult, however painful, I would want to know them.

    so I think that it is really good that at least one of the boys in your family wants to meet with your mother....in being denied their sisters, they have been denied something precious too and hopefully now that this barrier is gone, your family will find a way to (for lack of a better word) reconcile

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  10. #10
    Baluchitherium sinner's swing's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 02:41 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    thanks all. I did call her this morning and she seemed to be okay, although it sounded like she was breaking down a little bit when I told her my feelings of her or my aunt being left off the list of survivors. But out of the deal, she may get a brother - apparently the girls were kept from the boys totally. I guess her father had a tattoo that said something like "in my heart forever - Shirley (Shirley was my grandmother's name)" and he always told them it was for his sister (who I guess was also named Shirley). But one of 'em was digging through stuff and found pictures of the girls and he was the one that called my mom to let her know that their dad was gone, and I guess they're going to meet after all these years. Apparently, everybody else didn't want her or my aunt to know until after the funeral so they wouldn't show up. I told her if I lived up there I'd be tempted to show up just so I could see the look on their faces when they asked me "How did you know Paul?" And I could say, "I didn't - he was my grandfather!". Told her I also felt like putting something in the guestbook for the funeral home that said something like "Please accept my condolences - Bill, grandson, son of Eileen, daughter". She said she thought about that too, but decided against it. She thinks my sister's going to take it bad - she probably will - she gave two of her children "Paul" for a middle name. I still don't know why! I'm not even sure she ever met him.

    Sad situation. I too, am part of a "father with two different families" The kids from his first marriage are a lot older and most of them resent us so bad for their own reasons, that I've just given up trying. I've had to learn to just block it all out, because it's nothing that I'm doing to them, it's their bullshit. I got so tired of being a mediator. I feel bad for your mom because I'm sure there are so many different conflicts going through her head. It sounds like the other family in her/your case, has some serious issues as well. Really nothing you can proactively do about without causing a ruckus. As mentioned, just be there for your mom, is my advice too.

 

 

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