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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 12, 2011
    Posts
    34

    Default My dad died yesterday.

    And things are a mess.

    I can't sleep, even though I am so. tired. So I came on here, hoping that if I write about what is going on, I will be able to sleep afterward. I suppose I am also looking for some anonymous BB support, or else I would not be posting on a public forum like this.

    Some background:

    My dad had been very sick for over a year with pancreatic or colon cancer, the doctors were never sure which. He has been in a lot of pain and really suffering recently, and the last few days of his life were so horrible that I really hope I do not have to go through that again with someone else I love.

    My family has no money. None. My parents have literally been homeless recently. They do not have life insurance or savings of any kind. My dad had not had a paying job in years. My mom works part-time. They basically lived social security check to social security check, combined with the kindness of church funded financial support.

    My siblings and I all happen to be in various transitional/ financially unstable times in our lives. Most of us have families to support, but due to underemployment/ being in school/ what have you, do not have two nickels to rub together.

    Now we have a burial to pay for. Thanks to the foresight of my sisters, we put a down payment for a plot and other burial costs right before he died, which helps to make it a lot less expensive. We did this with the knowledge of what my dad and mom want for his body, but without discussing it with my mother, as she was in denial about my father's impending death right up until he died. She refused to talk about anything related to his death until after the fact. We were trying to take the burden off of her since we know she can't pay for it, as well as do what is best for the rest of us and our families, as we can't afford a huge bill.

    When we went to the funeral home yesterday to work out the details, my mother threw a fit over the casket. As in, she stormed out in the middle of the session with the funeral director while my sisters cried, then refused to answer direct questions after my brother went out and demanded she return to help us pick out a burial plot. She was looking at caskets that were a couple thousand dollars, while we were planning on one of the most basic models (read here: least expensive) they have. My dad specifically said before he died that he did not care how/ where he was buried, only that he did not want to be cremated. His words: "Why should I care about that? I am not going to know the difference."

    On the way home, my mother ranted about how awful we are to her, how we "always gang up on her like this," and how she will "never forgive burying him in a box." My brother asked her repeatedly what she wanted ( as I did while we were still at the funeral home). Her response: "It doesn't matter. You do what you want."

    I hate that this is about money, and I wish things were different. If I could pay for it, I would tell her to get whatever she wants. But the truth is that we have to be on a payment plan to even afford what we are getting now.

    We love my dad and my mom. We tried really hard to make this as easy as possible. I know she is hurting, but so are we. I am struggling with trying to not be angry at her, but she is not making it easy.

    That is where we are at now. The burial and viewing are on Monday, with only family and close friends, as my dad was a very private person.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2003
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    I'm so sorry for both your loss and the situation with your mother.
    According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2006
    Location
    Between a rock and a hard place, WA
    Posts
    1,341

    Default

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    I wish I could think of something wise and comforting, but really, in some ways it seems as if you have a pretty clear view of the situation: Your whole family is very traumatized, and in your mom's case, sounds like it's being expressed as anger right now.

    I remember how those first couple of days following my dad's death seemed so surreal - I'm going to guess that adrenalin kicks in and I wonder if that's why you're experience being both so tired and yet unable to sleep. It might also help to explain why your mom is ranting - I'm sure she knows that the family can't afford anything but the bare minimum right now and that's frustrating, so she's just 'acting out.'

    There are probably grief counsellors somewhere in your community - did you have hospice for your dad, or was he in the hospital at the end? Usually there are some counseling services available through health care facilities. The counsellors might be able to help you with some coping tactics with your mom right now, just to help you get through this first difficult stage.

    Again, I can't tell you how sorry I am for your loss and difficult situation.
    www.moranequinephoto.com
    "If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom."
    Byron



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2003
    Location
    Bristol, TN
    Posts
    1,722

    Default

    I'll keep you in my prayers. Remember your mother is reacting to the stress of your Dad's death; when things calm down, she might be grateful you took the sensible course.

    You did the right thing. I'm sorry.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,604

    Default

    So sorry for your loss.
    I hope coming here helps some.

