My stepfather of 16 years passed away two months ago. He developed pneumonia after a successful stem cell transplant to save him from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My mother has been inconsolable during this time and I have mostly bared the responsibility in caring for her while she has been grieving. This is a task I took on wholeheartedly knowing how that the love for my stepfather was so deep. I have just moved out but I have been coming back to check on her. I took her to the doctor and even signed her up for grief counseling that will begin in a few weeks.
I have struggled with keeping my patience with her, but I know that everyone grieves differently and this will take her a long time to get over.
Since BEFORE my stepfather passed, my mom has been talking about a friend of hers from high school that lives in North Carolina. His wife died a week after Don (my step father) from terminal brain cancer. She has spoken of this man many times, how they are talking about their grief and each other spouses. I was happy to hear she was talking to someone who has gone through it recently.
This morning, she asked if I would look up something on her phone for her. During this a message popped up from him. I realize I shouldn’t have looked, but I curious about this man she has been talking to. I opened up something I wasn’t really prepared for.
While some of their messages did speak of their now deceased partners the majority of it was discussing the sex they were wanting to have when they meet up. I was SHOCKED to this. The amount of grieving that my mother has been putting herself through, not getting out of the same chair all day, calling the same people everyday to talk about her loving dead husband, and the same stories over and over and again.
How could she already be working on another relationship?
I feel angry with her. Like she is manipulating me to feel sorry for her when really she is already moving on from the wonderful man that was my stepfather. It has only been two months and she is telling someone she hasn’t seen in over 40 years that she can’t wait to “satisfy” him.
I understand that this is a coping mechanism for her. But I can’t help but feel mad.
I have always know she was one of the women who “always needed men’s attention.” She was married to my real father for 19 years and met Don on the internet back in 1999 when she was still married. She kicked my dad out and moved Don in within a year. So she hasn’t been “single” in over 35 years, BUT STILL.
I did not tell her I saw the messages.
I honestly don’t know what to do. I do not dare tell my sister because she would use it against her.
I am reminding myself that my parents are only human beings, just like me, with wants and needs. But given her depressed behavior I cannot help but worry that she is going to get more hurt.
I guess I will pretend I didn’t see it and continue to go along. I don’t know what else to do.