Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Death in the Family


Well, sort of. Ex's "father" died Saturday. I put that in quotations only because it wasn't her biological father, who is still alive. He was 73. He was actually was the father of her best friend from childhood (who was killed in a car accident at 14) who looked after her after she left home at 15 to get away from her abusive household. Luckily Ex was able to get there before he died to say good bye, although he was in a coma.

I feel for her, I really do. While my childhood wasn't perfect, it was relatively stable (with periods of intense chaos, but the Brady Bunch compared to Ex's family). I always knew my folks loved me, I was close to my relatives, and above all I knew I could trust my family to take care of me if I needed it, even if I didn't want it sometimes. She didn't have that luxury. This guy was the only person who she's really ever trusted in her life, who gave her at least a bit of confidence, and who always tried to see things from her perspective. Having lost his daughter, he in a sense adopted Ex "at arms length." He certainly was a steadying influence on her life, which she's so desparately needed. I can only hope that his influence continues to stay with her. Honestly I'm a bit worried but not much I can do.

She seems to be handling it pretty well on the outside at least. I'm trying my best to be supportive without getting too close and giving her leeway to just do what she needs to do. He lived in Europe, so Miss M will be with me for most of the next two weeks while Ex travels back and forth to take care of things.

I didn't know the guy all that well. We stayed with him and his wife on the few visits we made back to Ex's place of childhood. He was extremely helpful to me in collecting myself when I was fired from a job a few years ago. He was a very impressive guy: extremely successful business man (retired), a former member of his country's national ski team, an avid cyclist and mountain climber, and unfortunately a pretty hard drinker. Tough on the outside but underneath a man with a good heart. His wife (second wife) felt he never got over the loss of his daughter. Who would, right? I hope he's found peace with her. Peter, rest well...

6 comments:

Senorita said...

My heart goes out to his family.

My "grandpa" isn't my biological grandpa, he is my step-grandpa. But he is definitely better than the biological one ever was to me.

T said...

Wow. It sounds like your ex came from a tough background. Perhaps that helps you to stay compassionate with her, no matter the obstacles you've faced while being in a relationship with her thus far.

Hope she can bounce back and be grateful for him.

Big City Dad said...

You're right T, she really did. A lot of it I knew going in but much of it came out after we were married. It certainly helped me sympathize and be more understanding while we were married. Once it came to Miss M, however, it was hard to ignore and I had to start making some tough decisions. Unfortunately she's not willing to work on how her childhood affects her in adulthood, so anytime she feels "threatened," which is almost all the time, she fights, self destructs, and runs away. It's impossible to have a relationship with someone like that. Almost like trying to tame a wild horse with no rope or fence. I truly believe she will be a better parent on her own. It takes the "static" out of her life and lets her feel safe and just focus on M while she's there. Let's hope I'm right.

Michele said...

Sorry to hear that.
Sounds like your ex hasn't had things easy. Kudo's to you for being supportive!!

BigLittleWolf said...

A lovely tribute. And says much about you as well.

Debbie said...

so sorry for her loss! and agree with those above..good for you for being there in a healthy way to support her!

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