Grief reoccuring after 11 years

Hello,

My mum passed away 11 years ago yesterday.
My Dad has recently met another lady and they are getting married next month.
It has been very quick. They have also bought a house together.

I am really struggling to come to terms with the wedding itself and now i am bridesmaid, even more so. I feel like im letting my Mum down.

The other reason i feel this way, my Mum does not have a headstone. My Dad told me last year that he couldnt bear to do it despite meeting his new wife to be. I told him this is very unfair for all of us.
He has become quite distant with me, we rarely spend any time together now and when he does ‘she’ is with him. Even yesterday on my Mums anniversary. My dad didnt visit the grave.
I feel so hurt, confused and right now cannot bear being at the wedding.

Any help would be grateful. I am finding grief difficult once again and the marriage is bringing back my grief.

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Oh my goodness Beckicat. This is not an uncommon dilemma. Your dad has found comfort that he may have desperately needed. Life goes on. I’m not saying that may be any consolation to you but it’s a fact.
11 years is a long time for your dad to be alone. He may have family around him, but that never makes up for losing someone so close.
You are not letting your mum down, not at all. Would she want your dad to be unhappy for the rest of his life? I doubt it.
You are in pain, that’s obvious. All this is reminding you of 11 years ago and the grief, which never really goes, is reemerging. The ‘trigger’ is the feeling of guilt you seem to have.
Your dad is coping with his grief in his own way. Please don’t judge him. He has been deeply hurt by your mum’s death and is looking for comfort and help. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
You are confused because there is an emotional fight going on in you.
The headstone! Once again it’s his choice, and I commiserate with him. I have not arranged anything yet a year after my wife died.
We can never get into another’s mind, no matter how close we are.
Can I suggest that, for the moment, try and go along with your dad and make his day as happy as possible. You will still have mixed emotions, that’s inevitable, but accept that also. Try not to turn your mind into a battleground of emotions. It won’t help you or your dad.
Blessings and take care.

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Hello Beckycat 777

I believe like you I would have found your situation difficult as well if it had happened to me. I’m pushing 74 now but one thing I’ve learnt is emotions and feelings never age, despite the body’s deterioration. Jonathan in his post has given you much wise advice to consider.

From my perspective I see you have but two choices.

  1. Going along with your current feelings and emotions, including your loyalty to Mums memory, but putting at risk any long term relationship with Dad. Could be painfull ?
  2. See things from Dad’s current day perspective. Walk in his shoes if you may And so create a balance between the love you have for Mums memory and the love you have for Dad in the present time.

Love and Light.
Geoff

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Hi Beckicat
I totally understand your predicament. It’s difficult to understand other members of a family’s emotions and their grieving as well as coping with your own. Grief is very individual and personal.
I do however see a compromise here for everyone. It is a huge emotional task for you to not only accept your dad’s marriage but to also stay loyal to your mum’s memory as in her life before she passed when she and your dad were together (til death do us part) and that is for your dad to erect a headstone for your mum so you can all move forwards together and include your mum.
Maybe sit down and be truthful with him in how you are feeling and suggest this as a compromise? It is where you can feel your mum is still part of family life and may be for your dad it can mark a new beginning?
It is a big ask of you to be at this wedding and I think a headstone for mum is not unreasonable for dad to provide.
I hope you can all find a solution and build on the love your mum left behind for you all.
Remember though that whatever happens nobody can take away the memories and love you have for your mum
Bug hugs

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