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bobbigram

need ideas for a family issue

27 posts in this topic

My son died recently and left 3 beautiful children ( 2 boys 11,9 and a girl 6). His wife is being very hateful to everyone and will not let the family see the culdren. She is consumed with guilt and remorse and the children ae suffering for her sins. I have not seen my grandchildren for more than a month. The last time I saw them she screamed at me to get out because I refused to agree that she was the 'Best mother in the world' something that she has claimed for years! i quietly left but I have not even tried to call since beacue I know she will hang up on me. Should I email or write. What should I do?

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Hi: I'm sure this will be an unpopular answer but cut her some slack. She just lost her husband and I'm sure she is consumed with "guilt and remorse"; it would have been a very kind thing to do knowing that she's hurting to just softly agree with her that she is the best mother; after all she's now mom and dad. I'm not saying any of this to be cruel; I can't imagine what its like to lose a child but I do know what its like to lose your husband. Give her a call, leave a message, let her know you're hurting too and that you're there for her. FANG

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This is a real touchy subject as many if not most states do not have laws that clearly protect the grandparent relationship....In my instance, My daughter passed away and left behind a beautiful little girl who had spent her life with myself and her mom...dad was remarried with a new family and chose to have very limited time with her. I spent much of my savings and 6 months in court to learn that when a parent dies, the surviving parent is automatically the new custodial parent (regardless of how negative the past relationship with said child may have been)....So, with this being said I would advise you to agree that she is the "worlds greatest mother" or whatever she needs from you in order to continue your grandparent relationship....at the end of the day, no matter how disfunctional she will ultimately decide whether you see them. I am willing to be available at the drop of a hat...hear things that I find disturbing...be totally agreeable...this has been the only thing that has allowed me to continue with the relationship that my granddaughter so very much needs to continue with me....You may have to bite your tongue, but it will be worth it....I suggest you send her a note and be very kind and generous with your comments in regards to her....Your grandchildren should not suffer any further loss and likely the court system will not assist in this.

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I agree with the others, in times of great loss, we react in ways that are not always in our own best interests. Please accept my condolences at the loss of your son. Your daughter-in-law is suffering a great loss also, and probably worried how she is going to manage raising children along with the financial burden she is facing, now that she will be the sole "breadwinner" of the family. She does need your understanding at this time, and will come around eventually. Be kind and consistent with your approach,leave her loving phone messages, and e-mails, and I'm sure you will get to see your grandchildren soon. Marilynpat

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Thank you all for for wonderful insight. I agree that the best approach is to agree and move on. After all, my son chose this woman and at the end of the day, no matter what, he loved her. I am having a very difficult time forming the words to the email, which I think is the best approach. I met with her sister-in-law yesterday, who is a good friend and she agrees that this would be best. Pray for me. Bobbigram

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Hello bobbigram You are not alone with this problem i have found through other sites at GP. com Other grandparents are having the same problem. There isno laws that say you by law must be able to see your grang childrenin any of the 50 states I think we need to find a way to talk to the goverment about this injustice we have to go through. I am going to look on line to see what i can find.

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Hello bobbigram I feel that she is confused , hurting , and does not know where to turn at this time. She is scared as she may not know whitch way to turn. Having some one you love taken away so suddenly puts you in shock. Maby you could ask her if there is something you could do for her. I am sure the children are feeling the pain as well. The only thingyou can do for now is to offer her support and a lot of kindness to her. Hre whole world is up side down right now. I wish you good luck with this. Give her some time Par

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I am certain that you also feel alone, confused and sad to the bottom of your soul....Please know that you are not alone and there are other GP's such as myself that are glad to offer emotional support. I have been there...am still there to a certain degree and If I can provide any emotional support am happy to do so...I would have so much appreciated having someone that really understood around when I was in the midst of this sad time myself...God Bless!!!!

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The best thing you can do for yourself and for your relationship with your grandchildren is to get along with your daughter-in-law. If that means bending over backward, do it. Swallow your pride. Get in there with her. Be on her side. Yes, of course, she is the "Best Mother In the World," of course, she is. Definitely. "Yes, honey, you ARE the best mother in the world. And yes, I will be the Best Mother in Law in the world. You're doing a great job being mother and father to these children." For the sake of your grandchildren, encourage her. Defend her. Agree with her. (She's probably desperate now that your son is gone. She probably needs some support, emotionally and every other way.) "And honey, is there anything I can do for you?! I'll always be there for you, you know that. Call on me anytime, Dear." You must have this mindset and let her know you're supporting her, no matter what. EVEN IF SHE ISN'T PERFECT. It will pay off for you and the children in the end.

