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Manners Matter: Types of Grieving

Dear Mary Pat,

My mom passed away five months ago and my dad just started dating a woman who was widowed herself. It’s too soon and I’m so angry I can’t bring myself to even talk to him about it. I’m afraid I’m going to say something I’ll regret. I know he misses my mom so much so why is he moving on so quickly after being married for 52 years? It does not honor her memory and it makes her loss even harder for me, which I didn’t think was possible.

Signed,

Doubly Grieving

Fish Creek, Wis.

 

Dear Doubly Grieving,

I’m sorry for your loss. This is obviously a painful time for you and I can understand why you are having a hard time accepting a new woman in your dad’s life. There is a difference in opinion on what is “too soon.” Some men, especially ones that were married for a long time, do tend to seek a companion more quickly. It may seem to be an insult to your mom’s memory, but it could be a way for your dad to cope with his great loss. Since the new woman in his life has also lost a spouse, they are most likely grieving together and figuring out how to move on with their lives. Schedule some time when you can talk to him one on one without interruption and ask him how he’s feeling. Don’t be accusatory (Why would you date someone so soon?!) and see what he says. You will hopefully hear that he loves your mom just as much as ever and this new woman can’t and will never replace your mom in his heart.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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