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Old 08-09-2013, 11:02 AM
 
3,279 posts, read 3,768,252 times
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Warning: this post is long, and the "background information" comes BEFORE the main questions I have.

Last Saturday August 3rd my father of 74 years of age passed away. He lived in NC I live in eastern TX. I did not go to the funeral because of the distance & because I was just there last March. The family actually understood my absence maybe even more than I did for my own self. Some details.

His death was one of somewhat slow deterioration of various things over the past 2-odd years, hinging a lot on kidney issues he had (he had been going to dialysis for about the past 3 years) and many falls he kept having. My 2 aunts (his 2 sisters) and his wife were with them throughout all of those trails & saw them all up-close.

He & my mother split when I was around 10-11 & it was an ugly period, their fights were so vicious that had we lived in the city & neighbors called the police they'd probably been in legal trouble for domestic violence, especially my mother & especially if such happened today with DV laws being, frankly, over-the-top on some occasions (if I get mad & break a drinking glass, to me that's not DV, that's just me breaking a drinking glass, so long as I don't throw it at my wife, to me DV is bruising hitting etc but I'm getting off-topic). At the time the perception was my mother was over-worked & my father just didn't help out any. Viewed through my 44 year-old version of me my take was that was somewhat true, but also true is that she could just be a grouchy & griping type and thus could be difficult to please really. (For instance: to her if you've worked at a job then THE MINUTE you come home you're to assume house duties, me I'm more the "wind down first" type, and I think that was him. I'd be mad too if I had just walked in the house and within 2 nanoseconds without any chance to rest from the day I'm being badgered to do this & that on the spot.)

Anyway in later years while I was still there in NC I rarely stopped to see him, anytime I did he was just so distant. Even my family who remained in NC, his 2 sisters mostly, described how distant he was in how he hardly came by to visit even though he lived 10 minutes away. After moving to AZ in 1996 I saw him again during a Christmas visit in 2004, nearly 9 years later, I didn't see him again until March 2013, 8 more years (by this time I was in TX). I did call him on the phone over the years, or him me, when we did within 7 minutes or so he would start ending the call, he'd had enough. But he was always the distant sort, even in 2004 with us staying in his house with him, there I am with my wife & we're able to re-connect, the opportunity is there--instead, most of the time, he'd stare at his TV & hardly pay us any attention. It didn't make me mad, I had learned to just accept that was who he was, but it also helped explain why I wouldn't be making a lot of visits to him over the years either, especially with our funds limited & the geographical distance so great.

Regardless family would over the years tell me of how he wished he could see his grand-kids (our 2 were born 2007 & 2009), insomuch that in 2001 my sister had kids but never once stopped to see him, once even getting mad & leaving when she was visiting others in the area & they informed him she was there. Thus he never saw her kids, his grand-kids, who by 2013 were now 12. On the other hand I sent photos of ours over the years & always said I had no problem with him seeing them except for the geographical logistics aspect (being so far away). On several occasions over the past couple of years, as they became old enough to talk, I had them talk to him over the phone.

Well finally last March, when he was ill to the point of being in a nursing home, even if temporarily (they did in fact later release him), I decided I'd go out there and venture the 15 hours each way by car. Thus, he got to finally meet our kids. Even then he wasn't particularly affectionate, but he did SEEM touched to see them, & family said so. The family seemed very pleased that I was there (and said so again when he died last Saturday & I was speaking with them).

I also finally told him in-person that I was not mad anymore over our family breaking up 30-odd years ago, and hadn't been for a long time, and even told his wife (he remarried in 1989) that when I heard of his re-marriage I was happy for him at that time, I was not upset at all that he had remarried and that, further, I appreciated her loyal dedication to him for those 24 years (she really was loyal to him). In fact I told him that those (including myself) who had over the years wrongly held him solely responsible for our family's break-up were WRONG to have done so & to please not give any weight to their remarks, that I was fine & had been fine for a long time and there was no need to ever re-visit any of that again.

So, in other words, we left it on very good terms, even if he was still not particularly affectionate.

Thus, when he died last Saturday, the family didn't at all pressure me that I was to go, and were very understanding of me still being here. In fact, the only funeral they had was a grave-side, there was no "visitation," where people would view the casket & talk about him behind a podium etc. The whole thing was over & done with in about 15 minutes in fact, other than people stopping by the house of his sister.

For my part, I still spoke to them on the phone a lot, and also made 2 videos--one where I spoke of him as if I was speaking at his funeral, and another "tribute" where you had a slide-show of various still images of him and our kids etc set to a sentimental background song (Bob Carlisle--Your Father's Love). The former I sent to them only via a memory card via mail, the latter went that way but also was posted online & they saw it and showed it to everyone in the home after the grave-site service, and really loved it.

