Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 22, 2015 · Page F24
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October 22, 2015

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page F24

Publication:
Location:
Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Page:
Page F24
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Page F24 article text (OCR)

24 Thursday,October22,2015 • DemocratandChronicle.com • Democrat and Chronicle • ROCWeekend Comics& Columns JUMP START ROBB ARMSTRONG GARFIELD JIMDAVIS BLONDIEDEAN YOUNG AND JOHN MARSHALL PICKLESBRIANCRANE HAGARCHRISBROWNE DearAmy: Our elderly father has had long-term, concurrent relationships with multiple women in the same city for many years. It se ems clear that the women are not aware. Each acts as if she is his main companion. We respect our dad’s decision to lead his own life and have no judgments of him that he chooses to have multiple partners. However, we are uncomfortable with his deception regarding his partners and have had related conversations with him about this. He made it clear that he will not make any changes to how he handles these dynamics. This puts us in awkward situations — for example, when they ask us questions about why they don’t see us more often or why they can’t visit him during his occasional hospital stays. Of course, we encourage them to ask him questions instead of us. These women are nice and kind and we enjoy being with them (although this does not happen much because we don’t want to be in the middle). We wonder what to do in the event of a significant health issue and how to handle the convergence of the companions at his eventual funeral/memorial. (He has suggested separate funerals.) It seems like all of them would want to continue some form of relationship with us after he dies. We would value your opinion and recommendations. — Concerned Adult Children DearChildren: You are doing a very good job of maintaining boundaries between your father’s multiple deceptions, versus your responsibility to maintain them. When a similar situation happened in my own life (multiple people arriving at the ICU claiming to have a special relationship with my family member) hospital workers told me they see this frequently. If it had been up to me I would have said to welcome everyone. Unfortunately, one result was that no one was permitted to visit. You are not your father’s gatekeeper and you are not responsible for maintaining his multiple deceptions. Tell him you will never lie to any of these women. Nor do you need to explain or interpret his behavior to any of his partners. If he wants to plan and pay for multiple funerals to continue this deception after his death, then you might be able to respect his wishes. If he is not willing to plan and finance this, then you should welcome everyone to a celebration of his complicated life. Do not make choices between people that your father isn’t willing to make. Father’s deceptions upset family members

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