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Old 10-16-2011, 07:34 PM
 
663 posts, read 500,655 times
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My dad passed away earlier this week from a heart condition exacerbated by alcoholism, and he was a heavy smoker. He was also in renal failure and had severe liver damage. The beginning of this year his cardiologist put him on meds to keep him stable after giving him 6-8 months to live. He has four siblings and his elderly parents are both alive. Dad only told one of his brothers and swore him to "secrecy." My uncle eventually told their parents, the sister found out.....the last two brothers found out near the end, I found out less than 24 hours he died. Not only that, I had to make the painful decision to take him off life support. I am his only child and he was single at the time of his death, makes me his only legal next of kin.

I understand my dad dropped a bomb on his brother and put him in a spot with this secrecy business, which is not unlike something my dad would do. No disrespect intended but my dad had some major psychiatric issues he never dealt with, and his behavior was all over the map and had been for decades. Anyhow, he also told my uncle to not tell me, he said he just didn't want the rest of the family to know. So my uncle did not say a word to me until he knew the end was near. However, he didn't keep the secret because he had already told their parents at least a few months ago.

Dad and me had a difficult relationship, as he did with most. He was difficult to get along with for most of us. I don't think he had much in the way of friends, especially the last 10 years. However, he did have a 24yo GF for the past year.....he was 60. Little bit of a surprise there. Reading the texts on his cell phone, he was emotionally abusive towards her. Not a surprise knowing his history with people in general.

My dad left behind a mountain of debt and few assets, and no will whatsoever. He has not worked since this past March, was on unemployment, had cashed out his 401k, had no health insurance, and had racked up credit card debt at a staggering pace, mostly on alcohol and cash advances. At one time he had over $22k in his checking account and now that balance might be $1500.

His family has no clue his finances are this messed up and I've noted a couple vultures swarming already, his mother and a sibling. Disgusting. 5 minutes after he was pronounced dead, his mother turned to me and demanded his burial take place at the most expensive funeral place in town and that I put together a "large" memorial service. He is being cremated and I'm not putting on any kind of "gala" for my grandmother's benefit. She and my dad had a terrible relationship and she's all about appearances. But of course, if I were to do these things she's demanded, they all expect me to pay for it. I'm sure they think my dad has a pile of money somewhere but he doesn't. Anything that does happen is coming right out of my checkbook with no likely reimbursement from an estate.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dad and have no issue paying for reasonable services. I am just disgusted with the way his family is acting. No one has offered to help me with expenses or even organizing anything. I had this huge bomb dropped on me this past Wednesday, he passed away Thursday, I met with a funeral director Friday and began cleaning out his house, and discovered his finances were in horrible disarray Saturday. My uncle and I are keeping in touch but only over details that need taken care of (I live 2 hours away from where my dad lived/where my uncle still lives). And I have this 24yo GF bothering me for information....my uncle gave her my cell number without my permission.

Besides being in shock, I am upset my dad was not man enough (is that fair? I don't know) to tell me he was very sick and not going to make it. Subsequent to that, his family.....my uncle did decide there was a point at which he should break his promise to my dad and tell their parents. Apparently some of his siblings talked about telling me but no one wanted to be the one to do it. Well h*ll, I wouldn't want that job either but I'm 40, not a 10yo. My kids are my dad's only grandkids.....they never got to see him before he passed away. They are grown and could have handled the info and seeing him in the hospital. Our 19yo found out at basic training, and not from me.

I understand my dad ultimately created most of this mess with the secrecy thing and his other issues. Maybe my uncle did the best he could in a s*itty situation and being put in a spot with terrible information. Maybe he did his best to honor my dad's wishes. I still feel like I'm having all this crap dropped on my head AND having to deal with the fact I've lost a parent, and at
only 60yo. I knew he was sick but he did not ever let on how bad it was to the rest of us.

I know I am going to have to suck it up and deal with it, there's no changing it. Dad dies too young, leaves a big mess, and I'm left without a dad and without help of any sort....is this normal family behavior in the face of loss and I'm just overreacting?
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,144 posts, read 57,085,003 times
Reputation: 38398
Honey, you've just been through a big shock - your feelings are going to be all over the place, which is completely normal.

I am so sorry for your loss and all the angst and anxiety it has produced for you.

Give yourself a couple of weeks before you start trying to sort out your feelings okay? Right now everything is just too raw for you to make much sense of.

Take care of yourself, remember to take time to breathe deeply a few times a day and just give it some time.

