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My name is Debby and I am 58 years old. I live in MD &I have just recently become the caregiver to my dad who is 87. Mom died after a 3 yrs struggle with lung cancer . Dad & my brother who lived with them , in WV, took good care of her. Mom's death hit dad hard, but he was coming back when my brother fell off a ladder and died of blunt force trauma. Dad discovered the body. This really sent dad into a deep depression. 4 days after burying my brother dad came to MD to live with me. The following night he had a heart attack. Then they discovered he has stomach cancer, that has moved to the liver. I am handling all this, his depression is under control and he's accepted the diagnosis and has chosen not to do anything about the cancer. My issue is with the lack of family support. When mom was ill everyone said , if they were closer we could help out. Dad is closer and no one is helping out. 2 brothers can't even be bothered to call him. Another brother shows up every 7-10 days , hangs for an couple of hrs and is gone. Sister in NJ who was very good about going to visit when mom was ill and staying for a week at a time, has been here once since dad came to stay with me (8 weeks ago). We are all still reeling from my  brothers unexpected death, but I can't or won't accept the fact that dad is dying and they don't seem to care. I want him surrounded as much as possible by his family, but the only ones he sees on a regular basis are myself, my husband, my children & their family. Weeks go by without him seeing other family members. I need to come to grips with this situation before I go nuts myself.

Tips, hints, thoughts? If I;m expecting too much tell me.

Deb & Frank

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Hello Debby:

 

Welcome to the boards!

 

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother and brother... Your life has changed overnight!

 

I was in a similar situation with my father who has since passed away. I had also hoped to have some support from my siblings but that was not to be. It is not uncommon for care-givers to lack support from their family members. In fact, it is a common theme...

 

All I can say is take this time to enjoy your relationship with your father the best you can and realize that the family that cannot find the time that will lose out in the long run. 

 

I wish there was more I could say that would help... Just remember to take care of yourself in the meantime and know we are here for you!

 

Hugs, Glenda

Thanks Glenda for your kind words.

 

I am slowly coming to the realization that I can not impose my wants onto my siblings. I love dad so much and I am glad he is with me. I  am having issues accepting not everyone feels like I do (wanting dad to be surrounded by loved ones). To me it's a no brainer, dad will not be with us much longer, spend as much time as you can with him. I just have to work through this, and I know just from reading some of the post it is as you said, all too common.

 

I know the board will be a lot of help to me in sorting out my feelings and dealing with the siblings.

 

Hug to you too,

 

Debby

Hi Debby, First of all, my condolences for all of your losses! I feel that some of us have the ability to be caregivers and some not. You are all grieving and you seem to be the rock in the family. The one who can still tend to matters no matter what crisis has taken place.

 

 I hope you will find some peace in your work with your dad and I imagine how much it means to him. Sorry for your situation and I agree, find time for yourself...you are going to need all of your strength. Is it possible to get care givers in so you can have some "me" time?

 

Hi Debby

 

So sorry to hear of all your losses! I salute you for all you doing for your father.

 

Unfortunately it is all to common for only one of the children to shoulder all the burden and the rest of the siblings are either physically too far away to be of assistance or emotionally too far away...

I'm an only child so I don't have issues with siblings, but I do have issues with my mother's family.... they too have a serious case of "it's not my problem" syndrome. if they only realised the shutting eyes thing doesn't make anything easier down the line and only makes communication more difficult. it's not like you want them to move in and be there 24/7, you just want some involvement.. I totally get that. 

 

I would love to be able to convince my uncle to visit his sister... but he actually pretends that he doesn't hear what I said and continues talking about something else. It's as if she is already dead to him... what she did to him I don't know...there is also a a whole bunch of nieces and nephews and their partners that also have 'no idea' where my mother is... even though I've told them many times. Their poor aunt lives on another planet apparently.

 

Hugs

Sk

Hello Debby,

 

welcome... I too, am sorry to hear of your losses.. for many caregivers we experience a loss and don't have time to mourn or grieve in our own time... to have two close losses is even more challenging... I know you are pleased to have this time with your father... don't worry about your siblings... it will eat you up a live... just allow yourself to continue to connect with love and enjoy all the time you have with one another... it is very special.... please keep us posted....

 

richest blessings in all you are doing.

 

gail

Debby,

 

I will be holding you and your family in my heart today.  I am reminded of a lovely book by Melody Beattie called The Grief Club.  It is a wonderful book that has little vignette stories of hope.  It is not a book that you have to read from cover to cover.  You simply turn to the section that you can relate to.  It has helped me tremendously to recognize that grief comes in all kinds of clothes.  I have grieved the loss of my mother's health. I have grieved the death of close friends. I have grieved the loss of careers. I have grieved the end of a once beautiful relationship with my spouse.

