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How did you cope with the death of your parent(s)?

As I head into my forties in a few years, and my parents head into their mid-sixties, I catch myself thinking about how I will react and cope to either of their deaths. I know my mother’s death will crush me and I dread even thinking about it. I’ll mourn my father, too, but not so intensely I don’t think.

How did you cope with the death of either, or both, of your parents? Was it extremely difficult? Did it take you weeks, months, or years to get over of their passing? What helped you get by?

by Anonymousreply 29305/04/2021

*react to and cope with

by Anonymousreply 112/19/2020

I lost both my parents before I was 40. It sucks. There's no other way to say it. I know some people never seem to recover (look at George Michael, some say he never got over the death of his partner followed by the death of his mother).

I know, for me, there was a shift in my life when both of my parents died. There's an emptiness that you can never fill.

by Anonymousreply 212/19/2020

If you are close to them, it will be surreal and you will think about them every day for the rest of your life. And you will always feel an emptiness inside your heart.

by Anonymousreply 312/19/2020

R2 We practically wrote the same thing.🫂

Also, whatever you do, makes sure to thank them for everything they did for you while you have the chance.

by Anonymousreply 412/19/2020

My mother died at 55, when I was 26, almost 20 years ago.

I still have dreams in which she's alive and we're interacting—just last night, in fact. And we weren't close.

I would advise asking her all the questions you want to ask, telling her everything you want to tell, while you can. I think having no unfinished business can bring enduring comfort.

by Anonymousreply 512/19/2020

I haven't had the pleasure of going through that 'trauma' yet.

But the celebration... errr, I mean 'mourning' will likely involve solemn streamers, tearful fireworks, and mournful jumping for joy.

I'm worried that I won't be able to contain my glee... I mean, sorrow... yeah, lots of that sorrow stuff...

by Anonymousreply 612/19/2020

My parents were in their 40s when I was born, and I lost them both when I was in my 30s. I was fortunate to have wonderful parents. Both had lengthy battles with multiple medical problems, so death was a drawn-out thing, Somewhere along the way, I started mourning their loss. So, for me, their death almost felt like the appropriate next level. That helped as I grieved. Rarely a day goes by that I don't think of them and grieve a little.

by Anonymousreply 712/19/2020

[quote] I know, for me, there was a shift in my life when both of my parents died. There's an emptiness that you can never fill.

What would you say the “shift” was for you?

This is what scares me the most, but my faith reminds me that it’s both an inevitable and required rite of passage.

by Anonymousreply 812/19/2020

R6 Oh, stop, you naughty thing you. I don’t buy your Mr. Christmas Horror Koalas Are Dumb AF shtick.

You have a warm, beating little pea of a heart somewhere inside of you ...

by Anonymousreply 912/19/2020

I remember Whoopi Goldberg saying that when her mom died, she realized that there is really nobody who will ever love you as much as a parent. And it’s true in most cases. So it’s hard accepting that no matter who you meet, you will probably never meet someone who can give you that kind of love again.

by Anonymousreply 1012/19/2020

The shift was, I felt a bit lonelier, and I felt like... an orphan if that makes sense? All of my friends still have their parents and close families, so it's weird to see that and realize that my parents have been gone for so long.

I know this may sound horrible, but I am so thankful I never have to bury another parent. It was too much.

by Anonymousreply 1112/19/2020

R10 Wow. That’s both profound and heartbreaking.

by Anonymousreply 1212/19/2020

[quote]So it’s hard accepting that no matter who you meet, you will probably never meet someone who can give you that kind of love again.

And if your parent(s) never truly loved you, you're doubly fucked when you're searching for a mate.

by Anonymousreply 1312/19/2020

I can understand that and intuit that I will feel the same, R11.

Do you catch yourself still growing emotional over their passing?

by Anonymousreply 1412/19/2020

I think because I had peaceful "last moments" with my parents (I was with my mother when she passed and I Had a pleasant chat with my dad the last time I saw him), I have a lot of peace over their deaths. I know not everyone has this. People have regrets. I wish I told my dad I loved him, but I always had a hard time saying it to him, although I had no issue saying it to my mom (which I did every time I saw her, including on her deathbed).

I still think about them all the time but usually good thoughts. I do get sad, though, not being able to just talk to them or get that support. It's like what r10 said, you really don't meet anyone else in your life who will love you like your parents, or offer you the support that they do. Not just money or a roof over your head, but constant reassurance. At least that was how it was with my parents. They were ALWAYS encouraging me. I miss that.

by Anonymousreply 1512/19/2020

I saw a psychologist after my mom passed....we were besties. The shrink said “she knew you loved her.” That helped. I asked my mom for a sign the month after she passed and a psychic said mum would speak to me thru songs I’d hear on the radio and such. Cheap trick’s surrender came on with “mommy’s alright...”

by Anonymousreply 1612/19/2020

R9

You better bring an excavation crew along for the search and some safety goggles! :P

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1712/19/2020

My family and I are estranged, but they have money. I think the only thing that gives me anxiety is their will. If they leave me an inheritance that sets me up for life, I think I will be able to say that they did care in their own way and be at peace. I am trying to get at peace with the alternative, but that I'll just have to see when it happens, but I am preparing for the worst.

by Anonymousreply 1812/19/2020

p.s. I'm still trying to my Baretta Cheetah. It's very hard to find. I'm not saying I'll use it, but somehow having it will give me a lot of comfort.

by Anonymousreply 1912/19/2020

R17 I love you, you little minx.

R15 Thank you for being so open and vulnerable. 🙏🏼❤️

R19 You addressed my next question: Have any of you had any supernatural experiences you’d attribute to your parents after their passing?

I always hope I’ll have a JoBeth Williams in the Poltergeist moment (marked the exact scene below). That scene always moves me:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2012/19/2020

My dad passed away almost a decade ago.

He molested both of my older sisters so that broke up the family permanently.

I haven't shed a tear over him yet & I doubt that I ever will.

My Trump loving mom might get the same treatment from me when her time comes.

She told me her all of her stuff will go to my one sister. The oldest one married a guy about 15 years older & thus had some $ to give her.

I'm screwed financially for the rest of my life.

by Anonymousreply 2112/19/2020

My mom died of lung cancer on Christmas Eve when I was 38. Four years later my dad died of Alzheimer’s on Thanksgiving.. She was 66 and he was 73.

I mention the holidays because their deaths have colored every Thanksgiving and Christmas for me since then. It’s never been the same, and for a long, long time I’ve seen these days through different eyes.

I miss them terribly, and think about them every day. For along time I felt a tinge of jealousy when I saw others with elderly parents who lived much longer than mine, but that’s gone now.

I used to worry that I’d forget them...forget their essence, who they were, what they meant to me. That never happened, and it won’t happen to you, either, OP.

Does it get better with time? I don’t really think so. It just gets different.

by Anonymousreply 2212/19/2020

Fuck off, OP!!! Talk about a glass half full Debbie Downer!!!! Your parents could live for another 30 years!!! Why are you planning their funerals NOW??? Inheritance, maybe????

(The "Dead Parent Troll" is a new one!)

by Anonymousreply 2312/19/2020

Was anyone cut out of their parents will and were you surprised or conversely, did you get a surprise you weren't expecting.

by Anonymousreply 2412/19/2020

Gr. Didn’t Mark it properly (2 minute and 30 second mark). Here it is.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2512/19/2020

Wrote a book, made some dough.

by Anonymousreply 2612/19/2020

R23 No, I’m not thinking about anything that you wrote. I was curious about how others have coped.

I’ve found the responses to be sobering, moving, and reassuring.

by Anonymousreply 2712/19/2020

Gin and dolls.

by Anonymousreply 2812/19/2020

My mom is still living at 98, but we don't anticipate that she has many more years left. She's been prepared for death for a decade or more. Possibly the most wise and loving mother who ever lived, so I don't like to think about her loss. My dad died 12 years ago. We had a contentious relationship when I was growing up. He was hypercritical and quick-tempered. However, he was also quite brilliant and quick-witted. I like to think I got all his good qualities and none of his bad, but of course that is complete self-delusion. He became quite reliant on me in his last decade so I don't feel that issues were left unresolved. I miss him at odd times. He demanded ruthless honesty, and insisted that people who argued had better be prepared to present their evidence. I know that other people had closer relationships with their dads growing up than I did, but to give him credit, he tried, and towards the end of his life, he was very consistent about telling his children he loved them in every phone call. I try to imagine how it must have been to have grown up on an isolated ranch in Montana as one of two siblings, and then to father 7 children in his 30s. The noise and confusion alone must have been almost overwhelming to him. Maybe the most eccentric thing that people would notice about our family is that we all refer to him by his initials C.K and did for the last 4 decades of his life. I don't know when that started, but it stuck. Here's to you, C K.

by Anonymousreply 2912/19/2020

R21 I wouldn’t have anything to do with her if I were you if she treats you like that, and I have a feeling you will get over her passing very quickly.

by Anonymousreply 3012/19/2020

[quote]The "Dead Parent Troll" is a new one!

LOL

My BF died on the same day!! as my father. I didn't know who I was mourning. My father had taken two years to die and that's the day he chose. The day they both chose if I think about it.

My brothers (who I had avoided for years) looted my father's house. I mean STRIPPED. I find it very hard to forgive them. That's all they cared about.

by Anonymousreply 3112/19/2020

I was thinking about this today. They'll be Christmases in the future that I'll spend totally alone because they'll be gone. Sometimes just knowing that they're there in that small town I grew up in, putting up their tree and hanging the same decorations on it gives me comfort. The idea of everyone being gone is unsettling.

by Anonymousreply 3212/20/2020

My father's death was a bit of a shock as I was in denial. He had been declining for a number of years so it wasn't really a surprise but yes, I was in denial.

My mother's death couldn't come soon enough. She is a cunt and there isn't a person on the planet who will miss her.

by Anonymousreply 3312/20/2020

I had a complicated relationship with my dad. Although we argued and fought a lot we still loved each other although neither of us could ever say it to the other out loud. He passed away suddenly this summer and I feel a void in my heart.

It's a cliche but I keep thinking of all the times we argued and wish I had been more patient with him. The last thing he said to me a week before he died was, "I am proud to have you as my son, kiddo". He never said stuff like that ever, so I had a sense of foreboding when he did. A week later he was gone and I miss him every day.

Given the current health crisis around the world I am now terrified of anything happening to my mom. I have become a crazy obsessive person when it comes to her health. My sibling has handled my dad's death a lot more rationally and more maturely.

The shock of his death coupled with my isolation and the challenges of the pandemic are beginning to take a toll on my mental health. I feel despair and overwhelming sadness a lot of the time.

OP, please appreciate and enjoy your time with your parents while they are around. I wish I could turn back time and be able to tell my dad that he was a good father, flaws and all.

by Anonymousreply 3412/20/2020

My father was a man among men, and I miss him terribly. I coped because I had to cope. My mother, who was an extremely emotional person, went to pieces, and had to be hospitalized, so everything was left on my shoulders. I had no siblings to help handle the burden.

Mom and I always had a difficult relationship, and I had to keep her at arms length or she would have consumed my entire life. I'm ashamed to admit it, but when she died, I felt nothing.

by Anonymousreply 3512/20/2020

My biological dad died of malignant melanoma when I was just five. His passing left a huge void in my life that never quite got filled. Although I mentored a boy in the Big Brother program and I got to do all the things with my Little that I ached to do with my dad. My stepdad died on my birthday in 2000 from natural causes. And my mom passed a few years ago. A day doesn't go by when I don't wish I could spend an afternoon with her. She was funny and perceptive and could make a dockworker blush with her swearing. She was very political and hated George W Bush with a white-hot passion. Toward the end, she suffered a stroke that advanced her dementia. So, by the time she died, the person she was had disappeared years before.

by Anonymousreply 3612/20/2020

You all are making me emotional.

I love every one of you.

by Anonymousreply 3712/20/2020

Random, I know - and I was never a much of a fan of the show - but I threw on “The Body” episode of [italic]Buffy the Vampire Slayer[/italic] on Hulu. A friend once made me watch it years ago and I remember being surprisingly moved by it.

by Anonymousreply 3812/20/2020

R6, my parents were monsters and their deaths in my late 20s was quite a bit of a relief for me, but two decades on I'm still having constant dreams about them, usually of us fighting or them doing something heinous again. Those are just irritating dreams, the first few years it was full-on nightmares.

I'm telling you this now so you can prepare yourself for it and plan and maybe even avoid it, if possible. If I'd known I was going to have what's probably PTSD I would have approached everything differently.

Sorry for following up r37's nice post with my terrible nightmare scenario, I just feel like it's worth warning people that things don't always go down the way you expect them to.

by Anonymousreply 3912/20/2020

R39 Don’t apology; I want to read as many experiences as I can.

I’m sorry you went through that. I hope you can forgive them (maybe you already have), though I know it must be difficult.

Thanks for sharing that.

by Anonymousreply 4012/20/2020

So my family disowned me when I was 21. I'd call my mother once a week. First she'd scream and cry. Then, after I told her I wasn't calling to listen to her scream and cry I just wanted to know something about doing laundry...or I wanted a recipe, or some other random crap she finally started having conversations with me.

It took 12 years before me and my partner (we're still together) celebrated a holiday with them. I didn't spend time waiting for them to come around. I moved on with my life, building new relationships, but I remained accessible and they finally understood that if they behaved we could have something resembling a relationship.

Time passed, We saw them five or six times a year mostly for special occasions. Then my father, at 84, had a massive stroke, and died. My mother and I became closer. No siblings. We helped care for her. She finally passed away at 91 ten years ago. I think of her and smile now. Because I felt I finally got to know her as a person. And she was a pistol. We liked one another. And she ended up really liking my partner who she claimed had more patience than me. (He does.)

We patched things up. It took time and patience. It took tough love. But I'm glad I was accessible. I'm at peace. There's nothing I wish I had said that I didn't say. There's nothing I wish I had done that I did not do. No regrets. IMO, that is how one copes.

You are at peace with the relationship for better and for worse. People are all limited in their capacity to deal with other people. They are often fearful and mean and weak. But you can't let it define you.

by Anonymousreply 4112/20/2020

R41 here. Wanted to add that I believe that part of loving your parents is being able to forgive them. If you can. I know. Some of us have had to deal with monsters. In which case you have had to just let go and walk away to preserve your own well being. But a lot of us fall more in the middle. We are all flawed and all human. Don't carry toxicity inside you.

by Anonymousreply 4212/20/2020

R41 / R42 You’re a beautiful person. 🙏🏼❤️

by Anonymousreply 4312/20/2020

My Dad died nearly 30 years ago. At this time he was in his 50s and I was in my late 20s. When he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and given 8 weeks to live, my OCD took charge and we compiled (and checked off) the list of "Things to Do Before You Die". Death was inevitable, I just wanted to minimize pain and tears. I was back at work the day after his funeral. The first Christmas and Fathers Day was awkward, but I put my head down and slogged on. I've missed him, of course, but am grateful we had those weeks to plan, laugh, and do needful things. He still appears in my dreams and gives great advice.

