Doris Day‘s grandson, Ryan Melcher, has claimed that he had “not been allowed to see his grandmother for quite some time” before her death at age 97 on May 13 due to his parents’ divorce. In fact, he only found out about her death via social media!
“When I was invited by Doris to dinner a few years ago after my father’s untimely death in November 2004 (melanoma), her new business manager, a former fan, intervened and asked me to meet him at the family-owned Cypress Inn here in Carmel, California,” he wrote on Facebook. “I was asked by this man: ‘Why do you want to see Doris?’ I was shocked not only at the question, but also that it was coming from someone who was a stranger and outsider.”
“I just responded, ‘um … she is my grandmother!’” to which he allegedly replied, “‘I’m afraid you aren’t going to be able to see your grandmother,’ citing the divorce between my parents as his excuse.”
“Looking back, I should have said more; should have drove to her home and not let a stranger come between us, but unfortunately the tall fences and 24-hour guard under her new business manager’s direction prevented me taking a stand and reconnecting with my family. She had been so happy to talk to me and we were both excited for our upcoming dinner together just a week before, and this man was clearly manipulating the situation,” he continued.
And they never got a chance to meet. “The dinner between my grandma and I never took place. Any and all communication was cut off from that point on and I was left bewildered. I later learned that the business manager had fired all the longstanding members on my grandma’s Foundation board and appointed his direct family as the new board members. It seemed I was not the only one who had been cut out,” he claimed.
“I tried for some time after this to get the word out about what transpired, however ultimately decided against causing any new emotional waves for my grandmother, who by that time was late in age,” he continued. “Also, from what I had heard around the community from in-the-know people, her mind had already begun slipping so I feared my outreach would only cause more stress due to the new folks surrounding her. I could not bring myself to continue to fight an uphill battle at the expense of her wellbeing or my family’s.”
“When you’re young, you believe the adults when they say you are the problem, however, no child — or adult for that matter — should be told who they can and can’t love. Especially family,” Ryan noted. “I will forever be grateful for the time I had with both my father and my grandmother. When I was younger our family was so close and I was so fortunate to have such special people raise me. It’s taught me to live in the moment and not leave things unsaid. It’s a hard truth, however, it is my truth and one I hope others can learn from.”
Doris’ death was confirmed earlier this week in a statement that noted she “had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia.”
But sadly, her grandson won’t be able to pay his final respects, as Doris will not be having a funeral…