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Old 06-05-2017, 05:59 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,216 posts, read 4,786,088 times
Reputation: 21518

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I'm sorry for what you are going through. Do read the story of the Rainbow Bridge. When my Chihuahuas & cat died last year all within 4 months of each other, I went to the Dollar Store a few months later, bought three helium balloons, wrote their names on them and set them free to float up to the Rainbow Bridge. It helped my granddaughter and I have closure as she was super attached to one of the Chihuahuas.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:03 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,008 posts, read 69,950,573 times
Reputation: 75787
OP, you said he's mentally ill. Why do you think you can talk to him as if to a rational person? Can't you see that you'll just have to let it all go? You're expecting a mentally ill person to be caring and rational. Your unrealistic expectations are one thing that's causing you grief. Of course, it's jarring to see him treat those graves so cavalierly, but unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about it. Perhaps you can start a small pet gravesite on your own property.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
31,329 posts, read 19,764,096 times
Reputation: 45172
I would have my animals cremated in the future, and then you have control over how the remains are treated.

You are in your 30s? 40s? Do you live with your parents?
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,590 posts, read 14,200,956 times
Reputation: 30210
Quote:
Originally Posted by mej1 View Post
My parents own a piece of property in a rural area. Over the years, we have buried several pets there. These were outside only pets that came to us as strays. I created a small graveyard for the last five pets as I wasn't involved in the burial of the ones before that. I don't even know where they've been buried. There's no markings for any of them.

My father is the one that helped start the graveyard. I have small rocks outlining where each pet is buried, and today he was digging them up! I went out to say something to him as politely as I could considering I was very upset. He got mad and said he wanted to "tidy up." I'm not opposed to that, but I told him he should've said something to me first. He also said he didn't want those small rocks there (the ones outlining where each pet is buried). I told him what they were for and he got madder. He had a temper tantrum and picked up the small fence around the graveyard and threw it. At one point I was so upset I considered grabbing his arm and begging him to stop, but he probably would've hit me thinking I was attacking him.

He said the animals were dead and they don't care. I told him that I care and that those markers tell me where I have room to bury another animal. I was saving a spot for a daughter, I just buried the mother four months ago.

I know my father doesn't care about dead people or animals or their grave sites. I think he did a long time ago before he started suffering from mental illness. Now he doesn't care about anything and seems to have control issues.

I remember about 20 years ago when I was a young teenager, my father was using his tractor to clear some trees. In the process, he dug up and destroyed the grave site of up my mother's dog that I grew up with. That has always stuck with me. She was the sweetest dog and he just treated her remains like it was nothing. He's the one that buried her there and put a headstone there. Because of that, I prefer to have all my pets cremated, but it's so expensive at $400 minimum. I worry what will happen when my parents sell their property. It bothers me when I think of it.

It bothers me that human cemeteries are dug up and moved. There was a cemetery in the county where I live that was completely dug up and moved so a school could be built there. I think that's horrible. I don't trust the workers to put the caskets with the correct headstones. I would never bury my pets in a pet cemetery because one day they will probably be destroyed for land - they're not regulated like human cemeteries.

I know my mom cares about the graveyard I made. Those are her pets too. She owns the property just as much as my father does - 50/50. To me, those pets are my family. They mean more to me then my father ever did. My pets never treated me like crap. They loved me and I loved them.

Am I wrong in thinking my father is being a total prick about this? Just because he doesn't care about the graveyard doesn't mean that my feelings don't matter. If he can't respect my feelings, then he has no right to call himself my father. My mom only puts up with him because of money and because she feels sorry that he developed a mental illness.

Does anyone have anything I could say to him to get him to realize that he's being selfish and unfair? I don't want something that will make him mad.
Yes you know, he has a point. The animals buried there do not care. I think the person who has a right to object is your mom, as you indicates that she owns the property with your dad. If you don't own the property, I don't think you can do more than request he not dig up the gravesite.

