Author Topic: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift  (Read 1196 times)

Offline groom

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #9 on: Monday 20 March 17 17:29 GMT (UK) »
Quote
The only thing you have done wrong is talk to a bunch of strangers on the internet rather than talk to your grandparents about it.

That's a little harsh, Guy, especially as we don't know the family circumstances re health etc. It is often easier to "talk" to people that aren't closely concerned and get different points of view, then make up your own mind, which is what devonshire82 has done.
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Offline 3sillydogs

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #10 on: Monday 20 March 17 17:42 GMT (UK) »

As she already mentioned they are stressed out and nervous about it already, is it worth the risk of upsetting them further to talk to them about it?  It could make the situation worse than it is. 
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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #11 on: Monday 20 March 17 18:01 GMT (UK) »

As she already mentioned they are stressed out and nervous about it already, is it worth the risk of upsetting them further to talk to them about it?  It could make the situation worse than it is. 

It could also give them peace of mind, I suggested route that could allow them to understand that devonshire had not done anything she thought would upset them and that it was they who were important to her.

There is more chance of them remaining agitated and upset if they think “she contacted him once without us knowing what is to stop her contacting him again in secret ?”

It is far better to be open and discuss the situation to reach a resolution than it is to leave it unresolved with her grandparents not understanding the full situation and feeling hurt that she made contact with him in the first place.

There is nothing worse than being left feeling guilty that someone is ignoring another due to something you have said.
The truth is always better than empty promises and platitudes.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline groom

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #12 on: Monday 20 March 17 18:09 GMT (UK) »
They're both elderly now and not in the best of health, so I'm just going to apologise to them and explain what happened and then leave it at that.



Surely that is exactly what Devonshire has said that she is going to do - explain the situation.
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Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #13 on: Monday 20 March 17 23:24 GMT (UK) »
They're both elderly now and not in the best of health, so I'm just going to apologise to them and explain what happened and then leave it at that.

This is a decision only you can make.  You could wait until your grandparents have moved on, so they are no longer troubled by your interest.  On the other hand, by then your gt-uncle may also have moved on, and everything you might have learnt from him will have been lost.

Perhaps the biggest drawback with family history is that many people don't take it up until too late.  You are still young and in a position to capture much of it.  It would certainly be valuable to hear the story of any rift from the other side.

My wife lost touch with two cousins when they were all aged 10 to 12, because her father fell out with his sister (their mother).  Fifty years later,  they found each other again and get along fine.  The reasons have become clearer and were basically just down to personal stubbornness, nothing to be seriously ashamed about.  Your story may be similar - who knows until you find out?
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Offline groom

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday 21 March 17 00:10 GMT (UK) »
I think it is quite easy for us as outsiders to say, "Yes get in touch, you may regret not doing so" and I agree we've all had the "If only I'd asked earlier moment." However, we don't know the situation in this case and Devonshire obviously feels that it would upset her grandparents if she went behind their backs.

Personally I think that there does come a time when we have to remove our Genealogy hats and just accept that people feel so strongly about something that we have to let it go, as much as we'd like to find out the truth. It  isn't worth digging up things, opening old wounds and perhaps starting new family rifts. Others may feel differently.
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Offline Treetotal

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday 21 March 17 00:23 GMT (UK) »
Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your input.

My grandparents raised me after my mum and dad died when I was 12 and they've always been very loving to me and have always supported me and helped me with my family history research. Never before have they had a problem with me contacting distant relations, so I guess they probably have a good reason for their anger now. They're both elderly now and not in the best of health, so I'm just going to apologise to them and explain what happened and then leave it at that.

I have lots of distant relations and at least some of them must be traceable, so it isn't such a big loss anyway.

Thanks again

I think that's the right decision as it could have serious consequences and it could seem like a betrayal if you continue contact. Nothing is more important than the love and loyalty that you clearly feel towards your Grandparents.
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Offline barryd

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday 21 March 17 03:17 GMT (UK) »
Two things

It's a family rift, not your rift

and this is the year 2017

Offline 3sillydogs

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Re: I feel terrible and quite nervous...accidentally re-opened an old family rift
« Reply #17 on: Tuesday 21 March 17 06:48 GMT (UK) »

Personally I think that there does come a time when we have to remove our Genealogy hats and just accept that people feel so strongly about something that we have to let it go, as much as we'd like to find out the truth. It  isn't worth digging up things, opening old wounds and perhaps starting new family rifts. Others may feel differently.

I agree, it's easy to sit on the outside looking in. We don't know the history behind it and to persue the connection may cause more harm than good.  In the end the decision has to be devonshire82's as to whether to continue the connection or let it go.

It may be 2017, but old family rifts sometimes can never be healed with time no matter how much of it passes even if you were not around at the time it happened, the rest of the family may still be.
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