    Remember, your Mom is grieving her loss just as you are, and I agree with MEP that her anger is undoubtedly due to that.

    IIWM, I'd go with the less expensive choice as you know that's what your Dad said would do for him.
    You can try telling your Mom she will need the money spent on the expensive casket to get by, but right now she may not be listening to reason.
    Grief unsettles your mind as I know only too well.

    I had to overrule my DH's adult daughter (from his 1st marriage) when he died.
    We had agreed on cremation, but she wanted burial.
    Nope - I knew what he wanted and acted accordingly.
    Expense was not the issue - although she made no offer to contribute - but it made for some uncomfortable moments at the funeral home.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MEP View Post
    I am so sorry for your loss.

    I wish I could think of something wise and comforting, but really, in some ways it seems as if you have a pretty clear view of the situation: Your whole family is very traumatized, and in your mom's case, sounds like it's being expressed as anger right now.

    I remember how those first couple of days following my dad's death seemed so surreal - I'm going to guess that adrenalin kicks in and I wonder if that's why you're experience being both so tired and yet unable to sleep. It might also help to explain why your mom is ranting - I'm sure she knows that the family can't afford anything but the bare minimum right now and that's frustrating, so she's just 'acting out.'

    There are probably grief counsellors somewhere in your community - did you have hospice for your dad, or was he in the hospital at the end? Usually there are some counseling services available through health care facilities. The counsellors might be able to help you with some coping tactics with your mom right now, just to help you get through this first difficult stage.

    Again, I can't tell you how sorry I am for your loss and difficult situation.
    I am so, so sorry too. Lost my dad to liver and pancreatic cancer too, and I think the word surreal is a perfect one to describe it. I had a thought...lots of funeral homes offer either video or charts in order to display photos of your dad....could you perhaps actively include your Mom in something like that, so she feels that she has a voice or a role? I am in no way saying that you have NOT done that, but refocusing her to something she feels she has control over (in her perception) - she had no control over what happened to your dad - might help her deal a bit. Also, someone mentioned grief counseling....up here a LOT of funeral homes have sessions where anyone who wants can come to meet, pray, talk, etc.
    Despite your family's tough financial situation, I am glad that you are working together, and sharing in your memories of him.
    Hugs.
    D>
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
    Posts
    2,896

    Default

    Hugs to you, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Both my parents are gone now, and I still miss them even after years. I will say when my dad died, my poor mother was so overwhelmed and distraught that she said some really hurtful things. It did hurt, but truly, she was scared to death and completely grief stricken. Try to bear this in mind when she is upsetting you. Again many hugs to you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 1999
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA USA
    Posts
    6,317

    Default

    I'm so very sorry you lost your father.

    Losing a Dad is an awful thing. Your mother, well, it may just be the grief speaking. Sometimes people lash out in odd ways.

    You and your brother did the best you can. Your dad sounds like mine - he got it. He didn't want you bankrupting yourself. Funeral homes often try to guilt you in to overspending.

    Also, frightened people rant, too. This death may have shaken up your mother not only in the normal way of losing her husband, but in the reality of her own mortality. There may be fear under all that whether she admits it or not.

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you. I think of my father a LOT, and he's been gone since 1977. I wish you and your family all the best.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,884

    Default

    I'm so sorry. I lost mine suddenly in July and it's the worst thing that's ever happened to me. He died two weeks shy of his benefits kicking in at his new job, including funeral expenses, and my parents had no real savings--the whole funeral planning process sucked beyond words. It's already so stressful to have grieving, numb people forced to think about details like that, and to have money involved makes it that much worse.

