Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Other Talk "Otterville"

Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Old 04-13-14, 12:07 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

It has been a substantial amount of time since I have started a thread, or hell posted on a regular basis here. Maybe I was too busy growing up or life was keeping me too busy. To be perfectly honest right now, I just feel like talking and in short need some advice, so I'll do my best to keep it short...or not "War and Peace."

To make a longer story short it started with a deal made thirteen years ago. When my parents divorced I decided to live with my dad. Mostly because at that time we had really gotten to know each other a lot better, and my mother was a control freak. We both moved to Rancho Cucamonga and after some adjustments (new friends and decent job) I decided to stay behind when he chose to retire to Northern Cali. The deal was that I would live on my own for a year, and if in the process I failed, I would move up to Northern Cali to live with him. I turned one year into ten. I worked really hard to ensure I would not need his help, but I somehow got very arrogant and before I knew it the life I spent ten years building fell apart in a few short months.

So I arrived in Northern Cali in 2012 feeling very defeated and had to adjust again to living with others. While my dad was away in NorCA he had remarried. To make an even longer story short, this woman had no problems with me 300 miles away, but having to see me on a daily basis...she hated me. So much in fact that while looking for work she had told my father on more than one occasion that I wasn't looking for work but instead "foolling around." My father never believed her but it was a headache he didn't want. I eventually landed a part time job and decided to try and get back into school. Despite this my stepmom still did not approve of me and how I lived my life. In between the arguments my father lost his sister (my aunt) to a stroke. Shortly after that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Suddenly I felt very selfish for bellyaching over how much I missed my friends and how my life used to be before moving. I felt that I was needed and continued to take the verbal and non verbal abuse from this woman my father married. I kept trying to find a way to get out of the house and at the same time be close. I decided to take on a second job, and for a while things felt like they might work out. As he got worse I was apartment hunting, and I even took a week off to visit Southern Cali to see two of my closest friends get married. When I got back home my father began to just fade away. He couldn't speak and could barely move. He died two months later.

Shortly after he died (and by shortly I mean an hour) my stepmom took my older cousin aside and told him "He needs to leave tonight, I don't want him in this house." So I moved again and this time it was brief. I am now living on my own with an okay paying job. The funeral held for my father brought my estranged older brother, and my nephew back into my life. I had not spoken to either of them in fifteen years. I even started talking to my mom again. Sadly my father did not leave a will, at least none that we know of? My stepmom now has everything that was his and from what I can gather has no intention of letting any of it go, despite one of the items being a family heirloom.

After he died I don't think I really let him go. It's been about four months and it still feels like it was yesterday. I felt numb the day after the funeral and even after getting my own place and landing a better job, I still felt empty. It doesn't make it easy knowing my father's things are being horded by someone who doesn't care about the rest of his family. I have tried to not be angry because I know there is really nothing we can do, and I know he wouldn't want me to be angry. I miss him everyday and I feel like I'm not doing enough to honor him. Have any of you lost a parent? When does it stop feeling so empty?
Old 04-13-14, 12:17 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 17,003
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

How old are you now? It's hard to get a read on your issues without knowing that.
Old 04-13-14, 12:25 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

I am 34, but if it helps I had a VERY sheltered upbringing. Which is what I meant by growing up.
Old 04-13-14, 12:30 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Illinois
Posts: 652
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Originally Posted by zero View Post
Sadly my father did not leave a will, at least none that we know of? My stepmom now has everything that was his and from what I can gather has no intention of letting any of it go, despite one of the items being a family heirloom.
My condolences on your loss, but do not assume that since there was no will, your step-mother is entitled to everything. Please check with a lawyer and the state probate laws about how property is to be divided when no will is left. In Illinois, if there is no will, 50% goes to the wife and 50% goes to the children.
Old 04-13-14, 01:12 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 17,003
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Yes check with a lawyer, some of that stuff is yours I'm sure. I'm guessing the reason that your stepmom had issues with you is because you moved in with them at age 32(?) and when she married your dad, that wasn't part of the deal.
Old 04-13-14, 01:32 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Posts: 1,173
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

I practice probate law in California and can tell you that if your father died without a will (i.e. he died "intestate") then your stepmother gets all of the community property they owned and one-third of any separate property he owned. The remaining two-thirds of his separate property (which I imagine would include the family heirloom) goes to you and your brother (and any other siblings there may be).

Community property is anything they acquired during marriage. Separate property is anything owned prior to the marriage or received by way of gift or inheritance. A prenuptial agreement can change these default rules. The longer they have been married, the less likely your father had any separate property but maybe he was a good saver or kept something socked away for you and your brother.

Insurance policies and death benefits go to whomever is named as a beneficiary so you might want to check into these items.

Many county bar associations provide referrals to attorneys who will give you a free or low-cost (e.g. $30-$50) thirty-minute consultation. You might also get your stepmother's attention with an attorney-sent letter. Ultimately, if she doesn't cooperate, about the only thing you can do is petition the court (in the county where your father died) for the right to administer his estate. This would almost certainly get stepmother's attention, but it would cost you in the low four figures for fees and costs.
Old 04-13-14, 01:36 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Originally Posted by ResIpsa View Post
I practice probate law in California and can tell you that if your father died without a will (i.e. he died "intestate") then your stepmother gets all of the community property they owned and one-third of any separate property he owned. The remaining two-thirds of his separate property (which I imagine would include the family heirloom) goes to you and your brother (and any other siblings there may be).

Community property is anything they acquired during marriage. Separate property is anything owned prior to the marriage or received by way of gift or inheritance. A prenuptial agreement can change these default rules. The longer they have been married, the less likely your father had any separate property but maybe he was a good saver or kept something socked away for you and your brother.