I wish he was around now to see me married 25 years to a wonderful guy, owning our own home, and being truly happy.

by Anonymousreply 4412/20/2020

I lost my mother earlier this month, and I honestly think I am still in shock. I just miss her like crazy; she left a huge hole in my heart and my house feels so empty without her.

by Anonymousreply 4512/20/2020

I was 10 years old and had to answer my 5 year old brother's question: "why did mommie have to die?" while both of us were laying on a bed hugging and crying.

Our mother was 33 and died of breast cancer. That was the minute I became an atheist.

by Anonymousreply 4612/20/2020

R45 ::sending you a hug and kiss in spirit:: May she rest in peace and hover over you when you most need it. 🙏🏼❤️

by Anonymousreply 4712/20/2020

R47

Thank You

by Anonymousreply 4812/20/2020

I'm in my mid-40s and my parents are aging, and my Dad had a severe stroke about a year ago. He's since recovered to the point of semi-independence but he'll never be back to how he was. At the time it looked very probable that he wasn't going to make it out of the ICU and the doctor had the conversation with my Mom and my siblings about how we need to be ready to make a decision. We all agreed that if it came to it he wouldn't want extraordinary measures taken to prolong his life. And so I left the hospital that night with the assumption that he was gone and this was our life now. It was a totally different feeling when it was actually happening than all the times I've imagined what that day will be like.

I also think it's probably harder for gay men without partners or children, as we seem more likely to be. My siblings will be devastated but they both have families and children of their own. Their lives will continue mostly as they are when that day comes - it will be a huge adjustment but they have children who they love the way our parents love them, and so they'll be okay. I'll be okay too, but it will be a huge shift in my life in a way it won't be for theirs. I love my life but this is one way that lack of a partner/children has its downsides.

It's also becoming easier for me to accept death in general now that I've had to see it so often, and this was true before Covid. I think once you hit your thirties the law of averages says that one or two people your own age will die and it will seem incomprehensible, but then it will happen again and the senior people in your life like older teachers and colleagues will start to naturally drift off, and suddenly what seemed like an unbearable burden becomes a sad but endurable part of life. I think losing your parents in your twenties or thirties is way worse than in your forties and beyond. In your forties you're primed for it and other people your age are probably experiencing it and you have some community. When you're a young person and everyone your age has healthy parents I imagine it's a far harder experience.

I've also been exploring secular Buddhism a bit and it's brought me some comfort. You accept that everything is impermanent and suffering is inevitable, but letting go of attachment and finding joy and love in the moment can lead you to peace. My parents will one day be gone but the love I feel for them won't go away, and ultimately it's the love that matters. Which is maybe the cheesiest thing I've ever written but hey, it's been a tough few years.

by Anonymousreply 4912/20/2020

R49 I’ve found much comfort in Buddhism and Mysticism (Christian and Judaic).

by Anonymousreply 5012/20/2020

I generally don't talk about things like I did at r39 because there is always, usually within seconds, someone who comes along saying dippy stuff about forgiveness and letting go of negativity.

On the one hand, I understand r41 can't have any idea what I went through, and it's possible -- maybe -- that you mean well and don't mean to sound like a scold. On the other hand, before you go giving that kind of advice again, you should probably consider that some of us are talking about going through the kinds of things that would get the attention of certain organizations, were we to give any detail. At least one capital crime with no statute of limitation is involved here.

The ol' victim-blaming "YOU have to forgive, YOU have to let go of being toxic, YOU have to move on" canards do not apply here. They probably don't apply to others you've given the same advice to, either.

by Anonymousreply 5112/20/2020

My mother left me and my sister $10 each when she die d, R24. She left my other sister over a million in cash and property. In her will she left my nieces each $100 and said that they "can thank their mother for that". One niece was 6 years old.

by Anonymousreply 5212/20/2020

I totally understand, R51; the same applies to my dad, who abused and traumatized me in more ways than I care to share and which he could have been jailed for.

I do believe in forgiveness though, because it releases us from more unnecessary pain. Forgiveness, however, can be painful in and of itself.

by Anonymousreply 5312/20/2020

R52 Are you serious?

by Anonymousreply 5412/20/2020

When my mother got sick with cancer and the final word from the doctors was "we have nothing more to offer you", and I knew finally this was the end it was 2 months of pure misery. How I got through it day by day I'll never know. My work associates and friends helped quite a bit. They knew what a hard time I was having with it. Life was filled with daily bouts of panic and crying because I couldn't do what I was known for, fixing anything that was wrong. At work they knew to leave me alone when my office door was closed. I'd have my "spell", get myself together and try to get through the rest of the day, go home and have at least one more fit of panic late in the evening. But I had one more situation to deal with that was by far the worst. The day after she died we had to go to the funeral home after they had her ready. Nothing prepared me for the day I would walk into a room and see my mother's dead body lying in a coffin. That sight almost did me in, but somehow I was able to get through it. The funeral was the next morning and I got through that with the aid of a doctor administered tranquilizer. Then the following morning there was the 4 1/2 hour drive to the cemetery and graveside service for the people there. The rest of my family decided to stay a few days after the graveside service, but I got in my car and headed back home. On the drive home a feeling of calm overtook me. I knew it was all over. I told myself my mother was in a better place and all her pain was over. That was 28 years ago.

My father's death a year and a half later was a different matter since he and I never had a good relationship. I had no problem dealing with it. I never shed one tear when he died I felt a great sense of relief when he was gone. I told myself he was where he wanted to be, with my mother.

I still think about them every day. The only sad feelings have had in the last few years was the day it dawned on me that I couldn't remember what my mother's voice sounded like.

So OP, everyone deals with it their own way. I feel sad for people who lose their parents and are never able to get over it. I've known a couple who let it destroy them, taking to the bottle to wash away their misery. But for most of us time is the only thing that can do that.

by Anonymousreply 5512/20/2020

Yes, R54.

by Anonymousreply 5612/20/2020

Both of my parents are gone. My mother died when she was 53 and my dad 30 years later. Was so busy after each died I didn't have time to mourn. After the funerals I returned to my everyday life and got on with it. Not to say I didn't miss them.It I do remember wanted to phone my mom about something then realized she wasn't there. And sometimes I hear her speak with me. Not full conversations - more like she wants me to know she's thinking of me. As for my dad, I can hear his voice but in his case I'm hearing words he spoke while alive.

It's now the holiday season and while it would be wonderful to get together again as a family but I'm happy remembering the good times and haven't made any attempt to replicate those days gone by and expect life to be as it was. I have my own life to live now which is what I know they would appreciate.

by Anonymousreply 5712/20/2020

It’s the natural order of things. The only other way it could go is if you died before your parents. You wouldn’t want them to suffer *that*, would you?

My mother and I had several candid and practical conversations about death. She was at peace with dying - even though she wasn’t acutely ill. She had had a good life, she said, and was ready to go whenever. Died of a heart attack and went very quickly, they told me. Which is exactly what she wanted; suffering only briefly, no helpless lingering. My MIL died that way, first and she pronounced that was the best way (sudden heart explosion) and wanted to die that way, too. So I comfort myself knowing that she had her preferred death.

She lived to know that her children were safe and loved and comfortable, so she was spared the kind of worry that makes a soul linger.

And I’m really glad to know that she didn’t live to see the sadness of this pandemic and country she loved.

by Anonymousreply 5812/20/2020

I've known a few gay men who've committed suicide within a year or two of their mother's death. It's a combination of "no one will ever truly love me" and the feeling like you're supposed to be "over it". 'Come on it's been 2 years '. And you realize it will never get better. But, you/we're not alone, it's common.

RE: Inheritance. TALK ABOUT IT BEFORE PEOPLE ARE ILL. My sensible, spendthrift, scientific, WASPY parents were married for 50 years when my mom died a slow death from cancer. I moved in to care for her the last 2 years. With in 3 days, a "caregiver", fell in love with my father, left her husband and made my dad her 5th husband. .The second she married him she did everything possible, including witchcraft (!) to interfere and cut out the whole family. You know the type. Borderline personality, Total cunt.

Dad's dead, she has the money. We didn't get a cent. Her kids hate her for being a whore their whole life. Her brother tells a charming story that every year they go and piss on their father's grave. Bitch bought a mausoleum spot higher than a flow of urine, so her OWN kids couldn't do that. I can't be bothered.

My mom wanted to talk about the money when she was sick, and we were planning her funeral menu. I waved her off. I told her I didn't care what dad did. But I was too devastated to have a rational conversation.

It's our responsibility as humans to carry on a focus on the good things. I'm 60 with no savings. I live as long as I can and then, not.

by Anonymousreply 5912/20/2020

My dad died in the late 80's, age 66. My folks divorced when I was 5yo and I saw him only once 3 years before he died, so there was no emotional strain for me. He never had anything to do with our family once he'd left, not even child support. When I was in the service he wrote to me a few times( he must've gotten my address from his mother) There were a few drunken phone calls on a coupla' Christmases. It was all a sham. Thanks for nuthin'.

My mom died in 2000, age 78. We had been semi-estranged and then full-on estranged the first 20 years of the relationship I had with my partner-then-husband. She finally came around one Thanksgiving, via phone call, asking us to dinner as if the previous 20years had never occurred.. When she got cancer my husband squired her around to wherever she had to go(I was still employed), they became quite close and she told him things she never would've told me(and he kept her confidences) When she died I was sad, but not for very long. She denied me all those years of being close to the two of us, that was inexcusable and hurtful.

A former neighbor has never gotten over her father's death, she's been going to group grief counseling sessions for almost 20 years. I cannot begin to imagine her pain, but there must be some shreds of comfort in it since she's been doing it for such a long time. Has anyone been to any sort of grief counseling therapy?

by Anonymousreply 6012/20/2020

[quote] I've known a few gay men who've committed suicide within a year or two of their mother's death.

How sad. May they rest in peace.

by Anonymousreply 6112/20/2020

[quote] a "caregiver", fell in love with my father, left her husband and made my dad her 5th husband. .The second she married him she did everything possible, including witchcraft (!) to interfere and cut out the whole family. You know the type. Borderline personality, Total cunt. Dad's dead, she has the money. We didn't get a cent.

WTF?!

by Anonymousreply 6212/20/2020

[quote] Has anyone been to any sort of grief counseling therapy?

I was going to ask the same thing, R60.

by Anonymousreply 6312/20/2020

We never talk about this in my family but my mother was an alcoholic and nothing other than sheer shame kept us from acknowledging it and seeking help. It was the 70s suburbia and when I look back at it, it is the great tragic event of our lives. She was a gallant woman who endured so much hardship but she fell apart and none of us could help her. After she died my siblings (I'm one of seven) blew apart; we all went our separate ways and barely spoke to one another for five years or so. Some of my siblings moved out of state. It took about five years for us to become a family again but like I said, we all suffer this unimaginable regret silently (I just know it). And we are not a silent family!

My father lived another 15 years and I got to be close to him for the last eight years or so. His was a well-lived life and when he died peacefully it was a natural progression that all of us took well. I remember my father with great warmth and love, but my mother's death will haunt me for the rest of my days. I don't think I "coped" in the least OP with her death; just moved on, sadly and mournfully whenever I remember her.

by Anonymousreply 6412/20/2020

I think a sudden unexpected loss is rougher than after a long illness. Neither of my parents deaths were sudden so the realization that their suffering was over, they would no longer suffer or be in pain helped ease the loss.

While my only sibling, my brother and I were never close, his suicide was shattering. I understood his reasons, but him leaving behind two small children was difficult for them.

We have to accept the fact that we are mortal and all of us will die one day. As I edge toward my 70's, my morality is something I think about every day especially now that I am rewriting my will, setting up a trust and dealing with my end of life affairs. Being the last surviving member of your immediate family is surreal.

by Anonymousreply 6512/20/2020

R51, I tried to speak to what you're talking about in my post at R42. I was not being judgmental, at least truly not my intention. Not at all. I was simply describing what worked for me coping with the death of my parents and I gave the short version of my backstory. I'm very aware of the monsters among us. I'm truly sorry for all that you went through.

by Anonymousreply 6612/20/2020

I worry that I’ll be reduced to this.

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by Anonymousreply 6712/20/2020

My parents are 80 and 82. I will be 60 in two months.

My father has dementia. He is still at home and can be lucid. He has a pacemaker, Type 1 diabetes, and can’t walk without a cane. I am prepared for his death, and hope it happens before he loses his mind entirely.

I witnessed the slow decline of 3 of my grandparents. My paternal grandfather died quickly, at 86. The decline is very difficult to witness, but it prepares you for the inevitable.

by Anonymousreply 6812/20/2020

OP, if one is close to a parent, then "weeks" is not a realistic time to grieve that parent's death. Neither is "months." The first year is just the first year. One's first birthday without the parent. The parent's first birthday since the death. The first Mother's Day or Father's Day. The first Thanksgiving. The first Christmas. That first absence from each of these milestones - if one is close to the parent - is always difficult. After running that gauntlet of firsts, it can begin to get better. But it's still gradual.

Of course, if the relationship with the parent has been one of pain and conflict, the relief experienced might be much, much greater than any grief.

by Anonymousreply 6912/20/2020

I’m a parent now, and speaking only for myself. I don’t want my children to wallow in grief and need 20 years of grief therapy (!!). That’s unhealthy, in my opinion. I want them to know they were loved unconditionally and I want them to be equipped to handle loss - because we lose a lot during this life.

The thing about their deaths that causes me grief is thinking about their lives as children; they both had difficult childhoods, and my father was a Vietnam vet. The things like “I always wanted a XXX and never got to have one” or a story about a bully are the things that gut me.

It’s okay that they’re not around for me anymore, but I desperately hope that wherever they are, those childhood sorrows are healed now.

by Anonymousreply 7012/20/2020

[quote]...I desperately hope that wherever they are, those childhood sorrows are healed now.

If you don't know where your children are, the changes are great they their childhood sorrows are not yet healed.

by Anonymousreply 7112/20/2020

My father died after a year-long fight with cancer he insisted he'd win. My parents wanted life to be as normal as possible during that year and they insisted I go to grad school (in town) and audition for a community theater production. My dad died the afternoon of opening night. We packed up his hospital room, my family went off to make calls, and I went off to do a show.

Since then, I have supported my mother emotionally for about 25 years. We recently moved her into assisted living and her decline into dementia has been faster than we expected with the Covid isolation. I think I'll be OK when she dies because it will end her loneliness and depression at losing her memory.

by Anonymousreply 7212/20/2020

You'll never know until it happens, esp. if your relationship with either one is a bit ambivalent or if they were bigger horrors or made more sacrifices than you want to admit.

by Anonymousreply 7312/20/2020

Your stories have really moved me and made me think.

Told mom I love and cherish her this morning.

