Damned if We Do, Damned if We Don’t


Obituaries. We are all going to die someday and our loved ones will face the conundrum of who to list as next of kin. I have had some adoptees tell me that they were extremely hurt and offended that they were NOT included in their first mother’s obituary as one of her children. I have also had some adoptees tell me they were extremely hurt and offended they WERE included in their first mother’s obituary as one of her children.

Even when we die, we don’t get a break.

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10 thoughts on “Damned if We Do, Damned if We Don’t

  1. I was purposely omitted from knowing when her funeral took place. My letters and photos were not returned and a photo of her grave sent to me made to look like a Christmas card. Nice!

  2. I hope the adoptees that are upset about being listed, would think about their offspring for a moment and realize that it’s possible that their descendants would LOVE to see their parent or grandparent listed as offspring in an obituary. It’s nice to find something with the truth on it instead of just having a falsified document that says the adoptive parents are your ancestors, your roots, which is a lie, nothing else to call it.

    It is extremely upsetting to see my dad’s falsified birth certificate. To find truth in another source delighted me. I was fortunate that my real grandfather’s obituary listed my dad as his son. I LOVE that. That connects me with him, with my ancestors.

    I spent my growing up and early adult years, and even now if it comes up, feeling very uncomfortable with “what’s your last name?” or “what’s your maiden name?” …uh, ooh feeling a lot of distress here… I have to say this name, but that is not the truth. Auugh I “have” to lie, I don’t want to lie. I’m told not to tell lies. God says not to lie, but THEY tell me I “have” to lie in this because it’s the LAW. I can’t claim, or tell the truth! So I HAVE to lie when it makes these other people feel better…. but! …I’m not to ever lie about anything else….not even if the lie would make ME “feel better”? But it’s “ok” for you to force me to lie? hahahahhahha.. and they wonder why so many need counseling. i.e. “You need counseling to be OK with telling lies. There’s something wrong with you if you aren’t ok with it”…. uh-huh, sure, go look in the mirror, there’s something wrong with YOU for telling lies and being ok with MAKING ME lie.

    I don’t think “the system” understands what they ask of the millions of human beings effected by the lies and forgeries that are created and promoted. Growing up I felt like a little liar, a fraud and a hypocrite… and I’M not the adoptee. It felt and feels icky and greatly distressing.

    When it comes right down to it, those of us who come after, want to know who we are related to AND be able to claim, speak, be our truth. Truth matters. I also think it matters very much to most adoptees, if not all, if they were free to admit it without feeling like they would drop a world of devastation on their adoptive parents. “your feelings more important than whether I feel like a liar?.. uh NO. Same goes with natural families that disclaim or refuse THEIR descendants” Adoptees are put in one hell of a spot! So are their descendants.

    The well used phrase, “it’s not all about you” come to mind for those that have a need to continue the falsehoods for whatever their reasons. How about truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

    I say, put the information in the obituary and let truth out!

    • I was so happy that my brother included me! It was the first time I saw my relationship with my parents in writing, in print. It meant a lot to me. I loved that it finally legitimized our relationship,to some extent.

  3. My mothers friend excluded me from the facebook memorial he posted for her. I objected, and his partner tore into me,saying it was because I hurt my mother so much, and that i sent her sick and twisted cards and booby traps in the packages that i sent to her.

    This was not true, and I was devastated by his accusations. Very bizzare stuff. I’m still upset about it, but there is no one to talk to about it. I’m estranged from my natural family.I think my mother was making things up about me, but she’s gone, so there is no use accusing her now.

    My half brother included me,which was kind. I haven’t seen him since he kicked me out of hospice, so he could be alone with his mother, 9 months ago. Last time I saw my mother too.

    It’s all in my blog, if anyone cares to read it.

  4. My surrendered son was included in the correct number of great-grandchildren in my grandparent’s obits many years ago, and by name in the obituaries of my parents in 2000 and 2002. Certainly he will be included in mine, as we are happily reunited. He was included in the obit of his adoptive mother even though he had been estranged from her for some years when she passed away.

  5. I was listed as my daughter’s birth mother in her obituary, My husband, not her father, was listed also. We, along with one of my brothers, and a nephew, who was of course, my daughter’s first cousin, attended. Another brother bought a plane ticket but was sick at the last moment and didn’t make it. But then, I had been in my daughter’s life for more than a quarter of a century by then, and everybody in her life in Wisconsin knew about us.

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