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Death of my son

Started by Invisible, August 23, 2009, 08:18:14 am

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My only child married and my DIL and I never bonded. They had one child. There marriage was breaking up and then my son was killed in a motorcycle accident. Just two months after he died she posted a blog on her website, " It just doesn't get any better than this."

Ok, my DIL told me I was not a member of the family. In fact she told me I was not related to my son nor did I even know him. She is very vulgar and nasty towards me. She tells me there is something wrong with me because I am grieving. She didn't even want a funeral. All the anger she had towards my son is vented to me.

She did not allow me to see my only granddaughter for 10 months and then blamed me for not seeing her. Since my son died she has abused my granddaughter and was reported by the school. She uses my granddaughter as a weapon against me.

Since my son died, my DIL has covered her body withe tattoos and I know she takes drugs. However, I would need photographs of her taking drugs in order to report her to DCFS. Even then they would not separate mother and daughter. My DIL is a "party girl"  and has posted naked photos of herself on her website. This is a mothers worst nightmare.  Yes, I am still grieving and extremely frustrated by this situation.


You are doing and feeling what is normal. She's isn't. There are women on this site who have had to face and live through the death of an adult son followed by being attacked by their DIL. I'm one of them.

Nine days after my son's death, (from sleep apnea), my DIL wrote me a long hate letter telling me how evil I was and blaming me for every problem he ever had. He died June 20, 2000.

All I can say is that I had to separate and compartmentalize to survive. My DILs hatred toward me had to go one place and my love for my son and my loss had to go into another. When I look back over the last decade, I know that was the only thing I could have done.

Thinking about your DIL, reading her blog and focusing on her behavior isn't ever going to help you make sense of what she says and does...because what she is saying and doing is irrational from your point of view (and mine.) Put it in a box, tie it with a ribbon, label it "Someone my son once loved" and set it aside.

You have other memories of your son that are lovely and true. Cherish them and let them help you heal. Keep coming to us with your grief; we're mothers and we care.

Focus on your granddaughter any time that's possible and give her love, understanding  and an alternative role model.

I know how terrible it is. You aren't alone.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Dear Invisible,
My heart goes out to you!  Oh, how it does!  I am concerned as you are about your Granddaughter. 

Ladies on this board, is there any solution or way that Invisible can intervene with her Granddaughter??  Her Mother is her mother but to stand by and watch this has got to be agony!!

What can she do??  Does anyone know anything?

We're her for you, Invisible.


August 23, 2009, 04:02:13 pm #3 Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 04:15:12 pm by AnnieB
I am so sorry to hear about this.  It's difficult enough to lose a child (they are always our child) without having the grieving process messed with by something like this.

If the DIL has already been reported to child services, then at least there's a start.

If you haven't already, I would want to talk to someone in children's services about what you can and can't do.  If that isn't working for you, I would ask friends and co-workers for the name of a child advocate service -- most states have them.

Look for CASA in your state http://www.nationalcasa.org/   
Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children.    See if they can help you find someone who can at least help you find out what rights your granddaughter has for protection and what you can do to help.

It all should be done with your granddaughter's position as the focus, setting aside your relationship with your DIL or hers with you.  At this point, everything really is about your granddaughter.

In this case, you may need  to see if you can get visitation rights through the courts.  Easier said than done, of course,depending on the state.  AARP has some information.  http://www.aarp.org/families/grandparents/family_relationships/a2004-09-01-grandparents-visitation.html

Any change for the DIL and the situation could be a while coming, so settle in for a bit, but if you can be there for your granddaughter, you could be the oasis she will come to.  Just remain calm and keep your sanity, keep a journal with the time you spend with your granddaughter,  how often you call, send gifts and cards, etc. and if there are negative things with your DIL blocking you, note those.  Just picture that journal being shown in court sometime though.  If your DIL is abusive to you on the phone, keep tapes of phone calls, save e-mails, etc. and manage not to get entangled in arguments -- be the calm and centered person -- if the worst happens and your DIL doesn't get any better but still has her daughter,  you are there for the girl to turn to.   If the best happens -- you're there for the girl to turn to. 

Good luck to you in this... I hope you also have a support network of a few friends and family who can help you through this.. and of course this board is wonderful!


What a knowledgeable, thorough and comprehensive approach!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


There is hardly a better organization than CASA....thank you, AnnieB


Thank you for all for your input and suggestions. I have spoken with an attorney. Unfortunately, I live in a state that does not recognize grandparent visitation rights. Visitation is strictly up to the mercy of my DIL.

I have spoken with the Department of Children Services just to let them know I exist and if everything falls apart I would love to have custody of my granddaughter. I know the state has assigned a social worker to my DIL. I have picked up my granddaughter and the social worker is visiting the DIL.

Yippee!! School start today. I am so happy the school is aware of the problem and is keeping a watchful eye on the situation. I have been holding my breath all summer.

Thanks AnnieB  for all your insightful angles as you approached this family situation. I will research CASA and get back to you. No, I do not keep a journal of my visits. However, I do take a lot of photos. I ask my granddaughter about bruises on her arm. She told me her mother picked her up and threw her on the sofa. Additionally, I only converse with the DIL via on line email. So I do have copies of her vulgar and rude conversations with me.

Luise.volta and Prissy thanks for your warm invitation to the group.


Good for you for being so loving and so pro-active. And it's never too late to start that journal! It sounds like a wise move, to me, to do that and integrate the pictures.  You could start it with a synopsis and then keep it current from now on.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


 I hope all goes well.  Especially for you and your granddaughter. 
   Take care and let us know how things work out. 


Just to drop an update to my tragic situation.

I have been informed by my daughter in law, she has been formally charged for the second time for child abuse. (I guarrantee...it will happen again). The school is on "watch" because of my daughter in law's high incident rate of abusing my granddaughter.

Yippee, I am allowed to visit with my granddaughter for 3 days starting this Thursday. I keep telling my granddaughter how much I love her and she is always welcome to live with me. I just want her to know she has a safe and happy place to go if things get really bad. I am so afraid with all the drugs and strangers coming and going. Because my state has no grandparent rights all I can do is keep contact with my granddaughter and wait.