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Missing My Dad So Much And Angry With My Family


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I’m having a very difficult time dealing with my Father’s death and I’m getting very angry. This is a little long but I need to give a back history, so I apologize. I was very close to my dad, actually the closest out of 7 kids. I talked to him numerous times every day. Whenever my parents needed anything I was always there for them. Most of my siblings were not there for him or my mom for years. My dad shared this disappointment in his other children with me and my mother always got angry with him for opening up about that to me. My father had congestive heart failure and suffered a stroke 9/2010. He was having difficulties since then and was told to try to live a stress free life. He was admitted this year Jan 17, 2012 because he was getting very week and wasn’t eating. My Father almost died Jan 18, 2012 he was having difficulty breathing due to the morphine they were giving him. I was there the entire day when my mother wasn’t so I talked to the doctors, they asked us to stimulate him to get the morphine out of him because they didn’t want to give him the reverse drug. By the time my mom got there (which was in the evening) he took a turn for the worse. I knew he wanted to live because we had a lot of talks that entire day and he wanted to be intubated if he started to have difficulties. He believed in resuscitation, but my mother didn’t. Well my mom just kept saying let him go that evening and wasn’t even holding his hand, I just couldn’t because I knew he wanted to live and knew he was just having troubles due to the morphine and not his heart. Well I later found out once my other siblings started to show up in town that my mom started to talk behind my back and tell them I stepped on her toes and became the wife and other things. My siblings turned on me and I actually had one of my brothers tell me in ICU that he was going to have my family thrown out of the hospital because we were getting in my mom’s way, then when I didn’t leave he body slammed me in the halls of the ICU. My dad was admitted on Tuesday evening and my mom didn’t show up at the hospital again till Wednesday evening and then when he was rushed being bagged up to ICU and they could get him stabilized they told us to leave to let him rest. I went back the next morning and once again my mom didn’t show up at the hospital till Thursday evening. So I, in no way was in her way, she wasn’t even there. I know a lot of this anger was because my mom fueled it plus I believe several are jealous of my close relationship with my dad that they really never had. My children were also very close to my dad and I think that was another issue with my siblings that their kids had a different relationship with my parents then mine did and I believe there was some jealousy there. I believe my mom was also jealous of the close relationship I had with my dad as well. I knew I had to walk on egg shells around everyone if I wanted to see my dad in the hospital and I found myself in the waiting room more than actually seeing my dad because my mom said since my siblings came into town they had the right to be there and I was able to see him all the time before he was in the hospital. I was disappointed because I’ve always been there for my dad unlike the others and I shouldn’t have been pushed away. There was one time my daughter text me to tell me no one was in his room and to hurry and sneak in there (after 6 hours waiting in the waiting room to see him and just being pushed away) so I did and I told him I just wanted to quickly see how he was doing, give him a hug and tell him I loved him. He didn’t want me to leave but I told him that mom was setting up appointment times and since everyone was in from out of town I needed to let them go first. Some even were able to have 2-3 visits that day when I was told to continue to wait outside.

I have 5 brothers and 1 sister; there were a lot of things they did during their visit that upset me. Several were trying to get my dad to sign several different wills that he didn’t agree with. I told him, he should probably sign something just to make sure mom didn’t have any issues. My sister got angry at him and actually threw the will at my dad and told him he has waited long enough and how much longer did he want to wait. This is the same sister that really hasn’t been there for my parents for years, her adult children didn’t see my dad after the stroke and then when he got really sick earlier in the year they didn’t even try to form a relationship with him knowing he didn’t have much longer. The will wanted to split his assets between his 7 kids and he didn’t want that because he felt some didn’t deserve anything. One of my brothers told my dad 4 days before he died that he hated him and he was a terrible father. This brother has a lot of issues in his own life and says and does things to people especially to my dad to make himself feel better because his life is in shambles. Another brother posted pictures of my dad after he died on Facebook of him sick in the hospital which my dad specifically said not too. Another brother took pictures of my dad in his casket which I know my dad would never approve and my mom never told him to stop. Just too many other things that would take too long to list to list on here.

I know my parents were having marital problems because my mom didn’t work and my dad really wanted her to get a job to loosen the stress off him. She always nagged and bickered about the littlest things, I believe she did this to stress him out more to take a toll on his life. My dad shared with me the same feelings. We had a lot of talks, he shared a lot of secrets he asked me to never tell her or others that I will have to live with the rest of my life. My father trusted me rather then turning to his friends because he didn’t want them to know. My mom had several sisters she could open up too, one which opened up to me and shared the same concerns about how my mom treated my dad. So I was really the only person to listen to my dad and be there for him.

When my dad was being released from the hospital in January the doctors did tell us his heart was in bad condition and he didn’t have much longer to live. He was sent home on Hospice, the bickering and nagging didn’t stop from my mother. I tired to go over there as much as possible to help and seen it firsthand. Some of her comments made him cry and when I talked to her about it she just got mad at me and got worse. He loved her more than anything and didn’t want to leave her but he did share with me over a year ago that he didn’t know how much more he could handle. I wish he would have divorced her back then because I will always wonder if he did, would he still be here if he wasn’t under so much stress. My mom would complain to my dad that there wasn’t any income coming in but she never helped to bring more income in to help.

The morning my father died, my mother stood in the hallway just repeating herself “did he stop breathing yet, is he gone yet” I’m so disturbed because I know he had to hear her, he knew he was a burden to her because she told him he was. I cry every day and my heart aches knowing my dad felt like he was a burden to my mom, he felt she thought he was a failure and ruined all their hopes and dreams. I don’t know if I will ever forgive her. She didn’t stay there with him when he was struggling to breathe and hold his hand in his final moments, like she was for her mother (my grandmother). I called 911 when I knew he may die and they couldn’t resuscitate him but did rush him to the hospital. When we got there the doctors said he was gone. We went in there to see him and say our goodbyes, my mom was maybe there for 15 minutes and then left. I held my dad in my arms for almost 3 hours just crying and telling him I would miss him and loved him and would never leave him, until the mortuary got there to pick him up. When I called my mom to ask her why she didn’t stay she said his soul was already gone and that was just the body. I just couldn’t believe that I told her that was still daddy’s body and she shouldn’t have left. Later I heard that she was telling people she left because she knew I needed my time with him and that I would stay with him till they picked him up, she never mentioned the soul thing again. Because I believe it gave her time to think about how terrible it sounded to take 15 minutes and then just leave, when everyo0ne knew she stayed with her mother after she died till the mortuary came and got her.

I tried to go over there a couple of weeks ago to talk to her about all her drama she caused me with my siblings and the things she said about me and she just got nasty. The next day after my dad died she was already making plans to sell stuff and donate things. I’m devastated, I was supposed to get my fathers, mothers wedding set and once I told my mom I wanted to size it up so I could wear it in honor of him she then told me I couldn’t have it. There were things my dad told me he wanted me to have when he was in the hospital that I know I will never see because I talked my dad into signing the will over to my mom and when I went over to see her a few weeks ago she told me the will shows everything goes to me so I will do what I please with it. I wish I never talked my dad into doing that, because now I may never see anything of my dad’s that I can pass down to my kids or keep in memory of him.

