Post # 1
So my father died unexpectedly about 6 weeks ago and I buried him about 2 weeks ago. I can’t explain the depth of my grief at this point and I find myself bargaining with God asking him to turn back time so I can have my dad back. Since the time they found out he died and my family and I buried my dad I received one email apiece from my future in laws all of which were written in a very generic manner. You know the one you write to someone in another office who you barely know. Had this been the case with them I could have accepted it, but I’ve known them and visited them frequently over the past 2 years. I understand they live in Holland and I live in the U.S, but sending an email is free. I didn’t even expect a phone call which they didn’t even do. Recently my fiance went to see his mother and she asked him how was I doing. He told her not so good and her reply was is it because of her dad? No you insensitive witch it’s because I broke a nail. It’s not because my father died less than 6 weeks ago. So she mumbled something to him about writing me an email. I will delete it without even reading it.
When my fiance and I got engaged there was alot of correspondence and you know why? It was because they thought in all of their Dutch frugal practicality that spending a lot of money was a waste! She told me to have a picnic in the park and her bf told my fiance it wasn’t worth the expense of him traveling to the states to come to the wedding. I feel like I’m marrying into this cold unfeeling family which is beginning to give me reservations. My family is completely opposite and I’m not used to this type of atmosphere. I love my FH completely, but I feel like you should get support from loved ones during a time of crisis. I’ve overlooked many many things with his family, but I think this is the straw that broke the camels back. I just don’t feel anything for them anymore. If I’m wrong with my feelings please say so because at this point I’m not in a good place in terms of how I feel about them.
Post # 3
I’m so sorry to hear about your dad :-(.
It sounds like your FI’s family does care, they just may not know what to say (sometimes it’s hard to know how to comfort someone who’s grieving really deeply). Some of it could have to do with their family backgrounds. Maybe they came from families that didn’t express emotion much. Or maybe it’s a cultural thing? I think it says something that they did send an e-mail and asked about you. Maybe give that e-mail a chance? It takes time to get used to blending two families with separate traditions and ways of doing things and they may not even realize that you want or expect something more from them.
You’re really upset and grieving right now (understandably!) so maybe give yourself some time to process through what your feeling before addressing things with your in-laws.
And in the meantime, I hope that your family and friends can be that comfortn that you need. It sounds like you’ve been blessed with a warm loving family on your side and i bet that will be a gift to your Fiance down the road, too.
Post # 4
I find that stuff like this is always awkward for other people. I’m sure they care, just don’t know how to handle it. My Mother-In-Law was the only one who called me and sent a card when my brother died. I received a sympathy card from his grandparents with their names signed. And when I get moody on Christmas, people say, “what’s up her butt?”
People are just insensitive in general. It’s really unfortunate but it’s just sort of how it is for some reason. Going through the process will always make you more attune to others in the same situation and if they haven’t gone through this before, it’s safe to say they’re just clueless. I wonder if it’s a cultural thing, though, since there are also issues with the wedding.
I’m sorry about your father. Have you considered a grief counselor? it could really help you break down everything you’re going through and understand it better. Not to mention help with dealing with everyone else.
Post # 5
First, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain and grief you are going through ~ especially as your wedding approaches. I know your big day will be bitter sweet and you will sorely miss your father’s presence. That is really unfair for any girl and while I don’t even know you, my heart breaks for you.
And I’m disappointed in your FH’s family, too. It would sadden me, too, to not receive calls, emails, cards, etc. But they are who they are (and who knows why!). Maybe it’s best that you’ve learned this now so you can set your expectations low for your marriage.
My new husband’s family is VERY different from my family, too. They never hug or show one another affection. I once asked him when was the last time he heard either of his parents tell him that they love him and he said never. Not even when he was a child. They are just cold like that. Meanwhile, my family hug and kiss and tell eachother on a daily basis how much we mean to one another!! It’s night and day. But they are who they are and they were probably treated coldly by their parents, etc. and I doubt they know how to behave any differently. And thankfully my new husband is affectiate with me.
It’s understandable that you are angry with the universe right now. You have just gone through a MAJOR loss and your emotions are raw. But remember that anger is definitely one of the steps in the grieving process and could it be that the future in-laws are just a good outlet for your anger right now?
I’m glad your FILs live far away so you don’t have to be around their coldness in-person very often (if ever) but my best advice right now is just to leave them be and try to focus on your mom, siblings and other members of your family as you help one another get through this difficult process. Lean on your FH and this process will help your relationship grow. And again, keep the in-laws out of sight/out of mind. You have enough on your plate to deal with right now. Take care of yourself!!!!
Post # 6
P.S. ejs4y8 had a great idea re: the grief counselor. They are wonderfully-trained people who really do help you channel all of your emotions in positive channels, while respectfully remembering your loved one.
Post # 7
First, I want to say how sorry I am for your loss. I didn’t lose my dad until later in life… and it is a big psychological and emotional change which will take a long while to sort out. When my father died, I was mad at all kinds of people in my life for all kinds of reasons. Mainly because they did not know how much I was hurting about it- This passed with time, and I think in the most part was just an aspect of the grieving process. Your future in-laws may well indeed be cold, but they couldn’t replace your dad anyway- I would not make them the object of your anger right now. It’s a good anger though, and you might want to channel it into work against or for something you believe in, like child advocacy or cancer research. Anger is part and parcel of the human experience- your future relationship with these people is too important (for a variety of reasons) to project towards them. For now, consider them neutrally- place them in a mental waiting room and reserve judgement until happier times. You may then feel very differently. Best wishes and hopes for your own beginnings.
Post # 8
Thank you ladies. I agree with you on several points that you made. I do understand that at times situations like this can be awkward and I have accepted that, but they tend to be on the cold side and it is a cultural thing. But I think part of the problem for me is that when my dad went into the hospital his grandmother was also in ICU. My dad died a few days before she was discharged and even in the midst of my family’s grief and loss my mom and my family still reached out to his family to ensure that his grandmother was ok. I’m not expecting anything major. I just thought I would have heard from them since.
I am in the process of seeking bereavement counseling because the whole experience has been traumatic for me. I held my father’s hand as he died and I will never forget that. I guess I am feeling a bit angry and maybe it might be best to distance myself for some time and not do anything rash. My father was a warm, generous, and giving person and it’s hard to go from that to something very cold. @far the description you gave of your FH husband is very much so like my FH family. No hugs, no showing emotion, nothing too overt and I find myself having to hold back when I am around them.
I just feel like since they were so vocal (especially his mom) about the wedding plans. She called it “decadent” then try to be vocal in my time of need. She had alot to say about our plans and it’s not like they are contributing financially. So I had to explain to her that for my family weddings are a celebration. And now with the loss of my father I am more inclined to not only celebrate my wedding but also his memory. He was so excited about it because this would have been the first time he got to walk one of his daughters down the aisle. So in his memory I want to do some things to honor him as well.
Post # 9
I’m soo sorry for your loss. But i agree with all the previous posters, they may not know how to comfort someone, sometimes your afraid of hurting some one more so you don’t say anything. Wait, until sometime passes and revisit these thoughts. Again i am sorry for your loss.
Post # 10
I thank everyone for their comments. It’s food for thought and I really needed some objective advice and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I focus more on other things at the moment and channel my energy into something more positive. At least I will try. That’s the best I can do right now.