Family Conflict While Trying to Grieve

I have been receiving warm support on this site in the loss of my sister. My other surviving sibling re-entered our lives late in my sister’s illness. Prior to that she ignored us for 6 years. She got keys to my sister’s apartment and went in after the death and took all important papers, including the will, I now found out she changed the locks to prevent me from entering. She seems to know I was in the will and appointed beneficiary to all funds. She is livid, and takes it out on me and says cruel and vicious things. My sister died suddenly and never signed or got her papers witnessed and notarized., so I assume it is not valid and my older sister should not be so angry. But money is her priority and she was always jealous of the closeness I shared with my other sister who passed on. This is causing me more stress and pain at a time when I am barely surviving. I wonder if anyone else is trying to grieve while being intimidated by a dominating, mean and vindictive existing sibling. Thank You.

Hi i know how you feel, my partner jayne died in november who i lived with for nearly 12 years and since then her children who i thought of as my own treat my awful and started before her funeral but i bit my lip said nothing, firts thing they did to hurt me was ask me if i wanted to go see a comedian on the day she died as we had tickets to see him with her and 2 of her children for the day after and then the day after she died i went to see her in chapel of rest and when i came back i found them in our room looking for stuff about mortgage so bit my lip again and then 5 days after funeral her daughter asked me if i wanted to buy house i lived in with her ad when moved in mortgage was in her name so to save hassle i just gave money to her each month, but final insult was 2 weeks after xmas said the house was nearly sold and i could have bed she died in and that was all i could have out my life with her and they were playing mind games kept coming in house when were told not to and doing things but i ignored it and taking it to court now as found new place for myself and my disabled adult son who come to live with me, but way the went on hurt me but all i can say is i come out of it a better person as i did not want anything but feel i got to stand up for myself and it not about what i can get from jaynes life it’s about them not showing me respect and that they forget i was looking after her when she was poorly before she was diagnosed with cancer and all i can say to you is try not to let them upset you and concentrate on yourself and your family.

Hi Sister2 and Alan

This is a horrible situation for you both to be going through and I am deeply sorry to read your posts. Sadly bereavement brings out the worst in some people. I experienced the same with a sibling and people said it was their way of grieving, also that it was their way of controlling me and my actions. In no way do I think that is an excuse for quite frankly atrocious behaviour.

Sister2, yes I had the same. There would be a spiteful comment every day when our Mum was ill and dying, some of them addressed to Mum as well as me. This person had moved back home on a temporary basis when Mum became ill and had taken over completely. For the year between Mum passing away and the house being sold they walked in and out at will, asked friends to stay and stole food from the fridge to take home with them. They decided they would do the probate rather than use a solicitor so you can imagine the angst over that. The insults to me increased so I spent a lot of time lying on my bed to avoid conflict. What brought it home to me was when friends and neighbours started taking me to one side and quietly giving me their mobile numbers so I could call them if it got too much to cope with. I knew then that others had noticed and were sympathetic and that was what really helped me. I think you are absolutely right when you say you think your sister is jealous of the relationship you had with your other sister. For me and you there is an end to the situation. Once your sister’s affairs are sorted out you can cut contact to a minimum or completely. You can see your sister on your terms as I do with mine now. You are the better person so remember that and quietly make your plans for your future life with or without contact with your other sister.

Alan, I have read some of your other posts on this forum and sympathise with your terrible situation. You have been through so much and it is very unfair to be treated like this. You are so right to say you have been treated with a lack of respect. I couldn’t stop my sibling walking in and out of the house as I was reminded it was half hers as well on a regular basis. It felt a complete invasion of my privacy and the going through Mum’s things although something that had to be done could have been handled much better. Threatening to break open deed boxes and brief cases if the keys couldn’t be found immediately and similar, I found it very wearing. You sound a good and kind person so I am pleased you have come through and are getting help from solicitors to resolve the issue.

Mum’s affairs were sorted out nearly a year ago and her house sold. I have seen my sibling less than ten times since then. Mostly through necessity, family events etc. There are still issues such as them wanting to skype me daily so they can ‘see my face when they talk to me’. They thought the coming to stay at will would continue but have found not, I won’t let them have a front door key either despite requests for one. There is light at the end of the tunnel so do remember that.


