When You Lose Your Family Without an Obituary

Losing Family

As the journey continues from my first post about my new life as a single mommy, When the Bubble Burst, I find myself with less family around and do not quite understand what’s happened. 

There’s no illness, no funeral, and no obituary in the paper, but I feel as if I am grieving the loss of half my family. I never imagined that when the bubble burst, this would also be a part of the soapy mess. After the separation from the man that I thought I would be with FOREVER, family members that I have grown to love and adore are no longer alive to me. I am so focused on my girls and taking care of myself that I can’t understand what I have done to burst this other bubble. More suds, more mess. They are still living and healthy but our relationship has died.

I never would have thought that my in laws would not be in my life. I truly loved them and accepted all of the new experiences that they brought into my life. The weekly phone calls are not coming. There are no texts about my girls or family updates. Fun dinners with giggles and cosmos have stopped. Dead silence. Heartbreaking.

There are many times that I want to pick up the phone and just hear familiar voices but can’t bring myself to dial their digits. What do you say? “Hi. What’s happening? I haven’t heard from you in 225 days, is everything ok?” Sounds crazy right!

There are so many questions unanswered. How do I explain the death of our relationship or even the death of my marriage? Do they really know the truth or what happened and how I fought hard for my family? Do they really care? I’m not the bad guy here although I do own some of the issues in the loss of this relationship. This unknowing continues to resinate as I clean up the film that has landed around me. Another soapy mess.

If I didn’t like my in laws, It would be an easy way out. I could continue moving forward in life with one less problem. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I created relationships and bonded with them as if they were my own family. We had similarities in education and teaching philosophies. We enjoyed sharing stories about my girls over a good cup of coffee. I have many found memories of our first meeting and personal moments we have shared over the last 13 years and cry. I am not sure on how to move forward but I do know that my heart aches for the family I once had. 

Often times I think about how I can move forward if something were to happen to them. Will I regret what has happened to our relationship? Of course I have regrets about the distance that is between us but another thing that I have learned about relationships is that it takes both parties to be successful. I can’t make them change.  I tried to change others and that is not the answer. I still send flowers on special occasions and share pictures of my girls. These actions help me deal with the heaviness that weighs on this broken relationship. 

There are so many lessons that I have learn through this journey and continue to push forward. Experiencing heartache and how to grieve when people are still living is one big soapy mess that I continue to live with. I am sure that it is hard on them too. How would they maintain a relationship with me without feeling as if they are betraying their own son? There are so many questions left unanswered on my journey as a single mommy, and I am certain more will arise. 

Rachel is a Florida native who grew up in the St. Petersburg/Tampa Area before settling in St. Augustine. She began working in the business industry and decided to change careers and teach elementary education. This was an “ah ha” moment and she found her true passion, helping others. As her family grew she decided she wanted to stay at home and begin her career as a college professor. When she is not helping others, she is creating healthy food and a natural environment for her little girls as a single mommy.


  1. Rachel….
    Thank you for your letter as I feel the same exact way!!! So tough and praying for peace and the love only God can wrap our hearts in after such a mess. My story sounds identical to yours and I’m thankful u can relate. I would love to chat sometime. Take care of those girls you are blessed with… I have 2 of my own! You’re a strong woman and know there is hope!

  2. My mom maintained a relationship with my grandparents(p) throughout the years. It definitely wasn’t close but it’s been beautiful seeing them be amicable. And that’s coming from a pretty dysfunctional family. So I hope your in laws realize that they still can have a relationship with you.

  3. Maybe they are afraid and don’t know how to move forward either. Send them a copy of this. The love you feel shows in your words. If they have a heart (and a brain) they will figure out a way to have a relationship with you too. It’s in everyone’s interest to continue extended family relationships, especially when kids are involved.

  4. Rachel,

    I too experienced the loss you described, after my first marriage failed. It is exactly as painful as you described and more. I was determined to never do this to anyone that was a member of my family, regardless of divorces or break ups. My mother-in-law, from my second marriage, is still my mother-in-law and we still have a relationship (and I didn’t like her very much, lol!) My daughter-in-law is still such; I didn’t divorce her, my son did! And if my son ever thinks that I am betraying him by being in her life, that’s his problem (luckily, my son is not like that.)

    In my 53 years, I have learned that you can only control what you do, you can’t control others. So… I will always try to keep loving, no matter what! It’s up to us to make a difference! Blessings to you & yours! <3

    • Laurie- Thank you for your words of wisdom. I have learned through this that I cannot control anyone but ME:) Hard lesson but one to share with others.

  5. Wow Rachel….This was written with such beautiful and intelligent sadness. I am still feeling your pain after reading it. I will pray that your other family members have an “after life” experience….A rebirth, if you will. Rinsing those suds of confusion away, and realizing that your relationship is of value! More importantly, that you are the mother of their grandchildren and should always be loved, respected, and cherished because of that privileged title you carry. A little coffee and a lot of love goes along way in this short life we are blessed to enjoy.

  6. If I remember your story correctly, your ex cheated. I bet your in-laws feel a lot of shame about their son’s behavior. Are they aware that you’re blogging? If so, are they embarrassed by some of the truths you’re sharing? Just a thought. I’d also bet good money that they don’t have a script for how to act now. Perhaps be the bigger person (again!) and initiate a conversation? Sending you love and care and support.


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