I know this was very long thank you so much for listening; I’m just lost and angry at so many in my family including my mother. I truly think she checked herself out of my dad’s life a long time ago and was just waiting for him to die and I truly believe she put extra stress on him because she knew it would deteriorate him faster. I’m just so sad, it’s almost been a month and I cry everyday missing him so much and wishing I could have stepped in a long time ago to change things and that maybe he would have been here a little longer. I catch me picking up the phone to call him to talk to him about it but I know I can’t. I’m just heart broken

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Greetings, and welcome to our grief forums. I was hoping to address you by first name, but "Missing My Dad Everyday" works well enough. I've read and reread your post. It's very interesting for me, because I've been through a similar ordeal with my own family members. I hope you don't mind my long reply to your post; as I try to understand your issues this helps me resolve some of my issues. Many of us here are walking similar paths.

The first thing I want to address is the issue of anger. I've dealt with a lot of anger through the passing of both of my parents, and I'd like to think I've learned something from the experience. I'm not quite sure why so much anger often surfaces after the passing of parents. It seems that we get swamped with a flood of emotions during grief; besides anger there's plenty of despair, deep sadness, and anxiety too. Most of us are unprepared for the flood of intense emotions; our levels of distress rocket off the scale at times, and break-downs become pretty normal for those of us who grieve. Eventually healing and recovery does happen, but in the mean time we are left with learning how to honestly feel our way through these intense emotions.

Perhaps my own story of anger with my family will give you some perspective:

When my father died ten years ago, my sister and I had unresolved issues. Regretably, my sister targeted a lot of anger at me, and I'm still not sure why. She had this habit of being demonstrative when angry, subjecting others to obscenity and other verbal abuse, so long as it hit a nerve, hurt, or humiliated. It was horrible stuff. After the several occasions of her verbal assaults, I just cut her off. I refused to see her or speak to her for 7 years. My mother made an effort to repair the broken relationship, just a year before her own death. She asked my sister and I to forgive each other. And we did! But I'll tell you it wasn't an easy or immediate forgiveness. We see each other a couple times a year now, talk a bit, and we exchange emails. And I will tell you directly, that it's vastly better to have a working relationship with a sibling than an estranged relationship. My estrangement from my sister was horrible, regretable, and I would never let such a thing happen again. I think I've learned that much.

More reasons why my anger was wrong:

1) I couldn't find the peace of mind I needed to digest my father's passing. I was too busy being angry with my sister.

2) The split between me and my sister had collateral damage; it screwed up my relationship with my mother. I ended up not seeing my mom much at all for 7 years. And when she died, I realized that I had lost all that time I could have spent with her.

3) The split upset other family members.

4) Anger left me constantly upset and this was wrong for my temperament. I need to live at peace with other people without harboring resentment. I can not and will not live in anger.

5) My anger was futile, because it did not permanently solve any problem. It's just postponed all the difficulty for later.

Okay, I see that you have plenty of reason to be angry too:

1) That your mom was callous towards your father.

2) That your siblings neglected your father.

3) That it was an indignity when family members pressed your father to sign various documents on his death bed.

4) That your mother may deny you any inheritance or keepsakes from your father.

And there are plenty of other things that appear to be wrong. But set all that aside for a second. Think for a moment on what YOU did right. You were there for your father, when there was no one else for him. For that alone, your dignity should be completely intact.

Now, the issue is what to do with all your anger. From my own ordeal with anger, I'll tell you, those first months are unrelentingly difficult. My anger only subsided noticeably when I went in for psychological counseling at about month 4 after my mother died. I should have started earlier. Besides talking about my feelings with my therapist, I read a lot of literature about grief, anger, and forgiveness. Into the second month with my counselor, I distinctly felt less wound up, like I suddenly gained a calmed perspective. It's rare when I see myself clearly changed for the better, so I am now a strong believer in the benefits of counseling.

That's just what I did. And many if not most of us here have experienced anger with family, relatives, and friends during grief. Which is to say, your emotions are within the normal range. Mood swings and emotional crashes are just part of the territory of grief, so you will learn coping skills as you go.

One almost weird thing that really helped me with anger were ordinary people who remained kind to me, even when I was crabby and difficult. Kindness has a way of lifting away anger. Maybe that's the cure.

I think we need to learn to forgive family for even the very worst things that they do. Else we will hold onto resentments, and preserving family relationships becomes all the more difficult. I think it might also help you to let a little time pass just to let your thinking and feelings evolve. The hardness of feeling should slip away just a bit. It took me until about month 6 before I felt sociable at all, and a full year before my family was able to be together for several days of the holiday season.

To be honest with you, I no longer trust my own anger. It has caused me real grief. So now when I back down from anger, I feel proud! It's when I get demonstrative with my anger that things go south for me.

I hope my ordeal with anger provides some sort of mirror for your own. Glad that you found your way to these forums!

Ron B.

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Ron,

Thank you for your response. You are definitely ahead of me when it comes to forgiveness. It's going to take a lot for me to get there, if I ever can. I have a lot of siblings (6) that have done so many things that were hateful and hurtful that will take a long time for that to heal and it will definitely not be overnight. My mother as well, how do you forgive her when I feel she was the one that may have caused his death at least to expedite it? I have been there for almost every one of my siblings at some point in my life, for example one of my brothers got mixed up with drugs and I literally went grocery shopping for him weekly just so he had food. He has now been clean for over 10 years and back on his feet, so that’s wonderful. I’m the type of person that tries to save everyone when they are down only to feel later that I was used, or taken advantage of.

I feel like I've been used all my life but when my father became very ill, I was hoping everyone would come together like family and they didn't. My house was always the house everyone came to for the holidays for family to get together and enjoy each other’s company and cousins could play. I always did all the cooking and never really asked for anything in return. Now that my dad has passed and everyone turned against me because of my mother’s lies and assumptions (because I feel she knew she wasn't there for my dad like a loving wife should have and I was not as a wife but as a daughter) she turned against me because I as his daughter wanted my father to live. I know I need to talk to a counselor and I will be calling hospice to do that in the next week or so. Right now if I would have someone come over, they would probably listen to me crying more than getting any words out.

Another thing I’m having an issue with is my youngest daughter who is 20, was staying at my parents’ house for a couple of weeks to help out with my dad, which I was grateful for but since my dad has passed she has continued to stay there even though my mom has a sister there also staying to help her out. My daughter hasn’t once called me or came by to see how I’m doing, which is very upsetting. She has 2 little brothers and an older sister and hasn’t asked how they are doing either. She just comes home grabs a few things and leaves again. I know most of the reason is she has no responsibility over there, no chores, can come and go when she pleases, etc. I feel like she just believes everything my mom is saying and not caring to know my side of the story. I’ve kept a lot from my children to protect them, example: how my mom treated my dad, what my brothers and sister have done over the years and now I feel my mom is telling her things to turn my own daughter against me as well.

