suddenlysinglewomen

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Loss Of A Loved One – – –

on September 7, 2012

I’ve wanted to post this for the past two weeks but had to “think on it”.  Divorce is never easy, the changes it brings to your life are countless.  You go into survival mode first to protect yourself, then for your children and/or immediate family.  What happens to the “ex”tended family?

I was an active part of my husband’s family for well over thirty years; I thought that would count for something. I wrongly assumed that our’s was a “relationship” that they would still want to hang on to.  Funny thing about the family of your ex – they can be guilted into feeling that maintaining a relationship with you is somehow being disloyal to him.

Suddenly the phone calls stop, the birthdays are over looked and the Christmas cards come sporadically.  I didn’t see it coming, my bad.  Thus my feelings were really hurt and I was bewildered at how easily I could be erased from their lives.  After all, he divorced me – not them . . . right?

Wrong.  It’s just an impossible situation all way round and you have to accept that they’re not going to go against his wishes.  There will always be exceptions, and if you’re lucky to have that – good for you.  So this brings me back to my latest struggle to “do the right thing”.

This past June, something made me reach out and call my ex father-in-law on Father’s Day.  I could tell he was surprised, but pleasantly so.  We chatted for half an hour and got caught up on our lives.  I thanked him for always making me feel like a “daughter”, and for stepping up in the roll of father after I had lost mine in 1998.  He told me that no matter what, he would always consider me his daughter.  I ended the phone call with a smile and a warmed heart.

He passed away a week ago Monday, a mass found on his lungs and two weeks later he’s gone.  I’m saddened for the loss of a wonderful man, but more importantly for the loss my sons have of a grandfather who was a huge part of their young lives.  In their formative years, we all lived in the same city and he was a regular babysitter for the two boys.  If my husband and I didn’t have any plans, he came and grabbed them anyway – a day of adventure with PawPaw.  He was the biggest male presence in their lives when their father’s career path took him away from it.

It was a hard decision not to travel several states to attend the funeral.  I conferred with both boys and other extended family members to help make the best decision for all.  In the end, he knew that I loved him and he would never have wanted to put me in an uncomfortable position.  The extended family members that I talked to also knew how much he’d meant to me, and understood the choice not to take a chance that the ex might get riled at my appearance.  

Now that he’s gone, I feel a sense of closure to hurt feelings.  It’s a kind of release of those feelings of having to “keep in touch”.  I’m so thankful that I called him last June and was the one who reached out last.  I’m at peace and know that now he is too.  Love you PawPaw . . .

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10 responses to “Loss Of A Loved One – – –

  1. wendy says:

    what a thoughtful story! remember, the funeral was about the living, and your decision to stay at home was made with love for those who were hurting. My mom always said it matter not who came to her funeral, but who came to see her in her last days. I am sure your visit with him was a lasting gift!

  2. Jinx says:

    I am so sorry for your loss of a great man. I am so glad that you made that phone call….

    The same happened w/ my in-laws; they refused to attend my ex’s wedding or have anything to do w/ her until she was pregnant. They stood behind my children and me until then. Then….I edged out, as I knew there was not room for both of us in their lives. I rarely saw them again, after being their “daughter” for more than 20 years. When I did run into them, they acted as tho they never hardly knew me. All of the losses from my divorce were extremely great and still are to this day. We somehow have to forget the past, I guess, or relish the memories we did get to have.?????? Jinx

    • We relish the memories. He was a wonderful Christian man and it broke his heart to see how his elder son handled the divorce after multiple affairs. But blood is blood and you don’t quit loving your blood even when they do misbehave badly. He was the glue that held the family together, and now I know I can move on from hurt feelings knowing I did the right thing in trying to stay connected. See you soon!!!

  3. Bryn says:

    So glad that you had communications with your in laws. I am sure he appreciated this. You don’t just dismiss a 30 year relationship. May God bless you.

  4. Janice says:

    Lynda,
    One of your best blogs! It is one of the difficult aspects of divorce…and it is never easy to know what to do in these situations especially when the exes played such important roles in our children’s lives.

    • I felt awful missing it, but I know in my heart that he would understand. Plus it was wonderful to have so many of the aunts and cousins check in with me to be there for me if I did go. Everyone remembers the “why is she here?” and the way I was shunned at the last family gathering. Better to not run the risk!

  5. Janice Webb-McCann says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss & the complications surrounding it.

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