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Did your relationship with your mum or dad change when you lost one of them

(7 Posts)
Lilyloo Sat 20-Jun-09 21:50:34

I just don't know my dad anymore since my mum died.
It will be 8 years this summer since i lost my mum.
She was only 45 and my dad was 47.
I was pg with my ds when she died. I now have 3 dc.
My dad has never really shown much interest in any of my dc.
I appreciate he has had to change his life and has suffered a terrible loss.
But i don't recognise him from the dad i had.
I have tried to tell him how lonely i feel , but it's made little difference.
I recently decided to step back from it all and tbh that's pretty much meant he doesn't see us.

Am just so sad at how our relationship has dissapeared because of this..

triggerhappybaby Sun 21-Jun-09 22:25:20

Wanted to bump this for you. My experience has been completely different with my mum (grown much closer) so I'm not sure what to suggest other than his safety net has obviously been taken away. Of course I don't know your parents, but was your mum the one that most often instigated visits and contact? If so perhaps it is not his habit and therefore goes unthought of. Mind 8 years is pushing it a bit for getting into a habit...

I'm sure someone coming along will know much more than me and can suggest something helpful

warthog Sun 21-Jun-09 22:28:01

sad sorry for your loss.

perhaps she was the instigator of all things social and he just doesn't know / cope with staying in touch?

my relationship with my mum changed when my dad died, but we got closer. then again, it was always my mum who was the social one. not sure what my relationship would be like now if my mum had died.

paddingtonbear1 Sun 21-Jun-09 22:54:19

lilyloo that's such a shame. My mum died 5 years ago, but my relationship with dad hasn't changed - we are still close, he comes on hols with us once a year and is good with dd. We don't live close (1.5 hrs drive), but he stays sometimes in the school hols. He does have his own life and friends as well - my mum said he would never cope without her but he has, obv it is different but he has made the best of it. Before, it was always mum who made the arrangements - was this the same with you? Do you live near your dad?

Doozle Sun 21-Jun-09 23:01:05

People say that bereavement brings you closer. I'm not sure that's always true.

Things were very difficult between me and my dad after my mum died.

Looking back now 17 years on, I can see that he was just grieving so much. But the way he dealt with it (alcohol) was hard to take.

We did patch things up a lot in the 5 or 6 years before he died and for that, I'm really glad.

I'd just do what you can to keep the communication going even if it's just in a small way.

Were you close before she died or was he always a bit distant?

Lilyloo Mon 22-Jun-09 12:22:54

Thanks for your messages.
We were always a pretty close family but my dad was always closer to my middle sister and me my youngest sister were closer to my mum.
It's a bit hard to tell who was the instigator as we were still young. I had only just moved out , my middle sis was getting married and my youngest sister was still at home.
I was only 24 when she died!

He spends a lot of time with my middle sister , usually at the pub etc She still has no dc's unlike me and my youngest sis. I wonder if he just cannot cope with being the grandad without my mum.
I hoped it would get better but we are just drifting further apart.

We live ten mins away but we see much more of my il's family who live over an hour away. DS said yesterday he wished he lived near his grandma sad I just thought i wish we did too for some support and help sad

I just don't know how to bridge this ever expanding gulf between us sad

phdlife Mon 22-Jun-09 12:45:50

When my dad died I realised that by complete fluke, I was incredibly lucky not to have any 'unfinished business' with him, iykwim. I miss him, I would love to talk with him again and to show him the dc's, but I'm not haunted by anything I wish I'd said, or apologised for.

A year later, my mum was diagnosed with the same cancer that killed dad. At the time I hadn't spoken to her in 4 years - she is hard, hard work, my mum - but I was the only one of her 4 kids in the country, so of course I went to see her in hospital. I realised that if she died, I'd be full of guilt about our poor relationship, so I'd better work on it.

It's been 11 years now (she recovered from the cancer, though has many other health issues) and I am still working on it. Part of the reason I moved back to Oz from UK was so she could see the dc's, but she doesn't much - partly ill-health, partly her own social life, and partly her own peculiar attitudes. We see much more of the IL's who live the other side of town but always ready and willing to help, listen, talk, etc. And she does make me nuts, a lot of the time.

I wish it could be better but I've realised, she would have to want that too, and work on it. (Perhaps she is; perhaps she can't; perhaps she doesn't know - think this is most likely.) I know I've tried to be as honest with her as I can, once I even said to her that what she was doing wasn't helping our relationship any - she was astonished and then deeply apologetic. She really just hadn't a clue.

If you are happy with how you're behaving, and the efforts you're making, then really that's all you can ask. Your dad, like my mum, is doing the best he can, given his situation and what's in his head. Maybe give him a 'heads up', let him know that you'd like things to be better, or just quietly make an extra effort yourself - then try to accept whatever he can give and make your peace with that.

apologies for the essay, hope it helps a little.

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