The Ex-FIL Passed

Day 10 in the guided Journal can be seen here.


It is a sad time at our house right now. My ex-husband called me yesterday to let me know that his dad passed away early yesterday morning. It sounds as if it was peaceful; he had only been out of the hospital for less than a day last week before having another stroke. He had been in the ICU for about a week, then, going in and out of consciousness and just hanging on. Finally, finally, he just went, quickly and quietly.


Hannah and Eli have never had to deal with the death of a loved one. They have known people who have died, of course, but have never experienced it first-hand, so their reactions are perhaps typical. Hannah is devastated, Eli is taciturn, and both are just trying to get through it as best as they know how. Eli was quiet all night, he did not want to talk to his dad or grandma or even me, but before bed he came up and wanted a hug. He held on for a really long time, this boy that is taller and bigger and far tougher than me, needing some kind of comfort that I really can’t give. And then he very resolutely pulled away and went to bed. Hannah, on the other hand, wanted and needed to talk; to talk about her vast memories of her grandpa, to talk about what will happen next, and to be able to cry. She slept with me last night, just needing to have someone with her.


I would like to say the first day for them is going to be the hardest, but I don’t know. There are some other things going on such as the fact that for whatever reasons, their dad is refusing to let them go to the memorial service. I am trying to be understanding, even generous, but it is proving to be very difficult for me. I offered to pay for half of the plane tickets, even, and God knows I can’t afford THAT but I will find a way, because I think it is really important that they are there. Still, even with that offer on the table, he doesn’t want to let them come. I don’t get this, I really don’t. I don’t know what his rational is, I don’t know if in the thick of things yesterday if he just wasn’t thinking clearly, I don’t know. I talked to him again last night and tried to make is clear that I think they should be there, and he is supposed to call me this morning and let me know. It doesn’t sound like he is going to give in, though, and I am really angry with him about that.

Any way I look at it, even taking into account all the machinations of death and the high feelings involved, I can’t understand why he wouldn’t want the kids to be there. I don’t think it is going to be good for the kids to be kept from something so important as the memorial service for their grandpa; he has been a huge part of their lives, even despite the divorce, and I think they deserve a chance to go, to grieve with the family, to get what comfort they can from it. To say goodbye. I really think it is vital to be able to listen to the inevitable stories and memories, to be able to cry with people who loved him as much as they did, to be PART of it. I can’t give them that; I liked R. quite well, have nothing but good to say about him, but I am not grieving him as a person. The memories I have of him are 16 years old, and while of course it helps to an extent, it isn’t what they need. I can’t hold onto Hannah and cry with her, because from my emotional and physical distance from the situation, all I feel is grateful-grateful that he is gone, and that it was peaceful, grateful that the rest of the family can now begin to move forward instead of being stuck in the stasis of waiting for someone to die, grateful that the poor man is no longer going to be kept alive in body but certainly not in spirit.

So please, all, send up some thoughts and prayers that he will bend, and also that it will work out financially for them to go. Say a prayer for their family in Spokane, because no matter how elderly or ill the person was, it is never easy to lose someone you love. Pray for them to have strength and peace, and for the inevitable family squabbles to blow over and not turn into something ugly. Just-send up good thoughts for all of them, but especially for my Hannah and Eli.

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14 thoughts on “The Ex-FIL Passed

  1. I am sorry…I will pray that his heart will change his mind. I pray for your kids as well …that no matter what they will accept and pass through their grief. You are a good Mom. Thanks for your kind words…I do think I am helping…I can’t bear to stand and do nothing! It is sad out here!

  2. Definitely. I’m really sorry for their loss. I hope your ex isn’t trying to keep them away because of his wife; if that’s the case he should tell HER to stay home. But of course I have no idea what his reason could be.I really hope it works out.

  3. I am so sorry the kids are being left out of this part of the grieving process. It’s is a difficult time for them and it must be difficult for you to see them suffer the loss of their grandfather but also the comfort of being around others who loved him and have memories and stories to share.

  4. I will be praying for Hannah and Eli. I know how hard it is to lose a grandparent at that age, especially when it’s one of your first up-close experiences with death. I hope their dad will change his mind about the memorial service because you’re right – it’s important.

  5. There is nothing harder then losing a loved one, even a loved one from a distance. My X-husband lost his brother while we were already drifting apart, and while I wish I could say it brought us closer, it just drove us farther apart. I grieved for a young man who lost his life to early, he grieved for a brother he hadn’t been close enough to. My littles didn’t even know him, but he is still kept alive through memories shared with them, and in some ways I feel that is best because they are being brought the best of the memories and not the worst. They have the chance to know him as a wonderful person, and not the person he had become, and perhaps that is a better memorial.

  6. Prayers said that God will open the doors. Death of someone close is tough on kids, no matter when and how it happens – and I pray you’ll be able to be there for them through it all.

  7. I am sorry that you are going through this and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all and that someway you can get the kids to the memorial service or have one of your own to bring peace to his memory.G

  8. Kori,So sorry for the loss, and am sending energy your way that all works out for the kids to be there for the Memorial. And that all the rest works out too.

  9. Oh, I’m sorry about your ex-FIL. I’m glad it was fast and peaceful. I hope your ex changes his mind about the service–I think it would help the kids.

  10. I’m assuming he has some understandable reason for not wanting them there, even if it’s misguided. I’m hoping things work out for the best.And I’m sorry for your/their loss.

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