Author Topic: Loss of dad and abusive stepmother  (Read 118 times)

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Offline Cat93

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Loss of dad and abusive stepmother
« on: July 09, 2019, 01:44:11 PM »
My dear dad died of cancer 2 weeks ago. I live 150 miles away and went to say goodbye just 3 days before he died. He was unconscious at that time, but I wanted to just sit with him, comfort him and say goodbye. While I was there, my stepmother and friend were really hostile to me, saying they expected me to stay there until he died, and that my role was to support my stepmother, and that I just had to cope with it all rather than be supported myself. I have a child and family at home to support as well as dealing with my dadís illness. I came away really upset that Iíd not been able to say goodbye in peace. The next evening I phoned to see how he was, after leaving several messages during the day, which had been ignored. My stepmother screamed abuse down the phone at me, told me everyone who had visited thought I was wrong not to stay with dad and didnít give me any indication of how dad was. Two days later he died, without me knowing how he had been between me seeing him and him passing away. I feel Iím having to cope with this abuse at a really terrible time, as well as the grief itself, and donít know what to do.

Offline Karena

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Re: Loss of dad and abusive stepmother
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 11:42:06 AM »
So sorry about the loss of your dad and so sorry that also  its not really possible to answer your question about how he was those days after you saw him, except to say in my experience it is likely he would have been just how he was when you left if he was already unconscious then,  but that doesnt mean he was totally unaware of your prescence at the time subconsciousley,and appreciated that and i think thats what matters most because it is about your relationship with him over the years of both your lives, rather than just  those last three days of his.

With your step mum it is also really difficult to know - whatever your relationship with her was like before this happened i think - again speaking from experience, of caring for some-one in that way and  caring for him at home in particular would have been exhausting both mentally and physically, and how we deal with that is different from each other but maybe she lashed out as a result - potentially pushed by the friend, who may well have vey fixed views about how she perceives people should act at times like this based on a time in the past when famillys were just around the corner and not 150 miles away, it isnt your fault that those times have changed ot that her views have not, Again the "everyone" who had visited may simply have been appeasing her, because you are not going to argue with a soon to be widow, but it doesnt necessarilly mean you agree with her or dont understand the difficulty that was there for you but not want to say so at the time you make that visit.

You dont say whether or not there has been a funeral or if you went too it, if so what was her reaction to you then or has she cut you off since then,but if you are still facing that and unsure of your part in it, then its important to remember it is about him and his life, not her or her friends opinions and base your decisions on that, but if she arranged it without your input then perhaps parts of it wont be something you agree with,or you think of as being about him - so perhaps you can walk away from that and  think about doing something else later as your memorial too him but also somewhere you can grieve nearer to home  - maybe plant a tree rather than a second headstone - or take your familly to visit somewhere you remeber him taking you as a child that was a happy memory.
Whether your relationship with her is now brocken or was always brocken - again i dont know but while i dont condone her behaving like that it is important to see there may well have been a cause behind it and lashing out like that was the result. 

Offline Cat93

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Re: Loss of dad and abusive stepmother
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 01:45:19 PM »
Thanks for your support and advice. I am organising the funeral and wake, with my stepmothers input as she says she can't do it. I've had no apology and to make things worse she tells me her suffering and grief is far worse than mine ( when of course we are both grieving, albeit differently). She is still being abusive so I'm going to cut all ties with her after the funeral.



Offline Karena

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Re: Loss of dad and abusive stepmother
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 03:41:10 PM »
 :hug: thre isnt a greater or lesser degree of grief, it differs for each person we lose and from person to person when it is the same person who dies but no grief is any less valid than another.

Having lost both my parents i do know that from a childs point of view and having also been widowed twice from a partners point of view as well. I have children and with my second husband step children as well. When he died I wasnt abusive at all, because thats not me but as i said earlier people differ in how they react and at different stages, and anger is a common reaction, when it did happen i turned it on myself as i always have - where-as other people lash out at those around them as they always have   - but when it came to coping i really struggled and although there was always consultation and co=orporation my eldest step daughter did do most of the running round when it came to paperwork and the funeral, and my stepson sorted out the probabte side of things because i really couldnt deal with any of it,  and in a way it is different, not the grief itself but in the way that loss changes our perceptions of the future  because when my parents died i had a young familly, as i did the first time i was widowed and so i still had a future and loved ones around me and i still had to function and care for them, but this time the girls had left and had lives of their own  i was going to be living on my own for the first time since i was 17, no-one needed me particularly and i had been a carer in some form  all those years, i didnt know how to be anything else.I had rebuilt my life once only for it to be taken away again. We are sold a dream of retirement, we save and plan and dream of doing things we didnt before and we make plans for what we will do together so its never about retiring and doing things on your own,  and of course it didnt happen - i didnt even get as far as retirement i had to move house because i was down to just my income   -and my feelings were that  now there is no future the plans have all gone out of the window and there is no point to being here and that was the difference, and frankly its frightening to think all thats left is to rattle around in an empty house until we get old and die alone or in a care home. Seeing life differently took a long time.

So what i am trying to say in my clumsy way is rather than cut her off after the funeral maybe you could leave the door open a little bit longer and let her know it is open, then at least she will have the chance at some point to apologise or try and make amends for what she is doing now. She will either do that or take herself out of your life but at least that decision will rest with her.
 Of course you dont have to put up with abuse and at some point you will need to make it clear that you consider she is being abusive and you wont put up with it, and not knowing her or you  maybe she is an awful person and you never got in the first place,in which case its very different to me and my stepkids, but for now does she perhaps warrant getting a longer trial period ?

Offline Cat93

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Re: Loss of dad and abusive stepmother
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 04:07:33 PM »
You may be right about giving her time to apologise. However, she has been abusive years, my dad's brothers and sisters called her the gatekeeper as throwers hardly ever able to see him, and before all of this she has said she wants to move to our town when widowed as she has no other family.bwe were ok about this before, but not after this latest abuse.