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Struggling with my dad

(12 Posts)
Timeforachange68 Fri 10-Aug-18 23:43:28

We're rapidly approaching the anniversary of my mum passing & my dad is on a real downer - I've tried to say to him that the day is just like all the others this year & that the last person who'd want us moping around is my mum - she was the eternal optimist! My dad on the other hand can see the negative in any situation. I got a bit annoyed with him today (which I feel bad about) because I feel like I'm responsible for his happiness & it can't all be on me - he complains of being lonely but makes no effort to change his situation.
Just sounding off really I know there are many others here in the same boat

HoleyCoMoley Fri 10-Aug-18 23:48:10

How long ago did your dm die, of course he will be feeling lonely, he lost the woman he loved and shared his life with. Maybe it's not just another day for him. Why did you get annoyed with him and what effort do you think he should be making.

Timeforachange68 Fri 10-Aug-18 23:56:01

Sorry it's the 1 year anniversary so I know it's not like all the other days really and we all plan to spend the day with him-I'm well aware what he's lost I've lost my mum too & we were close.
I don't know really, it was a phone call & he was being very negative to everything I suggested-I have been the main support to him this year but I can only do so much, he's been invited to do lots of things socially but he doesn't want to do any of them

Saidthesharktotheflyingfish Sat 11-Aug-18 00:03:26

It's hard for all of you. Maybe remember that your Dad has lost the person he shared his life with on a day to day basis, so absolutely everything has changed for him. He sounds utterly heartbroken. As for the anniversary, whilst everyone is different about them, for him it is clearly a huge deal and is a focus of his distress.

Perhaps he isnt able to change his situation and socialise because his grief is still so raw. A year is no time at all, no wonder he is feeling negative. We all grieve differently and if you can bear this in mind when dealing with him, hopefully it will be a bit easier for you to understand.

Apileofballyhoo Sat 11-Aug-18 00:05:39

My DM spent the whole month of every anniversary on a downer for about 6 years. One year is hardly anything. Give it time. Don't feel responsible for another person's happiness because you're not. He is not you and you are not him. Just concentrate on your own grieving and whatever is best for you. You can only support him if you're feeling reasonably well yourself.

I don't blame him for not wanting to go out and socialise yet, particularly if he was used to going everywhere with your Mum. My DM found going out, arriving and walking in to places by herself terribly hard, and afterwards going home to an empty house. What age is your DF?

Apileofballyhoo Sat 11-Aug-18 00:06:41

I'm sorry for your loss. I can't imagine being without my DM. flowers

Timeforachange68 Sat 11-Aug-18 09:55:52

Thank you - I think that's part of the problem I feel like he forgets that we're grieving too. I did say yesterday none of us have experienced this before we're all muddling through it but maybe I am expecting too much of him 😕
I think I feel responsible because he makes me feel like that - if he hasn't seen anyone on a particular day etc but I do more than anyone else!
I just feel if he could have something else other than me & my dh he would feel less lonely-nothing will ever replace my mum I'm fully aware of that.
He's 80

Apileofballyhoo Sat 11-Aug-18 11:03:55

Have you got siblings? Sorry if I missed that in a post above. It does seem unfair for him to be putting it all on you. How far away does he live? Is it possible to see him every day?

For yourself, you have to say to yourself "I am doing as much as I possibly can and I can do no more." And repeat. He's not going to feel less lonely no matter what he does, until time passes and he feels less lonely.

Does he moan and complain in a horrible manipulative way (nobody bothered to come to see me and I'm sooooo lonely) or is it more 'the house is so quiet without DW, it's so strange to not see another human being all day'? Because maybe if it's the latter, he just needs to talk about how he feels, how lonely it is, without necessarily wanting you to fix it. In any case, you can't fix it, you can only do what is possible for you, so you have to accept that you are doing as much as possible and just let what he says wash over you. 'I know, Dad, I wish I could see you more, but there isn't enough time in the day.'

The first year is definitely the hardest.

Timeforachange68 Sat 11-Aug-18 14:21:06

I do but they aren't local and work full time so not able to support like I can - I literally live round the corner! To be honest I could see him every day but I actually don't think that's healthy for either of us. And as you say no matter what I do he will still be lonely.

I'm not sure how it's intended but I always feel it's aimed at me when he says it - possibly my problem! If I was in the same situation as my sibling he wouldn't have anyone to see during the week

Thanks for your replies - it does help to see other people's perspectives especially if they have been through similar

Apileofballyhoo Sat 11-Aug-18 14:44:28

It is a tough one when you live so close by and your sibling doesn't. I suppose you just have to decide what feels right for you and try and stop feeling guilty about it. Bereavement is so stressful and even fairly reasonable requests or minor irritations/disagreements can feel overwhelming when you are bereaved. If you weren't bereaved yourself you might have more energy to support your DF, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is being reasonable in the amount of support he's looking for, IYSWIM.

Have you talked to your sibling about it? Can they come visit every weekend?

Timeforachange68 Sun 12-Aug-18 11:37:48

Exactly - I feel like we do quite a lot & we would be there in a heartbeat if there was a problem, but there's an expectation that there isn't for my sibling and it's not fair in the slightest!

My dad goes to visit them once every couple of weeks but they hardly ever make the return trip - I haven't really talked to them about it because I know what the answer will be!

YeTalkShiteHen Sun 12-Aug-18 11:42:18

I get where you’re coming from OP I really do. I lost my Mum last June and it broke me, my Dad is absolutely lost without her and can’t seem to understand that everyone else is grieving. BUT, someone said to me that we aren’t the ones going home to an empty house, we’re not the ones with a cold space in bed beside them, we’re not the ones without that person to give them a cuddle after a long day or ask how their day has been.

And they’re right. I’ve lost my Mum and that’s awful, it’s just the most awful void and I’m devastated. But I have DP and I have my children, so I’m never alone. My Dad has lost the other half of himself, and he’s being eaten alive by the loneliness.

Because even with his work, friends, grandchildren that doesn’t ease the loneliness he’s feeling, because he’s not missing people, he’s missing Mum, and nobody can ease that.

So while I do understand that it’s awful hard grieving your Mum, and that you shouldn’t be responsible for his happiness, I also understand why he’s so consumed with grief for your Mum. Go easy on him, if you can.

I’m sorry about your Mum flowers

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