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Bereavement

Letter fr SD Should I respond

(33 Posts)
Droopdrawers Tue 10-Aug-21 23:13:36

DH died 12 weeks ago. We were married for 25yrs. He had a complicated life before I met him. He had a child when he was very young and the relationship ended quickly. Ex partner met someone who did not want him to have anything to do with the child and they moved away. He had sporadic contact over the years but never lasted. SD announced a few years ago that she wanted nothing to do with DH side of the family and broke contact with all other relatives. Moving forward when DH passed she was informed but made no contact until I received a letter saying how upset she was that she wasn’t included in the funeral. The letter also included some unpleasant things about me and DH. I understand she is grieving in her own way and she is entitled to her opinions. My DH did not behave well in the past but he was loving and devoted to me from the day I met him. I don’t know if I should write and explain that she was not included because as far as I was aware, she wanted nothing to do with him and when she didn’t contact the family, it just confirmed it. Not sure if I should respond or will it just open a can of worms. My head is all over the place. Any words of wisdom?

maddyone Tue 10-Aug-21 23:38:20

Oh what a difficult situation for you. I’m afraid I don’t feel I can give advice because I really don’t know what you should do. I didn’t want to scroll by without responding but I feel others may be more able to offer advice.

Spinnaker Tue 10-Aug-21 23:45:38

Condolences Droopdrawers on your loss. Honestly ? I would save yourself some stress at this painful time and bin the letter, no response and no further contact with her.

All I can foresee is trouble down the line for you. She's a grown woman and has had plenty of time to put her thoughts forward but has waited until now, when your DH isn't here to defend himself and you're at your lowest.

Take care flowers

CafeAuLait Tue 10-Aug-21 23:50:33

I'm sorry for the loss of your DH.
As far as your SD, I don't think you did anything wrong. Your SD made it clear she didn't want anything to do with her father, so you were just following her wishes. If she regrets it now, that's on her.
As your head is all over the place, this might not be the best time for you to respond. However, if you don't want to leave it hanging and feel you'd rather say something, I would just be honest with her. "SD, I wanted to acknowledge your letter. As I'm sure you can understand, my head is all over the place right now and I don't feel able to respond properly right now. If I have something to respond with later, I will get in touch when things have settled a bit for me." Of course, if you don't feel the need to respond, that could be valid too. I'm not sure there is right or wrong here but it doesn't sound like this is the right time for you to deal with it. Make a decision later and put it aside.

CafeAuLait Tue 10-Aug-21 23:51:40

BTW, I base my response on dealing with an estranged relative at the time of a death myself.

sharon103 Tue 10-Aug-21 23:53:10

It's not your battle. As my mum used to say. let sleeping dogs lie.

V3ra Wed 11-Aug-21 00:03:47

She was informed of her father's death, which was a courtesy given that from choice she'd had nothing to do with him for years, so if she'd wanted to attend his funeral it was surely up to her to ask for the details?

Don't reproach yourself. I'm sorry for the loss of your loving and devoted husband x

CafeAuLait Wed 11-Aug-21 00:08:50

Ultimately, other than letting them know of the death, we did not respond to the estranged relative when they replied and wanted more from us. They had made their decision so we decided they could live with it, especially at such a difficult time for us.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 11-Aug-21 06:31:18

I agree with Spinnaker nothing she can say will make you feel better about your loss, she will probably try to make you feel worse, so ignore any correspondence as another poster said, she is not your problem.

Calendargirl Wed 11-Aug-21 06:46:29

Is she hoping there might be some inheritance due to her maybe? And that is why she has contacted you?

M0nica Wed 11-Aug-21 06:53:55

My condolences on your loss. This is the last thing you need at a time like this.

Although, I have no experience of exactly your situation, I think regretfully this is a no win situation. You will be damned if you ignore her and damned if you reply.

On balance, I would ignore her because if you write, no matter how kindly and gently you reply to her, she will twist and turn the words to mean things you never meant and cause more problems. Ignore her, you will never see or hear of her again and you presumably do not live near each other.

lemsip Wed 11-Aug-21 07:34:49

I would not reply to the letter. you have enough to worry about closer to home..

Lincslass Wed 11-Aug-21 08:02:01

Sorry to hear of your loss. It must be very hard for you. The letter writer had time to respond to the news of her fathers death, by requesting when the funeral would be. She is possibly regretting her lost years, her choice, and now seeking to blame anyone but herself. There may be an ulterior monetary motive too. I would not answer this letter, you are still grieving and do not need hassle from a woman who made her own decisions regarding her relationship with her father.

MerylStreep Wed 11-Aug-21 08:08:59

Bin the letter and try not to think about it.

sodapop Wed 11-Aug-21 08:15:14

My condolences on the loss of your husband Droopdrawers thanks

I agree with other posters, you are grieving now and don't need this hassle. I would just ignore the letter. If however you feel you must acknowledge her letter then Cafeaulait had a good response.

Mollygo Wed 11-Aug-21 08:29:48

Sorry about your loss Droopdrawers. More stress at this time is the last thing you need.
CafeAuLait seems to have experience of this and offers a good solution. I think, like M0nica, that this is a no win situation. I would not answer, and since the letter is unpleasant, I’d bin it.

