Dealing with parents dating after death
Originally posted 8/7/2013, updated 9/21/2016 “Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death.And, given that boomer divorce rates are on the rise, increasing numbers of parents are likely to experience disapproval from their adult kids when Cupid’s arrows land.“Children of all ages feel betrayed and abandoned when their parents divorce because their cozy nest is disrupted,” Lieberman says.On December 23rd, we found out my Mom had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. They did two chemo treatments and her kidneys were unable to handle anymore. My Mom was my best friend and as you can imagine this has been beyond difficult. They truly were one unit and we are a very close family.Prior to this, the only people in my life who had passed away who I felt remotely close to were my two grandfathers, an uncle, and a great uncle.While I, of course, cared about all of these men and was incredibly sadden by each of their passings, the loss of a parent digs in much deeper, stings much sharper, and alters your world in unimaginable ways.
We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock.
“This even upsets kids who are already out of the nest.
The message their parents are sending is that it is more important for them to have a life of their choosing than to remain in their prior, primary role of mom or dad.” The result: strained relations, uncomfortable moments for everyone and, for you, the feeling that your children may not have your best interests at heart.
When my dad died, I felt as though I either hadn't seen or hadn't paid attention to many accounts of grieving the death of a parent in your 20s. Somedays, I'm happy and productive and I think about my dad with a smile on my face.
This lack of information spurred me to write about my experience and to share the following things I'd learned about myself and others from encountering my father's death at a comparatively young age. After the first few days of barely sleeping or eating and bursting into tears at the slightest remembrance, I asked myself, "When does this end? " I fooled myself into thinking that if I went through the steps, if I followed the stages, I would come out on the other end as a whole, smiling, fatherless girl. Other days, I wake up from having a dream about my dad and sulk all day. Other days, I nearly forget that my father died at all.