Father-in-law's selfish death- how to get over it?
by Annie Love
My boyfriend's dad died recently of cancer. We had about a year and a half with him from the day he was diagnosed to his death.
My boyfriend is very angry at his late father and I don't know how to help him. Bob, as I'll call him, spent his life working at sea. When he died, many people who the family had never heard of talked of how close they were to him and how much they loved him. Photos emerged of him partying and drinking with women and his family started to believe that he worked away because he preferred it there, and coming home was a chore. He seemed to have led a double life that wasn't discovered until he was gone which devastated my boyfriend and his mother.
Since being diagnosed, he spent all his time either elsewhere with friends, or in his garage working on trains. He spent all the money he had left on gadgets and the trains (which are unfinished and worthless) and spent no time with his family creating memories for them to cherish.
He left them no money to continue without him and he demanded a very expensive funeral.
My boyfriend, instead of being sad about his dad's death, is very angry at how he has left him to look after his mum financially and emotionally, with no support and feeling as though he never cared about them.
His behaviour after the diagnosis was selfish and reckless which I can understand but my boyfriend cannot. He feels his first reaction should have been to comfort his family and try to make up for some of the time they were going to lose.
Bob even wrote his own eulogy, in which he talked only of his wonderful stories from sea and his great friends. There was no mention of his family, which included a 10 year old adopted daughter he was leaving behind, or his elderly wife. My boyfriend had to go against his wishes and rewrite it because he was embarrassed to read it out at the funeral.
How do I support him? What do I say? He can't get answers from Bob, he can't vent his anger to him. There is so much unfinished business and I don't know how to help.
Thanks for listening.
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