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#167855 - 02/25/09 03:33 AM To keep or not to keep this to myself?
SARbound Offline

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 503
Loc: Quebec City, Canada
A friend of mine died in a car accident about a year ago. Shortly before his accident, he announced to me that he was a father of a little boy that was a few years old. I don't exactly remember how it happened, but he just opened up to me one evening. He was a relatively new friend to me (a few years) but we were getting along just fine, so I guess he was feeling comfortable that night and felt like talking about it with a buddy.

Anyways, he told me that one day, he ran into the child's mother in a shopping mall and saw his son, and they had talked a bit. Naturally, they weren't together anymore (I didn't know she even existed).

Although I have a hard time remembering more details from our conversation that night, I remember that I had this feeling that he and the child's mother had clear intentions to eventually take the next big step : organizing a formal meeting, introducing himself to his son more officially, and so on.

Now, I think I might be the only person that knows about this. I am assuming the mother knows that he is deceased, but I have no idea where she is and what she looks like whatsoever. At the funeral, his parents were there, his brother, I kept looking at them telling myself... should I tell them about this... should they know more? (not that day obviously, but some other time).

These thoughts have been hauting me more and more and I really need some people's opinions to help me see more clearly.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I understand this is not your typical survival-related post but I am assuming that since we're "around the campfire", it should be OK.
"The only easy day was yesterday."

#167856 - 02/25/09 04:01 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: SARbound]

Let the mother of the boy handle their own family affairs. There is absolutely nothing for you to gain and everything for you to lose by intruding on private family matters....especially when you yourself are not privy to nor have the ability to recall all of the details.

#167858 - 02/25/09 04:05 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: SARbound]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1890
Loc: Washington, DC
The child's mother probably would want him to know his grandparents and other family. And maybe they already do.

If I didn't have even an acquaintance with his family, think I'd leave it alone. Seems to me it's just not your place.

But that's easy to say since I'm not in your shoes.

#167859 - 02/25/09 04:05 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: ]
ohiohiker Offline
found in the wilderness

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 76
Loc: Ohio
Most information requires no action. Life is easier and simpler that way.
Bushcraft Science: It's not about surviving in the wilderness, it's about thriving in the wilderness.

#167860 - 02/25/09 04:09 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: ]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1870
Loc: Colorado
If the childs mother wants to introduce him to your late friends family then she should be the one to do it. All's you have is "this feeling", but no details. Keep your mouth shut. Tightly.

#167861 - 02/25/09 04:16 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: SARbound]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Ouch, this is not an easy one to handle....

Uh, it is almost like being caught in a minefield. Any way you go and it is a 50/50 chance it blows up in your face.

Let me think on this one a while, but I think maybe you might want to forget you even know anything about this.

My DW's father was WAY abusive when she was a child/teen. (yeah it's what ya think.)

He recently had a private investigator track us down and tried to make contact here at our residence and on our property. Texas is funny about the whole Castle Doctrine thing. He won't be coming back to visit.

I really worried over telling DW, but finally did. Her only question was why I didn't let the German Shepherds have him and/or why I didn't go ahead and pull the trigger when I had the chance.

At the same time, the reaction "pendulum" could have swung just as far in the other direction.

I really don't know what I would do... Just be damn careful.

Good Luck (and I really mean that!)
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#167864 - 02/25/09 04:41 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: Desperado]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
There is a role for none related people to help raise children. this is the traditional role of the Godfather. Not to be confused with the jowly guy who makes you an offer you can't refuse.

A bit of a movie cliche but close service members sometimes form informal pacts to take care of each others children if something happens and one doesn't come back. this can be anything between a quasi-legal commitments and simply showing up and asking the widow if there is anything they can do.

From your description I don't see any such expectation from your friend.

At most I would think you might show up on her doorstep, express condolences, and explain that you were his friend and simply ask if there is anything you can do to help her. Done in a subtle and sensitive manner, being careful to avoiding offending her, you might help but you should be careful to keep a retreat path open and an eye toward backing off quickly if it goes bad.

Handle it wrong and your looking at a lot of verbal abuse, the possibility of ballistic room fittings coming at your head, and a restraining order. And a story to spill beer over.

Simpler and safer to keep your distance but little good ever came from playing it safe.

#167868 - 02/25/09 10:56 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: SARbound]
EMPnotImplyNuclear Offline

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 304
The advice so far has been pretty good, but here is a different take on it, anonymous tip. You get the best of both words, but be careful to really be anonymous smile
You have 4 choices:
1) telephone - if you can afford a disposable cell, or you know of a payphone that still works ...
2) email - be sure to create a one-time use account for this purpose, use a public computer ...
3) note - don't handwrite the note, don't use your own printer/typewriter, wear gloves, don't lick the envelope...
4) psychic - hire a psychic to beam a message, make sure to hide your face, on second thought, the psychic could identify you no matter what you do, too risky smile

whatever you do, don't include your name, or your address, or your license plate, or social security number...

laugh crazy wink

#167870 - 02/25/09 11:36 AM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: EMPnotImplyNuclear]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
Hoenstly, it doesnt affect you, leave it alone. She doesnt know you, you dont know her. Let her live her life; he told you this in confidence; maybe you're the ONLY person he told. IF she were going to introduce the child to his family, she will do so. It is, quite honestly, none of your concern.
If it were a relative of yours, or, as was said, and army buddy, that would be different; he was a friend and, although your intentions are good, they are misplaced.
my adventures

#167871 - 02/25/09 12:30 PM Re: To keep or not to keep this to myself? [Re: oldsoldier]
Mike_H Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 609
Loc: SE PA
If you friend never told his family about the fact he had a son, then it certainly isn't in your place to do so.

At this point, it really rests on the mother to determine how she would want to proceed.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

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