Hugging you in my heart.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:46 PM
Status: "I hate the holidays." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Arlington, Virginia
15,237 posts, read 17,963,619 times
Reputation: 16018
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurePugx3 View Post
My dad passed away earlier this week from a heart condition exacerbated by alcoholism, and he was a heavy smoker. He was also in renal failure and had severe liver damage. The beginning of this year his cardiologist put him on meds to keep him stable after giving him 6-8 months to live. He has four siblings and his elderly parents are both alive. Dad only told one of his brothers and swore him to "secrecy." My uncle eventually told their parents, the sister found out.....the last two brothers found out near the end, I found out less than 24 hours he died. Not only that, I had to make the painful decision to take him off life support. I am his only child and he was single at the time of his death, makes me his only legal next of kin.

I understand my dad dropped a bomb on his brother and put him in a spot with this secrecy business, which is not unlike something my dad would do. No disrespect intended but my dad had some major psychiatric issues he never dealt with, and his behavior was all over the map and had been for decades. Anyhow, he also told my uncle to not tell me, he said he just didn't want the rest of the family to know. So my uncle did not say a word to me until he knew the end was near. However, he didn't keep the secret because he had already told their parents at least a few months ago.

Dad and me had a difficult relationship, as he did with most. He was difficult to get along with for most of us. I don't think he had much in the way of friends, especially the last 10 years. However, he did have a 24yo GF for the past year.....he was 60. Little bit of a surprise there. Reading the texts on his cell phone, he was emotionally abusive towards her. Not a surprise knowing his history with people in general.

My dad left behind a mountain of debt and few assets, and no will whatsoever. He has not worked since this past March, was on unemployment, had cashed out his 401k, had no health insurance, and had racked up credit card debt at a staggering pace, mostly on alcohol and cash advances. At one time he had over $22k in his checking account and now that balance might be $1500.

His family has no clue his finances are this messed up and I've noted a couple vultures swarming already, his mother and a sibling. Disgusting. 5 minutes after he was pronounced dead, his mother turned to me and demanded his burial take place at the most expensive funeral place in town and that I put together a "large" memorial service. He is being cremated and I'm not putting on any kind of "gala" for my grandmother's benefit. She and my dad had a terrible relationship and she's all about appearances. But of course, if I were to do these things she's demanded, they all expect me to pay for it. I'm sure they think my dad has a pile of money somewhere but he doesn't. Anything that does happen is coming right out of my checkbook with no likely reimbursement from an estate.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dad and have no issue paying for reasonable services. I am just disgusted with the way his family is acting. No one has offered to help me with expenses or even organizing anything. I had this huge bomb dropped on me this past Wednesday, he passed away Thursday, I met with a funeral director Friday and began cleaning out his house, and discovered his finances were in horrible disarray Saturday. My uncle and I are keeping in touch but only over details that need taken care of (I live 2 hours away from where my dad lived/where my uncle still lives). And I have this 24yo GF bothering me for information....my uncle gave her my cell number without my permission.

Besides being in shock, I am upset my dad was not man enough (is that fair? I don't know) to tell me he was very sick and not going to make it. Subsequent to that, his family.....my uncle did decide there was a point at which he should break his promise to my dad and tell their parents. Apparently some of his siblings talked about telling me but no one wanted to be the one to do it. Well h*ll, I wouldn't want that job either but I'm 40, not a 10yo. My kids are my dad's only grandkids.....they never got to see him before he passed away. They are grown and could have handled the info and seeing him in the hospital. Our 19yo found out at basic training, and not from me.

I understand my dad ultimately created most of this mess with the secrecy thing and his other issues. Maybe my uncle did the best he could in a s*itty situation and being put in a spot with terrible information. Maybe he did his best to honor my dad's wishes. I still feel like I'm having all this crap dropped on my head AND having to deal with the fact I've lost a parent, and at
only 60yo. I knew he was sick but he did not ever let on how bad it was to the rest of us.

I know I am going to have to suck it up and deal with it, there's no changing it. Dad dies too young, leaves a big mess, and I'm left without a dad and without help of any sort....is this normal family behavior in the face of loss and I'm just overreacting?
I'm sorry for this situation for you.

I actually lost my dad who was an alcoholic at the beginning of the year. He was 52 and was sick for about a year and I didn't find out about it until 3 weeks before he passed. He and I were distant as well. His wife at the time hasn't said a word to me since like three days after his burial.