Thank you for sharing and please share more.

by Anonymousreply 7412/20/2020

Lots of vodka. But, for real, the pain never goes away. I still find myself crying for my mom, six years after her demise. I'm in my acceptance phase. The holidays are hardest

by Anonymousreply 7512/20/2020

It all depends on how close you are to them, and also how long they live. My father is still alive at 100 and my mother passed away at 92 after a 5-year Alzheimers progression. In each case their long declines in advanced age mutes the loss because you adjust and realize they were/are lucky. What more can you ask for. And- big and- what was your relationship. My mother was abusive my entire life and I very consciously put distance between us in my early 20s. Later in life when I had to challenge them on estate matters (it went my way with great emotional cost on my part) it got worse. My father was a very successful man, and he and my mom were the quintessential NYC power couple in philanthropic and community leadership- much to be admired. But I have realized my efforts to put distance between us greatly influenced my affection for them. I was determined not to be defined by the damage my mom inflicted. On the other hand their success and my fathers ultimate appreciation of who I am has been a huge benefit to my well being. So their demises make me sad mostly due to the marking of time and not emotional loss. I have lost several friends (and pets) that bring me to tears regularly- not Mom and I doubt Dad- although he came through for me more or less- perhaps too late. It is what it is- so it all depends on your circumstance.

by Anonymousreply 7612/20/2020

I didn't have to cope. They were never there for me when they were alive, and they continued thusly after death. They're gone, but the trauma from the emotional/physical abuse they inflicted on me will be there to my last minute.

by Anonymousreply 7712/20/2020

It wasn't until my parents approached their 70s, and I was in my late 30s, that I began to think about my parents mortality, and the thought of the void that their deaths would leave behind left terrified me. Their physical and mental health had begun a steady decline and my siblings and I decided that they needed nursing home care. It was depressing and very stressful to see the people who reared you, and who, at one time meant absolutely everything to you as a child, despite their flaws, were now nearing the final phase of their lives.

My father died first, and it was the first immediate family loss I'd ever experienced. We were not close, and at many times throughout my adult life we were openly hostile with each other with no love lost between us, so his passing was a mixed bag of emotions. He was, after all, my father. To this day I can't say that I ever miss him, which bothers me, but it is what it is.

My mother died a year and a half later, and that was much tougher emotionally, as I was much closer with her. I had even gotten to spend time with her the evening prior to her passing and tell her that I love her, because I knew that she was in extremely poor health. But, even though I had a bond with my mother I cannot say that I miss her in the way that many posters here describe.

Now, I still think about my parents from time to time, but it's mostly toxic memories, and I sometimes boil with rage when thinking about the things they allowed to happen and the things they did. If we were being reared today, my siblings and I would have most likely become wards of the state, and my mother almost certainly would have been charged with criminal abuse and willful neglect.

I will battle with my ambivalence towards my parents to the very end, and the only thing that prevents me from hating them outright is that they clothed and fed us (sometimes just barely) and kept a roof over our heads all those years, and, realizing the fact that many people have experienced parental trauma far worse than I could ever imagine. I'm also able to remind myself that they did try to do their best at times, and I have many great memories, but the really bad ones always seep in.

by Anonymousreply 7812/20/2020

Oh the party we had when mother died!

by Anonymousreply 7912/20/2020

After a couple of soul crushing years, it hurts less and you learn to live with it. You’ll need extra time if you are forced to decide to “pull the plug.” I had that situation with both my parents, and it sucked. Still, I thank my lucky stars that I had parents who loved me unconditionally. My view is that we pay the price for having parents either when they’re alive or when they’re dead, depending on the relationship.

by Anonymousreply 8012/20/2020

At first it felt like the world had lost all its colour and I felt like I didn’t want to grow old myself if it would mean that all my loved ones would pass before me. After 11 years I have a whole different view on life, I cherish the memories and my happy childhood. I try to enjoy the little things and I think of my mom when I do so. I’ve found that all I need is simplicity really. A small place, loved ones nearby....life at its core in a way. No frills.

by Anonymousreply 8112/20/2020

Admitting to myself that sometimes shit happens when it's no one's fault.

by Anonymousreply 8212/20/2020

I was grief stricken and wore nothing but full length black. Then the inheritance check cleared the bank, and suddenly I felt better.

by Anonymousreply 8312/20/2020

Being the primary caretaker for both parents made a huge difference as I was busy taking care of them and their day to day business, and then after their deaths managing their estates. That puts a very different perspective on it. The fact that both lived into their 80s and I was in my 40s and in a position to handle everything that came my way made a huge difference, as did the fact that they'd both made wills, made clear advanced directives, and I didn't have to deal with probate or any other major legal hassles. I had the lawyer handling my mom's estate do my own will and advance directives at the same time he was doing her estate.

My parents were both massive pains in the ass and I get angry at them from time to time for their grossly incompetent parenting choices but I also understand why they were that way and am under no illusions that I would have been a better parent. Which is why I don't have kids!

by Anonymousreply 8412/20/2020

That is fucked, R52. I so see my mom playing these fucked up games. That will be her ultimate "fuck you" is to leave a everything to my younger sibling and me a "for reasons known to you" or an even more cunty $10 which is almost more a slap in the face. My dad had a mistress who is now his wife in the last 5 years. Gays don't despair, old straight men in their late 60's can still get hot, young snatch no matter what their age or looks are. I could see her getting the house that they bought since they were married when he goes. Maybe taking her down will ultimately the one thing that my sibling and I can bond over if she gets everything.

Did your sister give you any of the money, R52>

by Anonymousreply 8512/20/2020

Not a dime, R85. I never went to pick up my check either.

by Anonymousreply 8612/20/2020

As I approach my 30s this is something I contemplate more and more. It’s almost like, are you really an adult in this world if you haven’t had to bury a parent??

My parents are approaching their 60s and retirement and they’ve still got their wits and what not. But I recognize they will not be here forever. Hearing all of this, I do my part to tell them I appreciate them. I catch myself mourning them while they are still alive.

It’s weird, death affects everyone differently.

by Anonymousreply 8712/20/2020

Sorry, r52. It sounds as if your mother was a major cunt. Your one sister, too.

by Anonymousreply 8812/20/2020

I hated my parents. My dad is dead and I rarely think of him. My mom is dying but hanging on with all four claws.

I won't miss them. We just didn't bond. More of an irritant than anything else.

Sad? No. It seems really foreign to me when people crumple into a fetal position with convulsive sobbing at the thought of Daddy. At some point you have to become your own 'parent'.

by Anonymousreply 8912/20/2020

[quote] My mom is dying but hanging on with all four claws

omg, this made me just -

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by Anonymousreply 9012/20/2020

[quote] I know, for me, there was a shift in my life when both of my parents died. There's an emptiness that you can never fill.

[quote] What would you say the “shift” was for you?

The "shift" for me was feeling, 100%, like an adult, finally. I was 37 when my 2nd parent died. I have no children (having children is supposed to make you feel like an adult).

One of my grandparents outlived both my parents. My dad's siblings (who were old themselves) were trying to take care of that very old grandparent. Very sad.

I'm glad I was young & healthy enough to help my parents at the ends of their lives.

by Anonymousreply 9112/20/2020

[quote] I remember Whoopi Goldberg saying that when her mom died, she realized that there is really nobody who will ever love you as much as a parent. And it’s true in most cases. So it’s hard accepting that no matter who you meet, you will probably never meet someone who can give you that kind of love again.

Depends what kind of mother you had. I had major ups and downs w/my mom, but at the end of her life, we were "up." I 100% agree that no one will ever, ever give a shit about you the way your mother does. Who the fuck cares if you're sick, you're hungry, you need a few dollars? Your mother.

by Anonymousreply 9212/20/2020

My mother was the closest to me, but I have to say, weirdly, I knew we were getting close to losing her a few years earlier, and I started backing away. It was also a time where my life and career was finally falling in place, and we sort of had a talk about it before I left. She and I both knew. She's been gone for 13 years now.

My father is still with us. I wish he would have a painless passing at some point in the future - right now he still has some mental faculties, but he's diminished significantly in the last few years. We are as solid as we can be - never close but never estranged, either. I will feel an emptiness when they are both gone, though. My remaining siblings are Trumpers. It's really just me.

by Anonymousreply 9312/20/2020

[quote] My mother was the closest to me, but I have to say, weirdly, I knew we were getting close to losing her a few years earlier, and I started backing away. It was also a time where my life and career was finally falling in place ...

Why did you back away? Was she not a great mother?

by Anonymousreply 9412/20/2020

OP: Take all that energy you're wasting by focusing on a possible future occurrence (remember, you could predecease both your parents), and putting it to better use by living and loving today and in this moment.

Let go and let God.

by Anonymousreply 9512/20/2020

R94 No, not at all, she was wonderful. But she'd had health issues all her life - in one way or another, she'd been sick or dying since I was 4. I knew losing her would be very difficult, and when I moved across country, it was easier to sort of get used to the idea that she wasn't going to be with us for a long time.

I was still warm and loving on visits and on the phone, and authentically so, but I didn't do what I might have a decade earlier, which was to move home to take care of her. (Her granddaughter did that willingly and it was so the best thing that could have ever happened.....a beautiful, sacred moment passing between generations.)

I miss her every day, but I think it would have killed me to have a front row seat to her passing, so it was better that it happened as it did, for all of us.

by Anonymousreply 9612/20/2020

I was in my mid-30's when my Dad died six months after he retired of an MI on Christmas Eve at their place in Florida. It scared me then because we didn't see it coming, it was a big loss made bigger by the holiday, the need to get his body up north for the funeral, and to bury him in the face of a blizzard and because he died of conditions I've inherited. They're a lot more treatable today, but it still freaks me out. OTOH, it was the impetus to change careers and much as I liked what I was doing then, it had a finite life and I enjoyed my second career as much or more.

My mother lived another ten years, the last two of which were so tough on her we had to rent out our place and move into hers to take care of her until she died. I raised every all kind of hell growing up, my parents endured it with far more grace than I ever would have had I been my kid, and I owed her as much or more. She was in a lot of pain at the end and much as I knew I'd miss her, I was happy to see her leave this vale of tears for somewhere better: anywhere is better than an ICU no matter how good and kind the nurses are.

In the end, you cope. If you don't, you're in trouble.

Not a day has gone by in the 35 and 25 years, respectively, since they died that I haven't thought of them. They weren't flawless, but they loved us and gave me an awful lot of what I have today.

by Anonymousreply 9712/20/2020

R6 is not necessarily trolling. When my mother died (I was 39) I was relieved. When I was seven she threatened me if I ever told on the caregiver who molested me and after that our relationship was fraught with fear/delusion on my part and guilt/hatred on hers. My dad died when I was 16 and I was devastated. He was a rageaholic but I guess I loved him. I've spent a lifetime getting over my parents, so don't judge those who have complicated feelings about parents, please.

by Anonymousreply 9812/20/2020

My mother died at age 105 ...still sharp, depressed because she couldn't go to the mall or Costco. She knew it was time and entered a hospice. My brother and I visited her daily, but she was always sleeping. I whispered that she can go, her boys will be ok and her husband is waiting for her. We arrived home and the phone rang, the nurse informed us she passed away.

by Anonymousreply 9912/20/2020

[quote] I miss her every day, but I think it would have killed me to have a front row seat to her passing, so it was better that it happened as it did, for all of us.

Not everybody has the stomach for it. I guess your mother was OK with that. If you have a partner, would you be OK if he or she didn't have the stomach for it (being there in your final months of life)?

by Anonymousreply 10012/20/2020

R100 The situation was more complex than what you've written. To say that I simply "didn't have the stomach for it" is very reductive. I would not have had any say in her care, anyway, because of other family dynamics.

AND she told me once she was sick, "I know things are coming together for you - go do THIS thing I've been wishing would happen for you since you were a child!" We both knew what might happen.

by Anonymousreply 10112/20/2020

As many have said, the first year, an intense void, an emptiness. My parents were 40ish when I was born. I was 40ish when they died -- within a year and a half of each other. Holidays are, I think for many, when we vividly remember them most.

My parents already had an outrageous sense of humor, which became even more macabre as they aged. Mom was always very active, athletic, kept a perfect house, and worked until past age 70. In her late 70's, she developed a deteriorating muscle disease and lost a lot of mobility. For fun she would ride one of those electric carts at Walmart wearing my Stepfather's old motorcycle helmet to terrify small children while she shopped. She hated being old. Her biggest fear was to become senile and/or lose her independence. She died suddenly of a massive stroke with their cat, Cosmo, in her lap. I was told that he climbed on the gurney as the EMT's carried her away. I was in shock and inconsolable for a month, but understood that's how she wanted to go. She had every detail of her estate etc, ready to go.

Likewise with my Stepfather ("call me Big Daddy"), who was awesome (my previous stepfather was not). Died in his sleep of a massive heart attack 15 months later. The neighbors hadn't seen him in two days. Cosmo the cat was howling. They called in a wellness check and the sheriff found him in bed, with Cosmo. I had been in London for work, but was going to do some site seeing for a few days on my own and moved to a cheap hotel room. The call came at 3am on my cell. Semi-estranged siblings did not know that I was 5,500 miles away. He didn't want any sort of memorial or funeral, so I stayed on for a few days until my flight home. It was just surreal. Both parents gone. Somehow, I just floated around town, randomly getting on and off double decker buses in the rain, unaware of anything.

It became a new stage in my life. I was now truly mature -- in my forties. I felt strangely alone for a long time. They (especially Mom) are always in the back of my mind and I still pick up the phone sometimes to ask my Mom for cooking advice or to see if they were watching Jon Stewart. We weren't a perfect family but I only remember the positive.

I inherited Cosmo the cat and brought him down to SF. Sometimes he would go onto the front deck and just howl and cry. And wait. This waned over the years, but not completely.

BTW, at age 51, I found myself in bed for months in excruciating pain while being treated for colorectal cancer. Old Man Cosmo stayed indoors with me, purring near my head. Once I thought I was dying. I'm Greek, superstitious, and think things come in three's. When I woke up, Cosmo was staring into my eyes. I said: "Don't even fucking think about it Cosmo, you're next, not me"!

Since then, two older siblings died. It was nothing like losing my parents, but very similar.

As for my toxic, narcissistic biological father who lived alone until his early 90's, I opened a bottle of champagne that had been waiting in the back of the closet for that moment. Hadn't communicated with him in decades, but it still felt like a thorn in my side was gone.

I hope everyone eventually finds peace after their losses, weather the relationships were bad or good; either way, it's a significant transition

by Anonymousreply 10212/20/2020

"My father died two years before I was born; my mother, a year later. "

by Anonymousreply 10312/20/2020

I really have to say thank you to a lot of these posters.

This is something that I really, REALLY dread. I know everyone (who has a good relationship with their parents does), but I just don't know how I can handle it.

It sounds bad, but I hope my Mom goes first. My older brother died by suicide when I was in my 20's (25 years ago) and she went off the deep end and has never been "normal" since. Literally a basket case and frequently uses his death as a "go-to" to explain her outrageous, cruel, drunken behavior. She was a pretty good mother growing up, but after he died she just lost it. I guess I can't really "blame" her. but it still isn't an excuse to behave the way she does. My worry is though she is just incapable of taking care of herself.

If my Dad or I wasn't there to go to the grocery store, liquor store, pay the bills, etc. I am worried it wouldn't happen. She will have $500K in the bank and the electricity will get shut off. I love her but I am genuinely terrified what will happen if she is left on her own.

I am also worried about their massive amount of stuff. My Dad has tools he hasn't used in twenty years (not like hammers but band-saws), 10 sets of drill bits, 3-4 golf club sets, etc. all rusting away in a shed.