Ron in a way I hope I get there where you are, you are definitely stronger then I am. But then there is a part of me that thinks why should I, when over the years it’s been nothing but jealousy and hatefulness because I’ve been so close to my parents. I feel like I just didn’t lose my father I lost my entire family. My dad was the only person I felt was truly genuine family and he always told me, Kim you know you’re doing the right thing and don’t let the others bring you down. If it wasn’t for him and our talks I would have let go of everyone a long time ago. He always told me I was a good caring person and he doesn’t know what happened to the rest of them. It’s hard, I know he wouldn’t want me left behind feeling like I have no other family left, but he felt the same way as I do. I believe he felt like I was his glue as well to make him feel he had family left that cared about him. I never knew the hurt would be this bad, I feel for all the others and yourself to have to go through this.

Kim

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I’m new to this site and I’m not sure if people respond a lot to others comments or not. I’m sorry if I was too blunt, I’m not the type of person to sugar coat things, but this is my life and what I’ve been struggling with and dealing with daily. I thank you Ron for responding at least I feel like I’m not alone, I just thought maybe there were others that have gone or are going through the same hurt and anger I’m going through. I’m sorry if I may have bothered some of you by my story, I just feel like I’m dealing with my father’s death by myself and was hoping I could share with others who are going through the same thing.

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Hi Kim, Please accept my condolences for your Dad's passing. The relationship you and your Dad shared sounds very close and special. It must be SO difficult and complicated dealing with all you are going through, and all the different personalities you have to deal with, with all of your siblings, and your Mom, too. It must be overwhelming. I'm sorry that I don't have any real insight to share with you, but, please know that I read your post, and am thankful to you for sharing what has happenend, and is happening with you. I'm sorry that the reply posts are slow coming, and sometimes, don't ever happen. I have, personally, found that writing what I'm going through and posting when I need to, and reading old posts, are helping me deal with my grief. Ron's posts are always so helpful. I love when he wrote to you, "I no longer trust my own anger. It has caused me real grief. So now when I back down from anger, I feel proud". Very thought provoking, and good advice, as usual. (Thanks Ron!!) Since my Mom died (May 12, 2011), I am deeply saddened, angry, and confused with how my relationships with friends and family have changed so much. I really don't know how to handle this level of change in how I feel about people that I loved and cared for. Just wanted to let you know that I feel for you, and wish you strength and comfort. I never knew the hurt would be this bad either.

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Kim,

I wanted to make sure that you get sufficient feedback regarding your own anger. I am not a counselor. I'm just giving a personal testamonial. I hope I can pass on to you a few clues about what helps heal anger and what does not.

There is one other person here I know of who has been through your and my kind of anger, and that's Aquarius7. He last posted in late November and he has not provided an email link. No doubt there are others here with anger issues, but our levels of anger may be somewhat uncommon. Anger has disrupted our lives and our families. My way out was through counseling, education, and the practice of forgiveness. I'd like to get an update on how Aquarius7 is doing; hope he comes around.

Here is the worst of what happened in my own family and how it got fixed. My sister gained control of my mother's estate, locked me out of my mother's house, threw out my my belongings, would not consult with me in matters of estate business, and was deliberately hurtful on occasions when I did speak with her. It was brutal. To settle the estate my sister summoned the 4 of us siblings to a dozen estate meetings held on alternate weekends. The plan was to empty my mother's house and prepare it for sale. My sister did not give consideration to the fact that two of us live in Northern California. I and my brother had to fly or drive down to Southern California, mostly just to clean house. The cost of flights and hotel bills exceeded several thousand dollars. This was a minor hardship. My sister, on the other hand, lived minutes away from my Mother's house, so she was not inconvenienced at all. I could have come down for a full month and done work. Nope. She had to keep the weekend schedule. But the worst of it was how she handled issues of inheritance. This was done in the manner of a public auction. We had one hour to view my mother's possessions, and then we were to take turns in choosing what we wanted. If any of us exceeded one minute in taking a turn, we would lose that turn. These arrangments horrified me. I was not familiar with my mother's possessions. Besides furniture and electronics, she had crystal, china, silver, art, and a great variety of personal items; it would take me hours to give it a good looking over.

Now, it's quite easy for me to blame my sister for handling inheritance like a public auction. But that would not be entirely fair. It was actually the estate lawyer who suggested the one-hour-view and one-minute-per-turn business. Lawyers just want to get estate business done and settled. They do not understand family dynamics, and they often end up brutalizing families, sometimes unknowingly.

So the trouble over family inheritance wasn't entirely my sister's fault. I could blame the lawyer too!

Funny how my sister also did some things very well, that I myself may not have been capable of doing. She took exceptionally good care of the medical needs of my mother for several years. Her efforts probably extended my mother's life for a year or perhaps more. My sister also suffered; she had anxiety issues that were severe, requiring medication for many months. All of this makes my sister less deserving of my wrath. So a bit of my anger eroded.

And my own behavior came up as a subject of review before other members of my family. Everybody told me I was "too intense". I couldn't really figure out what they were talking about at the time. In retrospect I can see that I was wound up and highly emotional. There were a few times I came into collision with other family members. I made a few public scenes, vented, got crabby, or was just generally disagreeable. I'm not proud of it, but it happened. So how can I fault everybody else when my own conduct was sometimes in question? It's a lot like the pot calling the kettle black. If the rest of my family is up for criticism, well then so am I.

All of us siblings were grumpy and difficult with one other. At times it felt like a war zone; everybody had different opinions, everybody became offended or angry, siblings would gang up and take sides, exclusion of family members from this or that event happened, and we had every other kind of conflict. Watch us now 2+ years later, and the change is stark. We just held our first family reunion, and everybody attended. Yea! We were so solicitious of one another that it was comical. We all know we behaved very badly back then. But none of us want to talk about it. No rehash. It's like we have this unspoken agreement. Can we please move on? Nobody wants more war. We were all on our best manners and even kind to one another.

But my younger brother's issues are still ongoing. A year ago all of us siblings gathered at his house to sort through my mother's papers. A disagreement arose about one item, and I thought we were discussing the matter with good civility. Instead my younger brother leaped up from his couch. Pushed me. Started screaming at me as loud as he could. "Get out of my house!" "Get out of my house!" A dozen times. For a full minute. I was completely stunned by what happened. For weeks I couldn't make any sense of it.