I for the record do not think you are overreacting. You are getting a mother lode on you at one time.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
4,100 posts, read 3,210,664 times
Reputation: 5497
You are not over reacting. No matter what your age is, this is a lot to have to handle at one time. It would be my guess that his house will be cleaned out by the mother and other relative as soon as the funeral is over. Personally, I would have him cremated and not plan a funeral and if his mother says anything about it tell her you will be glad to handle it but you need the cash from her before you start. Make a choice, file a restraining order against them so they can not go on the property or lose everything that isn't fastened down. I know, you shouldn't have to do this but a death in the family brings out all the vultures. I'm sorry this is happening to you, no it is not fair, but life isn't always fair. I hope you can find some way to overcome the heartache and despair.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:03 PM
 
663 posts, read 500,655 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanboy395 View Post
I'm sorry for this situation for you.

I actually lost my dad who was an alcoholic at the beginning of the year. He was 52 and was sick for about a year and I didn't find out about it until 3 weeks before he passed. He and I were distant as well. His wife at the time hasn't said a word to me since like three days after his burial.

I for the record do not think you are overreacting. You are getting a mother lode on you at one time.
I'm sorry to hear about your dad and the short notice you received about him being sick . It's quite a shock to get that kind of news. I think I'm still in shock myself. To add family issues to the mix isn't anything a person needs or wants.

It does feel like a crapload has been dropped on me. I also have never had to deal with the aftermath of a relative dying, all the paperwork and finances. My dad left a huge mess. Luckily for me, my mom (parents have been divorced since the 70's) has provided me some good info on how to deal with everything. She and I don't have the best relationship but she's made an effort to help me, which is nice, even if it means it has to deal with her ex, in a way.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:04 PM
 
5,501 posts, read 2,494,245 times
Reputation: 5119
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurePugx3 View Post





I know I am going to have to suck it up and deal with it, there's no changing it. Dad dies too young, leaves a big mess, and I'm left without a dad and without help of any sort....is this normal family behavior in the face of loss and I'm just overreacting?
I don't think you're overreacting, this a normal reaction for finding yourself between a rock and a hard place.
My condolences to you and your loved ones. Like LovesMountains says, give it time...
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:13 PM
 
663 posts, read 500,655 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nite Ryder;
You are not over reacting. No matter what your age is, this is a lot to have to handle at one time. It would be my guess that his house will be cleaned out by the mother and other relative as soon as the funeral is over. Personally, I would have him cremated and not plan a funeral and if his mother says anything about it tell her you will be glad to handle it but you need the cash from her before you start. Make a choice, file a restraining order against them so they can not go on the property or lose everything that isn't fastened down. I know, you shouldn't have to do this but a death in the family brings out all the vultures. I'm sorry this is happening to you, no it is not fair, but life isn't always fair. I hope you can find some way to overcome the heartache and despair.
Yes, cremation is exactly what's going to happen. I'm paying for those services tomorrow and have already signed the paperwork. It's exactly what my dad would want. His ashes will be spread in a location where I know he would want them. Not sure when but it will happen. I love your suggestion about my response to his mother about other services. She tries to avoid the topic but I know she has money and the amount's nothing to sneeze at.

You are definitely right about the vultures.....ugh.

I did not realize a restraining order was possible in these cases???
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:15 PM
 
663 posts, read 500,655 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains;
Honey, you've just been through a big shock - your feelings are going to be all over the place, which is completely normal.

I am so sorry for your loss and all the angst and anxiety it has produced for you.

Give yourself a couple of weeks before you start trying to sort out your feelings okay? Right now everything is just too raw for you to make much sense of.

Take care of yourself, remember to take time to breathe deeply a few times a day and just give it some time.

Hugging you in my heart.
Thank you, your words mean a lot.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:25 PM
 
471 posts, read 703,411 times
Reputation: 517
I lost my severely-abusive father to the same... heart could not pump enough blood due to alcoholism. I found that I was grieving for the loss of a father... not MY father... just any fatherly relationship, and what might have been. His death meant that there would never be an opportunity to heal that relationship. You will be fine, in time. Be patient with yourself. Your thoughts and sadness will be reconciled. I hated my father, yet was inconsolable when he did... you'll be fine, you'll see. One day at a time.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:01 PM
 
366 posts, read 349,896 times
Reputation: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurePugx3 View Post
My dad passed away earlier this week from a heart condition exacerbated by alcoholism, and he was a heavy smoker. He was also in renal failure and had severe liver damage. The beginning of this year his cardiologist put him on meds to keep him stable after giving him 6-8 months to live. He has four siblings and his elderly parents are both alive. Dad only told one of his brothers and swore him to "secrecy." My uncle eventually told their parents, the sister found out.....the last two brothers found out near the end, I found out less than 24 hours he died. Not only that, I had to make the painful decision to take him off life support. I am his only child and he was single at the time of his death, makes me his only legal next of kin.