My Mom is no better. Quilts upon quilts, an entire WALL of fabric (she sewed quite a bit in her younger years but hasn't touched it in 20 years), like 6 sets of China, a GPS device for a car (that I'm pretty sure doesn't work). Photos of our family going back to the 1800's (I have no interest in genealogy) They refuse to get rid of any of it because they think they will be able to sell it someday at a garage sale, even though that will never happen either.

I'm going to have to toss it all someday and it is going to break my heart because it was "important" to them, even though most of it is junk.

by Anonymousreply 10412/20/2020

The love of a good man.

Ok, he left the room.

Alcohol, weed, Prozac, cigarettes, the 6 sessions of therapy my insurance would pay for and my sunny goddamn outlook.

by Anonymousreply 10512/20/2020

[quote] I am also worried about their massive amount of stuff.... They refuse to get rid of any of it because they think they will be able to sell it someday at a garage sale, even though that will never happen either.

R104, my mom (who died) was a packrat. You're smart to just accept that your parents will not get rid of their stuff. It will be up to the survivors to deal with it. Very time-consuming, but that's just how it is.

by Anonymousreply 10612/20/2020

Just before my 51st birthday my dad who was just about to turn 81 called me and told me he believed he was going to die soon. He'd been vaguely unwell and a week of tests in the hospital turned up nothing, but he said it would be soon.

So right then, we had "the talk." We talked on the phone for three hours, mostly about silly things, but some real ones too. He said, "You'll be with me, right?" and I said "Of course!" He called a week later sounding very ill and said, "I waited too long, get on the next plane, right now". I bought a ticket and was in Florida by late that afternoon. He had moved from home directly to a hospice and he died five hours after I arrived. He could still respond and talk a bit for the first two hours, and then he was silent but aware, and then he was gone. I have never cried harder in my life which seemed to upset him. He died literally patting our hands to calm our grief. It was incredible, really.

In the last few days his liver failed and he was done. That was now six years ago and it remains the saddest yet most meaningful day of my life. He didn't have to give up anything, he had no slow decline, nor loss of his faculties and he reported feeling no pain. We still don't know what he had, but whatever it was he knew. I feel very lucky in many ways, as he was able to die quickly with dignity and with enough warning to have us all with him. I am still very sad, we had a very good, close relationship. Having been through this, it will be less of a shock when my mom dies, she was six years younger than my dad. It is life altering, but again, most people do not have it so merciful, so I feel lucky. Sorry if that went on too long.

by Anonymousreply 10712/20/2020

my mother was widowed very early in life; she had a burial plot with four slots in it. her husband is in one. Her sister, much older, asked to be put in the second slot.

My mom was like oh of course! Privately, she said to me she wanted to be buried in with her husband next. I said given your age difference that's not likely. (Beat.) Mom. What if I die first? Are you okay if I were buried next?

Mom: "Oh, honey!.....that'd be fine. Don't worry."

I told her the correct response was: "don't even say that!" Her sister died; once that happened Mom was of course I want her in there! Later, Mom did and I'm here alone.

Naturally.

by Anonymousreply 10812/20/2020

I lost both of my parents just a few months apart from each other, and their last several years were full of foreboding, since it was impossible to ignore the progress of disease. I made the mistake of drinking heavily to deal with the pain and emptiness I felt, but I've since stopped drinking.

When they were alive, I was lucky that they were my best friends, but that meant that couldn't turn to them for support when I was at my lowest. And I still feel guilt and shame that I wasn't better able to support them when they were still here. I'm still learning how to let that go.

My Dad had a very positive, "can-do" personality, so I've learned to ask myself, "What would Dad do?" when I find myself getting stuck. I miss them every day, though.

by Anonymousreply 10912/20/2020

My Mother died of Alzheimer’s in 2016. It was a relief to all of us that her suffering was over. My parents were happily married for 64 years. My Dad passed this past May. I was very close to my father and his passing has been very rough. I miss him every day... He was an awesome father and he loved me very much...I will never fully cope with them both gone...

by Anonymousreply 11012/20/2020

the only solace I have is that my parents are together now, if you believe in an afterlife; most days, I don't, actually.

My mother and I grew close later in life; I was the only unmarried son. She confided a lot in me. I will say in fairness one daughter in law she had was an icy bitch; all the negatives; covered it by saying she was 'quiet'.

Mom confided in me she thought my older brother, her firstborn, married with a kid, is gay too; and that he just made a different choice.

I think she's right.

by Anonymousreply 11112/20/2020

Preach, R98. Yes. not everybody has good feelings about their families. Sometimes children and parents do not click. Sometimes a sibling can die when you are really young and change the dynamics. Everyone in my family has gone their separate ways and nobody talks. I'm used to always traveling during the holidays since I was out of high school. I have friends that are like family, but at 40, they have their own families. Sometimes it's OK to just be on your own, but I would have preferred to have relationships more like the ones in this thread.

by Anonymousreply 11212/20/2020

R112, after my mom died (Dad already dead), my siblings & I slowly drifted apart. I'm sad about it, but I tried to keep connected with them. I think family estrangement is more "normal" than people admit. It's sort of like a dirty secret, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 11312/20/2020

I was 39 when my father died at age 82 and I was 48 when my mother died at age 84. I was very close with my mother and not so much with my father. The last few years my mother had dementia and didn't know who I was. It didn't bother me that she didn't know who I was. I took care of her on occasion. I do miss her and not sure what happens to us after we die, but I do hope I get to see her again.

by Anonymousreply 11412/20/2020

Family estrangement is very taboo. For the last few years, I decided to be brazen and just say. "we are estranged" when I was asked about my family when meeting new people or at work. I've gone back to lying again because it's just easier.

by Anonymousreply 11512/20/2020

My mother was abusive physically and emotionally. I still didn’t wish her suffering. However, after she died I just felt relief. After my father died, I realized I was a 39 year old orphan. I was nobody’s child anymore and basically stepped into the next generation if that makes any sense. You’ll get through it and move on. Good parents want their children to have full and happy lives. Remember that.

by Anonymousreply 11612/20/2020

[quote]...basically stepped into the next generation if that makes any sense.

That makes complete sense. You stated it well. When my mother drew her last breath, I immediately felt the loss of that generation ahead of me. I felt like I was all of a sudden standing on a cliff. My place in the world had shifted. It took a while to adjust to that new place I was occupying.

You've never known the world without your mother, until that moment when you finally do. It's epic.

by Anonymousreply 11712/20/2020

Well put, R116. When I face challenges I have often felt that my parents, whatever their faults when alive, would want me to cope well and have every happiness in life. It's like a conviction I now have that may be only psychological, not ontological, but who care because it gives me strength.

by Anonymousreply 11812/20/2020

Man, everyone who has shared their story in this thread has in one way or another moved me.

Whether your experience has been “ideal” or “taboo,” just know that you have contributed to one of the most moving, thought provoking, eye opening, and gratitude inducing threads I’ve Eve had the honor too read on DL. (MARY! I know.) I hope more of you will share your stories.

I mean, I’m just - I can’t... I have no words. After reaching the end of this thread I felt thrust into the deepest silence. My heart both aches and glows for all of you. Thank you.

Reading this thread felt like watching this scene:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 11912/20/2020

[quote] I’ve Eve had the honor too read on DL

Oh. Dear.

This is what you all have done to me!

by Anonymousreply 12012/21/2020

r62- Fucked up but not uncommon. My mother had brain cancer for 5 years and for 2 years was semi-vegetative. All the support from family and friends falls away because it's depressing and exhausting. My father was lonely and vulnerable and drunk and this vampire grabbed him by the balls, and he loved it.

She was a hired "caregiver" who swooped in at the end. My mom died when she wasn't there and she was furious that we didn't call her. She came to the house before the undertaker and got in bed with my mother's corpse and cried. Then convinced my father that I had overdosed my mother on purpose. She even called the police. 100 percent crazy. Spent his money on cars, trips and her own family.

Live your OWN life first. I don't regret giving up my career to care for my mom. But I wouldn't necessarily recommend it either.

by Anonymousreply 12112/21/2020

I was helped most in coping with my father's death by knowing that I had been helpful to him in his last years and that I was good to my mom after he was gone. Particularly in his last year, I did everything I could to give him the support he needed . For example, when he fell ill on vacation, I dropped everything, flew to Florida and drove him and my mom back home across country. He was so appreciative of that. And after he was gone, I stepped up in helping my mom with all the little things he used to do. When I get sad about his passing, it gives me comfort that when he needed me, I was there for him and my mom.

by Anonymousreply 12212/21/2020

What R121 describes certainly occurs. Also dangerous are the 'supportive friends' who move in on the person about to lose their spouse to illness. They cling steadfastly during that final illness, dispensing "care" and "support" to the person about to be aggrieved. The campaign gets stepped up after the death. These assholes couldn't get a date from a person who is thinking straight. They prey on people whose hearts and souls are in pain.

Watch out for them. If you see it happening to a friend or family member, step up, be vocal, and do all you can to kick these parasites to the gutter.

by Anonymousreply 12312/21/2020

What R2 said.

I lived with both parents, when they died. My Dad died of cancer when he was 71. I was 34. My Mom and I having each other around helped get through grief at my Dad's death. I cannot say enough for a good support system. Mourning his death lessened over time. Laughter replaced tears.

My Mom died four years ago of a form of cancer. she was 84. I was 53. I'm not tearing up as much anymore, but her death struck me harder, because I have no one to share the grief. I have brothers, who are wonderful to turn to. And I have a strong network of friends, but I'm single. I really think that a more intimate relationship like having a boyfriend or spouse would have helped me to cope better with my Mom's death.

It's really true that time heals all wounds. It takes time, OP. You'll always miss them, if you had a good relationship with them, but you learn to cope and to move on with life. Don't isolate yourself. And therapy can help.

by Anonymousreply 12412/21/2020

My father died when I was 14, and I postponed grieving for 20 years so the trauma remained very fresh. With professional help, I discovered my father in myself... my behavior and personality.... and I learned to accept the loss and embrace my love for him. My mother recently died at age 93. Her passing was a very normal life event with a serious illness occurring over a few years. I was able to experience anticipatory grief as she became weaker. Her passing was a relief with considerable sadness.

by Anonymousreply 12512/21/2020

R121 Wow. I’m sorry you went through all of that. Crazy.

I’m glad you have a positive outlook that seems to have resulted from you working through all of that and settling into a place of acceptance and forgiveness.

by Anonymousreply 12612/21/2020

My dad died November 2019, so we just had his 1 yr anniversary. My mom died about 3.5 months after him in March 2020. This will be the first holiday without both of them. Granted, with Covid it was going to be a different holiday anyway, but without them it just seems empty. Everything I see in a grocery store makes me think of the stuff I'd buy to help mom with the big family dinner, and the various Christmas specials make me remember watching those shows with them. I am finding that as it's getting close to Christmas that my emotions are a bit closer to the surface.

by Anonymousreply 12712/21/2020

My mother died young at 47 of cancer. For years I'd see guys my age in line with their mothers at a grocery store, the theatre or wherever and the pain in my heart was terrible.

I was in my early twenties so I had few skills. Over time one learns to cope of course, but yeah, losing her has been the great tragedy of my life I hope you guys are grateful for all the years you've had with your (good) parents

by Anonymousreply 12812/21/2020

[quote] My mother died young at 47 of cancer. For years I'd see guys my age in line with their mothers at a grocery store, the theatre or wherever and the pain in my heart was terrible.

R128, after my mom died (cancer), I overheard my coworker on the phone with her elderly dad, asking him what he wanted for dinner that night. I think I did cry. Those little things you take for granted or even resent become really poignant.

by Anonymousreply 12912/21/2020

My parents are still with me, but they've both hit 70, so I know it's inevitable. For the last few years, I've started saving all the holiday cards and the notes my mom sends me. I also had her fill out a memory book.

by Anonymousreply 13012/21/2020

Wait until both your parents die and it occurs to you you're next. What fun.

by Anonymousreply 13112/21/2020

OP,

Average longevity is in the low 80s now. You don't have to dwell on this for a while.

by Anonymousreply 13212/21/2020

I dressed like a giant bat & tricked out my car.

by Anonymousreply 13312/21/2020

Who, R133???

by Anonymousreply 13412/21/2020

R133 Oh, I know! Daddy!

by Anonymousreply 13512/21/2020

My dad died when I was 29, and my mom died when I was 49, both were not doing well, so we knew it was going to happen soon. I really don't think about them all the time, maybe once a month or so, even tho I was very close to my mom. I was holding her hand when I told her she was the best mother in the world as tears were streaming down my face, then her heart stopped. My partner didn't want to come because he was heart broken, and my brother and sister couldn't make it in time, so it was me "her baby" as she called me, because I was her youngest. Wouldn't you know, my partner ended up in the same emergency room a few months later, and out of the more than 50 rooms, they put him in the same room my mom died in.

by Anonymousreply 13612/21/2020

[quote] I was holding her hand when I told her she was the best mother in the world as tears were streaming down my face, then her heart stopped.

That’s how I hope it happens with my mother and I.

by Anonymousreply 13712/22/2020

My mom died in 2013 at 78, when I was 50. A couple years earlier, her brain deteriorated in a big way so her death was a relief. The deterioration was a lot to digest, emotionally and operationally, in part because my sisters did not handle it well, were assholes. My paternal grandmother had the same brain experience, but she lingered for several years with no mental faculties to speak of so I feared that my mother would experience that fate, was relieved when she didn't. Over my mother's last couple years, in her ultra-rare, lucid moments, she was entirely miserable. She and l had a good relationship, not super-close.

My father died in May at 85; I'm 58. In short, he was a tiresome asshole, hit my mother in front of me and my sisters, physically forced my sister, who was 11 at the time, to watch hardcore pornography. I'd bet my lunch money he did things I don't know about. I had very little contact with him for a long time, was only saddened by his death because there wasn't much pain and suffering.

by Anonymousreply 13812/22/2020

[quote] forced my sister, who was 11 at the time, to watch hardcore pornography.

My God. I’m so sorry your sister went through that.

I’m also happy your mother didn’t have to endure what your grandmother did. May she rest in peace 🙏🏼

by Anonymousreply 13912/22/2020

There really is no way to prepare yourself for any beloved person's passing. The best one can hope for is enjoying their company each day that you can spend together.

by Anonymousreply 14012/22/2020

I lost my parents love when they found out I was gay. My father was a Nixonian conservative who was a true SOB. Had he lived long enough to see Trump in office he would have been a very happy man. He would come home every day from a brutal job in a factory and be miserable to us. I cried when he died but after the tears were gone I felt the greatest sense of relief and that the world was a better place. I felt this literally.

My mother is a Catholic Cunt. One of those women who despite being religious feels it is their duty to traumatize and destroy their children. Then fully satisfied they say their Hail Marys and Rosaries. There seems to be quite a few of them as growing up in a Catholic parish I've seen it happen too many times. Holding up a cross to your face like the exorcist 'Kiss Jesus ! Kiss Jesus and ask for forgiveness!' Forgiveness for fucking what? For not being the ideal son you were supposed to have? Of course to them everyone else is a religious hypocrite and they can spend hours reciting all the wrongs done to them while completely ignoring their own rather considerably hurtful transgressions. I loved her very much growing up but growing old seeing the enormity of her terrible cruelty I have no idea how I will respond to her death. It could be tremendous relief or total devastation. She is the only person I have any feelings for as my parents gutted me and I have never had any relationships and have only had a couple of friends. She is a complete narcissist and loved her social life with my father far more than she loved her children. I have had no problem telling her that when she dies she will find herself dancing with my father and Satan on a Viking cruise through hell on the River Styx.

by Anonymousreply 14112/22/2020

After my mother died, I thought to myself, 'At last her reign of terror is over and she can't cause any more chaos and pain'. Little did I know, because she was as destructive in death as she was in life, pitting the entire family against each other in a massive will contest that lasted the better part of a decade. The family is in ruins and we will never speak to one another again.