Now here are my questions, after ALL of this:

*Despite the sort of distance he & I had with each other, for those 3-4 days anyway I seemed to be taking the news worse than his 2 sisters. They seemed almost casual about it on the phone when I talked to them, and that really surprised me. Could that possibly be explained by that given they were right there seeing his deterioration & also being burdened by the constant hospital visits, they (a) weren't so surprised at his passing and (b) besides feeling like "he's in a better place now" they may also be experiencing some relief of their own in terms of all they were put through being there for him all the time during that period? I had figured they'd be upset at his passing & I would be more casual about it, when it's been the reverse of that

*If he left me anything, how will I be told about it? Understand--this is NOT a case of my being glad he's gone & having a gleeful attitude about "okay, how much did I get?" My question is simple--if he did leave me anything, who would be told & how would I be told?

*On the day of the funeral, Tuesday, during the early part of the day when I knew the funeral was taking place & I was here, especially then I felt quite emotional. I felt like someone was stabbing me in the heart in fact. I badly wanted to be there & talk to people who were there for him. However since then, especially as of yesterday & today, I've already gotten back to my normal routine, the mourning seems to already be over. I've even found myself playing Green Day music instead of "mourning" music & just moving on with energetic happiness. I know not everyone mourns the same way, but isn't that a bit soon to be doing such? It will have been a week tomorrow.

*The last thing--the family there haven't returned calls to me talking more about him. That surprises me for some reason. Could it be that so soon it's already over for them as well & there's no need to talk about it anymore? I am not mad at anyone, & believe me life does go on for sure, you don't want to be crippled by grief forever, but it kind of surprises me that the whole shock & sadness over his passing for them as well as for me to some extent already seems to be done & over with that quickly, as if it's now yesterday's news.

LRH
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,508 posts, read 15,977,386 times
Reputation: 38920
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrytxeast View Post
Warning: this post is long, and the "background information" comes BEFORE the main questions I have.

Last Saturday August 3rd my father of 74 years of age passed away. He lived in NC I live in eastern TX. I did not go to the funeral because of the distance & because I was just there last March. The family actually understood my absence maybe even more than I did for my own self. Some details.

His death was one of somewhat slow deterioration of various things over the past 2-odd years, hinging a lot on kidney issues he had (he had been going to dialysis for about the past 3 years) and many falls he kept having. My 2 aunts (his 2 sisters) and his wife were with them throughout all of those trails & saw them all up-close.

He & my mother split when I was around 10-11 & it was an ugly period, their fights were so vicious that had we lived in the city & neighbors called the police they'd probably been in legal trouble for domestic violence, especially my mother & especially if such happened today with DV laws being, frankly, over-the-top on some occasions (if I get mad & break a drinking glass, to me that's not DV, that's just me breaking a drinking glass, so long as I don't throw it at my wife, to me DV is bruising hitting etc but I'm getting off-topic). At the time the perception was my mother was over-worked & my father just didn't help out any. Viewed through my 44 year-old version of me my take was that was somewhat true, but also true is that she could just be a grouchy & griping type and thus could be difficult to please really. (For instance: to her if you've worked at a job then THE MINUTE you come home you're to assume house duties, me I'm more the "wind down first" type, and I think that was him. I'd be mad too if I had just walked in the house and within 2 nanoseconds without any chance to rest from the day I'm being badgered to do this & that on the spot.)

Anyway in later years while I was still there in NC I rarely stopped to see him, anytime I did he was just so distant. Even my family who remained in NC, his 2 sisters mostly, described how distant he was in how he hardly came by to visit even though he lived 10 minutes away. After moving to AZ in 1996 I saw him again during a Christmas visit in 2004, nearly 9 years later, I didn't see him again until March 2013, 8 more years (by this time I was in TX). I did call him on the phone over the years, or him me, when we did within 7 minutes or so he would start ending the call, he'd had enough. But he was always the distant sort, even in 2004 with us staying in his house with him, there I am with my wife & we're able to re-connect, the opportunity is there--instead, most of the time, he'd stare at his TV & hardly pay us any attention. It didn't make me mad, I had learned to just accept that was who he was, but it also helped explain why I wouldn't be making a lot of visits to him over the years either, especially with our funds limited & the geographical distance so great.

Regardless family would over the years tell me of how he wished he could see his grand-kids (our 2 were born 2007 & 2009), insomuch that in 2001 my sister had kids but never once stopped to see him, once even getting mad & leaving when she was visiting others in the area & they informed him she was there. Thus he never saw her kids, his grand-kids, who by 2013 were now 12. On the other hand I sent photos of ours over the years & always said I had no problem with him seeing them except for the geographical logistics aspect (being so far away). On several occasions over the past couple of years, as they became old enough to talk, I had them talk to him over the phone.