Insurance policies and death benefits go to whomever is named as a beneficiary so you might want to check into these items.

Many county bar associations provide referrals to attorneys who will give you a free or low-cost (e.g. $30-$50) thirty-minute consultation. You might also get your stepmother's attention with an attorney-sent letter. Ultimately, if she doesn't cooperate, about the only thing you can do is petition the court (in the county where your father died) for the right to administer his estate. This would almost certainly get stepmother's attention, but it would cost you in the low four figures for fees and costs.
Noted
Old 04-13-14, 01:37 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Originally Posted by Rockmjd23 View Post
Yes check with a lawyer, some of that stuff is yours I'm sure. I'm guessing the reason that your stepmom had issues with you is because you moved in with them at age 32(?) and when she married your dad, that wasn't part of the deal.
Yeah I get that and as much as I tried to talk to her and offer my help in anyway around the house she just ignored me.
Old 04-13-14, 09:17 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 789
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Originally Posted by zero View Post
Yeah I get that and as much as I tried to talk to her and offer my help in anyway around the house she just ignored me.
People are giving you advise on what to do with the material stuff (heirloom), so it seems you have some options there already. Let's talk about the other things you mentioned in your post: the emotional side.

Disclaimer: I have not lost a parent yet, so I don't know how it feels. However, I lost my only sibling, my brother, about 10 years ago, due to suicide. So, I do know a bit about loss.

My condolences about the loss of your dad. Losing someone you're close to is undeniable hard, but it is something you have to work with, and make part of yourself. You have to face the facts, and eventually you have to move on. But, the question is: how do you do that?

In your case, you have an opportunity. The passing of your father has put you back in contact with your long lost brother, and you have reopened communication with your mom. This, I truly believe, is your way out.

Use your fathers' death to get back in touch with your family. You once lived with them on a daily basis, so there are fundamentals there (love, compassion, comfort, memories) that are still present today. Regardless of all the stuff in one's life (money, house, ...), nothing, absolutely nothing can beat human emotions. I think you can work about getting bridges rebuilt with the rest of your family (even if distance is an issue, you can work around that. My parents live 7,000 miles from where I live, and our relationship has regrown since my brothers' death to a level that is extremely comfortable right now. You should do the same. Slowly rebuild contact and emotional levels with your brother and your mother, and show them, in the most simplest of terms that you would like them back in your life, and that you love them. Your fathers' death may heal the differences you had with them prior.

And to answer your question: when my brother died, life did stop for a while. Days were hard, sometime even hour by hour, but eventually a week went by and then another one. All of a sudden it had been a month since he passed, and I found out that I didn't think of him every minute of any waking hour anymore. Work was very supportive of my problems, and things were made quite comfortable for me (despite my wife living on the other side of the world at that time, so I did not have the comfort of having her close when working through this difficult time). Realistically, I think it took somewhere between 6 and 12 months before I was "over" his death. You never really get over it, but I mean that life really just continued at that time for me. I was happy again, ate well, enjoyed life, company, friends, parties, ...

Good luck, and do yourself a favor and really try to work to get to know your long-lost relatives again. It doesn't matter if you are the one who is going to put most of the effort in it to regain contact with them. On the contrary, it may be very beneficial for you.
Old 04-13-14, 03:10 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 17,003
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Yes, if there is one blessing in disguise, it's that you have a chance to mend things with your mother and brother now.
Old 04-14-14, 02:11 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Sorry for the late reply I was at work, thank you LolaRennt, and Rockmjd23. Talking to my brother and mother again has not been easy but I am taking it slow.
Old 04-14-14, 11:32 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 25,856
Received 354 Likes on 251 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Sorry for your loss.
Old 04-14-14, 10:29 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Sorry for your loss.
Thanks
Old 04-15-14, 08:55 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 23,589
Received 79 Likes on 63 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

I'm glad that my parents live week-to-week. There's nothing to split up if they die. When they die, I'll probably request to donate any leftovers.

This happens to a lot of people. Mom and Dad die. And all the kids get together to get their once in a lifetime bonus check. And siblings and other family will never talk to each other because how one or the other acted.

Just let it go. It doesn't sound like there is much wealth involved. I couldn't justify speaking a word to his wife.
Old 04-15-14, 09:11 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
bunkaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago West Suburbs
Posts: 15,882
Received 43 Likes on 29 Posts
Sorry for your loss. I lost my dad 12 years ago when I was 27 and he was 56. Cancer as well. I'm sure you've heard it before, but it will get better. It'll never be the same but it will get better.
Old 04-15-14, 09:41 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 24,307
Received 259 Likes on 223 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

If it's any consolation, your stepmother sounds like a real harpy.

Zero, you have many productive years ahead of you and your father would have wanted you to be happy. Honor him by going out and enjoying life to its fullest. The recommendations to open up lines of communication with your other family members is sound advice.
Old 04-15-14, 09:42 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Norm de Plume's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Toronto
Posts: 17,536
Received 216 Likes on 166 Posts
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

I'm sorry for your loss. My dad died a little over 4 years ago. I was very close to him, as I am to my mom. I don't think I have yet really come to terms with his death. I have just kind of moved on, because, what other choice does one have? There's no rational alternative, as much I would sometimes rather just die.
Old 04-16-14, 01:45 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Thanks everyone I appreciate the advice.
Old 04-16-14, 01:45 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rialto, CA
Posts: 5,424
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Letting go of my father, or how did I get here?

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
If it's any consolation, your stepmother sounds like a real harpy.
That doesn't even cover her madness...

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.