I dreamed of her often in the first two years after her death. We had some frank discussions. Then I dreamed she said 'I am leaving now, goodbye,' and the dreams ended.

by Anonymousreply 14212/22/2020

[quote]After my mother died, I thought to myself, 'At last her reign of terror is over and she can't cause any more chaos and pain'. Little did I know, because she was as destructive in death as she was in life, pitting the entire family against each other in a massive will contest that lasted the better part of a decade. The family is in ruins and we will never speak to one another again.

What causes parents to act like this?

by Anonymousreply 14312/22/2020

If you love them, tell them. If you have questions, ask them. Be kind, be patient, enjoy them while you can. Visit them when you can. Call them, compliment them when you can.

by Anonymousreply 14412/22/2020

I've written before about my abusive father, so I won't repeat much of it here, but I changed my last name after he beat me up when I was 17 and told me he was ashamed for me to have his family's last name. I hadn't seen or spoken to him in many years, but he lived only a few blocks from me, so when he was in the hospital dying, my sister was with him and I couldn't help hearing bits about it when I stopped long enough to listen.

I was getting ready for work the morning my sister called to say he died, and I had to bite my tongue not to ask, "Why are you telling me? Do you think I care?" Anyway, I went to work. When his obituary came out, it listed me as his son, with *his* last name. I went on the funeral home website where it asked for comments to the family, and I wrote something like this:

"Please remove my former name from this man's obituary. He disowned me more than 40 years ago and I changed my last name at his request. His wife and children know this, so it's a hostile act to include me with that name in a list of survivors." About an hour later, my name was removed, along with my comment. That was about 10 years ago.

My mother died in my arms. I had moved in with her to keep her out of a nursing home, and in her last year, I couldn't work, because I couldn't leave her alone for that long. When she died, and I thought she was gone completely and I had called 911, I said, "I love you, can you hear me?" and she moved her lips very slightly, then the first responders walked in and she was definitely gone. Five years ago.

As others have said, I think about her every day, and sometimes I feel her looking out of my face.

Oddly, I have a lot more compassion for my father now. He was a brown-skinned, curly-haired total racist who used the worst possible language about black people. He was an arrogant bully who knocked my mother down a few times until she gathered us children up and left. He believed in following the rules about social and gender roles, and he never paid a bill late, even when we had not much to eat.

Now I can think of a few good things about him. He was a talented craftsman, carpenter, and wood sculpture artist. He could build a house from scratch with a hammer, a saw, and some nails. He made beautiful furniture and many other things from wood. He used a wood lathe to create phenomenal vases, bowls, and other turned work, for which he received awards and honors. I've watched videos on YouTube of woodworkers doing modern things I know he would have been as good as or better than any of them, were he still alive.

Now that they are dead, I look at their lives start to finish, and think of them as links in the generations. Right or wrong, good or bad, they helped keep humanity alive between their parents generation and mine.

by Anonymousreply 14512/22/2020

With lots of streamers, balloons, confetti, and a nice bottle of champagne.

by Anonymousreply 14612/22/2020

R145 I loved reading about your final moments with your mom. I’m happy you got to care for her and be with her when she passed.

What did you mean when you wrote:

[quote]sometimes I feel her looking out of my face.

I also find your outlook refreshing, inspiring, and uplifting.

by Anonymousreply 14712/22/2020

r126. It's heartbreaking stories like r141's, that make it easy for me to feel grateful instead of bitter. I had many happy years with my parents before they died. His story is all to common in our generation. Most gays and lesbians don't survive that environmnen.t. r141 is a true survivor of the horrors of that era.

r143, not parents, people. There seem to be people who actually thrive on the pain and chaos they cause others. It's evil and I'm sure comes from not being loved as a baby, combine this with substance abuse/mental illness and you see how easy it can happen. Face it, people are fucked up.

by Anonymousreply 14812/22/2020

R147, it's the weirdest thing, and I hesitated about writing it here, because it sounds (even to me) like I'm Anthony Perkins in Psycho, unsure whether I'm the son or the mother. And I've never told anyone about it.

I have a cousin who looks a tiny bit like our grandfather. Once in a while when he's talking or gesturing, for just half a second it looks like our grandfather is in the flesh, looking out of my cousin's face.

It's sort of like that, except I'm feeling it from inside rather than looking at it in someone else. Several times a day, for just a half-second moment, I can feel her face in my face, I can feel my expression is not just similar to hers, but as if she were inside me, making that expression herself. I know absolutely if my sister or other family member were present, they would say something like, "OMG, you looked just like Mom then."

It also happens with my maternal grandmother, but not as frequently, maybe once a week or so.

by Anonymousreply 14912/22/2020

I made sure I had a really good alibi.

by Anonymousreply 15012/22/2020

R149 Cutie, lol.

I sometimes feel like that about my mom, who’s still alive. We act the same!

by Anonymousreply 15112/22/2020

R148, there was no childhood abuse or substance abuse. My mother was a very clever and beautiful woman who got away with murder because no one ever reined her in. But by the end of her life, and certainly after her death, everyone had her number.

A word of advice to anyone who has had an unhappy childhood - don't keep reliving it after they are gone. Whether they deserve it or not, focus on whatever good moments there were for your own peace of mind.

(R142)

by Anonymousreply 15212/22/2020

I don’t understand people who are traumatized by their parents death as an adult It’s the reality of life. My Dad died at 63 when I was 24 after a 2 year cancer battle. My mother lived until I was 52 and she was 85. There is a deep awareness of the temporary nature of life - and some sadness that the person is no longer there. But I always looked at their death as the reality we all face - even when I was young.

I do wonder if having serious illnesses as a child and then being exposed to AIDS at 16 gave me a more accepting view of death. I’ve always tried to be prepared that death could come anytime - ever since I was a kid. When it happens to someone after 60, I have a hard time feeling traumatized. It’s the cycle of life and I will get there too. A dead person feels no pain - the only sadness is the people who are left. And it is up to us how we accept or respond to death. Dwelling on what we no longe heave seems self indulgent.

by Anonymousreply 15312/22/2020

^ no longer have

by Anonymousreply 15412/22/2020

R153 I’m glad that you’ve been able to accept the reality of life and your life. Sincerely. However, to state the obvious, we all have unique and varied experiences with our lives, our parents, our families. The inability to grasp that concept is obtuse and lacking in empathy.

by Anonymousreply 15512/22/2020

I was going to say something but chose not to, R155. Your response is much classier.

[quote] I don’t understand people who are traumatized by their parents death as an adult

R153 This was a bit insensitive.

by Anonymousreply 15612/22/2020

What's done is done. I refuse to dwell on unpleasant things.

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by Anonymousreply 15712/22/2020

Your experience is extraordinarily similar to my own R22.

by Anonymousreply 15812/22/2020

My mother was an emotionally and physically abusive psychopath and I was estranged for her for years. I believe she is dead but I really don't know for sure.

My dad was best friend, closest confidante and I loved him beyond all reason . He died on Dec 26th 2014 and a part of me died that day. I met my now husband a year later and he has been the greatest joy of my life.

I didn't think I would ever recover from the loss of my dad...but my husband's unconditional love has helped greatly.

by Anonymousreply 15912/22/2020

[quote] I really think that a more intimate relationship like having a boyfriend or spouse would have helped me to cope better with my Mom's death.

Don't be too sure. Four days after my mother's sudden death from a heart attack, my boyfriend dumped me saying, "I don't want to have to help you through your grief. I want to enjoy life."

by Anonymousreply 16012/22/2020

R160 Oh my god. What was that like? How did you get through that?

by Anonymousreply 16112/22/2020

In a way I carry on a modified version of one of my father's legacies and honor his food-loving appreciation of NYC. I grew up in Queens. When ex-classmates of my father, army buddies, relatives, or friends would visit, my father would take them on all-day treks through Manhattan, pizza tours, cheese tours, Chinatown baseball games and off-Broadway. He's make a big deal of their visits.

I live in Westchester County now. Until COVID-19 hit NYC, when any of my father's friends, buddies, family or their children visit, they would stay with me and my partner. We eat, drink, tell affirming stories for the twentieth time about our parents and we laugh. This is how we cope with our fathers death and honor them. Up until March, it was me who took out-of-towners to hummus restaurants, cheese tours, Greenwich Village, off-Broadway, baseball games, brewery tours, etc.

If you like your parents, then celebrate them while you can. Learn some of their traditions and carry them on to honor them.

by Anonymousreply 16212/22/2020

My dad was frugal, but when we did eat at restaurants, we were free to order anything we wanted. Also, my dad would always pick up the tab at restaurants, e.g., even if non-family members were along. It wasn't a big deal to him. Now, sometimes, I like to pay the tab when eating with a friend, not to a ridiculous degree, but I think it's a nice gesture.

by Anonymousreply 16312/22/2020

R161 I really can't remember what it was like. I was in a fog and pretty much went along for the next few months in autopilot doing what needed to be done. About six months later, I had a nervous breakdown which took almost another six months to recover from.

by Anonymousreply 16412/22/2020

R160 That has to be one of the most cruel things I've read on this thread. Were his words a complete shock or had he shown troubling characteristics?

by Anonymousreply 16512/22/2020

R164, I've had a few nervous breakdowns, the first one when I was in eighth grade. I don't want to derail this thread, but sometime (though I rarely feel like examining at those "psychotic events," as the doctors called them) it might be interesting to have a thread where we compare stories and see who else has been there.

by Anonymousreply 16612/22/2020

R165 It came out of the blue, so it was a shock. People who knew us both were also shocked. He lost a few friends who were his before he and I were together because of it. He was unapologetic then and as far as I know, he still maintains he made the best decision for himself.

by Anonymousreply 16712/22/2020

A lovely, thoughtful story.

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by Anonymousreply 16812/22/2020

I feel terrible for many of you. My parents were (my mom is still alive) flawed, both had substance abuse issues, but they were both very generous and loving. They seemed to enjoy being parents and I loved being with them as a kid. They never gave a shit that I was gay, and both were very funny and good company...and Democrats!

by Anonymousreply 16912/22/2020

There was just too much pain in our family from the beginning. I know too much because my mother was the kind to make each child her confidante and pour all her memories and grief into that child for as long as he/she would put up with it. Kind of like the mother in The Prince of Tides. I think abuse is handed down in families because "hurt people hurt people." It's as simple and horrible as that. My oldest brother adopted children because he was afraid they would "be like dad." My father would become enraged at the drop of a hat, say terrible things. Long before my time (I was the last) he would hit my mother and brothers. At holidays there was a big pretense of togetherness. I got so many toys when I was little it can only have been guilt/shame on my parents part for how they'd fucked me up. My sister lived with inappropriate guys--big surprise. My other brother ignores his daughter to such an extent that while he has his teeth attended to every 6 months, hers are falling out and she looks like a homeless person. I don't have kids, thank god. I never wanted to pass on the depression/anxiety that a bad childhood gives you. I feel empathy for everyone on this thread, though. Love is so precious, even when it is compromised. If you had good or great parents, you feel so bad when they're gone, but you have wonderful memories.

by Anonymousreply 17012/22/2020

My mother died over 9 years ago. I went into a tailspin, got around a bit. I was 31. I became engaged not long after to a guy I had just met and it was a disaster. Big mess that turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me. Then my dad died over two years ago and I fucked around a bit and then I met a nice young man and eloped with him over covid. So, I guess I’m saying I’m consistent, but making better decisions?

by Anonymousreply 17112/23/2020

I lost my amazing 80 year old Mom in September of this year. She had Stage 4 Lung Cancer, and while we were getting her through chemo, she got diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. Both had metastasized to her liver and brain very quickly. She stopped fighting when she got such repeatedly bad news. My brother and I stayed in the hospital with her for three nights, watching her slowly drift away under morphine and ativan, and we were there for the final moment of her passing. We cried and cried together.

Sorting through all of her things was very sad, yet beautiful (she had left heartfelt notes for her children). I had to get her things out of her apartment within two weeks of her passing. I got a lot of help from family and friends, but the work was largely mine to handle, and she wanted it that way. I did her proud, but it was incredibly stressful.

I do think about her every day, and three months later, I still have a good cry about once a week. I decided to make Sundays her day, but try to limit it to that day. Every Sunday I will do something in her memory - scan some of her photos or recipes, write about her, meditate, talk to one of her friends on the phone.

I do not see or feel her ghost, but I thought I would. I'm not feeling that she's with me, except in my own spirit and mind. But she's really gone. I feel grateful and blessed that I was so close to her, and I'm relieved that she's no longer suffering. I miss our talks and jokes, and I miss having someone old in the family that I can ask random questions to. She was the last of her generation. I still have that reflex to call her, text her, send her a cute picture of my cats, and then I'm like oh...right.

I have some of her clothes, and wear her sweaters and t-shirts occasionally too. One of her pajamas has her scent still. I won't wear those, but I'll keep them handy for when I want to remember her.

I'll never regret taking her on that three week road trip through the South to see all kinds of family members, back in 2012 when she was still very healthy, and especially the surprise visit to Dollywood. The child like look on her face when I told her where we were going I'll cherish forever.

Miss you Mumzie.

by Anonymousreply 17212/23/2020

That all sounds so very familiar, R149. We each got all of our genetic material from just two sources, so how could it be otherwise?

My father split before I entered kindergarten, so I have few memories of him. My mother told me that my eyes move as his did. Whatever that means. She commented on it several times, so it must have been striking, at least to her. She told me that I construct sentences the way he did. There's just no way I learned that from him. I barely remember him. She told me that I speak and/or mumble in the say way he did. In her assessment, that's where the similarity with my father ended. It isn't. The first time I caught myself using my mother's weird hand gestures, I was unnerved. That we have the exact same face is obvious to anyone in the room.

My father found me when I was 37. He was old and in ill health and was curious about me. When he saw my mother's obituary in the local paper, he reasoned I would be in town and he sought me out. I've never been a math whiz, but bookkeeping made sense to me the first time I looked at it. "Cash flow" came to me quickly the first time I had a job that involved cash flow. None of this was in my education, which had strictly been in the arts. When I met my father, I found out he had worked for many years as an auditor for the IRS. So that's where that came from. It had not been in my mother's considerable skill set, so I thought it was uniquely mine. But no.

My mother had been a registered nurse and for decades, she managed nursing units and staffs. She was great at it. She was wonderful with patients. Managing people was not something I learned in music school, but it came to me naturally. Time and again, as an adult I've been working as some odd synthesis of the parent who raised me and the parent who didn't. Good manager. Great with people. A head for numbers. None of which came from music school.

