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Coping with the parent left behind

(15 Posts)
Timeforachange68 Wed 01-Nov-17 14:14:47

I posted about this when my mum passed away in the summer but I'm still struggling, I live close to my dad & I'm not working at the moment so I do have time but I feel responsible for my dad not being lonely-he says everyone has their own lives & doesn't really like mixing with other people but then makes comments about not seeing a living soul if he doesn't see me or my family for a couple of days, which makes me feel guilty but I feel like I'm picking up the slack from people who promised they'd stay in touch but don't! Any suggestions?

PurpleWithRed Wed 01-Nov-17 14:22:39

Stop feeling guilty, there is nothing you can do to prevent his feeling of loneliness now he lives alone at home without your mum. If e is interested check out Making Connections services (gp should be able to help) to help him ease into a new social life. If he’s not online get him sorted out with the internet so he can stay in touch easily.

Enko Wed 01-Nov-17 14:24:44

I came here today to write something similar. I just spoke with my stepdad its 2 years since my mum passed away. I am not wonderful at keeping in contact and nor is he. We also live thousand miles apart in different countries. Today i set an alarm to my phone to monthly send him a message.
He knows i am here. I know he is there but sometimes we need a little prod i think.

My sister is in same town as he is so do go and see him more and he still lives in the home he and my mum sharred. It's just not so easy. I do love him dearly though.

Timeforachange68 Wed 01-Nov-17 15:53:43

Thanks purple you're so right-he's not interested in the internet at all I can't see us persuading him otherwise & we can't really afford to pay for it for him unfortunately-he surprised us all by going to a lunch club with an old friend but he's decided that's not for him - he's probably the least sociable person ever!

Enko you have my sympathies but I sometimes wonder if I'm too close to the situation, my sibling works full time & lives an hour away so doesn't see my dad nearly as much - I doubt she feels the guilt I do either

MyGuideJools Wed 01-Nov-17 20:20:14

My dad died last month and I promised him I would look after mum as he was so worried about leaving her sad
So I now make sure I see mum every day, either pop in for 10 minutes or take her out.
I feel guilty if I don't but it's hard sometimes.
My sibling lives 4 hours drive away and phone's mum once a week, no different than when dad was alive.

LittleHo Wed 01-Nov-17 21:41:41

Same! It is heartbreaking.

My Dad feels lonely but won't join new activities as the family is enough for him. It means I worry when he is not staying over.

LazySusan11 Mon 06-Nov-17 22:35:06

Same boat here, I take dad for walks I get him involved in things I have going on (which ordinarily I wouldn’t) I ask for his ‘help’ even though we both know I’m very capable but it gives him something to focus on and he feels useful instead of useless.

I also bought him a 5000 piece jigsaw, it’s almost finished has taken him 9 months! I can’t stop his loneliness or his grief and I need to allow him enough space to want to find a new normal for himself without relying on me but I’m around and I text him often. I feel we have a good balance almost.

Timeforachange68 Tue 07-Nov-17 17:37:20

lazysusan how long did it take for you to get to that point?

Retreatbynameretreatbynature Tue 07-Nov-17 20:40:26

My DM is completely lost without my DF and it hurts me so much to even write those words. They were together for almost 60 years, a whole lifetime really, and my DM is literally broken in two at their parting. Although my darling DF only died a month ago, my DM and I both know that time won’t really heal the pain nor ease the loneliness she feels. What do I say to her to comfort her? How can I ease her pain?

MyGuideJools Tue 07-Nov-17 21:39:25

retreat no words of wisdom I'm afraid.I'm in terms same passed away 8 weeks ago, parents together 55+ years.
Mum is heartbroken. She tries to put on a brave front but it fools nobody. She still cries daily and I don't know what the answer issad I visit her daily and it's tough!

LazySusan11 Tue 07-Nov-17 23:05:25

Time it’s taken about 7-8 months, it’s a huge change a massive void that can’t be filled all of the time.

We have a place that Mum loved, we go there quite a bit and light a candle have a wander and a cup of tea. You’re also grieving and you aren’t responsible for your dad, took me a while to realise this. They’re adults and they will find their way I see my role as supportive not as a responsibility.

Remember to look after yourself, it’s been 9 months for us I never thought I’d feel the way I do now. I have days where I feel as though I can’t breathe but mostly days are ok, the waves come and go just like everyone said they would.

I’m so sorry you’re in this situation, wishing you much comfort flowers

Timeforachange68 Wed 08-Nov-17 22:34:49

Lazysusan thank you, my dh says that my dad seems to forget that we've also lost someone we love & I do wonder if I've grieved properly..I am trying to make sure my dad doesn't depend on us but he still is really.

Retreat your dm sounds just like my dad, they'd also been together for over 60 years & he feels his life is meaningless without her, despite having children & grandchildren. I don't think there is any way to take away the pain for them to be honest

Iusuallylovecake Tue 14-Nov-17 00:13:14

Hi wondering if I could jump on here for advice/handholding?
My mum died v suddenly in Feb and myself and my dad are obviously devastated. In June I had my first little boy and so heartbroken that she never met him.
My dad is really trying to get out and form a new social life which is great. He stays with me dh and little one every other weekend and then we visit him on the other weekend. At the moment I'm on mat leave so I go over one day in the week.
My worry is when I go back to work. My job is v stressful and I work evenings and weekends. With a young baby I don't know how to fit everything in. I was wondering about asking my dad to stay once a month and visiting the other weekends but I feel so guilty that he'll be on his own. But I need time to be with my little boy and not running around after everyone - or is that just selfish???
Really upsetting me about how to fit everyone in and not be run ragged. Ideas? Do I just leave it as it is? Help needed x

outedmyselfagain Tue 14-Nov-17 09:21:32

I don’t have any good advice. You can have a handhold.

I’m a few years down the line in this situation. And my relationship with my father has totally deteriorated.

He went through the leaning very heavily on his children phase. Then the pushing them away and trying to be a martyr phase. Then the only being communicative if he wanted something phase. And I think he’s now hitting a bit of regret.

What I would say is to try to maintain seeing him, but don’t allow him to lean so heavily on you as to stifle your home/family/work life. If fortnightly staying is too much - cut it back, but do so gently. My father went from being here every other day to suddenly not coming at all (his choice).

I think it’s important to encourage him to find interests and socialise beyond just his children. My mum did lots of activities with my dad - many of which I know she didn’t really enjoy, but she did them so that if anything happened to her he would have friends and something to do. He has dropped all of them. Every single one. He just sits at home.

Best of luck.

Timeforachange68 Fri 17-Nov-17 09:14:31

Iusuallylovecake it sounds like you've got the balance right for right now but hopefully your dad will appreciate the demands on your time when you go back to work, I really don't have the answers I still feel like mine relies on us too much he's not making much effort to do anything else but I'm making sure I do things that I want to do & although I do still feel guilty sometimes I can't spend every day with him.

outed my dad has no outside interests either, we've encouraged him to try some social things, there's plenty of groups around here but he tried 1 & didn't like it and now does nothing apart from walking his dog & I feel a great burden which is not how I want my relationship with him to be

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