Dad starting to date again after Mom's death

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2011
Dad starting to date again after Mom's death
9
Sun, 10-23-2011 - 12:45pm

I am 23 years old and my mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 18. I was very close to her and it was and continues to be extremely hard to deal with. A couple of years ago my dad announced that after his years of grief he was ready to begin dating. My sisters and I had a hard time accepting this; I think only those who have lost a parent can understand the hurt that it brings picturing your surviving parent with someone else. I think he saw one woman casually for a couple months, but it ended - we never met her and that was that. To clarify, my dad is the kindest man I know and has always been careful and considerate of our feelings with all of this, but I know he has to do what he needs to make himself happy.

Coming up this week is my mom's birthday. She would have been 55. Every year, her birthday or anniversary of her death are just emotional periods that bring back so

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
I am 55 and lost my daddy when I was 18 to heart disease - we had no time to say goodbye before he left. He was only 43. Others have given you the right advice on your Dad & your relationship as he struggles to continue living his life without your Mom, let me tell you a bit about your future.

You will see that even though I'm a grandmother, I still called my Dad - Daddy above. This is because that is who he was when he left me. He didn't chose to go but for a long time, I was sad, frightened & angry too. The pain was terrible those first years after his death. His birthday, the anniversary of his death, Xmas, etc. were all very difficult to deal with and I shed buckets of tears. I still cry sometimes but most of the time, I can smile at the wonderful memories I have of him. I have treasured those memories & they help so much.

Please go for counseling, I didn't go until I was 45 and it took me a long time to accept my Dad's death. Don't go through this pain alone as it's too hard. You will always miss your Mom & yes, the pain will fade & the days will get easier. That is the way we carry on. Those special days will hurt but not as much but every new occasions will bring a fresh wave of pain. Your wedding day, the birth of your first child, the birth of your last child, etc.. All those special events will be filled with great joy but there will be a bit of sadness hoovering over you because Mom isn't there. For me, I am comforted by the believe that my Dad is watching over me and that my youngest DS is so much like my Dad in looks & personality that he is extra special to me.

You quit being a child the day your Mom died, those years are gone & you became an instant adult even though you weren't ready. Cherish yourself as you are special because you had 2 parents who obviously loved you very much. Focus on being the best person you can be & find happiness in the things that give you joy. When you are upset, try to remember those happy days with your Mom with joy not sadness. I promise you the pain will ease. It won't fade away but it will hurt less & less. There isn't a day that I don't think of my Dad but it's rarely with tears.

Encourage your Dad to find his happiness, it will be hard for him to find someone to measure up to your Mom but he selected a wonderful person to be your Mom, trust him to do as good a job in finding a partner this time.

Hugs & positive thoughts to you, Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2002

Hi..I could tell so many stories but I won't...all I will say is that I've seen many instances where widowers have moved on, eventually remarrying, and still maintaining the love and respect for the lost spouse. It'll be okay, dad has mourned more than long enough and it's heallthy that he has decided to start dating again.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004

I am so sorry for your loss. I am also sorry for the pain your dad dating has caused you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
My situation is not identical, but I wanted to share with you.

When I was 11 my parents separated and then divorced, and when I was 13 my dad remarried. I knew the day I met my stepmother that I could either accept and learn to love her or I would seriously impact my relationship with my dad. My stepmother was incredible - she could have written the book on step parenting and she brought great joy to my life. She and my dad had two children, much younger than my brother and me, but we all love each other a lot.

Sadly, ten years ago my stepmother died after an eighteen month battle with cancer. My dad was amazing in the care he gave her and the love he showed. But I knew he would not be happy alone. He was totally in love with her and happily married, but he didn't want to be alone. After about a year, he confided in me that he had met someone special. My younger sister had a very difficult time with this - she felt that my dad was moving on and she couldn't. The advice I gave her (and she did not want to hear this) was that at 13 I accepted her mother and it was one of the best things I ever did for myself - that if she could allow herself to be open to my dad's friend, it could enrich her life - not that she would replace her mother, but she could benefit.

My sister did open her heart, and we all have this great person who makes my dad so happy and keeps an eye on him and is good to us. To me, my dad's ability to love is an honor to my step mother who really helped him be a better father, husband, and person.

My mom died this winter - she never remarried - so I know what it is like to miss your mother, although I am older and so my mother's death was in the right time and I had her for a kong time.

But my advice to you is to separate your own grief from your love for your dad and love him enough to let him have some happiness in his life. I think you will find that it might spill over to you.

Best wishes
SJ
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2011

Thank you all so

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Like the others, I also recommend that you seek professional help from someone that specializes in grief counseling. Especially since you feel like you have been kind of emotionally stuck for 5 years and "didn't get the chance to properly grow up".

I have lost both of my parents but I was a lot older than you when each of them died (11 years apart). Even in your 40s you can feel like "an orphan" when a parent dies, and birthdays and holidays continue to have a tinge of sadness, but its not good for you to be overwhelmed by those feelings for years.

I'm sure that your dad hasn't forgotten your mom or that her birthday is coming up. It probably is still hard for him too, after having her by his side for at least 18 years. At the time of her passing he already had the emotional maturity to later be able to not let his loss rule his life which may be why he has "moved on" whereas you have not.

Best of luck in moving forward in this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010

I'm so sorry for your loss......my Father passed away in 1994 at 63 a young man in my eyes...my Mother has been miserable ever since.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
I'm sorry for your mother's loss. I wish I had advice for you, but I've never been in your situation. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you. Have you tried talking to someone about it, like a therapist?
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004

I understand your feelings, but I also understand your father's feelings.