My mother was a kind and generous woman, patient, loyal and with a sense of humor about herself. She inexplicably voted a straight Republican ticket every election of her life until she voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 and died the next month. I, of course, rebelled against my mother's Republican voting record. I described myself as a pacifist and a socialist and an advocate for the disenfranchised, especially gay people. When I met my father, he told me he was a pacifist socialist. I wanted to scream. I really felt that was my territory and he was encroaching on it. Of course, he got there first. Long before me. I just didn't know that. How did this happen???

A kind, loving, generous Republican in a caring profession. And a pacifist socialist IRS auditor Democrat who abandons his children. It's a mixed bag. They are both long gone. Whatever I got from them might once have been theirs, but it's mine now. When I tune into it, it makes me wonder what 'death' really is. I have not spawned. I suppose when I go, I'll really be dead. My two parents, however, seem to be carrying on, as before, right inside my body.

by Anonymousreply 17312/23/2020

I always remember a line from the movie "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge," R173 spoken by their son, played by Robert Sean Leonard:

"Who else's children would we be?"

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by Anonymousreply 17412/23/2020

I miss my mother every day but she always told me, " You only have one life. Go out there and live it."

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by Anonymousreply 17512/23/2020

Mom died at 70 after about 10 years of various medical problems. I cried all night, even though we didn't have that great a relationship. She was tough and very conservative, but a stylish suburban mom type, who saw me as "less than" because of being gay. She married for security the second time, retiring at 55 and traveling the world. Her husband also had a gay son (AIDS death) and she changed her whole outlook and treated my BFs well. Mom knew her time was coming (early) and she said she was ready to go, that she'd had a good life (died on the table during a surgical procedure). When her husband died, he made sure we kids (he had four of his own) received money, which (along with my own savings) enabled me to retire a few years early. Thanks Mom.

Dad was a new age psychotherapist/healer, liberal, loving, affectionate guy, loved by everyone in our small, "artsy" village. He married four times and the last one was a patient. They both left their spouses for each other. He was 60 and she was 40. He left everything to her and bought her a place out west while he continued to work and live in our town until his death at 85. He cut off my brother and me at the end,. We felt betrayed by him as he did by us. When he died, his wife stayed out west, ignoring him. Dad requested no memorials or a funeral, and his "followers" (friends who adored him) dropped his ashes into the water off the town dock as per his request with none of his family present (including my sister with whom he had a good relationship). I did not shed a tear for my father. We did love him for who he had been years earlier. Sad situation but that's life.

by Anonymousreply 17612/23/2020

[quote] I think abuse is handed down in families because "hurt people hurt people."

Such a tragic and oft overlooked truth. You know, most people aren’t born assholes; they’re hurt into it.

by Anonymousreply 17712/23/2020

[quote] Love is so precious, even when it is compromised.

I’m putting this on a magnet on my fridge.

by Anonymousreply 17812/23/2020

R175s Liberace reminds me of a line that always stays with me from the movie. When Scott Thorson asks him after his mother’s funeral if he is sad, Liberace says “I’m relieved”. She was an overbearing, demanding woman who could never be pleased even though he bought everything for her including a beautiful house. I’ve always thought that is how I will feel when my mother finally passes - relieved. She is an endlessly needy old woman who has never respected her children’s right to their own lives. I’m sure there will be sadness - but I honestly am looking forward to the relief from the burden.

by Anonymousreply 17912/23/2020

"Champagene for everybody"

by Anonymousreply 18012/23/2020

This thread = 😭

by Anonymousreply 18112/24/2020

I moved straight to acceptance. Sold off my mothers $3 million home, inherited her other assets (shares, banks accounts with large sums of money) then my hubby and me upgraded to a bigger house.

by Anonymousreply 18212/24/2020

"Mid sixties"?? op..unless both are chronically ill, you shouldn't have to worry abut them dropping dead for a good long time

by Anonymousreply 18312/24/2020

I lost a brother when I was 23. Sent me into a grief spiral I still grapple with, which has changed nothing. When my parents passed I tried to learn from that. The best I came up with was living the life my parents would want me to have. Miss them, yes. Carry the memory of them always, of course. Be paralyzed with grief? No.

I went into therapy as my parents started slowing down. I didn’t want to be blindsided again. Enormous help.

I had a friend who lost her mother about the same time. It was so clear she expected me to be her grief fuck buddy. She actually scolded me for not being sadder - people want the show. They’re almost disappointed when you handle things well. That’s not friendship.

Losing my brother taught me life can be awfully short. Don’t waste it on things you can’t change. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. Good luck to you OP.

by Anonymousreply 18412/24/2020

You cope. You have to.

I don't want to sound hostile, but it's part of growing up. Yet I feel less grown-up, more insecure after my mum died (dad died couple of years before)

I spent most of my young life worrying about when mum and dad would die - and then I lost both in my mid-40s. I have a life, a job, a lover, but there are still certain times (a couple of health scares) when I want to scream I WANT MY MUM! ,

by Anonymousreply 18512/24/2020

I work at an urgent care clinic. On this thread, people talk about the emptiness they feel when a parent passes. But imagine having to care for your elderly parent. Sitting in a waiting room for hours for a mother’s painful UTI, or waiting to have your elderly father xrayed after a fall. Every single day, I see frustration and exasperation in these children when they are bringing their elderly parents for treatment. Neither the child nor the parent wants to be there. I think there is peace, not “emptiness”, in death that should be acknowledged.

by Anonymousreply 18612/24/2020

Agreed, R186. I had to sign the papers to pull the plug on my mother. She fell in and went from good to bad to ICU in six weeks. I've not had a day when I wanted her to live longer. When I signed the papers, it was an epic moment, to be sure, but I always, always, knew that I was helping her get out from under something that would not get better and, if she did somehow get better, she would never see good health again. She would hate that. She was 76. She had a fine life and she had lived it largely as she chose to live it. Being a captive in a nursing home was not for her.

The way to do hospice care is QUICKLY. My mother never lost her independence. She was the captain of her own ship until that final illness. I would not change any of it.

by Anonymousreply 18712/24/2020

R187 - you did the right thing. And that isn’t always easy. Merry Christmas to you.

by Anonymousreply 18812/24/2020

My Mom died from brain cancer 3 days before Christmas a couple of years ago. Her last months were at home in her own bed with us and some extra help caring for her. The mental and physical strain of watching my Mom die contributed to the heart attack that I had 7 days after her death. I still think about her daily. After she died I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would think of was that she is dead. Now I can wake up and not think about her until I am making tea and remembering making her tea while she was ill. Everyone copes differently depending on the person and the relationship that you had with your parent. Today is Christmas eve, I am invited to my Father's place for Christmas day but I really just want to stay in bed and try not to think about everything, In addition, I just ended a 10+ relationship a few weeks ago and I feel kind of numb. The only way to cope is to suffer through it knowing that the pain will become less as time goes by.

by Anonymousreply 18912/24/2020

I lost my mom when I was 30 due to a car accident. 3 of my siblings turned psychotic after she died taking what little she had and trying to exclude my other brother and I from the funeral going do far as calling the cops on us for trespassing when we arrived at the church. Not to mention one of my former stepfathers caused a lot of trouble after having tan out on my mom 23 years before that. There was do much anger I didn't have the luxury to be sad and mourn until later. I miss her terribly. Everyday I think about things I want to tell her. I lost my dad to Parkinsons 7 years later. I miss him too but we had a much more complicated relationship.

by Anonymousreply 19012/24/2020

R189 - omg how are you not a raging alcoholic or druggie. Good luck to you. My saving grace is walking/jogging in the park. Hope you find an outlet that gives you peace.

by Anonymousreply 19112/24/2020

Thank you, R188. You are kind and generous. It is appreciated. Her death was 25 years ago. The memories are all good now.

The doctors told me on December 18 that her vital organs were failing and that her death would come soon. They could not tell me how soon, but in the very short term. Knowing my mother soooo well, I asked if she could hold on until Christmas. I was told no. I should think in terms of one day, or maybe two. But not under any circumstances would it be a week.

Well... on Christmas day, I was back at her ICU bed. Her sister came that day, too. And my mother's granddaughter. My mother had been unresponsive for several weeks, but on Christmas day, with her family members gathered around, she roused herself and woke up. The most she could do was look at us intently, but she did it. My logical brain was surprised, but my heart was not. We held her hand and she shifted her gaze from one of us to the next for about 10 minutes and fell asleep again. That was the end of any further interaction that I could see.

After a few more days, nothing seemed to be happening that was not prompted by the ventilator. She died on the 29th of December.

Don't try for a funeral for your mother on New Year's Eve. Try to avoid it. Weather. Travel. Lodging. It's not something I ever gave a thought to. Not until I was mired in it.

by Anonymousreply 19212/24/2020

[quote] I went into therapy as my parents started slowing down. I didn’t want to be blindsided again. Enormous help.

Good idea!

by Anonymousreply 19312/24/2020

Big hugs, R189. Big, warm, hugs to you.

by Anonymousreply 19412/24/2020

[quote] She actually scolded me for not being sadder - people want the show.

I totally read this in my head as a tough-cookie character played by Susan Hayward in some sad black-and-white.

I love you and your post.

by Anonymousreply 19512/24/2020

[quote] But imagine having to care for your elderly parent. Sitting in a waiting room for hours for a mother’s painful UTI, or waiting to have your elderly father xrayed after a fall.

Maybe I’m Aniston-eyed cornball, but I will gladly do this for my mother if and when it comes down to this. She raised me and busted her ass giving me what I wanted. I’m sure there were times she didn’t want to be there either; I know many times I didn’t.

I get your point though.

by Anonymousreply 19612/24/2020

[quote]I am invited to my Father's place for Christmas day but I really just want to stay in bed and try not to think about everything, In addition, I just ended a 10+ relationship a few weeks ago and I feel kind of numb. The only way to cope is to suffer through it knowing that the pain will become less as time goes by.

Go to your dad’s, R189. You have plenty of time to mourn the relationship. Nonetheless, I’m sorry you’re going through that. :hug and kiss: Have a good Christmas and hopeful New Year.

by Anonymousreply 19712/24/2020

[quote] I lost my mom when I was 30 due to a car accident. 3 of my siblings turned psychotic after she died taking what little she had and trying to exclude my other brother and I from the funeral going do far as calling the cops on us for trespassing when we arrived at the church.

Um, what?! Why, R190?

by Anonymousreply 19812/24/2020

*misty-eyes

How the fuck did that turn into “Aniston-eyed”?

by Anonymousreply 19912/24/2020

I wholeheartedly agree with the clear-eyed perspective that caring for elderly parents is cruel to everyone and nothing to be happy about. Extended sub-par life for the parent and the sacrificing of life for the child yields nothing but misery. Sure you can justify it by “it’s my responsibility” but I found it to be nothing but a negative experience that just sucks away your own life an leaves you alone without the person you dedicated years to. And you will have no one to do the same for you.

by Anonymousreply 20012/24/2020

My dad died at 42 - I was 12. I didn’t have much time to grieve because I became the primary care giver for my alcoholic mum, whose bender lasted 40 years. Caring for her children wasn’t a priority.

She finally died at 81, of alcoholism and dementia. I cried a little when I found a brooch that I had made her at school when I was 13 or 14, while I was going through her belongings. Cried because I’d forgotten about it and because she had kept it.

Otherwise it saddens me to say that I felt nothing but relief. I was finally free.

by Anonymousreply 20112/24/2020

R198 my older brother and younger sister are very money driven and materialistic. We grew up very poor and they very much believe what's theirs is theirs and what's yours is also theirs. My sister also has a patholohical need to be the center of everything all the time. My mom was living on section 8 and had no estate to speak of and there would've been only sentimental keepsakes I would've cared to have but my sister declared everything in our mother's house hers. It got to where I got a lawyer to fight for custody of the cats my mom had because my sister wanted to put all her animals to sleep. I luckily was able to get the cats but not a single momento.

by Anonymousreply 20212/24/2020

R198 among the things I was accused of doing leading up to the funeral by my crazy ass siblings were attempted theft of our mothers body from the coroner's office and poisoning my older brothers children via cookie dough bought from a school fundraiser in an attempt to frame him and have his parental rights taken away.

by Anonymousreply 20312/24/2020

More please.

by Anonymousreply 20412/28/2020

Some parents want to live forever or as long as possible. Not everybody is signing a DNR (do not resuscitate). One of my uncles, supposedly, wants to be frozen until they find a cure for whatever was ailing him.

That uncle is still alive and in seemingly good health. I'm glad my parents (both dead) did not have that attitude.

by Anonymousreply 20512/28/2020

I was devastated when my mother died, fairly young (68). I didn’t care about my dad, who was much older, and lived into his 80s. I didn’t attend his funeral, because I just didn’t care. My sister was livid, and our relationship hasn’t been the same since, but I don’t really care.

by Anonymousreply 20612/28/2020

I might get flamed but I do think it's the natural order of things and if you are still devastated and bursting into tears several years after losing a parent you are what my dad used to call "shaky". You are a mess.

by Anonymousreply 20712/28/2020

R207 Wow. You and your dad seem rather “shaky” and “a mess.”

by Anonymousreply 20812/28/2020

R207 You’ve inferred quite a bit that wasn’t actually posted.

by Anonymousreply 20912/28/2020

At a memorial service for my Mother, my last surviving parent, I quoted from a column, "Sons Without Fathers," written by the NYT's Roger Cohen:

"There is no preparation for the loneliness of a world from which the two people who put you in it have gone. The death of parents removes the last cushion against contemplating your own mortality. The cycle of life and death becomes internal, bone-deep knowledge, a source now of despair, now of inspiration. The earth acquires a new quality of silence."

by Anonymousreply 21012/28/2020

My mother killed herself, but she never filed a proper will. Her second husband, who was a bastard but fooled a lot of people with his "salt of the earth" routine, kept refusing to let "their" lawyer file the will she wanted (in which she left substantial property and some insurance/cash to her children), insisting that they create a living trust that would benefit the survivor, and then everything reverts to his children. She wanted no part in that, but she also decided to kill herself (she had been diagnosed with cancer, and decided not to fight), so she pulled out an old holographic will she'd written in the 90s (leaving everything equally to her children), and changed all of her life insurance and pensions to her children.

The holographic will was not considered valid, and everything got very ugly with her second husband, who tried every trick to try and get us to share the insurance/pension money, and then tried multiple lawyers playing tricks to try and fleece us out of our share of the properties they owned. He also went around crying to our relatives that we were trying to "destroy him."

We showed up to court as three united siblings, and he showed up with two dumb, venal lawyers. I represented us in open court, and it's not hard to do that: just speak the truth, and let the judge run her courtroom. We crucified her second husband, and won a key ruling that enabled a quick settlement that benefitted us (and, because my brother wanted to be beneficent, gave her second husband some tax benefits that we didn't have to be generous about).

