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I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 06:35 PM   #1
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I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

My dad's girlfriend of 5 years suddenly died this morning. She had been in ICU for 2 days after collapsing on the living room floor the other night. My dad came downstairs to find her lifeless....the medics revived her and machines sustained her for a few days.

My dad is 52. He's been married 3 times, and this time, he and his gf decided neither wanted to marry again for the sake of pleasing everyone else...instead they'd just live together and carry on as though they were married. She was his first girlfriend at age 13, they did see each other for 30 years, and then rekindled their relationship 5 yrs ago. They were perfect for one another...and for someone to be perfect for my ol' man...that says a lot (he's a gruff, difficult guy).

Rose had a myriad of health issues, but they have no idea what happened the other night....they hope an autopsy shed's some light. She was only 51.

I CAN NOT IMAGINE what he is going through. The best he could describe it is comparing it to when my current fince and I split up for a few months....the feelings of despair and sorrow I had because I thought it was over for good....multiply it by 10. I was a total wreck...didnt eat, talk, sleep, nothing.


What is he going to do every day when he comes home? Who's he going to bitch at (lol)?? He said he woke up today and felt completely lost for the first time in many,many years...with no direction or desire to do anything. I didnt even know her 1/2 as well as he did, and I did the same thing...laid in bed wondering why. I grieved my father's loneliness more than her death....if that makes any sense.

It hurts so bad to know how lonely he will be. He's the kind of guy to decide at 6pm he's going on a road trip 400 miels from home, and he'd leave the next morning.....she'd be right with him. She sort of took my place on those trips as i grew older and moved out of the house.



If anyone has any advice on what I can do to help him cope, please enlighten me. My main concerns are his loneliness, and the 1 in 10000 chance he decides life sucks so bad that he picks up a bottle and starts drinking (sober for 20 years, ruined his marraige and life when i was 2 yrs old). I live 40 miles away, and can visit, but i am very busy myself. All he has left is his mother, who is old and not in good helath. His father just died 10 months ago and he didnt take that too well. He ha 2 sisters who live near, but they arent too close.

Thanks for letting me vent....
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father's girlfriend. I think all you can do is support him the best you can while he grieves for his loss. BTW - 51 years old is very young.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 06:49 PM   #3
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

However you sense is the best way; a visit, a call or a letter; let him know you are there to talk to and just be with. Sorry to hear about your father's loss and your loss too.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 06:53 PM   #4
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

Hi,

I am fairly new to the whole grief thing but have had some recent experience.

Family, family, family, friends, friends, friends.... Be there to laugh and cry. It sucks but it is life....

Sorry and good luck.

W

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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

Fed, I'm sorry to hear the sad news. What a tragedy.

The only advice I can give is be there. Pass up a few extra jobs this month, and be with him as much as you can. Taking care of family is the most important thing in the world, and your business will always be there, you dad will not. Call him, visit him, invite him to visit you, give him a few weeks to grieve, but then try to get him to think of something else - take him to a ball game, or whatever would distract him.

Be there to support him if he has to make funeral arrangements. Trying to think about those sorts of practical things when your heart is breaking is almost impossible, yet you feel it's so important to do it right...

Just be there. (Since you asked for advice).

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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 07:05 PM   #6
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

I am sorry for your Dad's loss.

When I take a hit, my sons help a lot just by letting me know they love me and will be there for me.

You sound like a stand-up guy, as from what you said I take it that you didn't grow up with your Dad.

If you have time, take him to dinner, hang with him a bit.

Ha
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 07:11 PM   #7
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

Thanks for the quick replies!

In no particular order: No, i didnt grow up with him. however, i visited every weekedn and each summer...he was agreat dad when he stopped drinking (i was 3 or so).

I have no problem dropping work for him...of course not. but he's a tough cookie to figure out...for example,he currently is putting on the front that he's not TOO upset...his words say he distraught, but i dont think ive seen a tear, or heard a wavering voice. its wierd.


i will definately try to keep him busy.....



thanks for the support
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 08:15 PM   #8
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

I won't go into the details, but had a very similar situation with my Dad. I made the mistake of not working harder to be there with him at the time, and that is a burden for me now.

Just do whatever you can to be there for your father. Visit on weekends as often as you can. Call him regularly. Get him doing things with you, with others. That bottle may well beckon, and it would be devastating, so help him avoid that choice.

You're taking this seriously, and that is good. His GF apparently loved him ... help her love continue to help your father by doing whatever you can to be there for him. It is likely a very, very big deal.

Someday, we all pass on. When that tough day comes that your father is gone, just know you did everything you could for him. That's all any of us can do for our loved ones.

Best of luck, and we'll keep a good thought / prayer for you and your dad.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-29-2006, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

These are the situations that bring you back to reality and make you focus and prioritize what is important in life.

When things like this happen, they make you think of the past, the present, and the future all at the same time. It's important to think and reflect, but not to dwell and get depressed.

The solution is found in a self-reassessment, not in what anyone tells you.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-30-2006, 07:06 PM   #10
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your Dad's girlfriend.

Just be with him or call him is what I was going to suggest...as the previous posters did.
You and he may become closer if you spend more time together. He'll have an adjustment to being alone..

