AIBU to avoid my dm at the moment?(7 Posts)
Buckle in, this is a long one.
My dad died a couple of weeks ago, and I'm mostly coping, so long as I'm busy and distracted, and not thinking about my dad.
My main issue is my mum - she and my dad separated 6 years ago, at her request. They'd never been compatible, and rowed bitterly throughout. Following break up they were friendly but far from derby and Joan. Mum remained constantly critical and barely civil to my dad, which we all skimmed over, I'm ashamed to say. When my dad had cancer last year she gave no practical support to me and dsis as he 'wasn't her husband' which we agreed was her prerogative.
Now he's suddenly died (unrelated to cancer) she's revising the past, and views herself as the grieving widow. I know she must feel a lot of sorrow, as they were together 30 years. But she's even retrieved her wedding ring from his house and started wearing it again. My sister and I find this very hard to take, but because of family dynamics are unable to tell her how hypocritical she's being. Though not sure she'd understand if we did - I feel the past has been rewritten now.
So there's that. There's also our different ways of grieving. My mum isn't into small talk - she discusses past (often tragic) family events often, and my dad's death is no different. So time together is very intense, and I inevitably feel much, much worse afterwards. I know she wants to be close to me and dsis at the moment, but I don't think she can see how her way of coping - talking things out - upsets me. (I have told her).
She's asked me to stay at hers the night before the funeral, and I don't know how I can possibly be so cruel as to leave her alone. But I was dreading even the couple of hours beforehand on the day!
What can I do? Should I just suck it up? Or is it legitimate to stay away from someone that makes you feel worse about a bereavement, even if is someone who shares your grief?
Also - I don't want to suggest I stay away completely - just limit my time and interactions with her so they're less intense.
Didn't want to read and run, your mum should be guided by you in these circumstances. Be careful if you don't say anything to her as resentment could build and end in a bigger situation again.
Look after yourself and your needs. I'm sorry for your loss
She probably isn't being hypocritical. She is probably grieving for the 30 years together, for perfect marriage she wanted, for the hope and trust she had when she put the ring on. Despite her difficulties in communicating effectively what she is feeling I think it sounds like she is very sad.
Why make it harder? Why add guilt to your sorrow? Funerals have a nasty habit of creating conflict and words are often said in grief that cannot be taken back later.
Do what is right for you. If you don't want to stay at hers then don't.
OP I'm so sorry about your dad. I was recently in a very similar situation and I found myself pulling away from the people who I would have thought I would have clung to if I had thought about it beforehand, which I never did because it was sudden and awful. You just never know how you're going to feel. We lost my mum and my sister and I were both devastated, but somehow I couldn't, and still can't really, get any comfort from being with her. And since what I needed was comfort, I couldn't be with her very much. I felt very guilty because I knew she needed comfort too, but I think you have to be self protective in these situations, within reason.
But your situation sounds a bit different. I don't think you owe your mum anything, and I don't even think you should be giving it a second thought. The way you have framed your post makes it clear that you know you don't need to let your mum stay over the night before the funeral. Is there another aunt, cousin, or friend you could ask to stay with her to assuage your guilt so she is not alone? Do not get sucked into comforting your mother right now as that is not your job, at least not under the circumstances you've described. I know you believe your mum is feeling sincere grief but from an outside perspective she sounds extremely emotionally manipulative. She knew your father had cancer for goodness sake, and she chose not to get involved. What's changed now that he's actually gone? She should be doing everything she can to provide comfort and support to you and your sister right now. If she's not, you don't need to deal with her. Don't waste a second of your time feeling bad about that. She's not feeling bad about you-- and she's your MUM.
Just reread my post and I don't think it was clear. We lost my mum only. My sister and I were both devastated.
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