Over a decade later, we finally turned a healthy profit on the property we inherited (after paying off the debt he ran up, and stole the proceeds related to), and he's quite dead. I used to blame my mother for not being more proactive (get your own fucking lawyer!), but the experience, painful as it was, helped my sibs and me mourn, and bonded us even more deeply. We honored her final wishes, and got the bonus gift of finding out that most of her family is racist, homophobic Catholic trash who never actually gave any care for us.

by Anonymousreply 21112/28/2020

R211 I’m sorry you went through that but am also uplifted by the fact that you and your siblings prevailed and grew closer in the process.

by Anonymousreply 21212/28/2020

My father's death, on the other hand, was a shit show. He'd been the victim of some visiting nurse malpractice, and had been rotting, literally, in his bed for months before his third wife realized something was deeply wrong and took him to the hospital. His directives asked for no heroic measures, and he should have died in the emergency room from the lack of air in his lungs, but his third wife insisted on intubating him. All of his children were varying degrees of estranged from him in the months before this, but that was normal with him. He'd been an abusive monster when I was a child, but he was also a wonderfully funny, nurturing parent who taught me some of the most valuable lessons I'll ever know. That dichotomy often leads to intermittent relationships, and ours was.

As he lay there, dying, for weeks, in a lot of pain, he got a chance to say goodbye (well, "say" as he was intubated). One of my siblings and another close family member refused to see him, which caused him pain, and causes them pain to this day, but I am so glad I put aside my anger with him that week to say goodbye and help him leave with some dignity.

Fun fact: his third wife remarried less than a year after my father died, but not before trying to stiff us on a share of the meager estate. We actually gave it to her outright, but found it shocking/appalling she tried to steal it from us first. His final breath sounded like he said my mother's name, and if there's an afterlife, they are divorced together there.

Again, all of this bonded my siblings deeply, and while the feeling of being an orphan is real, and never quite diminishes, having each other, even hundreds of miles away, is tremendous balm on the suffering.

by Anonymousreply 21312/28/2020

R213 🥲

by Anonymousreply 21412/28/2020

Not overly sentimental here - just extremely logical and have been very aware of the closeness of death since I was young. I don’t get people who say “the death of the last parents make you contemplate that you are next”. If you haven’t seriously considered your own death, you’ve lived a blissfully ignorant life. Maybe because I had, the death of parents was sad but not something I cried over endlessly. Just be grateful you are still alive - because it could end tomorrow. Wasting it mourning a parent after years seems troubled.

by Anonymousreply 21512/28/2020

My parents died when I was 53 & 60 so I was prepared for the eventuality of their approaching deaths at the ages of 86 & 88. My dad was ill for a long time & I don't recall shedding any tears at his passing. When my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer I quietly wept profusely at her side when we received the news, but I was grateful when her suffering came to an end less than 3 months later & shed no more tears.

by Anonymousreply 21612/28/2020

Lost my Dad when I was 26 years old after a long illness and was by his side when he passed at home. He and I were extremely close.

I don't wish that pain on anyone. I don't think about him every day, per se, but I imagine the trauma from the experience is iterated with my lingering depression and sporadic behavior. However, I do think that I treasure relationships and life experiences more earnestly compared to people my age because of I've lost my dad and many close relatives while I was in my 20's.

by Anonymousreply 21712/28/2020

It took me 2 full years to get over the heaviness of heart following the death of my father.

by Anonymousreply 21812/28/2020

Its possible to understand and accept death while still having those times where the grief can feel just as strong as the day they passed. It's not weakness or some emotional instability. It's a perfectly normal and healthy part of being a human being.

by Anonymousreply 21912/28/2020

My father died when I was 10, and my mother died 20 years ago. It surprises and bothers me that I have never had a dream about either of them, ever.

by Anonymousreply 22012/28/2020

My mom died young, at age 42, when I was 16. She had a long-term, chronic illness.

Because of her illness, my parents were very honest with us kids from a young age, and let us know that she likely wasn't going to live very long.

It sounds morbid and macabre, but it really wasn't like that. Just every once in a blue moon, my dad or mom would pull me aside in a quiet moment and mention it, making sure that I understood the situation.

As a kid, I was like "yeah, yeah, whatever, sure" and probably didn't really believe it, but at some level it did sink in. And her slow decline over the years was undeniable evidence that it was going to happen.

So when it finally did happen, I was as prepared for it as I possibly could have been, The thing that I'd been told pretty much all my life was going to happen, finally happened.

My mother's illness and death was such an integral part of my childhood that I can't even begin to fathom her living longer than she did. That would have been a completely different life, not the life I ever knew. Any other scenario is impossible for me to wrap my head around.

When I was younger, I remember feeling extreme disdain for celebrities that made a huge, public spectacle of their mothers dying when they were young, i.e. Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, and especially Oscar De La Hoya. I'd been so well prepared for my mom's early death that I couldn't understand why other people were so torn up over their own mother's death. I felt like they were just milking it for sympathy and publicity, I didn't get that their experiences were probably different than my own.

Since so much of my childhood and my family's existence revolved around my mom's illness, when she died, the family pretty much fell apart. We'd been so prepared for her inevitable death, but not for the day after, or the day after that. We all just sort of drifted away from each other, especially me.

My dad and I had a lot of conflict in my teens, and weren't close. With Mom gone, we became like two strangers living under the same roof...like roommates who didn't like each other and avoided each other whenever possible. He remarried after a couple of years to a bitch with two bratty younger teens, and like a lot of men who remarry, he prioritized his new stepkids and shoved his actual kids aside. I'd been told my whole life that I was going to go to college, then when I got to college, he explained to me that he couldn't afford it, because of the new wife and kids. I was beyond furious, and that, along with another serious betrayal I won't go into here, was the final straw that broke our relationship for good. I moved away and never looked back. We remained estranged for decades, and when I say estranged, I mean really estranged.

We eventually mended fences somewhat, a few years before he died. He came down with dementia, and had a slow, sad decline, so his death was a relief for all involved. I do regret not reconciling earlier. I'd gotten over my anger at him probably a good 10 years before we reconciled, and if he'd tried to contact me I would have been open to it, but I was too stubborn and too proud to even consider making the first move myself. Plus at the time I really didn't care that much. I didn't need him for anything, he was never somebody I turned to for advice or emotional support, his absence in my life really didn't impact me negatively in any way...but I owed him at least a cordial, superficially friendly relationship for having raised me, even though he fumbled really badly at the end. I should have been the bigger man and reached out, it would have made him happy, and would have spared me the slight guilt I carry now.

by Anonymousreply 22112/28/2020

[quote] Not overly sentimental here - just extremely logical

Labeling people who mourn the death of their parents for a prolonged period “shaky,” “a mess,” and “disturbed” doesn’t sound “extremely logical” to me; in fact, it sounds quite opposite.

People lacking empathy - not to be confused with sentimentality - are usually quite disturbed themselves, though just as often in denial about it.

by Anonymousreply 22212/28/2020

Oh and R215, try doing some soul searching.

by Anonymousreply 22312/28/2020

R221, my facts are very different, but the result is much the same. My father's horrible choices and inability to address them destroyed any father/son relationship we might have had. I certainly understand when you write, " I didn't need him for anything, he was never somebody I turned to for advice or emotional support...." You couldn't. He was there, he wasn't available to you as he should have been. You met your needs as best you could and every time you did, his place in your life became a bit more marginal. But you didn't do that. He did. He neglected his son. His son made do in the face of that neglect. He was in your life, but he let it go.

My father left when I was four and reappeared when I was 37. I met him. It seemed somehow the right thing to do. I'm glad I did. I learned a lot in a few hours. But, of course, it turned out to be just a few hours. He selfishly satisfied whatever curiosity he had and I never heard from him again. No surprise there. If he could abandon a four year old, why would he think twice about doing it again 33 years later?

Don't feel guilt. You did his job for him. He should have felt guilty. He should have thanked you. Not the other way around.

by Anonymousreply 22412/29/2020

[quote]He was there, he wasn't available

WASN'T there. Sorry.

Why is always the crucial word that gets fucked up? And why can't we edit posts???

by Anonymousreply 22512/29/2020

My mom died of COVID; I always thought I'd go out and have grief sex with someone; either a FB or I'd find another way.

Just wanted to lose myself.

Of course, as we're in the age of COVID, I could do nothing. I took the day off from work and then went back to work the next day; thankfully, I've stayed employed; telecommuting.

Once the vaccines prove successful ... who knows? I just feel numb and have for months.

by Anonymousreply 22612/31/2020

R226 I am so sorry for this. When did she pass?

by Anonymousreply 22712/31/2020

My father died about a week ago from complications due to COVID. I'm pretty numb at this point. He'd been born in the Coolidge administration, so he was incredibly old, but he was completely sharp up until the end. He'd been a remote father, but when we both were adults we'd become friends. He'd always been very independent and had enjoyed living by himself; he didn't want to go on if he could not do it on his terms.

by Anonymousreply 22812/31/2020

Six years since dad died, two years since mom. I'm still not over the way either of them went out.

But......I'm HELLA glad Dad left before Trump (which would have caused a stroke/aneurysm) , and Mom left before this covid-shit. (which she just would not have understood)

by Anonymousreply 22912/31/2020

My biological father died when I was five, so I really didn't know him well. My stepdad died 21 years ago this month and my mom passed in 2016. I miss her every day because she was an extraordinary human being who was smart, funny, politically active, devoted to teaching children, especially those with special needs, a friend to wayward pets, a devoted wife twice over and a terrific cook. And she could swear in a way that would make even a dockworker blush.

by Anonymousreply 23012/31/2020

Wishing both R226 & R228 well. So very sorry for both of you. PEACE & LOVE ❤❤

by Anonymousreply 23101/01/2021

It didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. I didn't cry at either funeral, mourned privately (away from friends and family), and moved on. Both parents were pretty ill at the times of their deaths, so that made it easier on me.

by Anonymousreply 23201/01/2021

I was never close to my father, who died 27 years ago when I was only 25. He had a massive heart attack when he was 61. My brother wasn't close to him either, but my brother and I are close. I'd be far more devastated if I lost my brother. Still, it was a weird time losing my father.

My mother is still alive. She's become strange, though. She was always a bit weird, but she's doubled and even tripled down on her weirdness. It's hard to be close to her anymore. I think when I came out to her that forever changed our former closeness. It's never been the same. I'll mourn her when she dies, but not the way I would have before coming out to her or watching her become increasingly strange in her old age.

For those who were close to a parent you've lost, I'm so sorry for your loss. But be happy you had a closeness with them. That's a nice memory to have.

by Anonymousreply 23301/01/2021

R18, if you are estranged from your family, why do you think you will be beneficiary in their wills? If you are European, yes, they cannot legally disinherit you, although they can spend every penny before they die, so there is nothing left. If, however, you are in the US, they can leave their estates to whomever they please. You can only challenge a will on the grounds of mental incapacity and undue influence, and that is a long and expensive process.

by Anonymousreply 23401/01/2021

R234 is misinformed. Do NOT depend on his assessment of how inheritance works in the United States.

We have 50 states with 50 sets of state law. Trusts and estates are controlled by state law. If this is an important issue for you, then you must get competent legal advice from an attorney experienced in trust and estates law.

For example, in New York, you cannot disinherit your legal spouse. There is a statutory minimum that must go to the spouse before anyone else can take from the estate. Except creditors, of course. Including tax entities.

Don't listen to anyone tell you about 'American law.' It is crucial to know which state or states is relevant and if there are federal implications. None of that ever goes away and must be acknowledged, considered, and ultimately obeyed.

by Anonymousreply 23501/01/2021

My dad died five years ago after two decades of heart disease, very simple, quiet, like a flashlight battery running out and then...gone. mom is in her late 70s, has her own health issues but gets around. I moved in with her this year to help out during Covid and we have reconciled my of my childhood grievances and her distance, now we're good pals, laugh a lot. I miss my Dad a lot, but when Mom goes, it will be excruciating. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who had complicated parents but a loving unit overall.

by Anonymousreply 23601/01/2021

Dad died in my early 20s - never close to him and didn’t like him. Didn’t cry much and it was more a period of reckoning with death in general and “what’s the point of life”. Maybe closer to mother - but she has become even more needy and narcissistic in old age. Combined with her Trump support, I’ve come to realize I don’t like her as a person and she always needed more than she gave since I was kid. Now looking forward to her death - as horrible as that sounds, I feel i will only be free when she is gone and I don’t have that much time left.

by Anonymousreply 23701/01/2021

"You can disinherit adult children, something that people often do for one of two reasons. One is because the disinherited child may be more financially secure than others. Another is because the parent and child are estranged or otherwise at odds. Whatever your reason, we strongly recommend that you disinherit children reluctantly. This will be your last interaction with your children and the last thing they remember about you. And because you will no longer be around for them to take their frustration out on, they may direct their ire towards their siblings with litigation. All your children may end up with bitter feelings about your decision."

by Anonymousreply 23801/01/2021

.R227, shortly into the pandemic.

I haven't burst out crying yet once and I don't know why.

Loved her deeply; I LIKED her too; she had a great sense of humor.

by Anonymousreply 23901/08/2021

They were both terminally ill and suffered for years. I was relieved knowing they were in a better place.

by Anonymousreply 24001/08/2021

R239, maybe watch a tearjerker movie so you can cry. I stopped crying about ten years ago and I miss it as an outlet.

by Anonymousreply 24101/08/2021

A champagne toast and a scathing eulogy - unless I'm written into the will.

by Anonymousreply 24201/08/2021

By doing a jig on their grave.

by Anonymousreply 24301/09/2021

My parents died when I was in my 30s, when my father died I was very upset and was depressed for 2 months. Four years later my mother died I regret not spending more time with my mother since she was very depressed when my father died, I was consumed with my career at that time. When my mother died I felt like an orphan even though I had 4 brothers and sisters and a large extended family of aunts and uncles. There was no one to turn to, now I had to be the adult in the room.

by Anonymousreply 24401/09/2021

R241, I'm closing in on 60 (when the FUCK did THAT happen???)

I figure in less than 20 years I'll be dead; the last 30 have FLOWN by.

I had the shingles once and was very sensitive; I watched a few hallmark flix and was balling like a baby!

A few years ago, a few months after a friend died (early 40s, suicide!!) I was pulling into a parking spot, but I had to wait while a young dad (not especially hot, but he was kind) got his family into his SVU; I said no rush...then when I got in my spot, I cried so loudly that he got out of his car and came over to see if I was okay.

I said I'm ok. my best friend killed himself and his son is never going to know the safety of being in his dad's arms ever again.

I don't think I ever cried like that in my whole life.

I think I'm going to welcome death. I just hope it's painless.

by Anonymousreply 24501/09/2021

Both of my parents were abusive and self-absorbed. The only reason I would even show up at either of their funerals would be to make sure that they were actually DEAD and could no longer cause any pain and suffering in this world.

Consider yourself lucky, OP and enjoy your DECENT parents while you still can. Not too many people have this luxury.

by Anonymousreply 24601/09/2021

I fully support your numbness at this time We're the same age. Plan a post-covid trip to heal yourself.

by Anonymousreply 24701/10/2021

I didn't cope well when my Mom died. She had Dementia so her downward spiral was twice as painful for me. Mom had been an accountant and sharp all of her life until the Dementia worsened. When she died, I found notes she'd left for herself to remind of her things and people. The most heart-breaking was the note about her sister's name and who she was.

I was responsible for placing her in memory care. My siblings didn't help me at all. We had to trick her into staying by buying a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream. They gave her a small glass and then told me to go and get the car which was my signal to leave her there. They called me the next day to let me know she was OK but that she didn't sleep as she was waiting for me to come get her. I cried the whole way home. I hope she forgave me or, at the very least, didn't remember what I did to her. I still cry sometimes thinking about that.

by Anonymousreply 24801/11/2021

[quote]As I head into my forties in a few years, and my parents head into their mid-sixties, I catch myself thinking about how I will react and cope to either of their deaths.

