Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Has anyone experienced this with a surviving parent?
Old 02-09-2016, 02:37 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
irishgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Wildwood
Posts: 336
Has anyone experienced this with a surviving parent?

I am dealing with something and would appreciate feedback or your own story as it relates or is similar to this--

My mom passed January 15 after a fairly long illness, the past year being pretty tough.
My parents were married for 63 years, uber "traditional" marriage, where he worked and she was a homemaker. My dad literally was unable/unwilling to even make himself a sandwich, let alone dinner, or clean the dishes, etc.

My dad was very angry at my mom once she was not able to get around to make his meals and do things for him--when she got sicker.

So, my sister and I arrived for the memorial. We had, with my bro and SIL done a ton of work on the memorial, pictures, video, etc.
My dad said he did not "want to make it look like she had a fun and easy life". We still don't know what that meant.

A few days before the memorial my dad told my sister and I that "I don't intend to live alone". Further prodding on our part revealed that he has three women friends that apparently he is vetting to be his next spouse/maid/cook whatever. And that he has been working this angle for a couple of years since we knew my mom was terminal.
The day of the services he told us that he was going to take off his wedding ring.

Now he has order us to "clear anything of hers out of the house" ASAP...

I have never had a good relationship with my dad, nor has my sister, think Great Santini type of guy...

I am trying to make sense of all this. Maybe I can't but perhaps some words of wisdom from the members here will help..

Thanks
__________________

__________________
irishgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-09-2016, 03:09 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Houston
Posts: 639
Wow - sorry to hear of your situation. Your father at the very least seems to have a very callous attitude about others. From the description, it doesn't sound like there is much you can do other than work with your sister to pick up what each of you wishes to remember your mother by and then move on with your lives. Let your Dad handle the rest so you are exposed as little as possible to the negativity. Again, sorry for your situation. Wish you the best.
__________________

__________________
Whisper66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:13 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 194
My dad had 4 wives and many girlfriends after my mother (first wife) died young. I learned to not get particularly attached to the new women as I never knew how long they would be around.

Keep in mind, his life is about his future happiness... not so much about past experiences. He knows what he wants and he will get what he wants.

Following the path of least resistance (doing what he wants) is probably the best way to preserve the relationship... right up to the point where he starts asking for money to maintain his lifestyle and relationships...
__________________
UtahSkier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:13 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,116
Sorry, I can't offer anything that will help you make sense of it. My advise is to try not to let the actions of your dad interfere with honoring the memory of your mom.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:28 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
irishgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Wildwood
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whisper66 View Post
Wow - sorry to hear of your situation. Your father at the very least seems to have a very callous attitude about others. From the description, it doesn't sound like there is much you can do other than work with your sister to pick up what each of you wishes to remember your mother by and then move on with your lives. Let your Dad handle the rest so you are exposed as little as possible to the negativity. Again, sorry for your situation. Wish you the best.


Thank you. Good advice!


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
irishgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:30 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
irishgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Wildwood
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahSkier View Post
My dad had 4 wives and many girlfriends after my mother (first wife) died young. I learned to not get particularly attached to the new women as I never knew how long they would be around.

Keep in mind, his life is about his future happiness... not so much about past experiences. He knows what he wants and he will get what he wants.

Following the path of least resistance (doing what he wants) is probably the best way to preserve the relationship... right up to the point where he starts asking for money to maintain his lifestyle and relationships...

Path of least resistance is a great idea and exactly what I've been doing. My sister tries to fight with him. Not good .
Thankfully he has quite a bit of money which is probably why he has old ladies swarming lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
irishgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:31 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
irishgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Wildwood
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Sorry, I can't offer anything that will help you make sense of it. My advise is to try not to let the actions of your dad interfere with honoring the memory of your mom.

That's helpful. Thanks.

Oh he also decided he did not want to be bothered with their dog, a sweet little papillon female. So I will be taking her back home with me. He would have taken her to the pound.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
irishgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:37 PM   #8
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,544
Wow, that's harsh of him and poor treatment of others, including you and your sister.

I would do as he asks, pick up what you want to keep for memories of your mother, and let it go at that. Not much else you can do.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:38 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
That is heartbreaking. It seems to me that your mother was probably abused, or at least taken advantage of, for many years. Best to take the dog and your mother's cherished possessions, and leave your father to his own devices. Don't expect an inheritance.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:47 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
My Dad passed before Mom but I saw some of this after he had brain surgery. He expected Mom to wait hand and foot on him notwithstanding her Parkinson's. What I learned is that age, and brain surgery, can cause 'dis-inhibition' essentially magnifying attitudes that where manageable earlier. He too tried to renew an old relationship. She was kind but did not encourage him at all.

Widows often 'bring casseroles' to widowers in an attempt create a relationship. Only the neediest will tolerate being used.

I agree with those who say gather up your Mother's things, and the dog. There is little you can do to change him. That said you should speak to an estate attorney who also practices elder-law as he may not be competent.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:56 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
irishgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Wildwood
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
My Dad passed before Mom but I saw some of this after he had brain surgery. He expected Mom to wait hand and foot on him notwithstanding her Parkinson's. What I learned is that age, and brain surgery, can cause 'dis-inhibition' essentially magnifying attitudes that where manageable earlier. He too tried to renew an old relationship. She was kind but did not encourage him at all.