So I started to search the internet for literature about people who have rage issues. And I found the web site of the American Psychological Association; they offer some very good resources for controlling anger. See the link below this paragraph. As it turns out, people with rage issues have a very hard time retracting their anger. Once they start to smolder just a little bit, they become prone to flare. Some event will trigger their rage, and they lose control. This explanation of the mechanisms of anger gave me insight into my brother's explosive behavior. I realized his behavior wasn't deliberately hurtful. It was just my brother breaking down. And though I still feel hurt by his screaming, I can forgive him now. I had even considered severing relations, but a little education saved me from that mistake. I'm so glad I walked away from that incident without taking rash action.

http://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control.aspx#

This above link to the APA's page on controlling anger also helped me to understand myself. I do not fit the profile of someone with a rage problem; rather I internalize my anger. I never strike anyone, scream, or throw things about. I just generally avoid confrontation, walk away from any difficulty, and then brood about lingering issues. Sometimes I get completely stuck and I don't know what to do. That's when I reread the content from the APA website; it helps me develop coping strategies. It may help you too.

The other thing that really helped with my anger was psychological counseling. I went to my psychologist at about month 3 after my mother passed. I was in full crisis mode at the time. I had a bad case of pneumonia, and I was being pressed to attend family estate meetings. I was worried sick about everything, and close to nervous break-down. So what this psychologist did first was to calm me. He was good at that. He had a 'tool-box' approach to my therapy. The first tool he gave me was a 'mantra'. He told me that I could compose a simple sentence, and then repeat it to myself through portions of the day or when I had difficulty. For example, I could say, "I am going to get through this with my dignity intact". I thought the mantra idea was a bit stupid, but I tried it. And after several hundred repetitions over several days, I realized that it had some effect.

Then I figured out that it was possible to plant other positive thinking within my psyche and help it grow. I needed to create some counter-force to all the negative thinking that was going on in my head. And the negative thinking was systematic; every time I thought about my sister I'd jolt into higher levels of anger. So I tried rather aggressively to cram in the positive stuff. The forgiveness thing really helped with that. So for weeks I just read literature about anger, grief, and forgiveness. Fresh ideas filled my mind. And I could feel a change start to happen.

Another tool my psychologist gave me was insight into how we rehearse our personal stories. If I think of the rotton things my sister did, I link directly to emotions of anger. If I think that my entire family had issues at that time, there is much less reason for anger. Likewise, I can be humiliated by brother's screaming. Or I can realize that my brother has has a life-long rage problem. The point is that we can choose how to frame our own narrative. Some of your own narratives are already very good. You took great care of your father! That should produce positive emotion and raise your morale. It's the other narratives you've got going about other family members that carry so much negative emotion. And it's not so easy to slough off anger. It'll take you plenty of time to figure it out.

My psychologist also gave me an indication of how long it takes to get better. He works with people who have been remanded into anger management programs. He told me that people need to be in these programs at least three weeks, or else there is no positive effect. After 3 weeks, the effectiveness of the programs become clear; people with anger problems start to improve. And that's just the first signs of change. A more complete time frame for change gets into months. Likewise with the rest of us; it takes not just weeks but a couple months of effort to change our behaviors.

I'm finished now explaining my own ordeal with anger, and now I'd like to address your issues.

You wrote:

"I have a lot of siblings (6) that have done so many things that were hateful and hurtful that will take a long time for that to heal and it will definitely not be overnight. My mother as well, how do you forgive her when I feel she was the one that may have caused his death at least to expedite it? "

Okay, I will try to answer your question about forgiving the hateful and hurtful things. Please be patient with my answer (the rest of my post). My best one sentence answer is that you yourself, your thinking, and your feelings will have to change. You have little or no control over how your siblings or your mother behave. The only thing you can change is yourself. That's how things will get better for you. As you change and your anger diminishes, your capacity for forgiveness will grow.

Now, the main problem seems to be that you have suffered humiliations, offenses, disrespect, and injustices from family members. Think for a minute about humiliation. No one likes to be humiliated. It's a power trip, and it's very unkind. But how serious of an injury is humiliation really? Well, my sister's nastiness and my brother's aggression really bothered me for a long time. But the pain has receded over months. I've been able to rethink the story of how these things happened. Likewise with the various offenses or disrespect that occurred within my family. Everybody felt deeply offended or disrespected by someone else. None of us were saints. More like brats. But two years has been enough time for hard feelings to soften. Now we are okay with each other. Polite! Time does have a way of healing. Most of your frayed emotions will heal too.

You do have one issue that's particularly difficult. You suggest that your mother may have had a clear role in bringing about your fathers demise. If this is true, then the injustice is great, and forgiveness will be difficult. I will try to help you with this.

When someone takes deliberate actions that lead to another's death, this is plainly a criminal offense. So it's important to get the facts straight, so someone doesn't stand falsely accused. Now I'm not going to challenge any of the evidence (because I don't know what happened). I'm just going to try to construct alternative explanations, and I'm okay if you shoot them down. Could it have been uncaring or slightly neglectful behavior, rather than criminally malicious behavior? What if your mother was herself depressed and was having a difficult time coping? Or maybe you have misread some of her behaviors? All I am saying is that you don't want to jump to hasty conclusions.

Everybody now and then gets pretty certain of their own convictions. My younger brother is the perfect example. He absolutely positively knows he is right. He'll get bent out of shape about someting, and think his anger is righteous! Until, that is, he learns that he's wrong. And then it's crushing for him. Because he was so sure. And he's taken some sort of stand that turns out to be all wrong. Likewise with everybody else. We know we are right! Our own views are front row center. And we become blind to to the views of people who don't see things our way.

Here's is another way to think about it. Could you stand inside your mother's shoes and faithfully present her side of the story? Not so easy! There are always two sides to every story. Sometimes we misread other people's motives or don't get their story straight.

All I'm suggesting is that there are ways to completely rethink your anger. Your thinking and your feelings will evolve. Over months, the anger you feel now will probably dissipate, and you'll no longer feel so stuck.

Now in my late 50s, I'm done with free-falling through anger. My siblings, excepting my younger brother, have all figured out that anger has been a damaging force in our lives. Now my family life has been restored. I hang out with with my family when they are pleasant. And I get scarce when they become difficult. It's not a complete picture of family harmony. But at least my family is intact.

My best suggestion is that you let your feelings cool off for a couple months. Why rush anything? Concentrate on your own recovery. Stay as healthy as you can. Sleep well. Eat well. Get good social support wherever you can find it. See a counselor if you are able. And don't worry so much about having to patch family relationships. Probably your siblings and mother will also benefit from letting a little time go by.

If you do decide to forgive them, you do not have to tell them directly, it can be something you do within your own heart. And don't expect anyone to admit any wrong; the best you'll probably get is a willingness to move on.

You said only one thing that I will dispute.

You wrote:

"Ron [...] you are definitely stronger then I am."

I've rarely read such complete nonsense. My story is one of stumbling my way through grief and anger with plenty of breakdowns. I lived estranged from my sister for seven years. That's not a success. It's been two years since my mother passed and ten years since my father passed. I've been glacially slow in finding good solutions. But things are good for me now. It just took me a long time to figure things out.

