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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Firesong3 Offline
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My Dad cries too much - July 6th 2013, 04:37 PM

This might sound a little harsh coming from his own daughter. And well, maybe it is. My grandmother is dying. This isn't my Dad's mother, it's his mother-in-law. My Mom's mother. Mom and I, we are very close to her. But when we go to visit her in hospital- in her final days- we don't cry. It's not that we don't want to. But we both believe there's a time and place for everything. Doctors and nurses come to work on my grandma and give her medication. It's just not the right time to cry.

Dad though, he won't stop crying every time he sees her. He sobs and snorts like a little child. He's done it in front of grandma's nieces and nephews- people who are closer to her than he is. They AREN'T crying and they barely know him.

Even my cousin, who is very sensitive about death, leaves and goes to the bathroom to cry and then comes back. I have absolutely no problem with that.

I can't help feeling angry, like he's showing off his grief and making it all about him when it's supposed to be about my grandma. I find it embarrassing and a little bit shameful. Recently he's been doing other things to anger me as well. I'm getting sick of it.

I want him to stay away from me and grandma and not to ruin her final days with his over-the-top actions. We're all in pain. Why does he have to act like his pain is the worst. It's not. She had 3 daughters, one of which is my mum. They loved her and looked after her a thousand times more than he ever did. He's not even a blood relative. He sees her maybe once every 4-6 months.

I know I'm not being reasonable. So please somebody tell me how to accept his actions. Give me some other perspective. I'm trying hard not to get mad, but it's quite difficult for me. Sorry if this post is too long.
   
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Re: My Dad cries too much - July 6th 2013, 05:05 PM

Hey Nicola, your post isn't long at all. First I want to say that you have a right to your feelings, you may recognize this as "unreasonable", but if you're angry that's okay. What it sounds like to me is that you were raised differently. We learn from our families how to handle emotion, it sounds like your dad was taught to be more open with his than you were. You said you and your mom believe that it isn't appropriate, maybe he was raised differently.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. If he needs to cry that's as okay for him as it is for you to be angry about it. It may seem selfish to you, but he may be more expressive and that doesn't make his way wrong, just different. You are all going through a very difficult time right now, so you're more sensitive to everything too. I know how hard it is to lose someone my heart goes out to you.


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Re: My Dad cries too much - July 6th 2013, 09:21 PM

Hello, Nicola!

I am currently working with hospice patients and their family members, so first, I want to say that I am truly sorry to hear about your situation. I understand how difficult it is to say good-bye to someone you care about, and to manage the emotions that come with the experience.

As Katie said, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone does it differently. Individual members within a family will grieve differently. Additionally, events like these can bring emotions tied to past events to the surface. Your father's grief may seem over-the-top, but if you were to look deeper, his reaction may make more sense.

Perhaps he's not close to his mother-in-law, and now regrets not having made the effort to become closer to her. If that's the case, his grief could be very understandable! You and your other family members may be coping better with the situation because you don't have those same regrets - you know you experienced a full relationship with your grandmother, whereas your father regrets not having that full relationship.

Also, this may not even be about your grandmother. This event may be reminding your father of another loss he experienced. He may not have fully processed that loss, and so this loss is now bringing everything to the surface. He may be having a hard time dealing with both losses simultaneously, whereas you're able to just focus on this one loss without feeling as overwhelmed.

Are you able to obtain therapy following your grandmother's passing? If so, I strongly suggest you take advantage of it. You may not feel the need to process this loss, but you may wish to process the negative feelings you're having toward your father. At the very least, I would encourage your father to take advantage of bereavement counseling. It sounds like he could use it.






   
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Re: My Dad cries too much - July 6th 2013, 09:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firesong3 View Post
I know I'm not being reasonable. So please somebody tell me how to accept his actions. Give me some other perspective. I'm trying hard not to get mad, but it's quite difficult for me. Sorry if this post is too long.
It isn't too long, but you are being unreasonable.

Like Kate said, people grieve in whichever way they grieve. To them there is no other way to grieve. Becoming angry because your father is crying is shameful; you should be proud, because not many men are able to cry. You do not know how close your father felt that he was to this woman; maybe he's always looked up to her, or maybe he hates to see someone his wife and daughter loves in pain, because he knows it hurts them.

You do not know how your father is hurting. For you to think that you do is very immature. I have a feeling you're not usually that way, though; containing your emotions isn't good for you. Some people that I know become angry at anyone they can be angry at when they're grieving, because they won't allow themselves to hurt. Have some consideration.

I second Robin's suggestion that therapy would be great. I'm sorry for your loss; I recently lost several uncles myself, and none of it's been very fun. I hope your family takes this well.


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1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: My Dad cries too much - July 7th 2013, 03:02 PM

Thank you all very much. My grandma passed away today. I'm sad about it, but I'm ok. She lived a long and happy life and I have no regrets.

Dad met me at the hospital and apparently before he went down, mum told him 'you better not cry in front of her,' which is ironic in a way as that was probably the time when I would have been okay with it. She's gone, she won't be upset, the family are together in the room with her. That's when I think it's a good time to cry.

Kate*, really thank you for your message. You're right, I was very sensitive and irritated about everything in the days before her death. To be honest, I don't know how my Dad was brought up but he cries at everything- weddings, graduations, leaving the country for a few weeks... I found it comical before he started doing it to my grandma. Now that she's gone, though, I don't feel angry anymore. I feel sadder, but more peaceful. Your message was very comforting.

Psy, thank you for your message as well. I actually discussed this with my mother. Apparently it seems like my Dad has some unresolved issues surrounding his own mother's death. I wish he would go to therapy, but I have my doubts on that front. As for myself, I've accepted her death and I don't really have anything to process when it comes to my Grandma. We always had a close relationship and we never fought... there's nothing for me to be sorry or upset about, except that she's gone, which is a natural part of life. And as for Dad, there's no reason for me to be angry at him anymore. He can't very well cry at her bedside now. He's not going to get in the way of doctors and nurses doing their jobs. And I'm perfectly ok with him crying at the funeral or even just randomly. This is the time to cry.

Semperexpectants... I don't think you really understood what I was getting at.

Becoming angry because your father is crying is shameful; you should be proud, because not many men are able to cry.

Okay, first of all the men in my life cry more than the women. The women are practical, strong, pillars of support and we cry only after everybody else is taken care of. The men usually cry and let us deal with the things that need doing. I have no issues with whether someone has the ability to cry or not- for me, it's all about the time and the place. And was acknowledging my unreasonable anger really a shameful thing? Or should I have just buried it, and my grief?

You do not know how your father is hurting. For you to think that you do is very immature. I have a feeling you're not usually that way, though; containing your emotions isn't good for you. Some people that I know become angry at anyone they can be angry at when they're grieving, because they won't allow themselves to hurt. Have some consideration..

This whole paragraph is confusing to me. However much my father may hurt, my main issue was that there's a time and a place, and we're all hurting.

You seem to be under the impression that I've said something to him or yelled at him. I haven't done anything of the sort. I've talked about it in a forum he will never see. And neither have I contained my own feelings. I felt anger, and I've talked about my anger. I've felt tears, and I've simply waited until it's appropriate to release them. This death is not sudden or shocking. I have enough self-control to cry when I can, and stop when I shouldn't. I was angry that he couldn't do the same. But, probably as PSY said, he had some unresolved emotions.

Anyway, I was sorry to hear about your uncles. The idea of losing more than one family member at a time is unfathomable to me. I hope you're okay.
   
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