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Dad not dealing well

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I lost my mom unexpectedly about a year and a half ago. I can't believe it's only been a year and how much has changed since this time. My mom was my best friend and also the person who held our family together. I definitely still grieve but I feel like I have been able to cope with it. My dad on the other hand is not doing well at all. A few months ago, he made an impulsive decision to sell the house and move to another state, buy a new house and invite his new girlfriend to move in with him. They had been dating for only a few weeks and when they moved in together, it imploded quickly. They are not compatible at all to live together. She is neat and my dad is practically a hoarder. She is a workaholic and my dad is retired. They fought constantly (including when I was visiting for Christmas) and he asked her to move out. 

So now my dad is alone, far away from any family and friends, just spent money on buying a house he's stuck with, and not surprisingly he confessed to me that he feels depressed and has a lot of regret for his decisions. He still has dozens of boxes from the old house in the attic since he basically didn't get rid of anything. And his health isn't that good since he is recovering from cancer himself, and I think the stress prettymuch ruined his recovery. I feel really guilty that I didn't talk him out of it. I guess I knew it was a bad decision to move like that but he seemed happy so I didn't say anything. I don't really know what advice to give him. I live 200 miles away so I can't be there all the time to help. It's terrible, I feel like we're both lost without my mom! Sorry, I know this isn't entirely grief related but I needed to vent. Any advice for helping a widowed parent?

Edit: Maybe I should have put this in the Young Adult forum. I'm 29 and part of the problem is I don't know many other people who have gone through this, losing one parent and then having to help support the surviving parent. Most of my friends' parents are still healthy, newly retired, and not thinking about these issues at all.

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I am so sorry for you and your dad's loss.  Even though you lost the same person, you lost different relationships and grief will be unique to each of you. 

This is fine where it is at.  Whether we're in our 20s or 60s we can be dealing with this...I lost my dad when I was 29 and my mom when she was in her 90s, so it knows no age.

24 minutes ago, Firedragon said:

Sorry, I know this isn't entirely grief related but I needed to vent.

You'd be surprised to learn just how much grief affects.    It seems to me it affects pretty much everything in our lives.

Here's some articles to help you...





I hope you'll continue to come here and post as you feel the need, we're here for you.

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I too am so sorry for your loss ~ and like you and Kay, I am a bereaved daughter too, having lost my father way too soon (when I was in my early 30s). I was in graduate school at the time, and none of my friends and classmates could relate to what I was feeling, since they had yet to lose a parent to death. That is when I began to look elsewhere for the comfort, understanding and support I needed. It's so important to surround yourself with others whose experiences are similar to your own ~ and certainly you will find that here with us. 

In addition to the articles Kay has offered, this is another that you may find helpful: How Millennials Mourn ♥️

Your dad's need to find companionship so soon after the death of your mother is not unusual, and I'm so sorry that the choices he made did not work out for him. This is why, as a general rule of thumb, it is wise for the bereaved person to wait at least a year before making any major decisions ~ and if one cannot wait a year, it's better to make decisions that are temporary, so there is room to change one's mind and back out (e.g., if moving to a different home in a different town, try renting instead of buying).  Of course in your dad's case it's too late for that, but perhaps you can help him to see this as a valuable lesson learned rather than as his having made a fatal mistake ~ and then do what you can to support him in his efforts to fix it without passing judgment on him. Is there another relative in your family who might be able to guide you in helping your father?

If you are interested, you'll find a number of articles related to dating after a death here: Remarriage in Widowhood: How Soon Is Too Soon?

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Very excellent article, Marty!  I want to add that I went through this with my FIL when Mom died...they'd been married  40 years and I considered her not only the mom I'd always wanted, but my best friend as well.  I took care of her the nearly three years she was bedridden with cancer, she will always remain very special to me.  And dad, let's face it, wasn't very good at coping.  I did what a lot of husbands would have done for their wife.  But I also love my FIL dearly, and I know he deserved some happiness...there is no requisite time period they need to look glum and mourn...we are all different in how we do this.  Still, I was shocked, stunned, when ONE MONTH after mom died, he announced to me that he was "in love"  And he sounded like a love sick cow.  Honestly!  It was very hard for us to stomach.  We tried to get past our feelings, and allow him his...it really wasn't up to us anyhow.  We continued to honor mom's memory, all while being gracious to the new lady in his life.  She was not interested in getting married or living together, much to our relief.  Over the next nearly 30 years, my kids came to think of her like a grandma, even though they called her by her first name.  She was a wonderful lady and I can only say now that Dad had good taste.  Her and Dad were companions over the years, they did everything together, from bowling to pinochle, taking care of each other through surgeries, etc., and she often helped me host the family when they came from out of state as my house only held so many.  We have many good memories of her.  Today mom and dad are both gone, but Florence is still alive, and we all still visit her and hold her in our hearts, which had enlarged to hold her as well.

I realize you didn't get as lucky.  Your dad may have been too early in grief...we often have grief fog in those early months.  When they say wait a year to do anything major, I'd extend that to two, or three even better yet!  You see, I made my own mistake in an effort to rebuild my life when I was devastated by losing my husband...all my friends had disappeared, it was a horrible time and I was floundering to get through it with no manual to guide me.  Your dad may not talk about your mom, not because he doesn't remember and miss her, but maybe he's afraid if he ever started, the tears would never stop.  Maybe it's his way of trying to control his emotions.  Who knows?  But one thing is for certain, they had many years together...he has not forgotten.  We just all handle this differently.  He'll make his way through this in his way, in his time.  

Have you tried attending a grief support group yourself?  It might help to know there are many others feeling a lot of the same things as you.  In the big cities they sometimes have groups specific to loss:  Spouse, Parent, Sibling, Pet, etc.

My heart goes out to you, been there.

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