It's going to be hard work for you. You will have to find your own solutions; nobody can pass through grief and anger for you. Forgiveness worked real well for me. Try it! Otherwise work on restoring a little peace and calm back into your life, any way you can go about doing that. End of rant.

Ron B.

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Thank you Miss Ngu for responding, and I’m sorry for the loss of your Mother also. It is strange how people change as you said with family, friends and loved ones and I too feel the same, saddened and disappointed. I hope in time things will calm down and people will have a clearer picture of what’s going on, so they can be around later.

For now I’m OK with just having my immediate family here (husband and children) to eliminate all the other drama and triggers for anger. I can’t please everyone, all I can do is take comfort knowing I was there for my dad, like I know he would have been for me. I pray that you have strength and comfort as well, we can all use some. Thank you again it means a lot to hear from others as well.

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Ron,

Your response was a lot to take in, so sorry for me to take so long to get back to you; I’ve read and reread your response trying to understand your perspective. I have also been feeling under the weather and when I think a lot about my dad and everything that has happened and how much I miss him I literally get physically ill. So I’m going to try to answer as much as I can to your response. I just want to tell you how grateful I am for you to take the time and care so much to give me such a lengthy response. So please accept a big cyber thank you hug. I am truly sorry for your loss and it does seem that you and I have a lot in common (different events but the same emotional feelings). It is encouraging to know how far you have come, so I know I will get there in time.

I’ve had a great support group of friends on my Facebook that I’m so grateful for. A lot of them I have been frie3nds with since childhood so some do know my other siblings and I’ve had 2 statements they have posted recently that seem to hit the core in my feelings.

“Did you know that the people who are usually the strongest are usually also the most sensitive? Did you know that the people who exhibit the most kindness are usually the first to be mistreated? Did you know that the one who takes care of others all the time is usually the one who needs care the most? Do you know that the three hardest things to say are: I love you, I'm sorry, and Help me? “

“Someone once said, "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living....Being alive is a gift, being happy is by choice ~Anonymous.”

I normally don’t believe in horoscopes but the ones that have popped up recently on my FB seems like my dad is trying to talk to me, which is comforting. I’ve been trying to look at the positive, look at things that have happened and or signs that give me comfort that my dad is still with me. My oldest daughter whose 24 is having a difficult time and when I talk to her about it she shoots me down thinking I’m looking too much into everything. I told her I don’t know if they’re signs or just coincident, but if they give me comfort and make me feel better why is that wrong if it gets me through the day. Not realizing that she was getting upset thinking her Papa wasn’t giving her signs, but just me. I feel horrible by that and told her that I’m not sure how much I believe either, but if it helps me to loosen some of my hurt then I’m going to continue to look at it in a positive way. I told her when she is ready and maybe more open, maybe she can start seeing little things or signs to make her feel better too. She was extremely close to my dad as well.

I went to the cemetery to see my dad for his birthday over the weekend. I took my 2 youngest boys (9 and 13) with some heart balloons and wrote with permanent marker little messages to my dad and told them we would let them go into the sky so they could make it to heaven so my dad can read them. Just anything positive I can do to turn this anger and hurt into something different so I don’t make myself even more upset then what I already am. It was a little emotional for them to think what they wanted to say to him, but when they knew they could release the balloons it made them really happy. We had a really nice time and spent several hours there, plus trying to beat the storms that kept rolling in here in AZ and having to sit in our truck to wait it out several times.

I read what you posted about your sister, how horrible for your sister to act that way and not be caring about you and your other siblings to make it easy as possible and convenient for everyone. Even though she had a lawyer she still could have been a little more human and tell the lawyer to give a little more than 1 minute intervals or you lose a turn. I don’t know how I would have handled that situation. I’m glad you have been able to move past that.

Your comment:

“And my own behavior came up as a subject of review before other members of my family. Everybody told me I was "too intense". I couldn't really figure out what they were talking about at the time. In retrospect I can see that I was wound up and highly emotional. There were a few times I came into collision with other family members. I made a few public scenes, vented, got crabby, or was just generally disagreeable. I'm not proud of it, but it happened. So how can I fault everybody else when my own conduct was sometimes in question? It's a lot like the pot calling the kettle black. If the rest of my family is up for criticism, well then so am I.”

I agree with you, I’m not perfect and I know my siblings aren’t either. My dad taught me over the years to try to be the better person and blow things off that others have done and said. I have for the most part. When I’m wrong I may not right away admit it but in time when I’ve had a chance to think about a situation I will admit when I’m wrong. My problem is when I know I haven’t done or said what I’ve been accused of, I do find myself defending assumptions and lies about me to justify proving there not true and I need to try to not take the energy to lower myself or waste time doing that. It will take time but I know I can do it. When it’s raw it’s hard to turn the other cheek.

I appreciate you giving me that link, I will try to go on there to educate myself more and learn more about myself and others and how to deal with it. I did question my incident with my brother, where he physically touched me in the hospital. I wondered if he could do that in front of nurses, doctors and my own daughter. What does he do to his own wife and kids and that bothers me. So maybe that link will help me understand a little more. I’m lucky in a way because he lives all the way on the other side of the US so it’s not someone I will see all the time, so that will be a little easier as well.

I will try the 'mantra'. I will think of something I can say that will help me calm situations down and tune out negativity.

Your comment:

“Okay, I will try to answer your question about forgiving the hateful and hurtful things. Please be patient with my answer (the rest of my post). My best one sentence answer is that you yourself, your thinking, and your feelings will have to change. You have little or no control over how your siblings or your mother behave. The only thing you can change is yourself. That's how things will get better for you. As you change and your anger diminishes, your capacity for forgiveness will grow.”

It’s still raw and it will take time.

Your comment:

” You suggest that your mother may have had a clear role in bringing about your father’s demise. Could it have been uncaring or slightly neglectful behavior, rather than criminally malicious behavior? What if your mother was herself depressed and was having a difficult time coping?”

Yes it could be, but even after several conversations with her and pleads with her to go get help with her own anger, she refused. Even when I’ve talked to her and told her that it was affecting my dad’s health. She seemed like she didn’t care and got worse. This will take a long time to process and heal if it can. I know my dad confided in me and said he felt it was taking a toll on his health and didn’t know how much more he could handle. This bothers me more than the humiliations, offenses, disrespect, and injustices from family members.

Your comment:

“Here's is another way to think about it. Could you stand inside your mother's shoes and faithfully present her side of the story? Not so easy! There are always two sides to every story. Sometimes we misread other people's motives or don't get their story straight.”

I’ve tried to stand in both of their shoes. I know when my husband has gone over there and seen it he has made comments that he just can’t believe the way my mother acts. I’ve always told him, this is just what we see in front of us I can’t imagine what goes on when where not around.

Your comment:

“All I'm suggesting is that there are ways to completely rethink your anger. Your thinking and your feelings will evolve. Over months, the anger you feel now will probably dissipate, and you'll no longer feel so stuck.”

