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Hard to believe but it is 6 weeks since my Mom passed away.
My brother who lives in Va. that I thought at least cared alittle has not called me even once.

I've talked to m y sister once since the funeral. and my older brother only once.
My other brother was taking care of mom's finances has been up quite a few times and usually calls every week.

I should have realized that this is what would happen. they did not come around when Mom was alive and never bothered to ask if I needed help with anything.

I guess I am just a little sad. I knew that this would happen. I told myself that I really did not care. But I guess I do.

Mom lived with me for 3 years. We became really close. Don't you think someone would care enough to ask me how I am doing?

Are all families like this? or is it just mine?
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Patty,

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.

Jane



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

I must confess that this is not my first response to your posting (it is now my third). The first two were just too terrible to put out on the web... Siblings are my most sensitive subject!

We, who love our parents and feel an obligation to keep them cherished and nourished, pay the ultimate price... I know you miss your mother dearly Patty and she loved you dearly too! Are the sibs jealous of the closeness you had? Or could it be guilt? Whatever it is, we are not responsible for their ignorance and/or neglect. Jane is so right in what she is saying about their shame and embarrassment... and also about honestly communicating with them if you can...

My own inexperience with the ability to be assertive and family dynamics have caused me such pain... I have a twin brother who I have not felt close to for a long, long time. We don't have the normal bonding that twins typically have. He is the only son and his neglect of dad is unforgivable!!! And of course I have two evil older sisters (did the name glenderella give that away???) After dad passes on, I am pretty sure that I will go back to our previous relationship of "no contact" with them. They will hate me dearly because dad has given me the home - they don't know this because we don't communicate! All of them live out of state but they want the money out of it! The thing is that the house is like a big rock around my neck!!! I love it and yet feel chained by it... I will sell it the moment it is in shape to sell (when dad no longer needs it). I cannot live with the memories for much longer than I have to!!!

I think, perhaps, your siblings (like mine) have no idea of how we feel or what we are going through. We have watched our parents age, suffer and go downhill to the point of anguish and loss. Our siblings, perhaps, are in denial about their feelings and if they do talk to us, well, then they may have to acknowledge some truths... I am sure that I am babbling here too, but know that we love you Patty. You have been an example and a guide to us here sharing your loving care for your beautiful mother. Don't feel alone and please do not feel badly. It most likely isn't a personal thing on your siblings part... Love and Hugs to You Patty!!!


[This message has been edited by glenderella (edited 03-17-2006).]
Girls, thank you so much for your love and support.
You both are more than likely right. We did not have a close relationship before, so why should it be different now.

I guess I just thought that this might be a crossroads for us to do some healing together. But I think it is in a way.....they have chosen to go their way and I guess I am going to say....goodbye and good riddance. I know Mom would not be happy with me saying that but she knew for quite some time how I felt about the way they treated her.

I have to do what is right for me,and I think keeping my distance might be just the best thing.
Mom's estate has been settled and the little bit of inheritance that we got is probably all they were after anyway. I don't want to see how they squander that away.

I think I am just going to concentrate on my kids and my grandkids. I have wonderful support from my hubby's family.

See, I had one too many glasses of wine last night...........
I know in my heart that this is the best thing to do. sometimes it just hurts....
thanks again.
My gosh! are we related? I know first hand how you are feeling. My Mother died at my home at 6:12am. By 8:00am, I lost my Father and my brother. By the time my sister got here from Cleveland, say 3 hours later, I lost her too. For 3 years, I have driven myself crazy over this. They have appointed themselves, judge, jury and sentencing committee. I have never heard so many negative adjectives in my life that 1st day. All because I stepped up and cared for my Mother. Lol, heck, my Dad was 90 at the time, my sister lives in Cleveland and my brother would step over you rather than lend a hand. My sister planned the entire funeral! She planned the services, the meal afterwards. Then got pissed at me for bringing home a plant or 2 that 'my friends' had sent. I was also handed the funeral home guest book which she had a tizzy over. She sent my brother over and he and my hubby got nose to nose, so I called the cops! Ok, forward 3 years, Dad is now 94 next month and I have seen him, maybe 3x since losing Mom. I am not notified when he is in the hospital or anything. My brother now is on diaysis 3x a week for diabetes. And my sister runs around making sure the whole world knows that she is doing some cooking, cleaning and errands for the men. This is after she had a 6 month stay in some retreat home. Oh, by the way, did I mention that my sister is a CATHOLIC NUN? Hows that for a kick in the fanny??!!??
Well, after 3 years of stupid games, I have finally decided to take care of ME! Do I think of them? Sure! Do I feel some guilt that the next time I see my Dad, he will be horizontal in a casket? BINGO! But,ya know what? THEY MADE THEIR BEDS AND NOW HAVE TO LAY IN IT!!!! Yes, I am sure my Mothers heart has broken a million times since she passed. That was her wish, for us to take care of each other and get along. I always told her, nice dream but not reality. I choose no longer to look in the past, nor the future. All we have is right now. And I CHOOSE not to sit back and let any of them hurt me anymore.Notice that keyword, CHOOSE.
If and when they decide to be decent towards me, I will reciprocate. Till then, ke sera sera, what ever will be will be, the futures not mine to see ke sera sera. Plink, anytime you want, e mail me. I am so sure we have so much to talk about. Till then, just know you are loved and appreciated by all of us!!
Irish......I think you might be right.

Diane....sheesh!! what can I say.
One thing is that no one said anything about the funeral arrangements. I did all the planning; what Mom wore; etc. I think they all knew better than to say anything.

It is sad to think that families can treat each other this way though.
Hi plink...

Larger families/siblings have been interesting to me in cases like this for some times now..I am an only child so never had this problem dealing with my elderly parents but my husbands family(10 kids) has been another story altogether..
It seems to me that there has to be one of two in every bunch..that for whatever reason, just won't and don't help with anything..if they do show up for a visit in a hospital, etc..it's almost like we should all be honored at their presence?
My husband has such anger and resentment at one of his older brothers for neglecting his father when he was ill and dying, that I dread an altercation..he has promised to stifle any feelings until his mother passes on, then he says it's going to come to a head and he's going to tell him in no uncertain terms what his behaviour did to his parents..it did and does bother them that he neglected them..
I'm not sure this is the way to handle it..I sort of agree with some of the other posters..to just be thankful "you" were there for them..but I guess it's a matter of what each individual feels comfortable with?

take care of yourself..your mom was so lucky to have someone like you...
PrairieGal

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