 

And the one we share is I have grieved (and continue to grieve) the loss of my once close relationship with my brother.  He is in a different place in life and is not interested (or perhaps capable) to come alongside my parents during this challenging time in their life. 

 

Beattie writes about this grief experience and gave me permission to have my feelings.  For too long I just bottled that emotion and pretended it didn't hurt.  I've learned that I have to let my feelings out so that they don't trap me.  I just have to be careful who I go venting to (because I don't want to cause my brother and/or his wife any pain because of my own frustration).  I just love him where he's at and trust he'll come around if and when he is interested or able.  I continue to grieve that he is not here to help me.  I have communicated honestly and asked for his assistance in providing care, but he has clearly told me NO.

 

Check out Beattie's website (if you'd like): https://melodybeattie.net/

 

Big ol' hugs from Indy,

Dolly

Hello all. Been awhile since I have posted. Things are a roller coaster as I am sure most have you have experienced. The family situation reached a breaking point. My father and I both have decided my brother is not a good person to have in our lives. He had lied and basically stolen from dad. He has emotionally broken us. I tried, I begged through other family members for him to visit or call but he has chosen not to. On the rare occasions he calls he bashes  my aunt , sister and myself. Last time I flat out said he is not invited to my home and I have blocked his phone number. My dad said he wants nothing more to do with him. It was a hard decision but a necessary one.
I am back at work juggling a full time job, a business and dad. My dad spends most days in bed. He is now receiving hospice care, which was another big step. Good days are few but we make the most of them when they happen. He has gotten very close to my
grandchildren which is wonderful to experience.
Thanks all of you for your responses. Everyone is a blessing.
Debby
Originally Posted by Debby:
Hello all. Been awhile since I have posted. Things are a roller coaster as I am sure most have you have experienced. The family situation reached a breaking point. My father and I both have decided my brother is not a good person to have in our lives. He had lied and basically stolen from dad. He has emotionally broken us. I tried, I begged through other family members for him to visit or call but he has chosen not to. On the rare occasions he calls he bashes  my aunt , sister and myself. Last time I flat out said he is not invited to my home and I have blocked his phone number. My dad said he wants nothing more to do with him. It was a hard decision but a necessary one.
I am back at work juggling a full time job, a business and dad. My dad spends most days in bed. He is now receiving hospice care, which was another big step. Good days are few but we make the most of them when they happen. He has gotten very close to my
grandchildren which is wonderful to experience.
Thanks all of you for your responses. Everyone is a blessing.
Debby

 Debby, I am very sorry for your losses. I to have lost hope in my husband's family. His father has stuck by to help, but will never go against my mother-in-law. My brother-in-law and his wife do not speak to me even if we are in the same room. My mother-in-law is in denial about the entire situation (my husband suffered a traumatic brain injury with lifelong brain damage). She feels like if she doesnt believe it then it isnt happending. The worst part is my mother and father in law live just 1 street over from us. My brother-in-law and his wife live less than 10 minutes from us. Most of my husband's extended family all live in the same county and I have not heard from or seen 98% of them since before the accident. I to have begged..told them that my husband will not remember them from photos, he needs to interact with them. Still nothing and I am the bad guy because he does like most of them because of it. His mind seems to remember who has helped, who has left him, who has promised and never came; but they all think I pump his head full of things. Just keep your head up. Enjoy the time you have with your dad and enjoy him making memories with your grandchildren.

Hello Debby... my apologies for not responding sooner... it sounds like you and your dad have been coming to terms with so much... healing and making wise choices. I am also pleased to hear that your dad is being hospiced... yes good days are few but you are living in the moment and so is he... this is truly a gifted blessing...  please keep us posted....

 

we are here for you

 

gail

Tina,
Thank you for sharing your story. How awful for you and your husband that the family isn't there to support you. My brother that caused all the issues suffers from traumatic brain damage also and I rationalized that it was part of the problem. He never went to see mom when she was failing, but when he needed the money he went to see her so that ended my excuses for him. He is using that injury to his advantage.
Dad died Oct 2 and this brother did not come see him, even though dad repeatly asked for him to come, didn't come to the viewing or services or burial. Everyone says I need to forgive him but I can't and I dont think I ever wii.
I hope things turn around for you. I wasn't much on praying but when mom was diagnosed I started praying nightly and found it to be a great comfort. You are in my prayers.

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