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View Full Version : Thanksgiving guilt after Dad passed need some feedback please


the Fidge
09-19-2008, 07:45 PM
Ok here's my situation frankly put....my Dad passed earlier this year, I adored him. My mother on the other hand is not a kind woman. It is painful to be in her company. I always loved to cook for my Dad for Thanksgiving he really loved that I made all his favorites with love and gratitude.

My mother would sit at the head of my table as she was waited on, complaining about something or other I failed at. My father would love my meals and I loved cooking for him. It was my way of showing a little appreciation for all he was to me.

My mother on the other hand has used this chance to get revenge with the $ my father left her. Probably hoping something would make her happy none of us ever did. Honestly, I don't wnat to cook for her for Thanksgiving I want to go away to Universal we have nefver been and I thought I would do something totally different. My son is very uncomfortable with her due to unkind words for everyone.

She does not talk to anyone besides one of my brothers none of her family or my other 2 siblings. She will be alone for THanksgiving then and I feel horrible visualizing her alone. I invited her and said I did not feel up to cooking and just wanted to get out of my norm this year.

Now I hear that she thinks I do not love her as in her hour of need I will not be there. BTW her own parents she did not stand by but that is not my intention it is self protection. I normally put the needs of others in front of mine and have done it gladly. I would like to do this for me and it doesn't feel right.

I offered to go the week before and take her to dinner to being dinner to her as she lives 3 hours way. I cannot just show up there, I bring her grocceries as she doesn't drive and does not want a truck delivering gorceries. I invited her here but she says she has too much going on. She will let me know when also I was not welcome to bring the groceries and had to mail all the food this week as she did not wish me to come. The cat and dog food weighed a ton too! Her mailman will love me!

Any thoughts....??

sk!mom
09-19-2008, 08:28 PM
Go to Universal and enjoy your family but tell her why. Explain that you and your family must be treated respectfully from this day forward if she wants to see you. If she can't do that, then make a monthly call to ask how she is.

Dr. Phil said it best, We teach people how to treat us. You've allowed your mom to treat you disrespectfully because you loved your dad and wanted to see him and only you can put a stop to it.

BTW, why do you have to drive three hours to deliver groceries? If she absolutely cannot drive then tell her that you will help her arrange for grocery delivery that she pays for. If she refuses, then let her figure out how to get groceries. We don't owe people the help they want but we are kind to give the help that we can- ie. arrange for grocery delivery not personal delivery.

Believe me, I do understand how difficult this is. I speak from personal experience. We have respectful relationships now because we accept nothing less.

swald91
09-19-2008, 08:34 PM
Eeek! First, Sorry about your dad second-sounds to me no matter what you do it will not please her. Holidays are always tough that 1st year. I don't care how long they may be sick or if it was sudden. I know that you will feel guilty if you go w/o her & you will probably be miserable w/ her. You seem to handle the situation pretty good-when unkind comments are made-maybe you should have a sit down conversation w/ her & explain how she's made you feel. Sometimes just talking you may clear the air more than you think. You could tell her your plans -ask if she wants to join you w/o attitude. It will be tough for her as well. Good luck. I hope that things will work out and your relationship can move in a more positive direction.:flower3:

gr8leg8
09-19-2008, 10:17 PM
I am sorry about your dad's passing.
After my dad passed I finally stopped trying to be a good sister to my sister who is also verbally unkind.

It took me a while to get here and thankfully DH is completely in support of me. All it took was one of her comments aimed at DD.

Unfortunately it puts my mom in the middle.
Like my mom, I am a people pleaser. So this was/is very hard for me. But at close to 40 I am finally able to make another choice besides putting myself in the firing line.

Grief is different for everyone,
with the sorrow I hope you will (eventually) have a silver lining.