Keeping busy will help him.... and lots of contact from those who care about him. I guess you can have the drinking conversation when you think the time is right. Letting him know your concerns.

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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-30-2006, 09:24 PM   #11
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I agree that it is very important to be there with him and to talk about the good memories that you have of his girlfriend. Try to get him to talk about her also. I have heard so many people say that people tried to avoid talking about the deceased person and it was not a good thing.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 10-31-2006, 07:42 PM   #12
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

^^^
That guy is right... even for people that don't seem like it, when he's ready to talk he'll talk, just be there for him. Sorry to hear about the loss...
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 11-01-2006, 02:49 PM   #13
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

I don't have anything different to add, I just wanted to share my condolences for your family's loss.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 11-01-2006, 03:46 PM   #14
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

The short term advise is well covered already.

Long-term advise is to remind him that he's still alive, and i hear 50 is the new 30. I dont personally believe in soul mates, and fortunately, from a statistical standpoint, its usually the men that bail out first so there should be plenty of other potential partners for him to choose from so that he can have someone else to bitch at again. We do need each other, and fortunately, she's not the last remaining woman on the planet.

Tomorrow is always another day, and its in the palm of everyone's hand to make what you want of it.

So allow him plenty of time to grieve and be there as everyone's saying, but when the time is right, do point out that "the bottle" is not the answer from here on.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 11-01-2006, 04:04 PM   #15
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

Quote:
I have no problem dropping work for him...of course not. but he's a tough cookie to figure out...for example,he currently is putting on the front that he's not TOO upset...his words say he distraught, but i dont think ive seen a tear, or heard a wavering voice. its wierd.
This is a strange thing to understand. My FIL just died of lung cancer, as I've mentioned, and I and the whole family had the hardest time understanding where he was, mentally, on the matter. He wouldn't talk about it, wouldn't be "hovered over" by anyone, and resisted even telling his sons that he was sick. Never said the word "cancer" in anyone's presence as far as I could tell. Never seemed to acknowledge that he had it.

Of course he had a right to deal with it in any way he saw fit -- I mean no criticism of him at all in this -- but it made it VERY hard to know what to do or say around him, how to help without seeming to "hover" or annoy him, how to know that we'd done everything that we could do.

I finally just decided that this was an (unwelcome) opportunity for me to practice "being" with him and staying open to whatever he decided to say, or to leave unsaid.

I remember sitting with him in the garden -- he said very little and I had a TERRIBLE urge to keep filling the silence with idle chit-chat, offers to get him another cup of coffee, etc. etc. etc. None of which he wanted. So I sat in silence, waited for him to talk, which he never did, and I guess that is all I could have done.

So I don't know how to tell you how to do more than you are doing. All I can say is that this stuff is HARD. Just plain HARD.

Hang in there, take care of yourself also during this time, and imagine what it would be like for him to lose his partner and NOT have you around to care about him.

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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 11-01-2006, 09:50 PM   #16
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

thanks again for all of your advice


todaywas the funeral, and some of his hurt came to light....unforntunately it was in the form of rage.


my dad has always been a loose cannon, except over the 5 yrs he's know his now deceased gf, its gotten much better. but usually, gong into public with him was a crapshoot at best

the smallest thing sent him over the edge during the mercy meal. the result is my fiance and him not on speaking terms, and some crazyness on the way there.i am SO confused right now it sucks

had it NOT been his GF's funeral, i would've walked out and gone with my fiance. but i couldnt do it. im trying to be the bigger man and help them work this out. its totally ridiulous and im sure it was due to the stress. BUT, i saw an ugly side of him i havent seen in a good while (which for him is about a year or so)


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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 11-01-2006, 10:59 PM   #17
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

Sounds like a really tough time Fed. I hope your fiance can give him a break - and you can let her know that you want to support him even if you don't condone his behavior.

It sounds like he is going to have some really tough times ahead. I wish you strength to get through it all.
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...
Old 11-02-2006, 03:47 AM   #18
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Re: I'm so bummed out, and I dont know what to do...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
thanks again for all of your advice


todaywas the funeral, and some of his hurt came to light....unforntunately it was in the form of rage.


my dad has always been a loose cannon, except over the 5 yrs he's know his now deceased gf, its gotten much better. but usually, gong into public with him was a crapshoot at best

the smallest thing sent him over the edge during the mercy meal. the result is my fiance and him not on speaking terms, and some crazyness on the way there.i am SO confused right now it sucks

had it NOT been his GF's funeral, i would've walked out and gone with my fiance. but i couldnt do it. im trying to be the bigger man and help them work this out. its totally ridiulous and im sure it was due to the stress. BUT, i saw an ugly side of him i havent seen in a good while (which for him is about a year or so)


I do not believe I have added my 2 cents to this one. Everyone is put to the test, but it never comes at the time or in the form we would prefer.
Also, everyone handles it differently. Hemingway referred to
"Grace under Pressure", which is a great line that many (most?) folks
can not attain. It's hard to maintain an even keel when someone
you love is pushed to an "ugly place" by whatever demons they
have to confront. If the relationship is strong, the best thing is to hang in there with them and cut them some slack. It won't always work
of course, but folks who "cut and run" from others crisis' usually regret
it later.

JG
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