"Head into" your forties, they "head into" their mid sixties?" OP, this isn't healthy. You and your parents are relatively young (you're not even 40) and it sounds like they're healthy; why are you even thinking like this? See a shrink, now.

by Anonymousreply 24901/11/2021

"It really helped me to start obsessing about it well before their deaths became remotely likely. I started obsessing about my parents' eventual deaths decades before they even happened, and I couldn't have been happier with that decision. It's never too early to start writing your parents off as dead any minute now!"

by Anonymousreply 25001/11/2021

R249. Come off it. They said thinking about it not obsessively dwelling on it 24/7. As one ages it's not unusual to consider how and what we might face as we get older.

by Anonymousreply 25101/11/2021

R248, My situation, nearly five years ago, was remarkably similar to what you wrote.

Beautifully written, you made me tear up.

by Anonymousreply 25201/11/2021

[quote] See a shrink, now.

Don’t be dense and insensitive. I don’t think about this everyday but it does cross my mind. Why not stop and consider it?

Buddhists suggest we all meditate on the inevitable - aging, illness, death. It grounds and humbles you, and keeps things in perspective.

by Anonymousreply 25301/11/2021

They were old (late 70s for dad after 55 years of smoking; late 80s for mom), I cried, and I moved on, after recognizing they had lived relatively happy lives and their qualify of life had declined significantly. We all will die. I do t get the drama unless parents die when very young or die later but from murder or suicide.

by Anonymousreply 25401/11/2021

R252, thank you. And I'm sorry we both had to go through what we did. I look JUST like my Mom down to grey hair and hair type (I'm Black). Sometimes I like looking in the mirror and sometimes it hurts.

by Anonymousreply 25501/12/2021

There's no coping. It's simply the greatest sorrow in every persons life, whether good or bad parents.

by Anonymousreply 25601/12/2021

Not well, bitch!

by Anonymousreply 25701/12/2021

R256. Sorrow is the emotion coping is how you manage it. There are obviously ways of coping because otherwise we'd all be reduced to non functioning blubbering piles of flesh after losing a loved one.

by Anonymousreply 25801/12/2021

Bump.

by Anonymousreply 25901/21/2021

My late father-in-law was unfairly horrible to me, both to my face and behind my back, and I have only negative memories of him. My husband acknowledges this but also has good memories of his father. But it upsets me when he talks about them; I feel it as a betrayal. I don't know how to resolve this.

by Anonymousreply 26001/21/2021

R260, it means that people are complicated.

It's tough; good luck reconciling it.

by Anonymousreply 26101/22/2021

Did your husband defend you to his father? Why exactly would your husband allow your FIL be so horrible to you? It says more about your husband than his father. And then to talk about the good memories of his father and rub your face in them when he knows how much it hurts you is outright bizarre. Your marriage has some serious problems.

Is your husband an unfeeling dimwit? Because that is how you make him sound.

by Anonymousreply 26201/22/2021

No, R262, it's not really like that, although I can see how it sounds that way. My late F-i-L was a very old, very bigoted man with fixed views about various nationalities and religions which he did not hide. After he was nasty to me on the phone once, I decided I was done with him, and my husband visited him alone. My husband tried and tried to shut him up when he got started on me, but he said it was impossible, and he stopped seeing him for about 10 years because it hurt him. I only learned about all this later. They reconciled later when my F-i-L was very old and too tired to rant. They had a couple nice years before the old man died. I never saw him again.

He grieved when his father died because he loved his father. His good childhood memories were real. It was me not validating his grief, not him 'rubbing my face in it'.

I read once that one way of identifying a toxic person is if they cause dissent among other people. I think that's true.

by Anonymousreply 26301/22/2021

'it upsets me when he talks about them; I feel it as a betrayal.'

'I have such wonderful memories of my father (despite how he treated you.)' That's strong passive/aggressive stuff. It's not nice behavior on your husband's part. If you bring it up to him(which it sounds like you need to do) and he becomes defensive he has some serious issues and you need to work it out. Or would you prefer to just keep hurting inside and keep peace?

by Anonymousreply 26401/24/2021

My father passed away three years ago at age 86 . We had never been especially close (no animosity or estrangement, we just never “got” one-another), but, oddly enough, he had moderate dementia the last few years, which seemed to allow us to connect. We watched movies together — because his dementia, he couldn’t remember intricate plots, so we ended up watching musicals (“Singing in the Rain” being his favorite) — and we listened to a lot of his favorite Big Band music. It was a great gift, because I was not expecting to connect to my father in that way.

by Anonymousreply 26501/24/2021

I am rereading this thread after some months. I forgot I had contributed my own story here, and I have renewed gratitude for how good I had it regarding my relationships with my folks.

by Anonymousreply 26601/24/2021

I don't think you cope with it so much, OP, as much as life continues whether we want it to or not, and we find ourselves in a position where we need to handle other and new situations, challenges and relationships that come along.

I found myself grieving the passing many years back of my dad, much more than I'd ever anticipated I would. For some reason it wasn't until 5 years on -- I remember it vividly, balling my eyes out that Christmas Day -- that moving forward I began somehow to separate the memories of his being and his passing from the bereft emotions that I'd previously been experiencing alongside those.

Also, I think we find ourselves "internalizing" little bits and pieces of our deceased parents' personalities, habits, likes and dislikes, views, etc. -- let alone recognizing our parents in our physical images more and more in the mirror as time goes by thereafter! So grieving kind of then transitions into accepting, internalizing and living with reflecting back on what loving and knowing about your parents somehow made you more mature and insightful.

by Anonymousreply 26701/24/2021

And miles before I go to sleep.. I am in my mid-twenties, and I am an only child. I reside with my parents. I like to say that I am the referee around here, that I am the true one that calls shots throughout the household. They vehemently force that I am not gay, but I am very, very gay. Homophobe Catholics.

My parents, both approaching their sixth decade, is not something that I am exactly jumping for joy about. They eat terribly, smoke like chimneys, and drank profusely in their younger years. They get angry these days if I even have an eighth of pot. Not much of a drinker.

In a lot of ways, I hope they both go together, as they seem to really revolve around each other, being together for over 44 years altogether. When they die, I will have peace. I will be able to be myself. But I will also have grief. In my heart, I'm still their good boy. I want to be -- it was what kept order throughout my life and somewhat still does. Hence I've never really had liaisons, and the facade of feeling loved by them faded away when my true feelings came out (alcohol involved). I'm astoundingly confused by whether parental love is a limited thing, or really is unconditional. My grandmother was unconditional, without any limitations. She in many ways was my mother, my true mother. And I'll grieve her more than I ever will my parents. She was my best friend.

I'm terribly sorry to all these kind souls and grateful to you all for telling me how it is. It's helping me to emotionally prepare for when the time comes. Honestly, it's a miracle they're alive with how they are as people. I internally look forward to personal freedom, yet it will be a very lonely feeling. Who will I be?

by Anonymousreply 26801/29/2021

I dream about my late mother who died alone of COVID in a hospice in a state that none of my siblings were in.

I dream I'm at her assisted living where she'd been living and I'm tending to every possible need: making sure she's warm, and safe and her apartment is clean and that she's getting enough food.

I do everything I can but it doesn't seem to be enough.

Then, I wake up and I'm exhausted.

by Anonymousreply 26902/04/2021

:hug:

by Anonymousreply 27002/04/2021

Stop worrying, R269. Your mother had a rich full life before you came along. You've never known life without your mother, but before you came along, she certainly had a life without you. So if she was on her own in that hospice, she was on familiar territory. Plus, she had caring professionals to give her the help she needed.

I'm sure she would have enjoyed having you and your siblings there, but your presence wasn't necessary.

by Anonymousreply 27102/05/2021

I will forever cherish this thread for the beauty, wisdom, and brutal honesty it contains.

by Anonymousreply 27202/09/2021

I lost my mom three years ago. She was only 66 and I absolutely did not allow the possibility of it happening into my psyche before it happened. It threw me into a netherworld that was no longer reality, and it just really did some kind of permanent brain damage or something. I do honestly feel like part of me died and I am not fully alive any longer. In a way, that's not a bad thing. I have always been a very anxious person and not having my mother has lowered the stakes of everything in life significantly, which has reduced my anxiety.

I also have been taken by surprise that I actually do feel her with me sometimes. I have always heard people say things like, "she'll always be with you in your heart" or whatever, but I never understood that to mean I would feel her presence as if she is in the room with me sometimes and would be inclined to speak to her. Yet so many people I know say that they have the same experience with deceased family and that they don't question it because it's too plainly real to question.

So losing my mom has been a devastation I will never recover from, and it has also changed my relationship with what I feel life to be. I have a much greater appreciation for why a lot of people become more spiritually inclined as they get older and lose more and more people. My mom took a part of me with her and that part isn't in this reality anymore.

by Anonymousreply 27302/09/2021

R273 Thank you for sharing. As forward and maybe inappropriate as it may sound, I wish I could hug you right now. Well, I am in spirit.

Your story is both sad yet there’s something about it that is also profoundly hopeful.

by Anonymousreply 27402/09/2021

I lost both of my parents by age 18 and I think it is quite a bit easier when you are an established adult. Losing my parents as a teen meant that suddenly I got zero advice about how to behave and make decisions in an adult context. I have found that almost impossibly hard. It is still very hard and I am now 49.

by Anonymousreply 27502/09/2021

R275 I'm so sorry that that happened to you. I have a friend who lost both parents at a young age, before she had her two daughters, and she is so fucking strong I admire her as much as I admire anyone.

I have to say that I've been rewatching old Madonna videos recently on YouTube and I just noticed that a lot of her music is affirmations. She has always talked about how profoundly growing up without her mother affected her life and became a motivation for her ambitions, and it just clicked with me that Madonna's messages throughout her career, from those affirming empowerment songs to the defiant strength ones, are basically Madonna saying the exact sorts of things publicly that mothers tell their children throughout their lives as a means of unconditional emotional support and development. I've had mixed opinions of her and her character for a long time now, but this just clicked for me and it made me look at her a bit differently. She didn't have maternal support and so she filled in that role for herself.

by Anonymousreply 27602/09/2021

That’s very true, R276. My father died right before the holidays last year and my boyfriend put together a playlist of Madonna songs for me and it was surprisingly comforting. “I’ll Remember” is an especially beautiful and poignant song.

by Anonymousreply 27702/09/2021

R271, you have no idea.

My mother was the baby of her family so, there was always someone to take care of her; her mother and oldest sister, especially; her dad grew up without a mom so he wasn't the best. And a middle sibling felt displaced by my mom's arrival, but she was 2 for 4 in loving family members. Not bad.

She was alone before I came along and she was alone most of her life, too, in that she was widowed at 35 (remember when we thought that was old?)

She spent most of her life living in a couple-oriented society as a single woman. She and my dad talked about what it'd be like after he was gone (cancer sucks, btw); he said I don't like to think of you as unhappy but I don't like to think of you as alone either. She told me before she died she had some happiness and stayed alone. Other men? "Yucch" was how she summed up the available ones.

It's not like TV where Kevin Dobson comes along two seasons later and marries your mother and they banter and Mac becomes this wonderful stepdad in your life.

My mother died alone; my brothers were of no use. One was good in that he tended to her needs, making sure she was in an assisted living, that her savings paid her bills; and he was good on the big holidays. Otherwise, he and his wife (who openly berated him often -- how he's alive I have no idea) weren't fun to be around. Another sibling was totally worthless.

Me? I was there for her and spent 2 plus months a year with her the last 14 years of her life, especially, after she lost her last sibling. I spent Christmas 2019 with her and was there for another visit just before COVID hit a year ago. It's great to be there at the end, but it's more important to be there throughout a person's life and I was. I have few regrets. I could have flown to the hospice, suited up and held her hand, but I had to think about what she would have wanted me to do and she died when the COVID craziness was at its height; all the misinformation out there was insane.

So, no, it doesn't suck that she was there alone at the end; in some ways, she might have preferred it and she was so doped up on morphine I don't think she knew much. But what sucks raw eggs is that she was cheated out of a husband she loved just as life was starting out for them.

I pray they're together now, but honestly, I don't believe in any kind of afterlife. We're just in there with the dirt, our bodies decaying away. I hope after we all get our second vaccine I can go out and have some fun. Life is short. And you never know.

by Anonymousreply 27802/11/2021

We managed.

by Anonymousreply 27902/11/2021

Me too.

by Anonymousreply 28002/11/2021

I can’t believe it’s been half a year since this thread. Wow.

Any updates?

by Anonymousreply 28105/01/2021

Mom is still dead, R281. Dad, too.

by Anonymousreply 28205/01/2021

R282 You fucker, you…

by Anonymousreply 28305/01/2021

R283, I soooo need a hug.

My best bud in the world, straight, btw, never minded giving me a hug goodbye; one of his dogs when apeshit over it so we had to be careful.

Then, my bud killed himself.

So, yeah...need a hug. or 12.

by Anonymousreply 28405/02/2021

Do you tell them you are gay ?

by Anonymousreply 28505/02/2021

R285, when I was younger, no...they'd assume straight and I'd rarely correct them, especially if we weren't close.

As I got older, people, including my pal, assumed gay and I'd rarely correct them.

by Anonymousreply 28605/02/2021

But is it better to come clear with your parents about your sexuality before they passed so as not to have a relationship based on lies ?

by Anonymousreply 28705/02/2021

oh, my parents. sorry; duh.

well, I didn't tell my dad but in fairness to me, I was only five when he died so....(who knows how his passing affected me? Tho many say I got stuck.)

Mom and I had the talk -- later in life -- but long before she died.

Friends criticized her reaction but I pointed out to them that I took my sweet time processing it; maybe she should get some time, too?

She said she thought my older brother, her firstborn was gay, too; only he took the path of marrying a wife and having a kid; mom was old-fashoined in some ways, but she agreed with Joan Rivers; 'being married means NOTHING! Nothing!"

I couldn't believe she was making the most important moment between us (well after delivering me) was about older bro (an asshole).

She accepted it more when I pointed out that I'd be there for her in her really old age, which I was.

She also said: you know, honey, most people don't guess it about you because you're not one of those nelly Bravo TV gays.

by Anonymousreply 28805/02/2021

R284 :::sending you another hug in spirit:::

by Anonymousreply 28905/02/2021

Sending you lots of digital hugs, R282. Suicide is a tough one to process.

Thank you, R283.

by Anonymousreply 29005/02/2021

Oh, fuckety fuck. Typing while Old is fraught with problems.

Trying again... Sending you lots of digital hugs, R284.

by Anonymousreply 29105/02/2021

thanks; I'll take the hugs until i can go out and get real ones.

I'm double vaxxed, but I still don't think it's safe.

We'll know more over the summer. I DO need to get my affairs in order; younger bro handled all the business stuff for our Mom's estate. He shouldn't have to worry about sticking my ass in the ground.

by Anonymousreply 29205/02/2021

Do all you can. It helps you cope when they die.

by Anonymousreply 29305/04/2021
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