Guilt

Lost my dad 4 years ago then my mother 8 months later. I live next door to them with my husband and 2 children 21 & 22 years old, we did everything together, shopping, hols, social life it was always the six of us. We cared for them in every possible way as they aged.
I have 3 brothers with partners who weren’t involved until the end of life, then boom,they realised the end was approaching and it seems they wanted to make up for 25 years of driving past the house daily and not calling in, generally leaving me and my family to get on with everything, once the end was in sight they arrived and boy did we no it, from telling me we had been doing things wrong and even making me feel bullied, to trying to do a total takeover, although when it came to personal care they left that to me.
Having lost them both me and mine went and still do go through the grief process, but we have so many memories it’s helps us tremendously, although we miss them terribly we gain comfort from our amazing time together and are learning to live without my parents.
My problem is the guilt my 2 brothers are experiencing is driving me and my family crazy, we’re having to listen to lies and all sorts of made up exaggerated stories about what they claim to have done, so much so I no longer speak to the older brother and am almost at the same point with the younger one 48 years old,
It’s seriously effecting my health putting up with this, I work for NHS and accepted the counselling they offered,it helped me deal with my grief and was invaluable, I only experienced a small amount of guilt and that was because I didn’t stand my ground with the 2 bullying brothers and do things the way I knew my parents would have wanted, in between there part in the end of life care they were and still are heavily drinking, ( always been that way )
I am at a loss as to how to deal with the situation with my younger brother, who constantly refers to our parents with made up stories Ect and undermines my beautiful life with them, this was there choice to not be involved and I feel like there making me pay and making my time worthless,
Sorry for the long post, has anybody else come across this sort of thing
Thank you for reading

Hello Tfraser62

I am so sorry to read that you have lost both your parents in the last few years. You have had a very tough time.

I lost my Dad over 20 years ago and Mum 19 months ago. I experienced the same as you when my Mum was ill and after she passed away. I lived at home with Mum and my sister was at the house when Mum collapsed and was taken to hospital. She went home to get some clothes and then moved into Mum’s house with me and Mum when she came back home. My sister had done bits over the years for Mum but not particularly willingly including the odd night here and there when I went away for work. From the moment she moved back in she behaved appallingly to me and to Mum. I experienced what I called the ‘Daily Bitch’ when she would make a spiteful comment to me or Mum. The way she treated Mum was awful, rude and very unkind. She would for example in front of Mum announce that when she was gone she was having ‘X’ possession.

I was completely dominated by my sister at this time and realised this had been going on since our childhood. Friends and neighbours commented to me that she was very controlling. I still have a mobile phone full of numbers of people who said to ring them if she got too much. My sister did the same as your relatives, she rewrote history completely about her involvement in Mum’s care. I have never felt I had a monopoly on looking after Mum, that was my choice. It is however very galling as you say to have to listen to a pack of lies being spouted by people.

Once Mum’s estate was sorted out I started the process of distancing myself from my sister. It is still a work in progress! At one stage she was Skyping me every night because she ‘wanted to see my face’ when we were talking. Why I don’t know. You have started the same process I see by not being so much in contact with your one brother and maybe this is the answer with the youngest too.

People have eyes and they will have seen that it was you and your family who were looking after your parents. If you can bear it just ignore your brothers if they are making stuff up. You should concentrate on yourself and the very special memories you and your family have of being with your parents. Your brothers have not got those, their loss, they are probably jealous of you. Your health and future happiness is paramount so please remember that. You have nothing to feel guilt over.

Your parents must have loved having you living next door and the chance to see their Grandchildren regularly. You will have lots of special memories of those times and are not worthless in any way.

I was told regarding my sister ignore, ignore, ignore. I say the same to you about your brothers, you are a better person than them.

Mel

Aaww Mel thank you so much for the reply and yes I think the distancing is something I need to do with the youngest brother, your story is so similar to mine and the fact that you have suffered in this way really saddens me, but like myself you must have had a wonderful relationship with your mum following the loss of your dad and when things are so raw it’s terrible to be burdened with siblings that are so guilt ridden, that they think this behaviour is acceptable, your response has made me feel comforted in the knowledge that I am not on my own and I thank you for that, your mum and dad, I’m sure would be very proud of you, xxx

Thank you to you too Tfraser62.

It is not pleasant having to deal with these things when relations are good between siblings and other relatives. It is made so much worse by people being so unkind and in such an unnecessary way too.

What makes me laugh is my sister is older than me and told me Mum had said she was to look after me. Also make sure I had somewhere to move to when the house was sold. Instead she told me all her friends and some relatives called me the limpet and Klingon and said I would have to be evicted when the time came. When I challenged this and said I was ringing to confront my cousin in particular she backed down and said she was joking. What she didn’t know was I was already househunting, she was the last person I told when my offer was accepted.

What I hope for by distancing myself is that some sort of relationship can be established for the future where we do have some contact. On my terms though. I have never discussed with my cousin and other relatives what happened. I wonder if I should but I just don’t know. I do know that grief takes people in very different ways but that to me does not excuse bullying.

I plan to enjoy my future life and whatever it holds and hope you and your family can do so too.

Mel.

Oh wow Mel our journey is so similar it’s uncanny, it’s such a shame that your ‘older sister’ isn’t acting that way, it amazes me how the family members who had so little involvement, think they can come along towards the end and be so disrespectful, maybe it would be worthwhile speaking with your cousin and relatives ! I suppose you would have to consider what you would gain out of it, i once tried to talk to a cousin re my situation and was met with “well grief has a strange effect on people” ! It’s kind of like, grief being used as an excuse for all sorts of nasty behaviour and I can’t except that, I sincerely believe ( in my case) that this behaviour stems from there massive guilt complex, it’s like they despise what myself hubby and kids had with my parents and it brings out a nasty, vicious side to them, I have started my process of having limited if any contact with this brother, I hope you get peace and make the right decision for you, I am going to contact my councillor this week, if she gives me any tips or ideas on how best to deal with our situations I will gladly share them with you.
You deserve a lovely, bright future and I’m sure this will happen, you have certainly helped me these last few days and for that I thank you xxx

Hi

Yes would be very happy to receive any tips you get on dealing with our situation.

I just don’t know if telling my cousins what happened is worth doing. One is very ill and is recovering from surgery, his older brother is frantic with worry about him. I want to support both them if I can and not upset them as I love them both a great deal. I suspect this is what my sister is counting on.

You also deserve a wonderful future with your husband and children. Carry on having your lovely holidays with them and in doing so remember your parents each time. I am thinking of having a few days soon where we stayed as children. Will bring back possibly bittersweet memories as I will go alone but I don’t mind that.

Mel

I have visions of your bittersweet holidays Mel and I think it would be so worthwhile, xxx

Tf62

I will make sandcastles on the beach and look in all the rock pools like I did as a child!

Hello Hun I’ve just read your post and can sympathise so much with you. I moved back home 22 yrs ago to live with my mum after I got divorced with my son. It was temporary but turned into 22 yrs. I have two older brothers who didn’t speak for 30/10 yrs. One I found to inform him our mum was in hospital. Neither came to hospital or funeral. Yet now will inherit parts of a house I’ve lived in for 22 yrs paid mortgage bills renovation for etc. I know how amazing and selfless my mum was. They took advantage of her and are selfish people. I hold not guilt as like you saw my mum every day and have amazing memories and was with her at the end as was my son. Its only been 3 weeks for me but wants keeping me functioning is not allowing her sister or other family members with guilt put their grief on me. Nor am I responsible for their conscience. That’s theirs to deal with. I’m just focusing on my grief memories and lovely times with my mum xxx

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