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I lost my Mum in July this year. It was so sudden - she hadn't felt well a few days before but was still at work until that time and was like normal. About 7am on the Saturday morning, she woke my Dad and I up calling out as she felt worse. We called an ambulance and they took her temperature and said it was anxiety and they'd take her up to the hospital but she'd be back. Apparently she had a blood clot which moved during the trip to the hospital and her heart stopped beating as she arrived at the hospital. Dad and I followed up in the car and got there 20 minutes in to CPR - we were in the room as they continued for another 20 minutes but she was gone.

I'm so lost. I live at home and have been so close to my Mum and Dad all my life. They have always been my best mates and we've done so much together. My Mum's death has left such a gaping hole. Dad and I are so lost and it feels like we'll never make it out of this.

Dad is great and we get along so well but I am struggling so much with some recent developments. We have a mutual friend who lost her husband a couple of years ago. We have always been close with her and her three girls and their friendship means a lot but she and Dad have this new connection and understanding over the mutual loss of a partner. Dad has committed to not making any big decisions romantic or otherwise for 12 months but he discusses his plans to date her and possibly move on to marriage from there once this time is up. I love the honest friendship that Dad and I have but I am struggling so much with him seeing this woman and getting closer. She's also my friend and although I know the heart does what it does, I feel betrayed a little by her rushing into this relationship - although only officially friends, it is obvious that there's a deeper emotional relationship going on. He goes to see her several times a week and they are texting constantly. I miss her as I can't handle our friendship whilst all this is going on. And I am feeling obviously territorial that Dad is finding a potential relationship so soon. Just to add to this, my sister is not coping with the concept of them being together and she and Dad have been fighting a lot so I am having to keep it secret when they do catch up as she will react badly.

I am so confused and lost and wish things were different. Dad seems to think we can all be a happy family and I want to be supportive for him as I don't want to lose his relationship or our closeness but it's killing me a little more every time he hides his phone as he is obviously messaging her or he says he is catching up with her. I am trying to just keep going on with my life and put this at the back of my mind but it's easier said than done.

Sorry for such a long post and what I expect is a lot of rambling but I guess if nothing else, it feels good to be able to express this.



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Hugs Jen


I am so sorry for your loss.  I can only imagine the emotions with what is going on in your family.  With the loss of my mom and then less than a year later losing my dad I found my emotions all over the map.  All I know is that we all deal with our emotions in different ways.  We don't really know what is going on in another person's heart and mind so I don't even begin to guess at where others are with their emotions.  This is a time when we have to look after ourselves and try to be as supportive as we can with other family members regardless of what is going on.  You mentioned that your dad and this friend have an understanding of a mutual loss and this is probably what brought them together emotionally.  One day they may get together ... or they may not.  No one knows for sure.  The important thing is that your dad is seeing a future no matter what it may be.  Since my mom's passing my dad was depressed and just waited for his turn to go.  He went through the motions of life but he really didn't want to be here anymore and almost a year later he too was gone.  I believe that God has a plan for all of us and that is why I try to leave things in His capable hands.  I just don't know what to say other than keep your relationship with your dad and if this friendship is stirring up some difficult emotions for you, try to step back a notch and focus on the relationship between you and him.  You don't have to give your stamp of approval or condone anything ... just keep on being a daughter who loves her dad.  Keeping you in thought and prayer. 


take care

Cindy Jane

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Hi Jen,

I'm so sorry for your loss. From what you've written, it is very obvious that you shared a wonderful relationship with your family and love your parents dearly. As hard as it has been, it is such a blessing that you have such a close relationship with your parents.

I'm writing because I can appreciate your struggle... I have had a similar experience and I just wanted to tell you how much I respect your attempt to deal with the situation... It is not easy and many just don't understand.

To lose a mother, in many ways destroys the heart of a family. My family really drifted for quite some time after her loss. My father was lost - sad and very lonely. He was angry that my mother was taken just as they were about to retire and enjoy this new time in life together. And, he was very overwhelmed by life (not just the daily chores, also finding ways to pass the time because they did everything together). It was very hard for me to see him this way and try as I would, there was only so much that I could do to help him. For me, the grief has been tremendous. I ache for my mom and for the life we shared before her passing in way that I did not think possible. It's been several years now and I still wish it was different. I grieve the loss of my mom but also the loss of my family, as I knew it (because my dad has made decisions that have really changed our family structure and dynamics). As much as I know "life moves on" and I understand that to do so is healthy and expected... It is still very hard to do.

It seems to me that your dad is being quite reasonable with this new relationship (and by that I mean that he has not moved her into the house or made any major life decisions). It also seems that he has been fairly respectful of your feelings, which is a good thing. It is to be expected that this relationship would be difficult for you to deal with, because you have suffered a great loss and you are grieving your mother. Your loss is different, but just as important as your father's.

I have recently heard it said that "women grieve and men move on." If I had a quarter for everytime my father told me it was time to "move on" ... For him it was time to move on, because I believe that was his best and only way to cope with his loss. But, for me, it was not. We (my brother and I) asked for a year before meeting his girlfriend, because I wanted that time to grieve my mom. I would have liked longer, but that was not reasonable because he was really pressuring us to meet her. I too felt that he thought we would come together as a family... and everything would be alright again. Maybe for him, not for me. I found it very difficult to remember and grieve my mom, dealing with the stress of his new relationship - and I was really angry with them for this.

It's been some time now, and I still feel very betrayed by this woman who entered the relationship so quickly after my mom passed. I just think it showed poor judgment... It was so clear to me that my father was not coping well, I think it was inconsiderate to me and my family, and it feels very disrespectful to my mom. I try to respect her place in my father's life, but I doubt that we will ever be "friends." Maybe it will change with time... But for now, it's the best I can do.

And with my father, our relationship has struggled but I'm happy to say that we are probably in the best place we've been since we lost my mom. For me, I have tried very hard to remember that his journey is very different than mine. I don't know what it is to lose a spouse - someone with whom you've shared your life and depended on for so many years. Nor can he really understand my feelings, because it is not his journey. Early on, I thought that if we could just support each other, talk with each other and share our feelings, it would help us through a difficult situation. However, I came to learn that my father does not communicate well and his way of coping is to shut things down and "move on." In the end, I think it was time and space that helped us both. We grieve so differently, and thus we can not grieve together... You may find the same. But, because we attempted to understand and respect each other's feelings and we continued to love each other, that has gotten us through some very dark days. I hope that it will be the same for you.

Wishing you all the best. Hugs to you.

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