Well finally last March, when he was ill to the point of being in a nursing home, even if temporarily (they did in fact later release him), I decided I'd go out there and venture the 15 hours each way by car. Thus, he got to finally meet our kids. Even then he wasn't particularly affectionate, but he did SEEM touched to see them, & family said so. The family seemed very pleased that I was there (and said so again when he died last Saturday & I was speaking with them).

I also finally told him in-person that I was not mad anymore over our family breaking up 30-odd years ago, and hadn't been for a long time, and even told his wife (he remarried in 1989) that when I heard of his re-marriage I was happy for him at that time, I was not upset at all that he had remarried and that, further, I appreciated her loyal dedication to him for those 24 years (she really was loyal to him). In fact I told him that those (including myself) who had over the years wrongly held him solely responsible for our family's break-up were WRONG to have done so & to please not give any weight to their remarks, that I was fine & had been fine for a long time and there was no need to ever re-visit any of that again.

So, in other words, we left it on very good terms, even if he was still not particularly affectionate.

Thus, when he died last Saturday, the family didn't at all pressure me that I was to go, and were very understanding of me still being here. In fact, the only funeral they had was a grave-side, there was no "visitation," where people would view the casket & talk about him behind a podium etc. The whole thing was over & done with in about 15 minutes in fact, other than people stopping by the house of his sister.

For my part, I still spoke to them on the phone a lot, and also made 2 videos--one where I spoke of him as if I was speaking at his funeral, and another "tribute" where you had a slide-show of various still images of him and our kids etc set to a sentimental background song (Bob Carlisle--Your Father's Love). The former I sent to them only via a memory card via mail, the latter went that way but also was posted online & they saw it and showed it to everyone in the home after the grave-site service, and really loved it.

Now here are my questions, after ALL of this:

*Despite the sort of distance he & I had with each other, for those 3-4 days anyway I seemed to be taking the news worse than his 2 sisters. They seemed almost casual about it on the phone when I talked to them, and that really surprised me. Could that possibly be explained by that given they were right there seeing his deterioration & also being burdened by the constant hospital visits, they (a) weren't so surprised at his passing and (b) besides feeling like "he's in a better place now" they may also be experiencing some relief of their own in terms of all they were put through being there for him all the time during that period? I had figured they'd be upset at his passing & I would be more casual about it, when it's been the reverse of that
It is possible that they did a lot more of their grieving while he was still alive and they knew that he would die soon.
Also, depending on his pain level & deterioration, and their religious views, they may be happy that he is with God and free from pain.
Or, they may be "numb" and so overwhelmed by grief by they appear to be uncaring.

*If he left me anything, how will I be told about it? Understand--this is NOT a case of my being glad he's gone & having a gleeful attitude about "okay, how much did I get?" My question is simple--if he did leave me anything, who would be told & how would I be told?
If you are in a will you will receive written notification by an attorney or the executor of the estate. Now this may take several weeks, or maybe a month or two. The timetable may even vary by state law.

*On the day of the funeral, Tuesday, during the early part of the day when I knew the funeral was taking place & I was here, especially then I felt quite emotional. I felt like someone was stabbing me in the heart in fact. I badly wanted to be there & talk to people who were there for him. However since then, especially as of yesterday & today, I've already gotten back to my normal routine, the mourning seems to already be over. I've even found myself playing Green Day music instead of "mourning" music & just moving on with energetic happiness. I know not everyone mourns the same way, but isn't that a bit soon to be doing such? It will have been a week tomorrow.
Everyone grieves differently. Since you did not see your father often, this may be all that you need to grieve. On the other hand you may have periods of intense sadness every few days, or every few weeks for months or years.

*The last thing--the family there haven't returned calls to me talking more about him. That surprises me for some reason. Could it be that so soon it's already over for them as well & there's no need to talk about it anymore? I am not mad at anyone, & believe me life does go on for sure, you don't want to be crippled by grief forever, but it kind of surprises me that the whole shock & sadness over his passing for them as well as for me to some extent already seems to be done & over with that quickly, as if it's now yesterday's news.
They are probably just overwhelmed with post funeral or estate details.

Or maybe, since you had so little contact with him over the years his relatives are just surprised by your need to connect with them now.

I would wait a week or two and contact them again. Or send a letter saying how you wish to spend more time talking about your father with them and ask them to call you when they have time.


LRH
I am sorry for your loss.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:13 PM
 
5 posts, read 4,151 times
Reputation: 38
I agree with all of your thoughts to larrytxeast, germaine2626. You had some good things to say. It's all okay larry, things work out with time. Take Care.
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