liddycmw's picture

Disrespectful Stepmother following Dad`s death

I am 45 years old and have one older sister. My parents have been divorced since I was 1 year old. For years we have been the joy of my dad`s life. 3 years ago he had gotten remarried to a person my sister and I actually loved and respected. My Dad passed away 4 weeks ago, and we don`t understand why my stepmother is being so very cruel to us. When they were married my father was going to make a will but she promised she would go by his wishes, and we all believed her. The day he passed away, for some reason, she turned against us. She is only allowing her children (my dad`s step kids) to come into his home and split up his personal items. There are many things in his home, such as my grandmother`s dishes, old family pictures, items I made him as a child that he kept all these years, are now all either given away or destroyed. We have asked her why, why are you going against dad`s wishes, and she only replies because she can.
I not only cry everyday for my dad, but I also feel that the love we had for my stepmother was a joke on her part, and it hurts us even more. We need her support to help us grieve for our Dad, but all we are getting is rejection. If anyone out there can advise me on how to forgive and move on, please reply.

tamz's picture

I have watched "things" divide families so many times. It's amazing how some people place more importance on this than on love.

If your step-mother has the legal right to your father's things and she is not willing to share, then so be it. It is not worth fighting for somthing your not going to win anyway.

You don't need her to grieve your father. You had your own relationship with him and no one can take that away from you. He kept your gifts for all those years... Keep the memory of that!! However, it seems you need to grieve the relationhsip with your step mother as well because it is dead.

Leave her alone .. injustice happens every day, let Kharma be her judge.

SnglDad's picture

Liddy, No one can understand why this person is acting the way she is. Realize that she is not the person she made herself out to be. The relationship is lost, but through no fault of your own. It’s time to let her be. In time she may realize the pain she has caused her husband’s children. From what it sounds like she was a completely different person when your father was alive; if that’s the case and she made him happy be glad that your father was happy for his final years.
Possessions are very hard to let go of. You want them for the sentimental value, while others want them for the monetary value. I went through a similar situation after my father passed away. It was hard for me to watch as many of his things were given away without being asked if I wanted them first. I am not talking about things of value, but things such as the fishing poles we used when I was a kid. Those old poles are not worth a dime today, but I would pay a million to have them.
The way I dealt with losing so many of my father’s possessions was realizing that the greatest possession’s I had were within me. The memories I have of my father and I from as far back as I can remember, right up until I held his hand as he died in that ICU ward. No one can ever take those memories away from me, they are mine to keep and share for as long as I am on this earth.
Within you is a treasure trove of memories that are yours, and that were created with him out of your love for each other. It is obvious that you know your father loved you and your sister above all else. Sometimes I will sit in total quiet with my eyes closed and let the memories come to me; without outside distractions it always amazes me how much detail I can remember. One other thing that I cherish is knowing that I am a part of my father. We are not just connected by ceremony or vows, but I am a part of him. I will quit rambling now, but I hope some of what I said will help bring some comfort to you in this difficult time. Be well.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

I love what sngldad said in his post. Another suggestion I had was to make a scrapbook of memories. If you don't have any pictures of your dad or items that he possessed, that's ok. Create your own memories. Do this by honoring your dad each day. Whether you visit the favorite place you and your dad shared, you go to a baseball game in memory of your dad, you prepare your dad's favorite meal on holidays, you reminisce w/ family and friends, or you play your dad's favorite album. Whatever it may be, document it. Then look back on these things years later. You will have something of your own that no one can ever take away from you. You will also have something to pass down and share w/ your family and friends.
Remember, your dad will always live in your heart. Keep his spirit alive in you, and don't let anyone ever destroy it.

aunt tessie's picture
aunt tessie

Just went through this. We spent over 22 yrs with my dad and stepmom. My dad got sick in Jan 2007 with Pancreatic cancer. We were at the hospital every day for 6 weeks and then he came home and died 6 months later. We tried to be there as much as she would let us be, however it was like she was afraid to leave us alone with our dad. While he was sick all she talked about was how she was going to make it go..she did't work. We told her she would be fine because their was enough money for her to stay at the house. After he died she shut us out and became distant. Less than 2 yrs later she sold the rid of things and moved in with a man she supposidly met on-line and moved an hour away. We never met this man. She didn't follow through with my fathers wishes. The plan was if he died everything went to her and then when she passed it went to us kids..that was their agreement, however they had seperate wills that were basically the same but not a joint will. She made sure to liquidate all assets. The thing that hurts us is she didn't want us to have anything...she sold and gave things away without asking us if we would appreciate them. We never asked her for anything because we didn't feel entitled just because our father passed but it is the point she didn't want us to have certain things and we don't understand why. It was like when he was were we. It isn't like we weren't close with this woman..every holiday, birtday, birth etc..spoke with her daily and her and my mom spoke daily. Took a long time to get to where we were and it was like she [filtered word]ed it all away..if he would have left her broke we would have been there. All she kept saying was I have to think about myself and it was my right to do with the things as i wanted. I know my dad is rolling in his grave. It is very hurtful to be treated this way and be dis-aknowledged by someone who claimed to care about you all these years and the worst part is the grandchildren..all they know is they lost their granfather and his wife which they considered a grandmom. I don't know how people could walk away so easily with no conscience. She has no children of her own and what bothers us is everything my father worked for won't go to his children but probably to her neices/nephews or her new man. She is also collecting his pension as she calls her pension but she couldn't give my brother the tools my father wanted him to have. None of us asked her for anything except what we knew about the tools and when my brother approached her about it she treated him like a theif.

dmannhalt's picture
My dad married my best friend from high school, they were married only seven years when he got lung cancer and died. He was wealthy and she fought for everything. He wanted to split his life insurance with my sister and I but she had such a fit he divided it three ways with her also getting the rest of his whole estate. She wouldn't even let us see him before he died. I think she thought we might be able to get him to change his will. He told me when she dies his estate will be devided between her kids and his kids, but I know she has changed all of that so everything will go to her two kids. She had me removed as executor right after he died. The hardest part is that we were best friends for 35 years from the age of 15 and she did everything in her power to screw my sister and I over which she accomplished. My dad wanted her to give me all of his camera equipment after he died and she couldn't even do that. It has been years and is still very difficult and painful to think about.