February 29, 2016 at 11:17 pm #97700Sapnap3Participant
Hello TB family,
I haven’t been on this for a while but always read articles on the site to get a boost of energy.
On valentines day this year my father passed away all of a sudden. He wasn’t sick. He collapsed at work and died within minutes. I have been living in Ireland for the past 2 years, finishing off my MBA last year and working this year to get some international experience. I love living there as I made some really good friends and I just started dating someone. I got the news at 4 am in Dublin of my father passing away and I was devastated. They hadn’t told my old mom yet as she didn’t have anyone with her and my relatives feared the worst. I called the guy I am dating at that time and he came over to help me pack to come home. I cried so much that day that my face was unrecognizable. I had to make funeral arrangements and with the help of relatives and my sister we got through the difficult part of saying goodbye to dad, forever. Everyday since, I have been taking care of all the finances for my mother. Taking away my father’s name from everything so that my mom doesn’t have to worry. She doesn’t speak english and as the only unmarried child, she is my responsibility. Removing my dad’s name from everything is one of the hardest things I have done. Second only to pressing the cremation button in the funeral home. He had build a home for himself for the part 30 years and it took me 2 weeks to erase it. The impermanence of life is unbareable sometimes.
I am of an Indian decent and I am 33 years old. Everyone who comes to give their condolences for my father, turns around and says “now you should get married” or the worst “Your dad probably died with just one regret in life, not giving you away” It is so sad because I don’t even get to morn my dad. I had a guy who worked with my dad at the restaurant come up to me today and beg (yes beg) me to get married. i kept telling him that I do want to get married but I haven’t found anyone to get married to but he kept begging me to get married. He literally was “please please please get married child…please…don’t hurt your father by not settling down…you are too old to not settle down” I am so sick of it. I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown with these people around me. Why can’t they let me be? I just want to morn my dad and not think about how awful I am for not marrying anyone out of desperation or insecurity. i have spent the past year working on myself by meditating, surrounding myself with positive people and educating myself. I am finally starting to attract the type of men that I can see myself with. this is a process.
please tell me how to ignore these people. they have been tremendously helpful to my illiterate mother and they will continue to support her in my absense. I can’t tell them to $uck off because my mother needs them. Any wise words you guys are spare will be appreciated.
Thank youMarch 1, 2016 at 5:21 am #97708InkyParticipant
First I want to say I am so sorry about your father!
As for your question, I am not of your culture, so short of moving someplace where people don’t care, perhaps do this…
“Everyone” who bugs you about settling down in reality might only be, say, the same five people many times.
So, divide and conquer! Sit each one down individually and say, “I am dating someone and will probably get married to him or someone else. I can’t rush it though. And I don’t want to hear about it anymore. If I hear about it again I am going to stonewall/ignore people as if they hadn’t said it. That includes you.”
Now they will have been warned. And if they mention “Marriage” again, do it!! Ignore, leave the room, leave the building, hang up the phone, etc.
This will be considered horribly rude, but they are being the rude ones actually!
March 1, 2016 at 7:55 am #97717anitaParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Inky.
It sounds like you made a lot of progress living in Ireland since you last posted, October of last year, I believe. You started to make progress then and it seems like you moved forward since, feeling more connected and comfortable there and even started dating. And then, bad news, your father collapsing.
You functioned well in India upon your return there so far, took care of business even though your sadness over the loss of your father has been intense.
I am glad you asked “how to ignore these people” and not IF to ignore these people!
These people who pressure and beg you to get married, they are locked in the Indian social conventional thinking that you must get married because it is honoring your parents, dead or alive. This is their belief. You can’t change it and you are not there, in India, for the purpose of arguing with this long… long held social convention.
So, you could tell them: “Yes, I will get married.” If asked when, you could say: Soon. Maybe that will put an end to the pressure and begging. “Okay, okay, I will get married” said to the begging man. Will it make him go away?
And then… travel back to Ireland where you will no longer be in their presence. Take on your life from there, from Ireland. You can’t satisfy both worlds, so I hope you choose Ireland where you can be free to make your own personal choices.
What do you think?
anitaMarch 1, 2016 at 9:35 am #97731Sapnap3Participant
Thank you so much for your kinds words.
I can’t believe you remember me from October, Anita. I have since left my awful job and now I am working with a great boss who wants me to grow. Dad passing away was a real shock and it came in the time when I was starting to love everything in my life. I still love everything in my life but now I just have the added responsibiity of my mom. Which isn’t the end of the world. I am just venting about these things. I am really trying to stay center.March 1, 2016 at 10:14 am #97737anitaParticipant
When are you going back to Ireland? Is your married sibling going to help then with your mother..other family members or friends? I mean, those people visiting who pressured you to get married, are they going to keep visiting your mother when you are back in Ireland?
Please do not let this sad event undo the great progress you made in your life in Ireland! Your main responsibility, actually, as far as I am concerned, in my book of ethics, your only responsibility (as a woman who is not a mother to minor children) is to take care of yourself, to make your life a good life. Don’t give it up and don’t sacrifice it for any other person…!?
anitaMarch 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm #97781squidgirlParticipant
Hello! I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry about your Dads passing. That is a tough and scary thing to go through. A couple things to keep in mind…
If your dad had the chance to say one more thing to you, I promise, without personally knowing him, that he wouldn’t waste that opportunity to tell you anything other then he loves you. Or hes proud of you. He definitely wouldn’t waste it asking you about marriage. A lot of the time when something happens, especially something tragic, people will focus on something meaningless because they don’t want to, or cannot, focus on what’s meaningful. Obviously there are cultural influences, but I think by and large it is easier to hound you about marriage then it is to talk about what your Dad meant to them. I would encourage you to be brave with the knowledge that your Dad loved you and wants you to be happy, and when someone feels like they need to make a judgement about your life, you can either smile and say thanks for the suggestion, or you can pretend you didn’t hear and mention something about your Dad. A shared memory or anecdote.
You will never be able to change an entire culture of people so its best to just look inward. All of our thoughts are just stories we tell ourselves right? So with that in mind, tell yourself good stories about your Dad. Tell yourself good stories about being brave and moving to Ireland. It might not be easy at first but with practice and loving-kindness it will hopefully get easier.
There are also a ton of support groups both online and in real life that are for adult children taking care of one or both elderly parents. That might also be helpful as you try to navigate through the tough stuff.
I wish you luck!