Thank you for responding to my post. I am saddened to hear of your situation and the additional pain it is causing you in your time of mourning. My older sister cannot stop tormenting me. She continues to send me nasty texts while I am at work and trying to function in my grief. My dear younger sister had my mother’s ashes in her home, and now that my other sister is going through everything, she is threatening to toss my mother’s ashes in the trash, and will not give them to me. She always hated my mother so I am sure she would delight in doing this. She knows I am alone and have no one to protect me from her wrath, so she continues to bully me. I do not understand people like my sister and your partner’s children. One thing they can never take from us is the precious memories we have of our loved ones, but their behavior still causes more pain to what we are already suffering. Take care of yourself.

I know there is light at end of the tunnel and my disabled son coming back into my life full time again has helped me cope and he my prority and i know they lost there mam but was no reason to behave like they did to me as was our home together wether we were married or not and i was ome seeing to her when she was poorly while they were having good nights sleep and i did not want to live in house lomg term just time to sort myself out and i would not of took.anything from it and it would of been her birthday tomorrow aswell and we all could of helped each other but i got my son to get me through it and my other sons and family too.

Do you not have a partner or i good friend to turn too as you know who you can rely on in times like these and if you ever feeling low give me a message and i chat to you.

Hi Alan

I will be thinking of you tomorrow when it would have been your partner’s birthday. These anniversaries are very hard to get through but as you say you have your lovely son. Make it a special day for the two of you and the rest of your family. I agree, all we want is a little breathing space to sort ourselves out. That is not too much to ask for surely.


Thank you Mel,
Yes the worst has been brought out in my sister each time we’ve had a family crises. She was consumed with getting money and material things after my mother passed, and now is focused on the same with my sister who died. She did not speak to my deceased sister nor myself for 6 years following my mother’s death, once she got her share of the money. We reached out to her for the first few years, but we were ignored, Everything has to be on her timeline and when she is ready to re-enter the family on her terms, with no regard for the hurt and damage she has caused. I am trying to distance myself but she continues to harass me. I am so fearful she will discard my mother’s ashes as she threatened, and my younger sister would be so devastated if she knew that. I sense you can relate and I am sorry you also were subjected to such treatment in your time of loss, and I thank you for listening and offering support.

Hi Sister2,

You are the most important person in this situation. Somehow can you gain access to get your Mum’s ashes, even if you have to trick your way in to get them. Turn your phone off if you can when at work, you shouldn’t have to deal with your older sister’s nonsense when you are at work. Have you anyone at work you could talk to? HR or similar.

I had a colleague to go to where I worked when my Dad passed away. I used to just sit in her office if it all got too much, made such a difference knowing I could do that. Someone independant of the family as well who knew only me and wouldn’t judge in anyway. I wish I had had the same when Mum passed away.

As Alan says I am here as well if you feel the need for a private rant so PM me if you need to. I work too so will pick up messages when I can.

You take of yourself and remember you are not the one at fault here.

I am glad to hear you have your son and other family Alan. I am alone, but there are some of my late sister’s friends who are aware of the dark history with my older sister. Some also worked with the older sister and saw first hand of her hateful personality. I appreciate your offer to chat, and I offer you the same to you. I wish the birthday will be a day of sweet and beautiful memories for you Alan.

Mel, your words are so supportive and really do help. I try to remain private at work and just get through the day. I will break down if I begin to discuss the situation, and I cannot do that at work in front of clients. My younger sister and I do have some mutual friends, and they understand and feel frightened for me, since my older sister is so unpredictable and vindictive. I feel I must find a way to obtain those ashes, but not sure how. I am so weakened by my grief and cannot deal with my sister’s threats on top of it. Thank you and Alan for your willingness to listen and support me, even as you try to cope with your own losses. I am here for you as well.

Hi Sister2,

Yes I understand that need for privacy at work, you obviously know best on that. Even if you can’t turn your phone off maybe have it on silent so you aren’t disturbed. My Sister’s number has a different ring tone from anyone else so I always know when it is her and not to answer if I can’t handle her!

I am glad you have mutual friends of your younger sister to share times with. Very important to share memories of happier times with other people who loved the person you have lost. Talking to others who understand and remember your Sister and Mum is so good and will help to give you strength in dealing with everything. A support network all of your own.