Mapleleaf Wed 11-Aug-21 08:32:14

Firstly, I’m so sorry for your loss. 💐

I think that your SD is probably feeling a whole range of emotions right now, including guilt and possibly regret and has given vent in part in that letter to you.

At the moment you are trying to cope with the death of your beloved husband, so perhaps now is not the time to respond, if at all, (and my own instinct would be not to respond at all, as SD made clear her feelings previously by breaking contact with your DH and if you have any, her step siblings).

You might feel, as time passes, that you would like to respond, but think very carefully if it would be the wise thing to do.
The cynical side of me wonders, like Calendargirl if she thinks she might be entitled to some inheritance and is making contact, albeit angrily, in the hope she might have been left something?

Tread carefully would be my advice, and follow your gut instinct. As you say, it could possibly open a can of worms - would you be able to cope with that?

DillytheGardener Wed 11-Aug-21 08:40:25

Calendargirl that was my thoughts too. My friend’s husband died and his son (her stepson) had cut her husband out of his life a decade earlier. The son sent angry letters that he hadn’t been invited to the funeral and then challenged the will. I wouldn’t respond personally. ( this situation was similar, he became a better husband to wife 2, but wasn’t a particularly shining example of parent hood to his first family)
It sounds as if your DH matured and became a wonderful husband to you, but wasn’t always that way in the past. It sounds like your eyes are wide open both to his best qualities and his faults, you and SD will both will have had completely different experiences of him as a person. Her version of him as valid as yours and I imagine she is grieving both the loss of a father she wasn’t close to, and the loving and present father she wished she had.
Families are complicated things, and my sincere condolences on your loss thanks

Hetty58 Wed 11-Aug-21 08:42:02

Droopdrawers, I really wouldn't bother responding. When we're told that somebody has died, it's up to us to find out about the funeral arrangements, end of!

Daisymae Wed 11-Aug-21 08:43:36

I agree with others that the best thing would be to ignore the letter. You can't change the past and it seems that this woman would like to keep the embers of her hurt alive. It's sad that this is how things are but I with the least said point of view in this instance.

Gingster Wed 11-Aug-21 08:44:33

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Shandy57 Wed 11-Aug-21 08:45:26

When my husband of thirty years died in 2016 I found out he had been seeing his son from his first marriage, for four years.

I contacted him about the funeral and he came, then a few months later to the ashes interment. A few days after the interment he emailed and asked to see 'his Dad's will'. He was only mentioned as a 'long stop' ie if all of us died.

I asked my solicitor to forward a copy to him and have never heard from him again.

You could direct your SD to the online will service, she can buy a copy from there?

eazybee Wed 11-Aug-21 09:02:44

You do need to respond to her letter, but in simple. friendly terms Acknowledge her loss and her grief for her father which no doubt is genuine for opportunities lost; she sees herself as being rejected by him. Explain you understood her wishes were that she had no further contact with her father, (although I do feel that as his child, however distanced, she should have been invited to the funeral).

Ignore any unpleasant comments she has made; she is a grieving child, no matter what her age.

Whiff Wed 11-Aug-21 09:15:50

Droopdrawers don't reply. It's funny that people come out of the woodwork when there is a death. Perhaps they are really wanting to know if there is money coming their way.

You have enough to cope with losing the other half of yourself. You must concentrate on yourself and those that love and care for yourself. When your husband died your present and future died to. It's very hard to make a new present and future. I speak from experience. My husband died 17.5 years ago aged 47.

I have written quite a bit on the pain of loss thread . Perhaps what I have written might help you.

She has made her feelings clear. If you respond she will only hurt you more. And that is the last thing you want or need.

I can't say grieving will get any easier as it's only gotten worse for me as the years have gone by . But you learn to cope better. Don't think you have to be brave you don't. If you want to cry,scream,shout or hit a pillow do it. I learnt through bitter experience if you try and hold those feelings in you are only hurting yourself.

Take one day at a time. And talk out loud to your husband I promise it helps. I have shouted and swore at mine. But always saw him with that stupid grin on his face.

Time to put want you want to do first . My heart goes out to you . 💐

Nannarose Wed 11-Aug-21 11:13:29

My condolences.
Your SD has not been well served by others, but that was not your doing.
I also think that you need to do whatever will help grieve properly - if that is not responding then fine. However, it is possible that some sort of response will help you.

If you want to bin the letter, I suggest at first sealing it away somewhere. That way you can bin it later, but you are keeping options open.
My other suggestion is writing a letter (don't date it yet) saying roughly what you have told us. Express some sorrow about the past as it affected her, and say something like 'it was my understanding that you didn't want contact with him, and it is a shame that we didn't know you had changed your mind'.
Put the letter away for awhile - re-read it - maybe ask a trusted friend to read it - and if you feel that it would put this issue to bed for you (and maybe her) then send it.

It is your SD's other family's job to look after her. It is your job to look after yourself and do whatever will help you - whilst of course being kind to her.

I hope you can find some peace to grieve properly.