I understand my dad dropped a bomb on his brother and put him in a spot with this secrecy business, which is not unlike something my dad would do. No disrespect intended but my dad had some major psychiatric issues he never dealt with, and his behavior was all over the map and had been for decades. Anyhow, he also told my uncle to not tell me, he said he just didn't want the rest of the family to know. So my uncle did not say a word to me until he knew the end was near. However, he didn't keep the secret because he had already told their parents at least a few months ago.

Dad and me had a difficult relationship, as he did with most. He was difficult to get along with for most of us. I don't think he had much in the way of friends, especially the last 10 years. However, he did have a 24yo GF for the past year.....he was 60. Little bit of a surprise there. Reading the texts on his cell phone, he was emotionally abusive towards her. Not a surprise knowing his history with people in general.

My dad left behind a mountain of debt and few assets, and no will whatsoever. He has not worked since this past March, was on unemployment, had cashed out his 401k, had no health insurance, and had racked up credit card debt at a staggering pace, mostly on alcohol and cash advances. At one time he had over $22k in his checking account and now that balance might be $1500.

His family has no clue his finances are this messed up and I've noted a couple vultures swarming already, his mother and a sibling. Disgusting. 5 minutes after he was pronounced dead, his mother turned to me and demanded his burial take place at the most expensive funeral place in town and that I put together a "large" memorial service. He is being cremated and I'm not putting on any kind of "gala" for my grandmother's benefit. She and my dad had a terrible relationship and she's all about appearances. But of course, if I were to do these things she's demanded, they all expect me to pay for it. I'm sure they think my dad has a pile of money somewhere but he doesn't. Anything that does happen is coming right out of my checkbook with no likely reimbursement from an estate.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dad and have no issue paying for reasonable services. I am just disgusted with the way his family is acting. No one has offered to help me with expenses or even organizing anything. I had this huge bomb dropped on me this past Wednesday, he passed away Thursday, I met with a funeral director Friday and began cleaning out his house, and discovered his finances were in horrible disarray Saturday. My uncle and I are keeping in touch but only over details that need taken care of (I live 2 hours away from where my dad lived/where my uncle still lives). And I have this 24yo GF bothering me for information....my uncle gave her my cell number without my permission.

Besides being in shock, I am upset my dad was not man enough (is that fair? I don't know) to tell me he was very sick and not going to make it. Subsequent to that, his family.....my uncle did decide there was a point at which he should break his promise to my dad and tell their parents. Apparently some of his siblings talked about telling me but no one wanted to be the one to do it. Well h*ll, I wouldn't want that job either but I'm 40, not a 10yo. My kids are my dad's only grandkids.....they never got to see him before he passed away. They are grown and could have handled the info and seeing him in the hospital. Our 19yo found out at basic training, and not from me.

I understand my dad ultimately created most of this mess with the secrecy thing and his other issues. Maybe my uncle did the best he could in a s*itty situation and being put in a spot with terrible information. Maybe he did his best to honor my dad's wishes. I still feel like I'm having all this crap dropped on my head AND having to deal with the fact I've lost a parent, and at
only 60yo. I knew he was sick but he did not ever let on how bad it was to the rest of us.

I know I am going to have to suck it up and deal with it, there's no changing it. Dad dies too young, leaves a big mess, and I'm left without a dad and without help of any sort....is this normal family behavior in the face of loss and I'm just overreacting?
First of all, i'd like to offer you my condolences on the loss of your father. Ok, maybe he wasn't the classic "Father Knows Best", type of dad, but you loved him nevertheless. "Normal family behavior in the face of loss," or adversity varies from family to family, so what's "normal." Furthermore it seems like there's always been a lot of drama in your family, so I'm not surprised to read that things would be less dramatic during the time of family loss. Your writing gives reason for me to believe that you're a grounded individual who has assessed this unfortunate episode in your life quite rationally. You're not "overreacting." Again, sorry for your loss.
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