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I really like what libertywarrior says about getting along even when you don't agree and bending over backwards for the sake of the kids. While I myself have not been in this particular situation but since my wife has passed I have found that even with one of my son-in-laws now I am attempting to really change my attitude about him. My youngest daughter's husband has never been a real go getter in the fact that he has never really been motivated to really get some where with his life. In fact whose son-in-law or daughter-in-law is ever good enough for our kids anyway? In my case since my daughter does not have much in the way of family he is the only person that is really in her life other than her son. Her real mother from my first marriage never really has had a good relationship with her and despite a couple sisters she needs me to be around in her life to help fill that empty spot more. Even the grandson though he is only 5 needs that in his life too. It is important I have found that I go ahead and be the "big man" and give good attention and interest in him so that everyone else feels that sense of security and bonding all around. It's not that he is that bad but if I ignore him as a person it can affect everyone else. So I have found that just taking time to listen,talk and even offer help to him individually .I'm sure it is felt all around. So bobbigram its not that only will it help win her over or smooth the loss period on her part but your grandkids will still pick up with the overall vibes you put out with their mother and then they will also get through this time a little better themselves. Its not always the physical things that help but the mental side of things. You will even be surprised that when they get older how it can have a lasting effect on them. GOOD LUCK!!

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I am so very sorry for your loss. I would imagine you and your daughter-in-law are both suffering a great deal. In my humble opinion, it is not good for your grandchildren for the two of you not to get along. It is also not good for them to not be able to see you. So, as many of the others have said, you are going to have to "make nice" to her or you may not see your grandchildren. All of you are grieving terribly right now. These children need everyone to stick together. It appears you are the one who can make it happen. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. You just do not expect to out live your children. Many hugs and prayers to you, Gram of three.

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So many people are competitive about children and grandchildren, and I really think we have to be complementary............I mean work together in the children's lives as part of big mosaic of family, all parts of a great big gig-saw puzzle that goes together and is rich in love and nurture.

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Run, don't walk, to get grandparents rights. Reguires legal, but will be well worth it. It's not fair to punish children (not have grandparent around or to talk to). If lower income, try your local Legal Aid Services.

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I think when it comes to our grandchildren, whether we are right or wrong, and does it really matter?, if an apology is what it takes to make a place in their lives, what does it hurt. God will be there to take the brunt of the pain the apology will cause you. It is more important to have a place in their lives even if it means making nice with the mother, rather than stand firm on an issue that is totally meaningless in the overall scheme of life. If this sounds like "folding", or as the kids call it "sucking up", well, think of what Jesus would call it, turning the other cheek. I have bitten my tounge for years, and the mothers are my daughters, to keep the peace, and for all the memories my grandkids have of us together as they grew up, it has been more than worth it. Hope this helps, I am a very strong person who hates to keep quiet, lol, but when it comes to grandchildren the sacrifice has more than paid off. Sandy

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well i live in LOUISIANA and WE ALONG WITH FLORIDA DO HAVE GRANDPARENT LAWS. so check your state if your child dies, is in jail, or in a coma state, grandparents get visitation rights !!! so call a lawyer. YES SHE IS GRIEVING BUT SO ARE YOU !!!!!!!!!!! THAT IS YOUR SON WHO PASSED AWAY YOU HAD HIM A LOT LONGER THEN HER !! GET A LAWYER ASK FOR A FREE CONSLUTATION

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I would drop by some time when you know she will be there, if possible when the kids are not there. Apologize for not contacting her since your last time together. Tell her that you don't want any differences that may occur between the two of you to interfer with time with the children. You (both) have to be able to put your diffences aside. The children need both of you. This is even more important now that their dad is gone. Do what you need to do to make her understand that the kids need both of you and that it would be best if they saw you being civil to each other.

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Bobbiegram, I'm so sorry for the loss of your son. Have you thought of sending her a Father's Day card or give her a small gift on that day? After all she is now the only living parent, and has to do the job of two. This way you can show her that you understand that she has a difficult job, and you honor her for that. A woman I use to work with gave me flowers one year for Father's Day, and I thought that was such a thoughtful thing to do. She was aware of my situation and the fact that my children's father was not allowed to see them, and I was doing the raising of my children by myself. Teddie

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You know it's hard, my son died over 4 years ago and I am going through the same thing. However, I did try to get in tough with my grandchildren to no avil. You hang in there because she need to realize that her children if missing out on what you can bring to their life.