If your dad has mental illness he might not be able to understand your distress. But your fond memories of your pets will always be with you, no matter if they are buried in a special place or not.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:16 PM
 
12,405 posts, read 7,457,768 times
Reputation: 23243
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
I'm sorry for what you are going through. Do read the story of the Rainbow Bridge. When my Chihuahuas & cat died last year all within 4 months of each other, I went to the Dollar Store a few months later, bought three helium balloons, wrote their names on them and set them free to float up to the Rainbow Bridge. It helped my granddaughter and I have closure as she was super attached to one of the Chihuahuas.
So you littered and potentially killed wildlife in memory of your pets?
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Old 06-06-2017, 06:03 AM
 
3,195 posts, read 1,802,425 times
Reputation: 8432
When you say they were outside-only pets and that they came to you as strays, do you mean that these animals were actually just friendly strays that hung around because you put food out, or did you somehow cage them in or restrain them from straying away?

What made these animals pets in your eyes? How did these animals actually die, and what type of animals were they? I ask how they died because when strays are sick they usually go off into the wild to die, unless of course they were struck by cars or otherwise did not know death was imminent.

For your own peace of mind you need to understand how your father in his deteriorated mental state may not feel the attachment that you do to the remains of stray animals that he never considered to be pets at all. Many people raised in rural areas don't feels such deep psychological attachments to animals like you do, so it's hard for him to relate.

It's up to you to decide whether you value maintaining a relationship with your father more than you value maintaining a sacred burial ground for animals that neither shared your beliefs about immortalizing their lives nor care about what happens to their bodies when they are gone. They are gone, live for the living.
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:01 AM
 
2,975 posts, read 1,207,175 times
Reputation: 1917
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfbs2691 View Post
It sounds like he's got something heavy on his mind.
I'm sorry he upset you with what he did... but maybe put that aside and ask your dad what's going on?
It may be something you're totally unaware of that he's really upset about.
Yes the fact that he helped set up the gravesites and now is digging them up is a sign.

You said
Quote:
I think he did a long time ago before he started suffering from mental illness.
Maybe consider which is more important to you animal gravesites or your father.

There are no easy answers to this problem.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:03 AM
 
10,366 posts, read 8,365,562 times
Reputation: 19114
OP, over the years here at C-D you have started numerous threads about your difficulties with various family members, but it seems that you seldom return to the thread to respond to other's suggestions or to let us know the outcome. This thread seems similar.

You have written about caring for your grandmother in your parents' home, where you still live, about difficulties sharing the kitchen with your mother, and a variety of other topics. But rarely do you follow up, thank others for their caring suggestions, or let us know what changes you are making - or not - to deal with these situations.

It seems as if you are using C-D to blow off steam and release stress. That's okay - but it's nice to let others know you appreciate their concern and their taking time to respond to you, and it's courteous to follow up with "what happened next" whenever you can.

You have received a lot of thoughtful responses to this thread - suggestions that you contact your father's physician about his condition, suggestions that you cremate your pets from now on, suggestions that you move out, etc. This is typical of the sort of responses you've received previously to your other threads. But you very seldom come back or reply or respond. What's really going on?
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Georgia
4,560 posts, read 4,066,710 times
Reputation: 15762
I'm so sorry, I know that when a pet dies, it leaves a huge hole in our heart.

On the other hand -- and I say this respectfully, and with great kindness -- the pets are gone, cavorting over the Rainbow Bridge. If the idea of having their graves disturbed is so upsetting to you, I'd seriously consider having money set aside for cremation. I know that when my dog does pass away one of these years, I will have him cremated, and sprinkle his ashes in the woods behind our house, where he loves to run and stalk squirrels. I have a friend's mother whose dog died last year, and she had it cremated and in a small urn. She's in her 70's, and doesn't want another dog -- but has told my friend that when she dies, she wants the dog's urn buried with her, or wants the dogs cremains mixed with hers whatever they do with her (she doesn't care. :-) )

That doesn't help for the pets that are already buried, though. I know a little how you feel -- we used to have a lot at the edge of a neighborhood, vacant for years. My childhood pet dog died at the venerable age of 16, and was buried there. About 15 years later, my parents sold the lot when a developer came through and bought up land, and it turned into a neighborhood. I was a little bothered by it, even 15 years later. I realized that the dog's remains had long since done the "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" bit, and there was nothing left of him except memories, and I came to terms with that. Circle of life, etc., etc. I know they were important to you, and your father's callousness to something important to you hurts.

