P.F.
Super May 2018

Certain guest makes me cry

P.F., on April 19, 2018 at 8:52 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 23
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Another thread on here reminded me of an issue I have that I haven't found a solution to.

My grandpa passed a few years ago and I'm still not over it. He was the man I wanted to walk me down the aisle (now no one is). I've lost a lot of family but no one has devastated me like he has.
I've gotten to where I can see his picture and not cry but if the right song comes on or I think about him too long the tears start. I'm tearing up writing about him lol.

My problem is that his brother looks just like him and he's coming to the wedding. No joke, the moment I see this man I burst into uncontrollable tears. Every. Single. Time. It doesn't stop either. I just keep crying hard. Thankfully he understands and gives me a hug but that doesn't help.

My solution is to avoid him all day so I don't cry so horribly on our wedding day but obviously that's rude and I can't do that. Have any of you dealt with this? What did you do? What would you do? I don't know how to look at him without balling my eyes out

23 Comments

  • falkenmarried
    Expert August 2018
    falkenmarried ·
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    With my grief if I give myself a time to do so, sometimes it helps. I tell myself “ok Steph you can only cry from 3-4, get it all out and then you’re DONE”
    it doesn’t always help with overwhelming situations all the time but it does help.
    My day will be bittersweet, we are missing my dad, my sister, FMIL and FFIL and I’m trying to focus on the good stuff and how happy they would be for us and in the end; grief and sadness are all okay. It’s a sign they were here and loved and wonderful.
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  • A
    Expert September 2019
    Anna ·
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    In my opinion (this helped me, may not work for you but maybe worth a try) is to face him before hand and try and make a sliver of peace as you have with pictures. I’ve lost so much family, while I don’t know you and don’t understand what you’re going through, I do understand the principal of losing a loved one (or 10). But maybe go out to lunch with him and try to take an itty bitty step. Like I said may not be right thing, but just a suggestion. Good luck with everything, sending positive vibes your way!
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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    I'm so sorry you lost so many people that close to you. That's good advice. I've never tried it so idk if it will work personally but it's worth a shot.
    What you said at the end was beautiful. Other family members I can remember fondly because I did love them but grandpa was so special to me. Thank you so much for sharing
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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    That might work. Push through it until it goes away. I'll have to see if he can have dinner with me or something. Thank you!
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  • K
    Savvy April 2018
    Krystin ·
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    I think this will help you in that you'll get to know him for HIM, not for the fact that he looks like your grandfather. Those connections are important psychologically. Dinner, maybe ask him what one of his favorite activities is, and do that as well!
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  • magnolia5
    VIP June 2019
    magnolia5 ·
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    The end of what you said was so beautiful and made me tear up. I've never thought of it that way.
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  • dancingwiththekumars
    Expert May 2018
    dancingwiththekumars ·
    • Flag
    I lost my Dad and Grandpa. I was super close to my Grandpa too. I dont talk to my Dads fam. Only 3 cousin from my Dads side are invited. My dads brothers sound like him, and that breaks my heart if I hear it. I do wish they had been closer to us to be there, but they dont deserve that place in my life. But I know something will remind me of them anyway at my wedding & I’ll lose it.