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Bobbigram, I am a widow now 60 yrs old, and I would like to share my experience with you. My husband died in a car accident when I was 25 yrs old. We had been married for over 6 years. He was my first true love. We graduated high school, I went to work for an insurance company, and he went to Viet Nam. He came home and we got married. Our son was 3 yrs old when he died in a auto accident. Our son who is now 37 yrs old; has a daughter 10 yrs old. My in-laws never wanted anything to do with us after my husband passed. I went through hell, my husband wasn't perfect nor am I. My in-laws came around when my son was 8 yrs old. They saw him for a couple of months, and because they had other grandchildren, that was who they spent most of their time with. My son was their only grandson. To raise a child after the death of a parent is very painful. I would not even call it guilt or some of the other reasonings I have read about in this discussion. Your DIL needs help. My god she has 3 children to raise by herself. I actually went to the Big Brothers program when our son was 8 yrs old. I wanted someone interest in my son, not me. You have to realize, that she will have to move on. There are going to be alot of men out there looking at the money she will receive. I have not even seen this major subject come up at all. If she doesn't get the love and support from family and people who can love her; as the mother of those children she is going to look for support and comfort in the wrong way. Loosing a husband of your children is a painful and lifelong process. God is not going to answer this for you. You have a responsibly to her and the children as their wonderful Grandparent to be there. Know matter, what my relationship was or was not when my husband was alive. I know he would had been ashamed at the way his family treated us. They know me all my life. My son is a grown man now, and a very good father. He now saids to me Mom I love you, and I understand now, what you had to go through. "Mom you did it all." I made mistakes over the years, but I know if the parents would had been there to advise me, and helped out more; things would had been alot easier on my son and I. She is going to need financial advise on how to live. Don't be pushy, but go with her. Hold her hand and give her lots of hugs. Cry with her, don't hold her responsible for your son's death. If your married, you already know a wife can only do so much. Know one has a perfect life or marriage. And by know means make her feel threatened that you or someone might take those children. I am deeply sorry for the lost of your son. But, he gave you 4 beautiful people to love for the rest of your life. The most wonderful gift a son could leave his family in death.

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I am sorry for your loss. My advice to you is to agree with her for the sake of the children, and give her some time. You both have had a loss of a loved one. Give a her a call and leave her a message, then pray. I have experienced that giving my daughter space and by praying she came around and called me to invite me shopping or just to go the park with my grandchildren. We are not going to agree on everything, but it is great when you get to spend time with your grandchildren. I thank God for giving me the chance to see them and that is very fulfilling. You can open up and share how much you miss your son, by this your letting her know that you are grieving too. That may get her open to up and she will share with you her pain. You need each other and so do the kids. God Bless you and your family

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To your grandchild, she IS the world's greatest mom.

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".... His wife is being very hateful to everyone and will not let the family see the culdren..." Well, maybe she won't let your family see the child because you think she is making the children suffer for her 'sins'. And how do you know she is consumed with guilt and remorse, and if that is true, then how come you have no compassion for her? I have the feeling I wouldn't be so eager for you to spend time with me and my children either. She's in pain and you are making things worse. "...The last time I saw them she screamed at me to get out because I refused to agree that she was the 'Best mother in the world' something that she has claimed for years!..." How childish of you. Why not just agree? And frankly she didn't suddenly out of nowhere start screaming at you to tell her to say she was the greatest mother in the world or get out. You'll never get me to believe that. One minute talking politely about the weather and gardening and the royal wedding, the next moment she's screamingly demanding you call the world's greatest mother or get out of her house. Nope, it didn't happen that way. What likely happened is you were criticizing her mothering (perhaps even helpfully pointing out how her sins make her children suffer), and she exploded at you. "...Should I email or write. What should I do?..." You should first search your soul and adjust your attitude. If you can't do that, stay away. Then you should apologize, completely and fully without justifying your behavior or blaming her for making her do it. You should identify how your behavior made her feel, own the damage you did, apologize and then reassure her how you will never treat her that way again. If you can't do that, you should stay away. Start looking at your own sins, worry less about the sins of others.

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I have thought quite a long time about your response and it sounds as though you have serious issues within your own family. I know that both my DIL and I had very raw feelings at the time of this encounter, but she has ached to'throw' me out of her home for years. Not for anything I did but because my son and I had a good relationship. She does not speak to his sister, with whom he was very close before his marriage, and his brother had only recently made inroads to repairing their friendship after years of acrimony, caused by her. She is riddled with guilt over the death of her husband. I do not wonder that the only sleep she gets is through alcohol and drugs (her own admission). I have forgiven her for her part in his loss and I pray that she would soften her heart towards all of her inlaws, but the children are growing older and know who she is. They are waiting, as are we, for the time when she cannot tell them with whom or where they can go. She will be a very lonely person in a very short time.

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Ohhh Wow, I thought I was the only one with a crazy daughter-in-law issue. Thank God my son is still alive and he has to send me cards and call me when his wife isn't around. The grand children are the ones that really lose. I heard there are laws so grandparents can have visitation rights. Have you checked into that. At least you could see the children. Good luck

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First i am sorry for your loss, but just remember everybody is grieving, i am talking from the other side of the fence, i lost my husband, and i did not get any support from his family (immotional) i am sure that they are grieving too and it's not done intentional, please before you do anything else try to talk to your daughter in law, remember she also lost her soulmate and companion, maybe you can come to an understanding and clear the air, please remember the children! i whish you the best.

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