For problems with brothers and sisters!
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Just Landed
Just Landed
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:19 am
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Post by Shantimar »

My mum passed away on Tuesday morning as I sat with her, I called my sisters to come and when they got there they weren't happy that I called my daughter.
I'll give some background. My mum was married twice, she had 4 children from earlier marriage, two of them are deceased, my sisters are full siblings. My brother, who's also deceased and I were full siblings of her later marriage, our father passed away 16 years ago and our parents were still together at that time. Since my father died, my sisters have often excluded me, going on holiday with my mum to visit a sister who lived out of town. I was never invited, my brother used to get quite angry about it and often said to my mum that she had four daughters not three. My nephew who was the son of my oldest sister, who'd passed away, got married out of town, I wasn't invited to that either. I found that most difficult to understand as we had been quite close, I'm more in the age group of my nephews and nieces than my sisters.
Back to Tuesday. We had organised that someone stay with my mum all the time, we knew the end was coming and we didn't want her to be on her own. I'd went up on Monday night to stay over as soon as I saw my mum I knew that the time was going to be soon. I said this to my sister, she said she'd come back up around 10.30 the next morning. I spent the night speaking to my mum and playing her CDs, she was unresponsive and had been the last few days. On the Tuesday morning I recognised with her breathing that the time had come. I called my sisters and advised them to hurry and get there as soon as they could.
My mum passed away within 10 minutes. I called the palliative care team and they said they would be out directly. I didn't call my sisters as I knew they would be driving. I phoned my husband who didn't answer so I called my daughter. My daughter was very close to both my parents and told her about her gran. My daughter contacted her best friend, who happens to be one of my sisters step son. That's when it went horribly wrong. Her step son contacted his dad to offer condolences and when she was driving they'd try to contact her.
My sister came into my mums face like thunder, she began berating me that people had known before her and she wasn't happy about it. My other sister came in and they went into the bedroom with my mum and left me sitting in the lounge in my own. I heard them whispering about me. Not one of them asked how I was, I tried to console them and I was brushed away. My sister got very vocal about people knowing before her. I got up and walked out of the house. I've not spoke to them since and now myself and my family don't even want to attend the funeral.
Along with my sisters we are executors of her will. I really don't want to see them at all. I haven't grieved for my mum, I just feel anger towards them, I went through what was probably one of the most difficult situations I've ever been in and I was treated as inconsequential to them.
I know that grief can make people do/say things, but it wasn't a surprise we knew my mum was dying. I feel I've not did anything wrong, I needed someone to speak to but I was made to feel terrible because of this.
Should I reach out or should I just leave them to it, I still feel angry and don't think I'll ever forgive them for this.
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Re: Sisters

Post by reckoner »

I'm really sorry to hear of your mother's passing, that's a terrible loss.
Shantimar wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:36 am I still feel angry and don't think I'll ever forgive them for this.
Your mother's death may not have been a surprise, but it's still a shock. You all knew the end was coming so you were prepared for the fact that she was dying, but that doesn't prepare you for when it actually happens. I think part of that shock, and also part of the grieving process itself, is anger.

I think part of the reason that you are all feeling angry is because it's an easier emotion to feel than the sadness of losing your mother - the anger distracts from the sadness. It's often said that anger is one of the stages of grief and I think it's possible (probable?) that, in this case, the anger is being expressed between you and your siblings, for the varying reasons you've described, rather than at your mother's death, which you were already prepared for.

However, I think it's important for you to acknowledge why your sisters are angry, both to them and to yourself. Of course you didn't mean to upset them intentionally, but this is one of those huge moments that carries so much meaning that if something goes wrong, it carries great significance.

Even if you felt you had good reason, the fact is that you didn't pass on the news about your mother's passing to your sisters when the moment came. Realistically, they were unlikely to have left the house in the ten minutes between you calling to tell them to come and your mother actually passing. If you'd rung and they had been driving, they would have been able to guess why you were calling. They could have decided to stop the car, or to miss the call - but you didn't give them the chance to make that decision. Then they found out on the journey anyway, but as third or fourth hand information from people not as closely related to your mother as them.

Another reason that your sisters may be feeling angry is that you were the one with whom your mother spent her final moments: you got the final goodbye. However painful that experience was for you, it was a special experience that you got instead of them, that you then didn't share with them by passing on the news as soon as it happened. I think that's why they didn't want to console you - because it was a huge moment that you effectively kept from them.

If you don't acknowledge their reasons for feeling anger and apologise for the way they found out the news, time that should be spent celebrating your mother's life could be wasted on ill feeling between you all instead. It could go on to poison all your relationships.

Although you've described some tension and disharmony between you all in the past, you were all able to form and act on a plan to share the responsibility of looking after your mother in her final days. You also say that things only went wrong when your sister's stepson passed on the news without due consideration, as if this whole situation might have been avoided had events unfolded differently. So, even if your relationships hadn't been perfect, and no-one's are, it seems that you had all been functioning quite well together as a family unit. It would be a shame to lose this if it can be avoided by apologising for how your sisters heard the news.
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