Dear Counsellor | Blamed for my father's death
Q: My father was in his late 60s when he died almost two years ago. He was diabetic and had a heart attack. He was living at my home. The other children are all living overseas and his wife predeceased him. He did not follow the diet as a diabetic, saying that something would eventually lead to his death. In addition, he would not even do simple exercises.
He was an easy-going person and very jovial. I miss him a lot and every now and then cry. To add to the pain, my siblings claim that I should have forced the diet on him.
Furthermore, they are saying that if he were living overseas with them, then he would get better care and would still be alive. The comments hurt, so I avoid talking to them and I have not been to their home for a vacation since then. Am I too harsh?
A: It is unfortunate that your siblings are blaming you for your father's death. There is no truth to the statement that if he got better treatment overseas he would still be alive. One can get better treatment and still die. Furthermore, your father was of age, so if he did not want to follow the diet you, could not force-feed him. All you can do is to provide the special meals for him and encourage him to partake.
Your siblings are in self-denial over their father's death and they are trying to find a scapegoat. Sometimes, people even blame doctors for the death of a loved one. The worrying aspect is that almost two years later, they still have not accepted his death. You need to have a candid talk with them and let them know how their attitude is affecting you. You are not being too harsh.
Do not worry that you cry now and then. It is normal and natural that you will miss him at significant times. There nothing wrong with crying; even Jesus wept.