    I don't have any advice really because I am still trying to figure out how to deal with it myself, but I am sending you a ton of sympathy and best wishes. Good luck getting through the next couple of days.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
    Location
    East Longmeadow, MA
    Posts
    3,479

    Default

    So very sorry for your loss. I agree with everyone else, you absolutely did the right t hing and Mom is acting out of grief. I hope that you all can get some help - if he was on hospice they will have people you can all talk to at no charge. Good luck and take care.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 2007
    Location
    North-Central IL
    Posts
    3,842

    Default

    I'm so sorry for your loss
    Quarry Rat



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2010
    Location
    Where humidity isn't just a word, it's a way of life.
    Posts
    770

    Default

    I am so, so sorry for your loss.
    I wish I had the words to help in some small way, but know that you and your family are being thought of.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,707

    Default

    I am so sorry for your loss and what's happening now. A hug to you.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2011
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    80

    Default

    I'm very sorry for you loss.

    I lost my dad this summer as well. Not an easy thing losing a parent. Big hugs to you and your family.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,905

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gully's pilot View Post
    I'll keep you in my prayers. Remember your mother is reacting to the stress of your Dad's death; when things calm down, she might be grateful you took the sensible course.

    You did the right thing. I'm sorry.
    This^^

    Many hugs and prayers coming your way.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    You are doing the right thing with respect to the funeral/coffin. You should not bankrupt yourselves over this especially since he told you what he wanted.
    My family was all kinds of irrational, although in different ways, when my father died (one example- my mother wanted to wait 2 weeks to tell me so she wouldn't ruin my vacation and my sister was ready to go along with it- thank god my BIL was rational and talked them out of it).
    Hugs
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2003
    Location
    The Mitten
    Posts
    1,321

    Default

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    I agree with other posters who have said that your mom's anger is likely her grief showing through. I would try to stick with your dad's wishes. And I second trying to find her (and you!) a grief counselor. I lost my dad in 2006 and took advantage of the grief counselor provided by my church and then followed that with their small group for people coping with loss and found so much comfort in that.

    Hugs and prayers going out to you and your family through these tough times.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2001
    Location
    Dry Ridge, KY USA
    Posts
    3,114

    Default

    I am sorry for your loss. Cancer is a horrific way to pass. In KY, the Hospice of the Bluegrass offers a support group/counselors, even if you did not use them to help you through the process. You might check with your local Hospice group to see if they do the same.

    You are right to respect your Dad's wishes. I pray that your Mom will come to understand and respect his choice.

    I lost my Dad back in 1988. He passed during a heart bypass operation. My Mom was so lost. My Dad had done everything for her. She had no clue about their finances, how to balance a checkbook, how to shop at a grocery store or even put gas in their car. On top of that, she was dealing with recovering from a double mastectomy/radiation. My DH stepped in and helped her. Fortunately, he was a lawyer, so was able to help her through the Probate stuff. It took weeks to go through my Dad's finances, because he did not have them in just one place.
    Like me, he was not gifted with organizational skills.

    When my Mom passed from Cancer, six years after he did, she made certain that we knew where all of her finances were and to whom everything was to go. She learned how to take care of herself and organize her life.

    Once again, I am sorry for your loss. ((((HUGS)))
    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,405

    Default

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

    I agree that your mom's anger is probably part of the grief process. It is one of the stages of grief and in those first days, it is not uncommon for people to cycle through them all repeatedly. Denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance and back again.

    Many funeral homes also offer grief resources or can put you in touch with good resources.

    Finally, if your parents are indigent, inquire with your funeral home about whether there is any county assistance available and how to qualify. Many counties do provide assistance if you fall below a certain poverty line and the funeral home should be able to help you figure out whether that is a possibility.

    And don't forget about taking time for yourself and letting yourself grieve. A lot of times you can get so wrapped up in your mom's issues you forget that your grief is important too.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2003
    Posts
    552

    Default

    You mentioned that your parents received help from the church, perhaps the pastor there could talk to your mom? They might be able to communicate with her in way that resonates with her. I agree with others, she is probably terrified. I remember my mother being so timid after my dad died, and she had always been such a strong personality. It was like she had to learn how to function in the world without the other half of herself. Eventually she came around took total charge of her life.

    I am so impressed by your fortitude and insight at such a difficult time. I am sure your dad would be very proud of you and thankful for respecting his wishes. Hugs to you, the next few weeks will be tough. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.


    2 members found this post helpful.

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