Your other sister sounds a complete bully as mine is. Something to remember is bullies can’t cope if they are challenged. Mine provoked a row with me and then sneered saying she supposed I would run off crying yet again. I turned round and repeated something that had been said to me by a friend. That she would like to slap my sister’s face for the way she was treating me. My sister was stunned, didn’t believe me of course but it did take her unawares. I do know how hard it is though to stand up to such treatment, I just kept thinking to myself that one day it would all be over and I could remake my life again.

I never wrote any of my experiences down at that time for fear of my sister finding my diary and using the information. She is incorribly nosey, has attempted to get my passwords for email accounts, has been known to pick up my i-pad when we are together and look at what I have viewed. I used to hear people talking about not getting on with siblings and could hardly believe it, now I understand completely. I have one cousin who I love deeply and his family. I wish I could tell him what has happened but he has his own troubles and I don’t want to bother him. One day maybe.


Am glad you got some of your sisters friends to rely on as you need the support they can give you and i do my best to get over tomorrow and when am stressed i turn to a good drink but i got my son so i can not so in a good way it good he here and it times like these you know who you can and can’t trust and her children shown what is more important and not trying to come to terms with losing there mam

Oh Mel, Our sisters sound so much alike. My sister is also a devious bully. She has bullied my other sister and me since childhood. In addition the most recent blow up was because I finally expressed my anger over her meanness and lack of respect for my younger sister’s memory. She lost control and raged at me in the middle of the street. I understand about not wanting to bother others, I keep most of it to myself. Actually sometimes I am shamed that I have a family member like this. You are so right that Bullies can not handle being confronted. Thank you for sharing.


You have nothing to be ashamed of, the problem is with your sister and not with you. The shouting at you in the street sounds dreadful and so embarrassing for you. It sounds as if your sister has some anger issues as people say. Same with mine, passed off as a child as being very highly strung by my parents but just odd really.

Keeping it all bottled inside you is not really good however and is going to cause you a lot of stress. A trusted friend is your answer if you have one, someone who knows you and won’t mind a good rant. Are there any of your Mum’s friends you can chat to? I have one who has been a sort of surrogate Mum to me, hugs and cups of tea on tap when needed.

Once this is all over you will be able to cut contact and live your life how you wish. I won’t say you will laugh when you look back because I certainly don’t. I am shocked that I put up with my sister’s behaviour so long.


Hi Alan-I was wondering how you managed on the birthday of your dear partner? I hope it was a meaningful and comforting day for you.

Hello Mel, Like you I too have tolerated my sister’s hostility way too long. Things were quiet for a couple of days until yesterday when I received some texts and I was too fearful to view them so I waited. When I got the courage to view them I saw the first one to be rather tame, however in the second one she was right back to her old self, and was making accusations against me and playing the victim. She then tried to call me, probably to continue her attack, but I would not answer. My friend suggested taking legal action to gain access to my deceased sister’s apartment and to obtain important papers that the older sibling admitted to taking. Not sure if that is even an option however, and the expense would be on me. Sorry to go on, but I find this forum a much needed outlet for my frustration. My grief is intensified due to the harassment the other sibling is subjecting me to. I appreciate your understanding, as you have a sister who behaves in a similar atrocious manner. They waste their lives on being angry and cannot see that it is making them such miserable and unhappy people that no one wants to be around. I miss my younger sister so much, and the uncomplicated relationship we shared. If she were here we would be protecting each other from the danger of the older sibling, as we always did. Thank you for listening.

I think am struggling more today than yesterday i just want to close the door and cry but am smilimg to make people think am ok but inside am hurting so much to be honest.

So sorry Alan, I know some days are harder than others, and there are setbacks in our grief journey. I put on a false face often too, but I am learning that we do not have to. You have every right to your feelings and to express them as you need to. Cry if you must and do not pressure yourself into smiling for others. I have a colleague who always tells me how strong I am, and it annoys me because she is only seeing the outer façade, and has no idea how broken I am inside. I and the good people on this site support you and acknowledge your pain. Take care of yourself and reach out as needed.

I know how you feel about people saying how strong you are as heard it time and time again and i have a cry when am in my own as i don’t want to upset my son as it would possibly have a negative affect on him as he has autism and other learning disabilities and am just worn out not had much sleep as think it been her birthday was coming up and my son not going to sleep till late aswell and i do miss her kids but really hurt the way they treated me but thats life i got my son to concentrate on now, how are you yourself. X

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