Only time will tell. I know my mom has had time to think about it now. I’ve talked to one of my mother’s sister, my Aunt who has called me in the past worried about the same issues I was worried about. She did tell me that she was only hearing one side of the story after my father’s death and now that she has talked to me; she is seeing a clearer picture. I think a lot of my mother’s anger and her actions to play other siblings against me is because she knew I knew too much and she was worried that if I had the chance to talk to them about my concerns they would see things differently as well. So what better way than to make things up against me to keep the others away from me, and I have to admit she was a genius and it worked for now. She is the only one that will truly know what she has done and her reasons for how she treated my dad and I believe she will have to answer to God for that.

My Aunt did tell me that it has been difficult for my siblings to see my mom cry and hear her side and the only thing I could say back to her is my mother has talked herself into believing her assumptions and lies because I think that’s the only way she can cope with it, because if she truly was to sit down and see the truth it would be too difficult for her to accept her part in all of this. She needed my siblings on her side because she was worried what I would tell them. I’m OK with that now because I know in time others not all, will see what really happened and what’s been said. Will it change the past, no but it will I believe change their anger towards me. I know looking back that I did as much as I could to be there for my mom and dad and I’m at peace with that. I know I was a loving daughter to both of them.

Your comment:

“My best suggestion is that you let your feelings cool off for a couple months. Why rush anything? Concentrate on your own recovery. Stay as healthy as you can. Sleep well. Eat well. Get good social support wherever you can find it. See a counselor if you are able. And don't worry so much about having to patch family relationships. Probably your siblings and mother will also benefit from letting a little time go by. If you do decide to forgive them, you do not have to tell them directly, it can be something you do within your own heart. And don't expect anyone to admit any wrong; the best you'll probably get is a willingness to move on.”

You’re right I can’t change others I can only change myself and right now maybe it’s a blessing that I’m not talking to my mom or some of my brothers and sister so it gives me time to heal and rid some of this anger.

I will be meeting with a Hospice counselor next week and I’m looking forward to it, even though I know it will open some raw wounds and be emotional. But I’m ready to move on to my next step in life.

Thanks again

Kim

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  • 1 month later...

This is my first time on here and I'm not sure of what I am doing, but here goes: I SO feel your pain in what you are going through. I am so sorry that your grieving process has had to be affected by people's selfishness and carelessness. My Mother died almost a year ago. My husband & I dropped everything to drive down to Mesa to bring my parents home after we received phone calls from Mom's friends telling us that she was so sick. As soon as we saw my Mother, my husband & I KNEW she was dying. She was a very 'young' 78 and my dad was 84. We gave up a whole week, driving, working to exhaustion every day until we could leave and drive them to Utah. I tried to make the drive fun for my Mother - we laughed and laughed when we drove over the new Hoover Dam, calling it a Damm fine dam!! etc. ;) and she later told her friends that it was such a fun ride home. None of my siblings did a thing to get them home, or even really believed me that she was that sick!!! 2 of them later chipped in with cash for our trip and that ticked my dad off. (I, as the oldest and being a daughter, am pretty much the only child who has done much for my parents. I have helped, to a HUGE degree each time, to move them to new homes 5 times, I painted one entire house for them, and for 15 years I drove 1 hour each way in the spring to plant Mom's Mother's Day & spring flowers for/with her, plus MANY many other trips to help them. They have come for MANY, many dinners at my house, I've helped for days after her surgeries, etc. Sorry, to stray in my thoughts, but I have NEVER in my life caused my parents grief or embarrassment. I have always honored them, never gone to jail, never had to go to rehab, never made them go into debt for any bad habits, etc.) Once we got my Mother home and to the cancer specialist, she was beyond any help. My dad basically just sat in the corner of the doctor's office while the doctor spoke to me, having me feel her spleen and other growths in her abdomen. I was the one who had to give out the information to my 2 brothers and a sister, as well as my 6 kids and all of the other grandkids. (The other sister lives 10 hours away and has sent nasty letters to almost everyone in the family over the years, my Mother & I being the main recipients of them. She never bothered to call her dying Mother or even come to the funeral). I sent multiple texts keeping everyone in the loop as all of this was happening. A biopsy was done on her to see if the cancer was at stage 4 yet. While waiting, she went downhill rapidly and my dad called me on May 4th, 2011 and asked me to come up there, as she had been falling down, etc. Something told me to take everything I would need for a while so I packed and drove the hour there, only to have my dad say, "What took you so long???" I suggested later that night that we take her to the local hospital and my dad agreed. My husband dropped everything again, and 3 of our sons and their wives came up to the hospital to be with their Grandmother. One couple drove 2 hours each way and the others 1 hour each way. The hospital had access to all of my Mother's records and did numerous tests: no pneumonia, no cancer spreading to her brain, etc., in other words, they could only keep her at the hospital if my dad paid. Medicare would not pay for dying treatment and so I was asked if we wanted Hospice to be sent in. My husband & I said yes, but my dad still didn't get it. Basically, I was with my Mother for the last 8 days of her life. She didn't really like my dad and it had been a sad, unfulfilling(sp)marriage. My Mother didn't want my dad in her bedroom (they hadn't shared a bed for 15 - 20 years)all the time she was dying. One brother had heavy work pressure but came up as often as he could, one had just had a surgery and could do nothing. He later bought the burial dress and that was a wonderful contribution. My out of state sister (not the psycho one) couldn't do much and was in the middle of pulling off her daughter's huge wedding in Salt Lake City. I felt bad for her. She flew in and came up there all upset thinking nothing was being done for Mom (WHATTTT THE HELLLLL???)yelling "Why isn't Mom in the hospital?!? WHY aren't we supposed to make her eat food?????", she just didn't get it and I had to be the one to tell her that she was dying. I'll never forget her face, and it was the FIRST time we have ever been in a 'fight'. May 3rd was the last full night of sleep I got for well over a week. I 'slept' on a blow up mattress a neighbor brought over. I had the full care of my Mother, I showered her by getting in with her while I was in my underwear, and did EVERYTHING humanly possible to ease her through this hellish death. Anyone who thinks a death from cancer is "peaceful" just doesn't get it. I was beyond exhausted. My daughter who has 3 children helped one day , and my other daughter & her boyfriend drove all the way from Moab, Utah at the BEST time of the year for making money from their serving jobs and gave up over a week to help. At the end of Mom's life, we had to give her liquid morphine and liquid haldol for anxiety. There were times when I JUST COULD NOT PUT THAT NASTY TASTING STUFF IN HER MOUTH ONE MORE TIME and my darling daughter would do it for me while we both stood there and sobbed. After she died, I was in such a state of shock and exhaustion that my brother had to really push me to help with the obituary...I couldn't even seem to think. I had to do the entire funeral, deal with relatives, coordinate with the ward/neighbors (we are LDS), and EVERYTHING else that had to be done. I made a beautiful display of photos, etc., my sister helped a tiny bit, and my daughters helped also. My Moab daughter talked to my dad and found out that "Because God Gave Me You" was sung at their wedding, and he asked her to sing it at the funeral. She did a BEAUTIFUL job and some of the relatives wept during it. What I am getting at is that my family (6 kids & their spouses) and my husband have done 95% of anything that ever got done for our parents over the last 41 years. Two weeks after Mom died, the psycho sister from Idaho sent our dad an asinine letter talking about her DOGS and NEVER mentioning the sad fact that our Mother had just died.....pointedly telling dad that she is there for HIM but doesn't give a CRAP about our Mother. A day after the letter came, my family, again had driven up to his home, taking a huge huge roast beef dinner, homemade rolls, and the works to be with him. There he stood with that stupid letter, almost crying, shaking, saying "I'm not going to have your sister come down here and bad-mouth your Mother!" Somehow, in the grieving process, he must have gone mental, or something, because he and that sister are now BEST friends, I have been blamed for anything and EVERYTHING they can think of, I have been accused of stealing my Mother's jewelry and artwork, I have been 'thrown under the bus' for the most stupid, petty, childish things imaginable. In September, 4 months after my Mother's death, my dad used trickery and deception to get me to drive up there so that he could scream at me and accuse me for an hour. All of my siblings KNEW he was going to do this. I had picked up that he was angry, but had NO CLUE what for. He has asked me SEVEN TIMES, sometimes in an accusatory manner 'WHERE ARE YOUR MOTHER'S WEDDING RINGS??????" I have been accused of attempting to get gold coins that I didn't even know my Mother possessed. It is now the end of April, almost a year since my Mother died and I have been through the most unbelievably hellish experience I could ever imagine. My dad has gossiped about me and the things he thinks I have done to all of his siblings, my siblings, at least 2 of my children and my Mother's close friends. If someone would have told me this would happen after all I have done for my parents for my whole life, I wouldn't have believed them!!! Two weeks ago I talked to one of my Mother's friends on the phone for almost half an hour. She told me that they (her close girlfriends) are all "SO DISGUSTED THAT HE WOULD DO THIS AND TREAT HIS DAUGHTER THIS WAY!!!". That is how I found out that he has gossiped about me to everyone who will listen (it's a VERY small town). The friend said "Your Mother always raved and raved about you and everything you did for them over the years. We don't know HOW he can say these things, and WE DO NOT BELIEVE HIM!!!" I consider it a huge blessing that I was able to talk to this friend of my Mom's who KNOWS me. My dad called me again 3 days ago and wants to go round 2 with me, I guess and wants my husband and me to drive up there. He asked me AGAIN "Where are your Mother's wedding rings?????" None of us remember seeing her wearing her wedding rings for years....I have NO idea where they would be. At times I have felt pure evil coming out of my dad, other times, it seems like he has lost his mind, still other times, I feel scared that he may do something. I can't see this ever being resolved. My husband is SICK of my family's petty, idiotic accusations and behavior. I'm embarrassed that he has seen this and I am exhausted right in to my BONES from all of it. My dad called my oldest son 3 days ago and said, "I'm lonely." My son said, "Well, Grandpa, what is this even all about, anyway that you have alienated my Mother?" Then he proceeded to say his usual crap, exaggerations and lies about me TO MY SON. How can this happen?????? Why is it that the one who does the MOST gets treated like this? The other children did NOTHING. One thing I know is that my dad has always been jealous that my Mom & I were close and they never were. That is not my fault---she needed SOMEONE in her life. The other kids may have thought I was her favorite, and I may have been, again, that is not my fault or doing. What have they ever invested in helping her???? Nothing. I have felt my Mother with me comforting me, and I have had coincidences where I have found cards and books from years ago with messages in her beautiful handwriting that make me think she is aware that I have been suffering. I know she would HATE what dad has been doing. It is disgraceful and disgusting. Now I have ranted for quite a while, and I am sorry; I meant to address your problem. I hate to tell you, but barring a miracle, your family may stay torn apart. One thing my dad has done is make SURE not to do anything my Mother wanted done with her personal belongings---he will do the opposite of what she wanted done, just to have control or power or some stupid, pathetic thing. Back in September he screamed at me: "THESE. THINGS. ARE. M-I-N-E.!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Her jewelry, her make-up, the pictures and gift we have given her over the years? How sad & pitiful, when he could be almost a hero right now and be so generous. I'm sorry, please keep in touch, however, I've been a pretty big downer tonight. Take care, Rona