    Have your mua or a bridesmaid on hand with tissues. Just remember that your Grandpa is there through his bro. Give him a hug if you can, it will be from your Grandpa too. Maybe wait til the end.
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  • P
    Super January 2019
    PalmTrees ·
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    This might sound weird but I’d practice. As in looking at a picture of him until seeing his face doesn’t cause such a strong and intense reaction. Start small by just a glance. Then each day you can look longer.
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  • Nicole
    Dedicated October 2018
    Nicole ·
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    You said he passed a few years ago. Did you give yourself time to grieve? I don't know how you feel about counselors, but I have found them helpful in my life, especially working through highly-emotional situations. Maybe talking to someone who specializes in grief work would be beneficial to you.
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  • FutureMrsCork
    Devoted July 2018
    FutureMrsCork ·
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    Love this idea. As his brother, I'm sure he misses him too. Getting to know him more personally will make it easier to see him and he likely has some awesome stories to share.
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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    I wonder if that would work though since I can look at pictures of grandpa now and be okay? When I see a picture I know grandpa is gone and I'm at peace with that. I see his brother so rarely that seeing him in person for a split second makes me think grandpa is alive again (I know it's silly but the resemblance is striking) so it's like I'm losing him all over again. That sounds ridiculous but that's the only way I can explain it
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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    I feel like I gave myself time? I took a week off work, I let myself mourn freely at home, even now, as long as I'm not at work or in a social situation, I won't stop myself from grieving when the need arises. I've never been to counseling but since it's been this long That's probably not a bad idea
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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    That's true
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  • lilam18
    Expert July 2018
    lilam18 ·
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    I agree with others to try to spend more time with him. The shock factor will wear off the more you get used to seeing him, and you’ll also probably start to notice the differences more so it will hurt less. I think he would be pretty hurt and devastated to not be able to celebrate you properly because you’re avoiding him all night, and it would lead to less stress for you as well.
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  • MrsRies&Love
    VIP May 2018
    MrsRies&Love ·
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    It really sounds like you haven't processed the grief of your grandpa passing. I know that it's really difficult, and I'm trying to help my mom through a similar situation. My grandfather passed away about 4 years ago now, and my mom can't even look at his picture or hear a song without losing it. It's not healthy, and it doesn't give the positive celebration of his life or their memories together. Instead, she's allowing her sadness to block her from having a healthy and happy future with the ability to laugh (and cry), smile, or be happy about their past together.

    Maybe I'm totally off, but sometimes we don't allow ourselves to grieve because we're afraid it's doing a disservice to our family members. If I don't cry and if I'm not sad, or if I let him go, then he'll be forgotten. But that is not true. If I were you, I would place pictures of him in places that you see often. Remind yourself of the good times and know that his spirit will be hugging you on your wedding day. And do what PP said, maybe go to lunch or have a conversation with your relative and get to know him for him, and separate your grandfather's loss from his appearance.

    You can still miss him and honor his amazing spirit, but still process the grief and work toward healing.

    It will probably take a long time for you to truly get past this time in your life, but a counselor will really help you to create a more enjoyable life, honoring and celebrating him along the way.

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  • Rachel
    Super May 2018
    Rachel ·
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    You've gotten some great advice about processing grief, and I want to second talking to a grief counselor. It sounds like you almost have panic attacks when you see your grandfather's brother, and that is not necessarily a healthy way to grieve and process.

    Additionally, I really like the idea of you meeting your great-Uncle beforehand, maybe even rehearsal dinner, or lunch before the rehearsal, just to have some private moments together. It was his brother, so he probably feels acute grief during big moments as well, and you can share that together.

    And lastly, even if your great-Uncle is a twin to your grandfather, they definitely have some differences. Take some time to notice those differences so that when you see him out of the corner of your eye, or run face to face with him unexpectedly, it won't shock you so much, you won't feel as though you've seen a ghost, and you can start recognizing your great-Uncle as the individual he is, instead of a conduit for your grandfather.

    Best of luck, and as PP have stated, grieving is okay. Grieving is healthy. Grieving for years after a loved one has past is normal. But it is important to learn how to deal with grief so that your own life can function and you can celebrate the joy of that relationship.

    Hugs!

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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    I know I can't avoid him and I truly don't want to because he's a great man! And you're right, it would hurt him if I continued to avoid him.
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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    You might be right that i haven't processed it completely. I am holding on to the memory of the night he passed. I don't want to forget it. That's probably not the right reaction because I'm not moving on I guess. Thank you for your advice
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  • P.F.
    Super May 2018
    P.F. ·
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    I think all of you are right. I need to go to a counselor and I need to meet with my great-uncle privately and get over this. He's a good man that doesn't deserve a cold shoulder because I can't hold myself together.
    Thank you for your help and support
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  • Jen
    VIP July 2018
    Jen ·
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    I'm so sorry to read your question as it sounds like you are really struggling. Interestingly, i have a similar situation as you. I have a 2nd cousin who looks virtually identical to my grandfather. It's been 10 years since my grandfather passed away but early on, I would cry whenever I would see this cousin. Time does help as now, it's odd to say but I find it comforting and I am grateful to 'get a glimpse of my grandfather' when our family gets together. I hope you get to that point. Given your wedding is likely sooner than it will take for that to happen, maybe meet your uncle a few times between now and the wedding.... or the day before your wedding or for a quick breakfast the day of (before hair and make-up). Perhaps as you see him more, it will get easier. Best of luck to you.

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