Dealing with parents dating after death

We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind." -Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking My dad passed away almost 4 years ago when I was 26.

He died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack.

But when the relationship “took” and Barbara announced that she and Gerald were getting married after three years of dating, the kids went bonkers.

We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death.

Don’t jump to conclusions, says Susan Newman, a social psychologist and author of “Nobody’s Baby Now: Reinventing Your Adult Relationship with Your Mother and Father” (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009).

Spend lots of time with your dad and his new love interest.

Barbara Brooks expected her adult kids, Amy and Bryan (names have been changed), to be happy for her.

After all, they were the ones who had fixed her up with Gerald, a fellow divorcé and a friend’s uncle, because they didn’t want her to be lonely.


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