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Dear Webby
Dad dating too soon after Mom's death


Dear Webby,

My mom passed away 7 weeks ago from a very short illness. Dad met a lady 3 weeks later and has been lying to us about it.

We have been told by a mutual friend that this lady wants his money and house which was bought 3 months before mom died. I have tried to talk to dad about this but he does not believe it. I do not want to see him get hurt but she is playing into all his lonely feelings.

I also think this relationship will drive him away from my brother. Please help!

Nicole


Dear Nicole,

My sympathies on the loss of your mother.

As for your father, the fact that he has been lying to you about it, Webby thinks is an admission that he too knows it is too soon to date.

Webby does not know how old he is. Does he still work, have other friends and family he sees?

Many widowers, whose wives took care of them, did all the cooking, housework scheduling of appointments and events etc. find themselves completely lost and overwhelmed. Who knows how to use the washer and iron shirts? Who will wake them in the morning and shuffle them off to bed at night? You get the drift.

When someone dies unexpectedly or after a very short illness, it scares many of us to thinking about our own health and how long we have to live. He may be trying to fit a lifetime into what he perceives as his short time left to live. Who will take care of him if he gets sick, has a long illness or if he is alone and something happens?

Webby hopes you and your brother and whatever other family and friends he has are helping to fill his time and are making him feel he is still very important to all of you. He needs to know that you are there to help him.

Make sure he knows that you understand what he is going through. If he has grandchildren, being with them and doing things instead of reading the death notices and worrying about the future, should help.

Webby would tell him you know he is overwhelmed but not to rush into anything. He can have this woman for a friend and you would like to get to know her better.

Remind him that decisions he makes now will affect the rest of his life. Let him know that the smart, responsible father you know is too smart to rush into something he may regret.

If he doubts you, ask if he will talk to a minister or counselor and a finacial advisor before doing anything. If this woman truly cares for him, she will want what is best for him as well as herself. She will not let him, in his grief, make big decisions.

She will not encourage him to do anything rash like get married or change his will for at least a year. If he truly cares for her, remind him it is too soon and if and when things settle down and his feelings change, it might be too late.

If a year from now they still care about each other they will have a much stronger foundation for a future together.

Love your Dad; encourage him to have a full and wonderful life. Remind him this is his time and to explore his world and let him know you definitely want to be a part of it.

If he wants her to be a part of it, so be it, but for now ask him to allow her the role of supporting actress not the main attraction.

You have lost a mother and let him know you need him as much as he needs you.

Good Luck,

Webby



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