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Kim,

I am so sorry about you losing your Dad and all that happened with your Mom and your siblings. It sounds like you really were your "Daddy's girl" and that you like me and some others here experienced a degree of jealousy of the fact that you were closer to him than your siblings. It also sounds like you did everything you could to the very end to be there for him. It is really sad how when a loved one is about to pass away, sometimes family members absolutely freak out, take out their grief (if they have any and if it indeed is grief),become extremely selfish and want to only know "what's in it for me?". As Ron mentioned, I have indeed been through a lot of this type of situation with the passing of my Mom almost 2 years ago. I can relate to what you both have unfortunately gone through. If you are interested, you may read my story in my previous posts for the last 2 years.

Ron, thanks for asking about and being concerned about me. I am sorry for the late reply. I really do need to come here more often and can feel the affects of not doing so, as I have been feeling pretty depressed about it all during the last few weeks.

Kim, I cannot add much to Ron's excellent and well thought out responses and advice. He is quite amazing and was very supportive of me during this whole horrible part of my life. The loss will never, ever go away and my emotions seem to come and go. For a while I start to feel better, but lately it is more of a depression of just how much my entire life has changed since it all happened. There is no way out of it for me it seems. I will probably post more on this recent feelings in the near future.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss of your Dad. However, I am a strong believer in the power of the spirit and I believe that your Dad is closer to you than you realize. Please keep posting and best of luck with everything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Aquarius7. Glad to see you posting again. Almost 3 years on and I am still working through grief. Hope you are finding some healing through your grief too. I hope Kim and Rona eventually revisit this thread; neither has returned after posting their replies.

I need to acknowledge the importance of what Rona has written. While I ranted on about repairing relationships, Rona makes clear than not every relationship can be repaired. Posts like hers have a searing authenticity. Much of her story is worse than my own. Likewise with your story, Kim's story, and that of ONEofSEVEN. I am humbled just reading through such ordeal.

The indignities, offences, and injustices that have occured in our families are very real. I agree that any 'heal all wounds' rant is far too simplistic. There's just no way you, I, or anybody else can know someone else's trauma or pain. Some things may not be forgiveable. And it's understandable when relationships break; that's part of life.

But the main reason I reversed course on my own anger was not charitable feeling or a heal-all-wounds mentality. I finally recognized that my anger was driving me to extreme levels of stress. Preserving my own sanity eventually became more important than any issue I had with other family members. So I forgave in order to extinguish the anger. I didn't do it for love. I did it for self preservation. My mindset has become altruistic only as my forgiveness progresses over months and now years. And though I still feel resentments, I can keep good company with these same family members if I work at it.

