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Living with loss

For anyone who has lost someone due to cancer

  • 146 conversations

Coping with dad moving on

Started by Anonymous on 13 April 2017 at 08:30

I don't really know what to say, but am struggling at the moment. My mum died last July from endometrial cancer when she was only 66, and I still miss her terribly. I can cope with that, but what I am struggling with is the fact that my dad is now in a new relationship and very excited about it all (he is in his 70s). On the one hand, I'm glad my dad is OK, but on the other hand, I miss my mum, and can't really understand how he doesn't feel the same. I know I should probably feel happy for him, but I am struggling to even want to speak to him. Has anyone else ever had to deal with this, and how to you manage?

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  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    13 April 2017 at 10:42
    Edited on: 13 April 2017 at 12:39


    When a bereaved parent starts a new relationship, it can feel like a betrayal to the memory of the parent who died. I can understand the conflict of emotions you may be feeling right now - wanting your dad to be happy, but feeling a visceral sense of loss too.

    The grief you feel for your mum, will be different to what your dad is feeling, although as uniquely painful. It may be that the relationship he had with your mum was loving and happy, that he's missing the companionship which being 'a couple' brings. He may also have started grieving, from the beginning of her illness, so has had more time to prepare.

    However, he should be sensitive to how all this feels for you too. In the flush of a new relationship, it can feel like all the past history that he, your mum and you shared has been forgotten - so hopefully he'll encourage some father/daughter time, to keep the family bond.

    Explain to him that you're pleased he's happy, but that it feels difficult for you. Say it's going to take time to get used to the idea that he's moving on, so to be patient as you get your head round the new situation.

    Like you, I'd love to hear how other bereaved adult children get their heads around a parent moving on - and also the perspective from anyone who has been through this themselves?

    You can also message Robyn or myself, here at Maggie's Online Centre for a talk through what's happening for you...your feelings sound natural and normal.

    Warm wishes



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