Hospice called and said dad has short time to live. We are not close because he abused me as a child. Should I go 2,500 miles to be with him?

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My father abused me as a child. I have "forgiven" as much as I can. I have been his care manager for the past four years from 2,500 miles away. He is in assisted living, gets wonderful care, is being seen by hospice nurse, doctor, chaplain, and social worker. I "talk" with him on Skype a couple of times a week. He's awake only 3 hours a day. I am grateful for his good care and that he will not die alone, but I feel no desire to be with him. Any thoughts?

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If you can afford it, going to see him may be a healing thing to do. The main thing is that if you do go to see him, then you've done all you can to heal. If you don't, you may later wish you did and it will be too late. In the end, only you can decide, but those are my thoughts.
Take care,
Carol
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The parent/child dynamic is a sometimes volatile one. If we told anyone that a spouse had abused us, we would say that you should distance and protect yourself from this person. However, when it is a parent, society seems to think that we somehow "owe" them something just because they gave birth to us.... even if they are not good parents, or, worse yet, abused their child.
You have done the humane thing by seeing to this sick man's needs. You need not do more, unless you feel it would "free" you from him.
Otherwise, you have gone above and beyond...now let him and the baggage go.
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It seems that you have done a terrific job of providing you dad with care and supervision despite the distance. You are to be commended for your selflessness in view of the abuse you suffered as a child. Ask yourself the question: Do you want/need to see him one last time before he dies or could you use the time and money to wrap up his final arrangements from your location? Would you be going to see him out of love, guilt or some other emotion? Search your heart and do what is best for YOU now. You have done everything that is best for HIM already.
Hugs
Sherrie
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I was repeatedly abused as a child. When I made it out of the house and went to college I created distance in part to prevent more of the same. As an adult I've been able to address what happened in a new and healthier way; though the memories are sad today, they no longer carry the same devestating impact. One legetimate consequence an abuser faces is the alienation of family. At the same time, facing death in isolation is a painful way to go. If there's risk of more abuse or trauma, that could be sufficient gounds to stay away. If the healing has taken root and I no longer have the same vulnerabilities, then I might be capable of one final charitable act. There might or might not be a last effort at reconciliation, but that wouldn't be the point. There's just a great deal to be said in favor of not letting someone else's awful conduct be the last word or the last memory.
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The 'shouda, woulda, coulda' (s) in life sometimes have a way of coming back upon us. Though you likely have already done so, you might wish to again fully explore your own mind and heart to determine if the possibility of a future softening attitude might at some point cause you to wish you'd seen him.

Due to very real similarities, I really do know where you are at. In the end though, my Dad didn't give me a choice. He chose to go off alone and (probably) die by starving himself. Selfish to the end. Inasmuch as even at his end he (obviously) attempted to inundate me with yet another form of abuse, I've never regretted not being with him when he chose to die. Unlike you though, I was never offered the opportunity to try yet again to be there in the event he wanted to vacate his historic character and attempt to make amends. (Which I would have gladly accepted.)

A hard choice, Meiho. Your answer will be found when you come to grips not with what you SHOULD do, but with how YOU will handle things throughout the years to come. For this purpose only, YOU are important, not him.

V
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Lilliput you're right when you said that society seems to believe that an adult kid should 'owe' something to their parent. After all, that parent gave birth to them right? Well what about the parent owing something to their children? They owe their kids safety to NOT be abused, they owe their kids unconditional love, and when it comes to those same kids telling them that they've been abused, they owe those kids by believing them. It works both ways I think. So Meiho, if your conscious is clear in not seeing your father before he dies, then you have to let that go too. You did the right thing by him, and that seems to be a much better part than what he played in your life.
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That is a question only you can answer. As an RN I have had many family members tell me. please do not call me until after they pass. Many do not even come to services.

You must make a decision on what is important to you and live with that decision. If you are not close and this passing is not going to have any affect on your life, then do not go.
If you need closure of some sort, then, of course, do what is important for you.
Do not do anything out of obligation or societal expectation. IT will not solve anything and may only cause you anger and resentment.
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Thanks for everyone's thoughtful answers. I will have to go to Michigan when my dad dies to take care of "business" since I am the trustee. I'll have to clean out his room so that the AL facility can bring in a new resident. I spent a month last summer moving him from an apartment, getting him settled at the AL, taking care of over 100 years worth of family photos, paperwork, etc. (I still don't have everything handled!). All of his cremation and burial plans have been made and paid for. I'll have a memorial service once his best friends return from Florida (they are snowbirds but don't have enough money to make more than one trip back to Michigan). His church is aware of the plans, all the papers have been signed, etc. That leaves the issue of "closure" with him. I'm going to have a Skype conversation with him in the morning. I'll get a better sense then of how he's doing and what my next step should be. I talked with the hospice social worker for a long time today, and also got a report from one of his church friends who says he is in bed most of the time, almost nonresponsive. She prayed with him, kissed him for me, told him I was thinking about him. He didn't respond. I did my emotional "closure" with him last summer because I didn't think I would see him again. Soooo, that's where things stand!
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How will you feel when he is no longer there to talk to? Your the only one who can answer that question. I too was long distance to both of my parents who I dearly loved even when others would put my father down,I still loved him, he was my father as well as my mom. It shows respect for your father if you can make it. If you can't and you are ok with that,then you are the one who has to deal with it. I hope you can go,for you
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Gosh this is a tough one. I can only tell you what I would do. If you can afford the time and money, then go. Better to regret doing something than NOT doing it. You might find closure which I suspect is what you are seeking. You might also want to forgive him. I don't know how cognisant he is but he might ask for forgiveness. I hope you find what is best for you to do. Bless you.
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