Widows often 'bring casseroles' to widowers in an attempt create a relationship. Only the neediest will tolerate being used.



I agree with those who say gather up your Mother's things, and the dog. There is little you can do to change him. That said you should speak to an estate attorney who also practices elder-law as he may not be competent.

Yep I'm sure my dad has always been difficult but as he ages he is clearly getting worse. Going to end up being an angry old man.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
irishgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 03:57 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
irishgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Wildwood
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
That is heartbreaking. It seems to me that your mother was probably abused, or at least taken advantage of, for many years. Best to take the dog and your mother's cherished possessions, and leave your father to his own devices. Don't expect an inheritance.

I always worried about how he treated her, she was a fun loving person but after about 20 years with him she became withdrawn and somewhat depressed. Would never admit to anything despite my questioning her.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
irishgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 04:02 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,430
Wow! He sounds like he is deeply in the anger stage of grieving. I hope that's what it is. It would be best, and is always recommended by the experts, not to make any major changes right away. However, it sounds like he's going to anyway. I don't think there's anything you can do. Maybe step back for awhile, see if he settles down and you can reestablish a relationship later when things aren't so raw. Take the dog and your Mom's stuff that you might want to keep, and see what happens. I'm sorry for your loss (both of them).
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 04:11 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,318
I'm sorry for your loss and what you are going through. It sounds like he's always been this way. My girlfriends grandfather acted similar. He was the boss at home and never did anything for himself. He married a new "maid" not long after his wife passed. But turns out he married the wrong maid, she runs him and everything else. My girlfriend never got along with him, still doesn't.
Hey, there are always more older woman than older men. If you want to date a man you have to have the better casserole! My neighbor had women hitting on him about a month after his wife died.
__________________
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 04:22 PM   #15
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,158
I don't have anything helpful to add to the advice you already got here, irishgal. I hope the little dog and other items will give you good memories of your mother in these extra-difficult circumstances.
__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 04:49 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,895
He must be in his 80's, right? Could be a little dementia.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 04:50 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,199
Adding the numbers your Dad is probably at least 80+ years.

You know him and I don't, however a few things could be going on here. The "anger" when your Mom got sick could be anxiety about going it alone. Also, there could be mental or emotional,and maybe physical issues that kept him from "getting with the program". Early dementia can lead to really strange things, at my FIL's funeral my MIL acted like she was at a tea party. A dog needs regular on going care and it might be overwhelming to your father. Your Dad might have been convinced he was going to die first and would never have to deal with being alone. He might be scared and uneasy about being alone for the first time in over 60 years.

Then again my favorite quote from my late DM, was" nobody every gets nicer when bad things happen to or around them, their true colors just show up."

I guess you will just need to wait and watch, as it sounds as if your Dad wouldn't be open to intervention by his children anyway. I wouldn't go back and replay your parents lives together, as no one really knows what goes on between two people. I had the same issues as my parents divorced after I reached adulthood and I looked at my whole childhood in a different light, trying to parse the meaning of everything that happened and all it did was unnecessarily ruin some of the good memories.

Let him live his life and if he need help at some point, hopefully he will come to his children.

Sorry for your loss and best wishes for clarity with your Dad
__________________
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 04:53 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
That is heartbreaking. It seems to me that your mother was probably abused, or at least taken advantage of, for many years. Best to take the dog and your mother's cherished possessions, and leave your father to his own devices. Don't expect an inheritance.
+1
I think this is as tough for him (in his own way) as it is for you.

I would keep my distance for a year or so, then see if you might build a new relationship with him. Condolences, and best of luck.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 05:16 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,705
Yikes.

I've found that many people in their 80's and 90's are often not very sentimental, to say the least. Perhaps the hardships of the Depression created a lot of "every man for himself" and/or just those times brought about some really tough characters.

I've also found that that generation shows emotion quite differently. On his deathbed, I told my grandfather that I loved him. He got all flustered and his answer was "...well, we'll see..." which was a non-reply; he just didn't know how to answer that.

Good luck...it's hard but as you said, you've never had a good relationship with him. Sounds like he's the reason for that.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2016, 05:51 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Marita40's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: St. Paul
Posts: 1,120
I agree with others that his anger might be born of fear. Many of us know first hand that a funeral can bring out the worst in families. Certainly, no matter how he regarded your mother during her life, you dad is now facing the prospect of loneliness and his own mortality. No doubt he's shielding by anger or denial a strong and uncomfortable sense of vulnerability. I know when I get frustrated or angry with situations I sometimes want just to turn my back on the entire situation and escape from it--to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as it were. Perhaps your dad is doing this as a type of coping mechanism. I agree with the advice of others here: lay low. Let him do what he wants, be gentle with him, but be firm about protecting your mom's memory. See what happens down the road--grief is a process and better times will no doubt be ahead.
__________________

__________________
Marita40 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Has anyone experienced a sensory deprivation tank? Mr._Graybeard Other topics 28 12-19-2015 06:23 PM
SS surviving Spouse bobbee25 FIRE and Money 6 10-22-2011 11:53 AM
Simple Investment Strategy for Non-Savvy Surviving Spouse Lusitan FIRE and Money 40 07-04-2009 06:05 PM
Tough Sledding Ahead, Surviving A Coming USD Collapse barker FIRE and Money 14 11-10-2008 09:06 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:01 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.