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My Dad died very suddenly and my FOO is now estranged from me too. How do people cope with so much loss all at once?


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Hello,

This is my first post here. I’m grateful for finding others to talk about this with. Many of my friends have not dealt with a lot of loss and I have not had much opportunity to all about this. It’s been difficult. 
My Father died of an aneurysm almost 4 months ago now. It was out of nowhere. He was only 65. From the moment he died I was immediately met with friction from the rest of my immediate family - my brother, who struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, and my mother who has been divorced from my father and whom I had been estranged from (with the help of my therapist) for about a year due to very toxic behaviour that was harmful for me and have still been working hard to maintain. 

I have always been closer to my father my entire life so this was a painful blow for me. I headed to my Father’s home to be with his spouse, whom I am fond of, and to see the rest of my family as they were arriving. I was in constant contact with my brother to ensure we brought him in to the family fold for the funeral, even though he had not spoken to my father, or anyone but me on that side of the family, for over 5 years as a result of his addiction and incidents related to.

The night prior to the funeral he said he was coming with my mother. We talked as a family and decided it was not something that my Dad would want or that would be comfortable for me, my Dad’s spouse or many other family members. She then spent 24 hours berating, and attacking my uncles and myself via phone. Even when they were shut off, she continued to message. 
 

Weeks following, and after several requests about the will from my brother, we had a new problem. He was convinced I knew about the will and was lying to him. He told me I was no longer considered his family.
 

My eldest uncle contacted my brother to let him know what the will entailed, however, my brother insisted that he was to inherit all of my father’s musical instruments - my Dad was an accomplished musician by trade and has acquired many instruments over the years. Days later, my Dad’s spouse received notification from her lawyer that my Brother had a lawyer requesting to see the will. He and my mother hired a lawyer. I felt so hurt. They didn’t care about my Dad at all. They just wanted to know what they were owed.  

Also that same week, my mom’s sisters all blocked me on Facebook. Seems trivial, but it feels like I’m being punished for something I didn’t do. 

They are likely upset because my father had a clause in the will explaining the “difficult relationship” he had with my brother and stating that he didn’t feel he would be able to will anything to him. Tough thing to read from your Dad I’m sore but I didn’t do it. 

So now I lost my Dad, I already had to cut ties with my toxic Mom, and the brother I’ve been trying to hold onto has made it really clear that he doesn’t care about me unless I have the information he wants or money. 
I know I’m not special. I know that other people have had to navigate difficult things like this too. But how? The emotions are so overwhelming. I feel so alone and yet overloaded all at once. So guilty, like I have done something wrong yet I know I didn’t. And most of all, I just want to talk to my Dad. 

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7 hours ago, LittleRedHen said:

I know I’m not special. I know that other people have had to navigate difficult things like this too. But how?

I'm so sorry to learn that this is happening to you and your family, my dear. Unfortunately, though, your experience is not at all unusual. I realize that knowing this doesn't make it any better for you, but if you're willing to read a bit about how others have dealt with this, I'm hoping you'll find some suggestions that might work for you: When Death Brings Out the Worst: Family Fighting After a Death

7 hours ago, LittleRedHen said:

The emotions are so overwhelming. I feel so alone and yet overloaded all at once. So guilty, like I have done something wrong yet I know I didn’t.

I think it's helpful to remember that feelings are not the same as facts, and feelings aren't always justified. Feeling guilty is not the same as being guilty for something you did or failed to do. Still, guilt is one of the most common reactions in grief. See, for example, Grief and The Burdern of Guilt  ❤️

7 hours ago, LittleRedHen said:

And most of all, I just want to talk to my Dad. 

Understood ~ but part of coming to terms with loss is finding ways to maintain our connection with the one who has died. Might you consider other ways to "talk" to your dad or communicate with his spirit?  It really does not matter if your dad can "hear" you. What matters is that you find a way to say whatever it is you feel a need to say: to get those words out of your head and onto a piece of paper, in a journal or into a computer word processing program. See, for example, Writing As A Healing Tool in Grief ❤️

More than anything else, it's important to give yourself permission to mourn this loss and to take the time you need to do so. See also Bereavement: Doing The Work of Grief  ❤️

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I am so sorry for all you are going through, bad enough to lose your dad but all the family drama on  top of it iis not what you need! Praying you make it through all this.  

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