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Hello everyone,

I am so sorry for all those who lost someone they loved so much. My wonderful Mom went on to Heaven in November 2002. She had lung cancer which took her at age 66 far sooner than I ever thought I would loose my Mom. She never ever smoked nor was she ever around any one that did. It's not fair! I miss her more and more each day. Even though I'm in my early 40s there was so much more I wanted to share in life with my Mom. I have two younger brothers and we get along great, but they are very sad too. My youngest brother lives at home with my dad so he is not totally alone.

My parents were married about 45 years. I was shocked to learn my dad is already dating and my instincts tell me it started before my Mom went on, but I have no proof. He says he is "seeing this woman" who is a great cook and willing to clean and that he gets along with her. I am more than happy to clean, but I can't be there to cook for him every day. Anyhow, it's obviously more about "companionship." or inablility to cope alone. My Dad is 72 and she is much younger with three kids.

He also says she "has problems." While these things may not be a "problem" for others, they represent things my father has been admittedly against his whole life and raised us to believe were not good for us. He has never ever been involved with people who have these kinds of problems. What scares me the most is that she is very very poor compared to my family, says she is divorced from a gambler, (in debt?), she smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol a lot, and one of her three kids is a drug addict and is in jail! Another kid might be involved with drugs too but I'm confused about her. None of us ever had any of these problems! I think she is trailer trash bimbo golddigger. Words I wish were not in my vocabulary.

My brothers look up to me in understanding all the legal issues and what to do. My parents were married about 45 years. They had a will and trust that listed my brothers and I as beneficiaries. It has been settled but my father refuses to discuss it with us. Do we have a right to know what's going on with it at this point? My parents were quite wealthy but worked very very hard and wisely to get to that point. My Mom would be upset at his behavior towards us.

My dad would despise anyone who came after him for his money, but this person seems to be manipulating him with kindness and doing just that. It seems she wants to move into our one and only family home. This disquests me. I'm afraid I'm going to loose my Dad to this person.

I tried to talk to my dad about it, but he is stubborn, controlling, secretive and acting quite arrogant. I don't want to see anyone take advantage of him but he might not see her as doing that. People can manipulate others through kindness too. He feels he can do as he wants without regard to the rest of our family. I'm trying to be supportive, but I want to stand up for my Mom and her wishes too.

My heart is breaking with sadness and I am getting angrier each day. I dont want to be this way but dont know what to do.

What can I do to help my Dad? Can I do a background check on her? What are our rights as legal beneficiaries? Can I make the bimbo go away? If not, how can I protect our family? How can I love my Dad when I cant stand this other person?

Any advice is appreciated.

Hugs to all,

Sad Daughter

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Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the death of your mother. I’m so sorry to learn of the difficulties you’re having with your dad. When one parent dies and the remaining parent begins dating someone else, it can be very hard for the adult child to accept no matter how soon after the death it occurs. You're left feeling a need to remain loyal to your mother and respectful of her memory, and worried that your father will cease to remember and love this irreplaceable person you both have lost. You’re afraid that this new woman in your father’s life may be taking advantage of your dad, and it’s understandable that you’re feeling very protective toward him. You’re also concerned that if your dad marries again, you and your brothers may be deprived of some of your inheritance, and you don't think that's what your mother would have wanted.

Since I’m not an expert in legal matters, I’m not in a position to comment on your “rights as legal beneficiaries,” but if you wish to get such questions answered you might consider consulting an attorney who specializes in wills and estates. Enter the words, “legal advice” in your browser’s search engine, or use the American Bar Association’s attorney search network, at http://www.law4usa.org.

I also encourage you to get some help with all of this by talking to a therapist or professional bereavement counselor, so that your own feelings about losing your mother and your current difficulties with your dad can be expressed, worked through and resolved. You may have no control over how your father chooses to lives his life in the wake of your mother’s death, but with help you can find more effective ways to manage your own reactions and get on with your own life. Your community library or your local mental health association will have good grief counseling referral lists, or you can use the Yellow Pages of your telephone directory to call your local hospital or hospice. Ask to speak with the Bereavement Coordinator, Social Worker, or Chaplain's Office to get a local grief referral. I hope you will think of this as a gift you can give to yourself, and I hope you will follow through with it.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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