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Reply to "I've lost my whole family..............."


Reading your words brings back a lot of memories for me from last year. My brother and I were estranged for several months and all of it because of my resentment of him for not being more help to my parents.

I was so angry with him for abandoning me and I told him so. This caused us to stop speaking for quite a long time. Can't say that I blame him for staying away from me. After all, I said some pretty rotten things to him. We finally talked and I'm so glad we did, too. We have begun to share a lot about life in our family ... things I never knew about his early years or he knew about mine.

(My brother is ten years older than me so our lives were very different in our family.) Sorry. I got off the subject here.

What I wanted to say is this. I'm not sure why your siblings haven't called you. I don't know anything about them or you ... except that you are an angel in the true sense of the word. Helping your mom leave this world without fear or pain or loneliness. Being there, holding her in your arms. We should all be so fortunate to be with our parent(s) when it is "their time".

About your siblings. Like I said, I don't know them but perhaps they are shame-filled for not being more supportive to you, Patty. We have written on this site many times about feeling guilty ... most of the time it has been because we are so frustrated and we feel as though we shouldn't be. Yet, we are and so we do feel guilt.

Given the fact that it has been six weeks since your mom passed and you haven't heard from them, would you consider making a call to them? I'm not defending them but perhaps they don't know quite what to say. Maybe they are feeling a bit of guilt and just don't know what to do. So instead, they do nothing.

If I've learned anything in life it is that someone has to make the first move. If you really really want to have a closer relationship with them, perhaps you can be the one to make the first move. It is entirely up to you, Patty.

I'm not saying that you must ... just that you might be surprised to find their reason for not calling wasn't out of a dislike for you but rather embarrassment and shame on their part.

Like I said, I don't know anything about the situation ... I only know that I'm so glad I finally called my brother. Again, I'm not saying that you should call ... I'm only saying that you must decide if it's important to have a connection with your absent brother and sister. If it is, give them a call to "just say hi." You never know what might come of the conversation.

Most of all, be gentle with yourself as you grieve. It takes time. Not days .. or weeks ... but perhaps a year or two or maybe longer. It's different for every one of us.

I've been reading a book about grieving as I couldn't understand why I feel such a heaviness in my life. Not every day mind you but just at certain times. It dawned on me after reading that I'm grieving the impending loss of my parents even though they are doing pretty well right now. Just the fact that I must face losing them both and probably soon, is sometimes more than I can think about. Yet, I know they will leave this earth all too soon just as all of us will someday.

They've been married 68 years. I think the reason each of them holds on is because the other is there. When the times comes for either of them, I know the other will follow close behind. Their life as been that way. From the older generation, you see. When two becoming one in the marriage vows really was the way it was. Not like many of today's marriages. Sorry. I'm babbling.

Anyway ... Patty, you did well caring for your mom. I hope your heartbreak begins to mend very soon. I hope that you will remind yourself daily that you did a good thing and that things will get better ... someday. Maybe not today but someday. Time does make things better.

Blessing to you with whatever you decide to do.


[This message has been edited by Irish152 (edited 03-17-2006).]