Post # 1
Hello bees! My second post here but so far WB has been SO helpful with things that have come up while planning my June 2014 wedding! The issue I have been struggling with is whether to extend an invitation to my grandfather’s new significant other. For a bit of backstory, my grandmother (was married to this grandfather for 55+ years) passed away about a year and a half ago. I was extremely close to both her and to my grandfather, as my mother was a single parent and they were both very involved in my upbringing. I have been muddling through my grief process, with the help of a therapist, but it is still very hard sometimes. A couple of months ago, my mother let me know that my grandfather was “seeing” someone and now he considers her his girlfriend. I’ve never met this woman, but she was a coworker of my grandfather’s many years ago. While she sounds nice enough, I really do not know that I can emotionally handle him coming to my wedding with a date. I have a feeling that they will remain companions at the very least (they are both 80 but do not live together right now), although my mother has said he has been considering buying her an engagement ring, which was also difficult to hear. All this being said, I know that he loved my grandmother very much and was devestated by her very sudden death (stroke) and I think his loneliness may have ignited all of this.
I will be meeting her once before my wedding when I go visit my family across the country later this month and this may help me make a decision (she is going out of town the day after I arrive, purely coincidental) but I am worried he might ask if she can attend and that I will not be prepared. I have firmly been in the “I’m not inviting her” camp, but I think he may prefer to travel with her if he can, although he will also be travelling with my mother and stepfather. I think I am also afraid that I might regret it later if I do become close with her, but it’s very raw with my grieving for my grandmother right now. Thoughts/advice welcome, and sorry this was so lengthy!
Post # 2
AHart77: I think she should be invited. I doubt that your grandmother would wish that he remain miserable and alone.
Everyone grieves in different ways and at different speeds. I am happy for him that he has found someone with whom he can share his remaining days. Hopefully you can find it in your heart to also be happy for him.
Post # 3
I hope you find it in your heart to invite her, Im sure that would make him very happy and proud of you, So nice that your grandfather isnt alone. Its very lonely being older and alone, good luck. you may really like her.
Post # 4
I think you should invite her. Your grandfather cares for her and she has done nothing to wrong you, unless you count “not being your grandmother” as a personal affront. To exclude her because you’re not “ready” for your grandpa to have a companion is selfish and I think you’ll regret it in years to come.
Post # 5
AHart77: Pretend it’s not your grandfather and he’s not widowed, but a friend or younger relative who’s had the same boyfriend or girlfriend for a few months. If you’d invite the partner in that situation, then you should definitely invite the gf. Even if not, I think you should probably invite her because your grandfather is so close to you.
Remember your grandfather is grieving the loss of his wife much more than you are. If he is ok with moving on, then you should be too.
Post # 6
AHart77: I hardly doubt your grandmother would have wanted your grandfather to live the rest of his years alone. Having said that, my grandfather passed the week of my wedding. It was devastating. I would do whatever it took to make my sweet grandparents happy and not hurt their feelings, including inviting a new SO. OP- I think you will regret it if you don’t. I would, however, do something at the wedding in memory of you Grandmother.
Post # 7
I do think the right thing to do here is to invite his girlfriend, even though you don’t agree with his choice to be with someone else after your grandmother passed. As for whether your grandmother wanted him to be alone or not, who knows. She may have believed in when you commit to someone, you commit til the day you die, not til the day they die. Some do, except perhaps for unforeseen circumstances such as infidelity, or criminal behaviour.
Post # 8
Absolutely invite her. I’m sure she was married for many many years also and her first husband passed away. your grandfather and his companion have been through a pain that you could not imagine, you feel like a wounded animal that can’t find its way back to the den, vounerable and alone with every one watching you.
These two have found each other and can feel a sense of normality again. respect his decision to share his life with someone if he chooses.
Post # 9
(I hope I tagged correctly, still getting used to the site format)
Thanks, you all make some good points. Although, I’m not sure me not extending an invitation to a person I do not know is synonymous with me considering that she has wronged me or that I want my grandfather to be “miserable and alone.” I appreciate the kindness in some of the posts, as my grandfather is certainly dealing with very difficult feelings, but so am I. My grandmother was the brick that held the family together, and she would have been the person who would usually guide me in making these kinds of decisions. I am typically the person who puts everyone ahead of herself, and my therapist has been encouraging me to consider my feelings also while making this decision (which feels uncomfortable, admittedly, because I don’t want to hurt his feelings in the process). I am leaning toward inviting her because I think he will be happy with that decision. I will probably talk to him about it when I go to visit in a couple of weeks to make sure we are on the same page, as he hasn’t mentioned it to me yet.
Post # 10
Whether or not YOU are ready for your grandfather to date is irrelevant. He’s a grown man who can make his own decisions. And as much as you THINK you’re grieving right now, you have absolutely nothing on him. Your grief as a granddaughter is tiny compared to the loss of a life partner who has been by his side longer than your parents have been alive. This is one of those grownup moments where you invite the girlfriend, and be nice to her.
And for the record, I lost my father 6 months ago. It broke my heart, but I know it shattered my mom. However, if she said she was seeing someone, I would be nothing but happy for her. Why would you ever want to deny happiness and companionship to someone you love just because you want to be selfish?
Post # 11
aussiemum1248: I can understand that comparison, and in that circumstance we wouldn’t be inviting her. Because of size restrictions at the venue, we are only inviting friends and family with partners who have been together for 6 months or who are living together, engaged, married, etc. I am thinking of his situation in different terms, however, because he’s my only grandparent and close family. As I said in my last post, I will likely extend an invitation to her out of respect for him. I’m not exactly sure I would say he is “okay with moving on,” as he is usually upset when he talks to me and expresses often that he feels like he is doing something wrong. I try to reassure him and would never tell him anything that would be hurtful because I can only imagine how hard it must be.
Post # 12
If they are not engaged or living together, it is not an obligation on your part, but I can understand that you may regret not including her if she sticks around and they do end up together. If he’s about to propose, you really have no choice but to invite her. If they are not yet engaged, you can see at her as his date without getting ahead of yourself.
But if your grandfather waited over a year before dating again, that is considered perfectly respectful. At his age, it’s really a compliment to your grandmother that he still likes the idea of marriage and is willing to take the chance. Nothing can ever take away the years he had with your grandmother and no one will ever replace her. Anyway, I would just take things one step at a time.
Post # 13
Soon2bmarried123: I’m so very sorry to hear that you lost your grandfather as well, and on the week of your wedding. That must have been so very difficult! I appreciate your opinion and I will likely invite her and hope that it will make him happy. My partner and I will both be setting up photos of our grandparents who passed away on a memorial table, and I will be putting a white orchid on the table for my grandmother.
Post # 14
MariContrary: I am not even going to respond to your description of me as being selfish, but I will say that I in no way have stated that I do not want my grandfather to be happy. I would never be unkind to him or to his new partner, as I have too much respect for him and I am not a malicious person. I also completely agree that my grief over losing her is very different than his grief of losing his life partner, and I simply cannot imagine that kind of pain.
Post # 15
AHart77: To make it to 80 years, at a certain point you inevitably come to realize that loss is a part of life. I’m sure at his age your grandfather has lost plenty of people that he was once close to, close friends, relatives, his parents, now, sadly, his wife. It’s not that each loss, and especially this one is not heartbreaking, but a younger person understandably will have a very different perspective on life, while older people may be better at dealing and accepting. This is a very broad generalization of course, but just something else to keep in mind as you try to understand where your grandfather is coming from.