How do I learn to be more patient with my Father now that my Mother has passed away

by Robbie
(London)

Eight months ago, my mum passed away after a long battle with brain cancer. I’ve tried to be there for my dad as much as I can, despite living in a different city and having a very busy career.

My mum did pretty much everything - she cooked, cleaned, managed the finances and other important things. Since she’s gone and I’ve been spending time alone with my dad for the first time in my life, I’ve noticed that he is pretty clueless when it comes to most things, almost to the point where it feels like I’m looking after a child when I’m with him. It has become so clear that my mum really did manage the marriage and my dad took a back seat. I love him and understand that he’s in a horrible and lonely place without his wife of 40 years, but I find myself becoming very frustrated when I’m with him. Has anyone else felt like this? I would love to hear some advice or tips from other people who learned to be more patient and forgiving with their father in the same situation.

I feel so guilty when I become annoyed with him and know that it’s me who has to change and learn to handle my emotions towards him.

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Jul 04, 2022
Dealing with Emotions
by: Lesley from GriefandSympathy.com

Dear Robbie

First of all, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Brain cancer is so traumatic. I lost my partner to lung/brain cancer just over a year ago, so I have some idea of what you have gone through. It is so tough.

Both of you are grieving and that involves so many emotions including anger, frustration, guilt and more.

I suggest that first of all, you need to be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for your lack of patience. It is completely natural. Look after yourself first and you'll find that you are more able to be compassionate if you are also compassionate to yourself. Take time to rest, relax, grieve and recover. It's so easy to get burned out when you're grieving.

Your Dad could well still be in the shock phase where it's hard to concentrate and most tasks seem to be too hard. Give him time and he may well start to cope better. My Mum (original author of this website) had to re-learn to drive and do her banking when my Dad died but she gradually did it and coped much better.

It's so hard to watch your parents aging and difficult to become the carer. We are also grieving the care and support they used to give us. Now we have to be the responsible ones.

Have a look at the Self-Care section in the menu of the website and under 'Dealing with Grief' you'll find sections on all the emotions of grief including guilt.

Things will get easier in time.

Wishing you all the best.

Lesley

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