I’m not sure if this is funeral etiquette submission, or nearly a “gimme pig” submission, given the offender’s need to make it all about himself.
My ex-husband and I had about as civil a divorce as we could have had under the circumstances. But one notable thing, my ex always had to be the center of attention, good or bad. Even after our daughter was born, the birth and the parenting were all about him, not our child. If our daughter was given attention he felt he deserved, he would do his darndest to re-direct it.
A few years after the divorce, he moved 10 hours away, and I remarried. Thanks to referrals to a headhunter, a couple of years after that I got my dream job, about five hours’ drive from the ex, and five hours’ drive from my hometown.
Not long after our move, my father passed away from an aggressive form of cancer. It was devastating for all of us, but my daughter (then seven years old) was hit particularly hard because my dad had stepped in to provide us moral support. Dad adored her and she adored him. They took walks together, tractor rides, picnics… the last coherent day he had (the day before he passed), she danced for him in the hospital’s common room.
I informed my ex of my father’s passing, and my husband, daughter and I went to Dad’s funeral and then tried to get back into a regular routine.
A couple of weeks after Dad’s death, I got an email from my ex-husband. While the email is long gone, the words burned into my brain pretty hard, and I’ll admit, I’m still bitter. Basically, it said, “I am sorry for your father’s passing. If it’s any consolation, I had a dream the other night that was he so glad you moved closer to me, so I could be a bigger part of our daughter’s life again. He told me in the dream that he always liked me, and was glad I could be there for her.”
My first inclination was to note that, 1) Dad gave me the retainer for my divorce attorney the second I came around and asked for help, 2) my ex in fact was the one that caused the geographic separation, and 3) the location of my new job was just blind luck that it was closer to him, so he can shut his trap. Instead, I hit delete.
Oh, and as far as him being a bigger part of his daughter’s life? Only when it’s convenient and fits into his schedule. He’s backed out on time more than once, and she wasn’t even invited to his wedding.
He also sent me a “congrats on your pregnancy!” email a month after I miscarried. But that’s another story. I swear, Etiquette Dame, I do a damn lot of tongue-biting. 1209-10