My thoughts are with you. :hug:

Scrapfriend
09-20-2008, 12:36 PM
I am so sorry to hear another family is in this spot. My FIL passed a few years ago and we loved to have him over and show him love. My MIL is undiagnosed mentally ill and is quite toxic. My husband and I made a choice to put distance between her and especially our children. It is hard, but necessary. It is important to think of your needs and your immediate family. Your mother will be unhappy no matter what you do, so you cannot win this one anyway. No one is going to judge you for making the right choice for your families well being. And if they do, then they do not know your mother very well or the situation. Been there, done that and know that it is hard, but just keep putting your family first. Enjoy your trip and have pleasant memories of you father, that is what he would want!

the Fidge
09-20-2008, 03:59 PM
I am so sorry to hear another family is in this spot. My FIL passed a few years ago and we loved to have him over and show him love. My MIL is undiagnosed mentally ill and is quite toxic. My husband and I made a choice to put distance between her and especially our children. It is hard, but necessary. It is important to think of your needs and your immediate family. Your mother will be unhappy no matter what you do, so you cannot win this one anyway. No one is going to judge you for making the right choice for your families well being. And if they do, then they do not know your mother very well or the situation. Been there, done that and know that it is hard, but just keep putting your family first. Enjoy your trip and have pleasant memories of you father, that is what he would want!

May I ask how did you and DH deal with the visual of Mom being alone for Thanksgiving?

soontobewed07
09-20-2008, 08:36 PM
I am sorry for your loss.The visual is tough,but I must say you need to take care of yourself too. I would go and enjoy your family it is only one day in a year full of days. Maybe you can spend a different day that week with her and make it a new tradition in memory of your dad. Go out to dinner neutral ground and if she doesn't care to do that I think you have exhausted your options!

sk!mom
09-20-2008, 09:29 PM
May I ask how did you and DH deal with the visual of Mom being alone for Thanksgiving?


I'm not the poster you asked but, in my experience, you just have to get over it. Yes, the first time is hard and you will feel guilty but the alternative is to continue as things are. If the alternative is healthier then you get through it.

It's much like dealing with a loss. You keep going and it becomes easier. Not easy but easier.

For this year, since you mentioned that you have siblings, I would offer help to get mom to one of their homes. If the offer is refused then carry on with your plans with a clear conscience.

Isn't your DH a help? I ask because my DH and I really help talk each other through these difficult times. We each can be the voice of reason when it's the other's family.

Good luck!

the Fidge
09-21-2008, 08:03 AM
Update...I have made a reservation to stay off property and we have never been to Universal. I will make use of that ticket deal they are running. For DH and DS birthdays we go to Disney World.

Due to the fact that Mom doesn't speak to but one other sibling that will not visit her for the holiday I guess she has to play out the hand she deals.

I will contact the Chinese restaurant by her in town as they deliver and have them deliver her favorite meal. DS is over the moon and was relieved sadly that Mom will not be a part of the holiday. I will pop down there around the holiday to go the cemetry, will ask if she would like to go.

It does not need to be this way, but this is the reality. My mother said she wants to be left alone so be it. Thed sad part of all is that death seems to draw people together to honor and value the life lost, the laughter the tears to me seem to keep the spirit strong among the family. I only wish she would see that her family may not be perfect but are still worth loving.

Thank you for all the great feedback it helped make a painful decision easier.

ps Mom is taboo topic with DH.

AJKMOM
09-21-2008, 02:17 PM
May I ask how did you and DH deal with the visual of Mom being alone for Thanksgiving?

You visualize what dinner would be like with her there, the comments and criticisms she has made in the past- then you think, "oh well, she is better off alone than with us."

Just because she gave birth to you doesn't mean she has the right to treat you and your family so badly. Let her spend the holiday with the relatives she is nice to, if there are any. I always feel like I have to protect my children and husband from family that are unkind. we avoid them every way possible.

Picabo
09-21-2008, 03:20 PM
I want to say, first, that I'm sorry about the loss of your dad. Holidays are always rough after loosing a loved one, especially when it was a holiday you cherished with him. I lost my mom the day before Christmas 3 yrs ago and I feel like Christmas will NEVER be the same again.

As for your mom, one thing you need to realize (and I think you do by the sound of your post) is that she has alienated herself...you all have no alienated her. SHE has been the one to push people away from her. She has no right to expect people to want to be around her if she can't be a pleasant person. So you shouldn't feel guilty for the fact that she will be alone on a holiday. That is her own doing. i think it's VERY nice of you to go that extra step to order her a chinese meal on her bday. Now just pray she doesn't throw the food in the delivery guy's face! :rotfl2:

I think you're doing the right thing. You need to do what is best for you and your family. It sounds like some time with just your core family would be the best way to help you all through this rough holiday without your dad. So enjoy and don't feel guilty at all!

Melanie