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Family resentments


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Hi everyone, I have only just found this site today, I have been having a hard time talking to anyone about how I feel. My father had cancer for six years, each time getting better. My parents have been divorced for many years, and he has a new girlfriend, and of course there is my grandmother. The already strained family dynamic got even more twisted when Dad was admitted to critical care with pnuemonia. I think that I was completely shocked by how quick it all was, I went to visit Dad once in a normal room, when i went back the next day he was in an oxygen chamber unable to talk. He just held my arm so tightly and stared at me for an hour. He kept mouthing to me that he knew it was the end, that he loved me. I caouldn't handle it, so i left. When I came back the next day he was in a coma and on a respirator. I moved house that day, and I have never felt more alone. I visited the hospital alone in between unpacking boxes. Dad got steadily worse, and my aunt was called down from the country to help, and my grandmother became a witch...she didn't want dad's girlfriend to come even when he was not going to last the night because she would 'take over'. She wanted me to take dad's jewellry just in case.

We did decide to have the machines turned off, as dad was just deteriorating. Everyone else went out for a coffee while it happened except me, i held his hand while he died. I became responsible for picking out clothes for the funeral, songs, identifying his body, choosing cemetry. I also gave the only speech.

Meanwhile, my grandma refused to come to the funeral without a hymn, even though dad was an athiest and she never goes to church. Iit was apaprently because some of her friends form various community boards were coming and they expected it.So she got her way again.

Why is it that death brings out the worst in people? I always thought that it would create a feeling a thankfullness for what we had and a sense of closeness towards my family. That hasn't happened.

I am finding it so hard to cope orgainising everything, cleaning out his house so his girlfriend can feel more comfortable, and being appointed director of one of his companies.

I have so much to do, why do i feel so lost. I am 27, surely i am old enough to take on these adult responsibilities?

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Let me say first of all that I am so sorry for your loss.

How long ago did your father die? I am sure you can read plenty of posts about just how long it takes to feel normal after a loved one dies. From my experience, it is longer than six months, cause that is where I am and I am nowhere close to normal. So be forgiving of yourself during this time.

I am sorry your grandmother did not behave herself well. I don't know that there is a greater pain than watching your son die. It is so unnatural. And remember that the funeral services are for the living, not for the dead. So if a hymn helped her heal, even a little, maybe it was worth it even though it didn't jive with your dad's nature. My dad gave a eulogy at my wife's funeral, and it was sad how it was about the Becky that existed in my parent's minds and not the one I loved for all those years. And for a few months I was very ticked off about that. But the way I was able to reconcile it was that my dad really did it out of love, that my mom and Becky's parents really appreciated what he said. So that part of the funeral was for them, not for me.

Welcome to the site, and feel free to post often. This is a site nobody wants to need, but there are a lot of good people here, and from what I can tell one more good person today.


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I am so sorry you lost your father at such a young age. Reading your post brought back so many memories of losing my father at 28. I know how hard it is to be there when someone you care for dies.

I don't know what to tell you about the unkindness you've experienced. You would think that hard times would bring a family close. It hasn't been the case for us either and like you say, it has brought out the worst in many.

Do something wonderful to honor your father. Try to get past your grandmothers behavior and let it go.


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Thank you for your thoughts...I guess I have just found it hard since evryone seems to be looking to me as the 'strong' one, telling me I am doing so well. I find it hard to admit that deep down I am not doing so well as appearance may suggest. Also, my father and I had always had trouble communicating, and now everyone says to me that I knew him best. And that seems a sad statement when I didn't feel I knew him at all.

I guess I have never really liked my grandmother anyway, she once sat me down and told me that my mother is a witch who was too low class for my father etc. I should have expected that no one was ever going to be good enough for her son. She doesn't like Dad's current girlfriend, and I felt terrible when she asked me why my grandma was being so nasty to her. You always like to think that your relatives are good people, but I guess you can't choose them. She is going to have a heart attack when she realises that Dad left the house to his girlfriend.

Notlooking forward to Christmas...no Dad to visit, my mother is going away to visit her relatives. It will just be me and my grandmother!

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I've always heard that the worst comes out in people when a family member dies. I don't understnad it. I agree with your statement that people should come together in an effort to comfort each other.

I think right now if you can focus on your own heart do that. If it is too hard to box up your father's things, take a break. If the girlfriend wants it done in a certain time frame she should "feel free" to do so. If she wants you to do it, do it in your own time. You can't rush those types of things if you can help it.

I try and remember that no one understands anyone else's grief and we shouldn't judge how others grieve. Hopefully there will come a time when there is some peace in your heart and you can forgive your family for their shortcomings. I'm not so sure I'm there but hey, I can give you advice can't I? LOL. This just sucks. That is all there is too it. It sucks and it's hard but we have to keep breathing.

Good luck in taking of your father's company. I'm impressed. I can't even get the da.. cellphone switched over to my name!

God Bless

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I've always heard that the worst comes out in people when a family member dies. I don't understnad it.

I don't understand either. I think how can people be cruel to someone who is dying or in great pain or grieving.

I meditate daily. It takes about an hour. I use guided meditation.

First you prepare. You give thanks for your blessings -- -- small things -- -- the sunrise, a pet sitting in your lap. Pain not as great. Your kids are alive, whatever brings a smile to your face -- -- even a memory from the past.

Then you forgive those who have hurt you in the recent past. You forgive yourself for anything you may feel was a transgression against others or yourself.

you are then reminded that everyone is doing the best that they can from their level of consciousness.

sometimes I look around and I see people like Shelley who states she does not believe in God and yet in her, I see a person with a high level of consciousness.

I see it in you, Joni, and I see it in more then a dozen others here. I wish I could explain it better. it just seems that some people have souls that are very deep and they can reach further into themselves and find more kindness, more heart , more empathy.

may be some people have had more practice.

just some random thoughts.

Take care,


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