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Ryn

Left in the dark about brothers hospitalization.

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My brother was diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer in 2013 and underwent treatment. In conversations we had after this time he always made mention of the fact he never wanted to end up lying in a hospital bed with people standing around him crying etc.. Over the last 2 years he slowly withdrew from me and my husband and we only talked by phone. He didnt want people stopping by unannounced and as we later learned he had stopped going for his checkups and was struggling with eating etc.. 

The day after Christmas his spouse called me and told me he had been in the hospital for about 4 weeks and was very sick and he had died earlier that day.

He and I were 15 months apart in age and I was his big sister. We went through thick and thin together. 

While I understand his wishes I am struggling with the fact that I wasnt told he was not doing well and was in the hospital. I never got the chance to pray and prepare for what was about to happen. Instead I was told he was dead.

I am devastated and so sad that he was so sick and I wasnt given the opportunity to be involved-either in thought and prayer, helping with my niece and nephew, supporting his spouse, walking the dog, cooking or anything.  

His spouses friends, family all knew he was in the hospital. 

There was no obituary, funeral, or service of any kind. He was cremated and when I asked for a small token of his ashes his spouse said she would have to consider. While we have chatted about other things she has never mentioned his ashes again. 

She doesnt call me and if I text her to ask about the kids or her she doesnt really reply -only mentions other things.

I feel so lost in all of this. There is no one to grieve with. The people who loved him and lives.with him dont seem to recognize that I loved him too. 

My heart is broken. 

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I am so sorry you weren't given updates as it went along so that you could prepare yourself.  Of course you loved your brother (still do) and are grieving!  I don't know why his spouse would shut your out, it doesn't make any sense.  

Have you tried contacting your SIL and talking with her candidly about your feelings?

I am sorry for your loss and very sorry you are going through it alone.  Could you maybe make a date to take your niece/nephew out or have them over?  I don't know how close you live, but it sounds like it might be the only way you get to continue a relationship with them.  Perhaps ask her if she needs financial help or physical help with her place.

This article has a lot of suggestions...I realize you are also grieving, but perhaps by doing something on this list for her it will help you maintain a relationship with your brother's family...
just a thought.  http://www.griefhealing.com/column-helping-another-in-grief.htm

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