I can't say what's right for anybody else. Just what has worked for me. Take care and god bless.

Ron B.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It seems like your mother was never acknowledged as a child or maybe her expectations of life had been skewed during her upbringing. As for you, you need to be acknowledged too. I don't think facing your mother head on will get you or her anywhere even though it seems like you want closure and reconciliation. If you really do want to connect with your mother I suggest you do it either by mail or email. The hard part is how to get her to interact but the easy part is to call her out on her emotions. I would write her a letter and tell her that she has nowhere to hide because you know that she is angry, bitter, etc - you just don't know why. The more you call her out on her emotions without trying to tell her why you think she's like that and without trying to sympathize with her, in fact being neutral, the more likely it will be that eventually she will probably crack just enough to where she may reveal something that she's holding in, something that triggers all her resentment and judging personality. The worst thing though is to try to reconcile with her in person.

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  • 1 month later...

It is a curse and a blessing to know someone is going through something similar to my experience. My dad's military buddies have a forum that they post to and my dad was a very involved member and friend to many of them. In the post announcing my dad's death, one of his friends commented that he felt bad for me because now I would be all alone. I initially thought this was a strange thing to say because I "have" my mom, a sister, and three brothers. However, in the time that has passed, I've realized that there was a lot of truth in that statement. I have never felt more alone and angry at my "family".

My story is equally long and confusing...I make references to it being like a sordid Maury episode... I never imagined things would be like this, despite the distance in the family. I've concluded that death and wills show a family's true colors, and let me tell you (not that you don't already know), it's an ugly truth. Maybe we'll be able to figure something helpful out...

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, welcome to this site. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad, and all of the suffering your family has been through with your brother's accident, the things that your mom experienced. God surely blessed her the day He gave her your dad.

I would highly recommend your finding a grief counselor, you can ask hospice, the hospital, a chaplain, or google one. Some people don't hit it off with one the first time, maybe something they say hits them wrong or something, but try to remember that when you're grieving you're ultra sensitive, understandably, so try to give it three sessions before making up your min about the counselor...then if you still don't feel right, try another one, but do get some help. The reason it's so important is loss encompasses so many aspects of your life and a grief counselor is educated and trained to help guide you through the maze of grief and help you see things you hadn't considered. It can really be of tremendous help. It's also good to express yourself, as you've done here. It helps us to feel heard, it validates our feelings, our experiences.

What are your goals for your grief journey? It might help to give some thought to that. Perhaps it's to help you learn to live with your father's death, perhaps it's to solidify the relationships with your siblings, or to forgive your mom for her shortcomings. Whatever your goals, do share them with your grief counselor.

You might want to read through the different threads in "loss of parent" section. Sometimes it helps us to know we are not alone, that there are others also grieving their parents. Reading through their stories and seeing they've lived through it and what they've learned along the way can help us too.

You're right, you don't want to pack the baggage, resentment, anger, etc. Why not let someone trained to help you learn how to release it? I want to add, there is nothing wrong with feeling hurt, feeling anger, etc., but it is complicated when you continue to carry it, then it can poison your life.

Also, try to avoid the drinking. It is a depressant and a poor crutch for coping, it doesn't fix anything. The last thing you need is a depressant right now!

Good luck to you in your grief journey! I've learned so much in mine that after many years I've been able to see it as the silver lining to the cloud.

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For what it's worth, my friend, I agree completely with everything Kay has said to you. Grief is difficult enough without thinking that you must go through it alone. There are all sorts of resources out there and readily available to help you. See, for example, Finding Grief Support That Is Right For You ~ and be sure to check out the related articles at the base of it, too.

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Thanks ladies. I will look into some grief counseling, I think seeing a specialist might be more insightful than the counselors I have already seen. The problem I have mostly is that on a good day I have a hard time opening the door to all of my emotions and really getting to the root cause. If I could go in on an as needed basis on a hard day I think I would benefit much more. But, as you said trying it at least three times should help. I have read many posts on this website, and feel so thankful that someone has created a site for people to talk and a safe space for kind listeners. What a blessing. I appreciate you guys reading my story and caring. It helps to know that people care. :)

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry I haven't been back for a while. Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful comments.

Just an update nothing has changed with my family. I sent an email to my mom last year for mothers day, wishing her a happy mothers day and also let her know that I wanted to talk to her so maybe we can resolve things, I never heard back from her. She told my youngest daughter about my email and was crying to her about it, so my daughter was angry with me and told me I ruined my mothers, day and so my daughter spent the day with her instead of me. She obviously can not apologize for what she has done and I believe she doesn't want too because it will make her look bad. Here is what I sent to her, considering everything I have gone through, I din't think it was that bad of an email....

"Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I hope you have a wonderful day.

I hope one of these days you can find it in your heart to apologize for what you have said and done to Larry and I, so that maybe our relationship could mend somewhat.

Also be able to sit down and talk about what was said to clear the air.

You know Larry and I have always been there for You and Daddy for everything, and have done so much for the both of you.

The stuff you have said to others have been nothing but assumptions. You can’t live your life assuming what you thought others were doing or trying to do.

It’s up to you, you don’t have too. You know I have never lied to you before and there would be no reason for me to lie to you about anything.

Larry and I never did or said some of the things you have accused us for and because of that and what had happened when Daddy was sick and after his death. caused you to lose a daughter and son in law that had always been there for you every day and especially on special occasions, when others weren't.

It’s up to you"

Like I said, I never heard back from her. So not only did I lose my dad I also lost my entire family. I hurts so bad, I have been nothing but a good daughter to my parents. I have always been there for them. I have never seen this side of my mother before, but it's obvious if she could treat my dad they way she did, why would I expect anything more from her. I found out also that one of her sisters is no longer talking to her. This is the same Aunt that reached out to me and said she felt so bad for me and everything I was going through. I can only assume, but I wonder if she had said something to my mom about what she was doing.

Anyways, it's a daily struggle and I never thought I would be going through this ever in my life considering how much I have done for my mom and dad. Death does cause people to change, unfortunately not always for the better :' (

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Rona I just read your story and it brought tears to my eyes and pain knowing what you are going through. We have somewhat of a mirrored experience. You lost your mother and I lost my father and both of our living parents have turned on us, the one out of 6 kids and I out of 7 kids who did everything for our parents when the other siblings were hardly ever there. I'm still trying to live day by day, always thinking about my dad. There is not one day that goes by that I don't break down and cry for what has happened. I wish I could give you advice, but I myself haven't figured out what to do. You can only live one day at a time. I pray things get better for you and I hope you know that you are not alone.

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This is a really tough situation, but I think you are both strong people for being able to express what's on your mind and in your heart. You're in my prayers and I hope things look up for you in spite of family.

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