I don't know the answer -- it sounds like there's a lot going on with your father, and this is just one symptom.
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Old 06-06-2017, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Michigan
2,220 posts, read 1,442,029 times
Reputation: 5088
Quote:
Originally Posted by mej1 View Post
My parents own a piece of property in a rural area. Over the years, we have buried several pets there. These were outside only pets that came to us as strays. I created a small graveyard for the last five pets as I wasn't involved in the burial of the ones before that. I don't even know where they've been buried. There's no markings for any of them.

My father is the one that helped start the graveyard. I have small rocks outlining where each pet is buried, and today he was digging them up! I went out to say something to him as politely as I could considering I was very upset. He got mad and said he wanted to "tidy up." I'm not opposed to that, but I told him he should've said something to me first. He also said he didn't want those small rocks there (the ones outlining where each pet is buried). I told him what they were for and he got madder. He had a temper tantrum and picked up the small fence around the graveyard and threw it. At one point I was so upset I considered grabbing his arm and begging him to stop, but he probably would've hit me thinking I was attacking him.

He said the animals were dead and they don't care. I told him that I care and that those markers tell me where I have room to bury another animal. I was saving a spot for a daughter, I just buried the mother four months ago.

I know my father doesn't care about dead people or animals or their grave sites. I think he did a long time ago before he started suffering from mental illness. Now he doesn't care about anything and seems to have control issues.

I remember about 20 years ago when I was a young teenager, my father was using his tractor to clear some trees. In the process, he dug up and destroyed the grave site of up my mother's dog that I grew up with. That has always stuck with me. She was the sweetest dog and he just treated her remains like it was nothing. He's the one that buried her there and put a headstone there. Because of that, I prefer to have all my pets cremated, but it's so expensive at $400 minimum. I worry what will happen when my parents sell their property. It bothers me when I think of it.

It bothers me that human cemeteries are dug up and moved. There was a cemetery in the county where I live that was completely dug up and moved so a school could be built there. I think that's horrible. I don't trust the workers to put the caskets with the correct headstones. I would never bury my pets in a pet cemetery because one day they will probably be destroyed for land - they're not regulated like human cemeteries.

I know my mom cares about the graveyard I made. Those are her pets too. She owns the property just as much as my father does - 50/50. To me, those pets are my family. They mean more to me then my father ever did. My pets never treated me like crap. They loved me and I loved them.

Am I wrong in thinking my father is being a total prick about this? Just because he doesn't care about the graveyard doesn't mean that my feelings don't matter. If he can't respect my feelings, then he has no right to call himself my father. My mom only puts up with him because of money and because she feels sorry that he developed a mental illness.

Does anyone have anything I could say to him to get him to realize that he's being selfish and unfair? I don't want something that will make him mad.
It is unfair and unkind, but you NEED to let it go, consider your fathers possible sickness as a cause, and just remember the good times. Here's where that leads to if you don't let it go:

Daughter kills father, self in Midland County - Midland Daily News

http://www.ourmidland.com/news/polic...s-10779898.php

We live directly across the lake where this happened, and we heard the shotgun blast when she killed her father. Then, she drove to a local park and killed herself in her car.

You know what caused this? The father had taken her pet dog to the local vet, and had it euthanized because it was very old and sick. The daughter "didn't get a chance to say goodbye" and let it fester for a while while building up a murderous rage. She posted vile and horrible things on Facebook for a week or two, and then finally MURDERED her own father and herself.

All over a dog...
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