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Experienced loss and anticipating more loss


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In the past three months, my life has permanently changed and I have no clue what it will ultimately become.

My 53-year-old brother has lived with our mom for his entire life. He’s been unemployed for most of his adult life and my mother always took care of him. My mother died two weeks before Christmas 2020 and, in the process of getting her affairs in order, it has become blatantly clear to me that my brother has undiagnosed autism and is not capable of getting or keeping a job.  The last three months have been spent getting him evaluated, trying to get him on some type of public assistance, and buying a modest condo for him.  The process has been nothing but stressful because my brother lacks the self-reflection necessary to realize that he has severe social deficits. He has been resistant and not helpful. Not only have I lost my mom but I’ve gained a 53-year-old “son“ because I am now responsible for my brother.

In addition, my fiancé, who has really supported me emotionally and otherwise for the past three months, told me he does not feel comfortable marrying me unless my brother is “OK“. By “OK“ he means that my brother has some type of financial public assistance or a steady job because he (my fiancé) doesn’t want to eventually be responsible for a grown man.  It hurt me to hear that but I understand. My fiancé and I are in our 50s and having to support my older brother was not part of our retirement plans.  

Anyway… I’ve lost my mom, and potentially I could lose the life that I dreamed of.  I’m trying to put this in perspective but it’s so much at one time and I hate not knowing what the future holds. I have absolutely no control.

Advice or words of wisdom, please.  

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I am so sorry.  I can relate somewhat as my sister is fully disabled (can't drive, barely walks with walker, has dementia) has fallen largely to me the last six months since my BIL died.  I feel the burden and am sorry, I don't have any wisdom/advice as I could use it myself, but I do empathize.  I'm assuming you've contacted social services?  My sister gets too much money for helps but lacks wisdom.  To top it off she's a hoarder...and I have two hands in severe pain all the time, I fear when she goes I'll have no help cleaning out her place.

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