My dad wants a relationship again – after 25 years apart

DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE been estranged from my parents for 25 years, but last week my dad contacted me out of the blue to tell me Mum had died. Now he wants a relationship again.

My mum was cold and cruel, and made me feel like a burden. She walked all over Dad and he was too weak to stand up to her and protect us.

I left home as soon as I could and broke off all contact with them both when I was 30. It was for the best.

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I’m now 55, with a happy marriage and great kids.

But my world was turned upside down when Dad, 85, texted me to say Mum had died of cancer, and the funeral had already happened.

Bizarrely, he even sent me a picture of Mum in her coffin.

He wants to see me, to meet my kids and be part of my life again. I am confused and in shock, and don’t know what to do.

DEIDRE SAYS: Although you’re not grieving for your mum in a conventional way, you still have unresolved anger and hurt.

It may help to talk to someone about this. My support pack on bereavement contains advice and sources of support.

As for your dad, would you be happier remaining estranged? Or could you give him another chance to rebuild your relationship?

Holding a grudge against an old man might cause you more pain in the long term.

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