My estranged father is dying....

Anonymous 1

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My brother called me yesterday to tell me our Father has terminal cancer. He has months (at most) left.

My father has done terrible things, he destroyed our family and he destroyed us individually. I have 3 brothers and none of us are close due to our toxic upbringing. We are scattered all over the world. My youngest brother called to tell me the news yesterday. None of us live near my father and only my youngest brother has any contact with him (they talk about twice a year at most). Our cousin was the first to know and he contacted my brother.


My brother spoke briefly with my dad who told him the prognosis.

Here's the biggest problem right now.....none of us even know if this is true. We all live thousands of miles away from him and have no contact for very good reason, mostly due to how his lies put us in danger. So do we believe him and someone goes to support him? Whoever does that has to seriously uproot their lives to do so. Even if it is true, he will use his last few months destroying that person. If none of us go, can we live with the guilt of not helping a sick old man?

I just spent the better part of a year being the caregiver to my mother (who's not much better than my father). I'm emotionally broken.

Im also dealing with an internal struggle of not knowing how to feel. I'm sad, and for some stupid reason I can only think of the times my father was my daddy. There were good times. Not many, but they were there. And for the last day and a half, I just keep thinking of those moments and breaking into tears. But then I feel stupid, because there were also too many terrible times. And then there's the fact that this could all be a lie.

I'm so torn up right now. I just needed to get all this out.
Smarties
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I think I would try to organize my siblings so we could all meet up together and see him. And use this as an opportunity to reconnect with them and try to heal some of what you've been through together. That way you can have a united front when you see him and hopefully something positive will come out of it regardless of if he's lying or not.

Before all that, though, I'd probably talk to the cousin if they are trustworthy to get their assessment of the situation and/or another family member if thats an option.
Anonymous 1

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Smarties wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:47 am
I think I would try to organize my siblings so we could all meet up together and see him. And use this as an opportunity to reconnect with them and try to heal some of what you've been through together. That way you can have a united front when you see him and hopefully something positive will come out of it regardless of if he's lying or not.

Before all that, though, I'd probably talk to the cousin if they are trustworthy to get their assessment of the situation and/or another family member if thats an option.

Thanks for the reply 😌

That's all good advice. We spoke with my cousin, he only knows what my father told him. My cousin is in Cuba, not near my father. My father lives in eastern B.C, the closest family member is my oldest brother who lives in northern coastal BC (about 12 hours from my father). And he has made it very clear (with a good deal of colorful language) that he couldn't care less that the monster is dying. No one else can go see him without making a long expensive trip. And it's a trip no one wants to take if he's lying.
Anonymous 2

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I wouldn’t go. Whatever the others decide is on them. I do speak to my dad, but not often. I would not uproot my life for him.
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mojogirl
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if this man is truly the monster you've painted him as and you cut him out years ago i don't understand the guilt part of not going to see him. i know grief happens in often mysterious and very personal ways. if it were me, it'd just be news that went in one ear and out the other, if he's really the person you say he is. dying doesn't suddenly make him a good person.
Anonymous 3

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Ask him to sign a release for you to be allowed to discuss his medical issues and prognosis with his medical team?
Smarties
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Anonymous 1 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:02 am
Smarties wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:47 am
I think I would try to organize my siblings so we could all meet up together and see him. And use this as an opportunity to reconnect with them and try to heal some of what you've been through together. That way you can have a united front when you see him and hopefully something positive will come out of it regardless of if he's lying or not.

Before all that, though, I'd probably talk to the cousin if they are trustworthy to get their assessment of the situation and/or another family member if thats an option.

Thanks for the reply 😌

That's all good advice. We spoke with my cousin, he only knows what my father told him. My cousin is in Cuba, not near my father. My father lives in eastern B.C, the closest family member is my oldest brother who lives in northern coastal BC (about 12 hours from my father). And he has made it very clear (with a good deal of colorful language) that he couldn't care less that the monster is dying. No one else can go see him without making a long expensive trip. And it's a trip no one wants to take if he's lying.


I see. Well, how upset would you be if he wasn't lying and you didn't see him before he died? My own mother was abusive, and while I still see her at family things about once a year that she also comes to, I don't know that I'd be rushing to see her one last time before she died and our relationship isn't nearly so broken as yours with your father. It sounds terrible to say so, but at the same time I don't feel like I came to that conclusion carelessly. I went through a lot of mental turmoil to be at this place in my mind and I don't feel bad anymore about feeling this way, since I didn't create the situation and my separation from her brings me peace. You are at an even more extreme with your father being so far away and not having any contact with him at all for so long. You should not feel bad about any choice you feel will bring the most peace to your life. Whatever you do, do for you and not for him.

I personally would be more wanting my relationship with my siblings back, and that would help bring some closure, but it sounds like that would be very difficult to achieve.

I'm sorry you've been through all of this. Take some time to decide what YOU want. No rush.
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Very sorry for the difficult situation and the painful past history of your family. Everything you are feeling is understandable - you had a "daddy" and you had a destructive parent. It is human to feel both grief and anger at the same person and this would be true if you found out he already died, if you go there, or if you stay away.

You need some time to digest the information and decide how you want to respond. You don't have to do anything, as nothing has really changed. Any contact you make is a gift of compassion and does not mean the past didn't happen or isn't important.

Find someone who you trust and knows your past so you can talk this out. Don't feel pressured, and don't have any expectations for a resolution. Only do what you feel is OK for you and you are willing to do as a gift. That doesn't have to be a trip, it could be a phone call, a letter, or facetime if you choose to have contact.
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Honey, you have absolutely zero obligation to acknowledge your father or his illness. You cut him out of your life for a good reason. The fact that he is ill doesn't change any of that. You have no reason to feel guilty either. You cut him out for the sake of your physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, remember that.
Women who behave seldom make history
Anonymous 4

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There's no reason any of you have to uproot your lives to take care of him. If possible I'd get your siblings together, make a visit all together for closure. You all can act as a support system for each other & all get closure together. If no one else agrees, there is still no reason why any one of you should uproot & take care of him. You have no obligation to do that & while it sounds cold, there's some people that deserve to die alone so they can really understand what they've done to the people that once loved them.
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