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Mom Died And Family Fracturing

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My Mom died November 7th, 2005. She was 89. I had been living with her for the past 10 years, and although I described myself as her caregiver, she was not that much an invalid as the caregiver term implied. She could take care of herself, and so on. I was just around to help out and be there so she won't be lonely. Except for the past year, when it had been necessary for someone to be around 24/7. That was me. She increasingly depended on me for the simplest tasks, and I was there, daily.

She went to the hospital Oct 19th, and was in ICU for a week for a ruptured bowel. Later she was transferred to a private room where she slowly faded. Although I knew she would never come home, I kept hoping that a miracle would occur, but obviously none did. I perhaps colored my observations to family with this hope, but I and others knew the real deal.

Anyway, life has been very hard since. My sister is the executor of the estate, which is OK. However her style of grieving has been markedly different from mine. She needs to keep busy to keep her mind off things. This meant that just a few hours after Mom died, my sister was rummaging thru desk drawers and cabinets sorting and tossing things out. My Mom wasn't even buried yet and there were a dozen or so garbage bags on the backporch and yard awaiting disposal. I understand that everyone grieves in their own way, but that way should not run roughshod over other people's. If she needed to keep busy, she could have shown Mom's memory due respect, and be sensitive to others, and gone home and reorganized her own house. I feel as though something has been stolen from me, which is the time from my Mom's death to the funeral and burial, when I could have mourned and 'switched gears', so to speak.

Stresses have taken their strain over the aftermath. My sister and brother-in-law rented a dumpster to accommodate their desire to toss out 59 years of acummulated stuff of my parents. (My Dad died in 1995.) Mostly, 99% of the items are stuff deservedly dumpster material, but the timing and speed as to which things are disposed of, along with a certain lack of consideration as to the sensitivity of this entire matter, has led to problems. I did not assist them much in the sorting and tossing. I just couldn't. This was too soon. I went for long walks and visits with friends just to get away. Everyone tells me I did the right thing, that I have to take care of myself. I also spent much time at the cemetary, perhaps 1-3 visits per day for a few weeks. (Not so much anymore.)

My sister and I do not communicate. She and others are due in over this weekend to haul away a lot of my parent's furniture. This will be painful. An even emptier house. Another dumpster is due next week, I think to finish off the place. This place has ceased to be a home when my Mom died, it's just an empty shell now. I look around at the empty walls where pictures and paitings used to be, and there's nothing on them now. I see boxes of my stuff perched everywhere, blocking paths, awaiting transfer to storage. It's a morgue of sorts.

I have to move. The estate (my sister) wants to sell the house ASAP over her paranoid fear of creditors' demands (the only creditors are the estate's attorney and the hospital. Nothing else. The proceeds are to be distributed equally amongst myself and three siblings, after just debts. There was insurance to pay most medical costs).

I am not employed, as I was conveniently laid off just before a deterioration of my Mom's health needed me to be home full time. So, during the holiday season, I have to figure out how to grieve over Mom's death (I am seeing grief counsellors), mourn her passing, deal with where to live and find a job. All at once.

The topic's title is family fracturing. My sis and I aren't talking. She and her eldest daughter aren't speaking. Her two daughters aren't talking. My brothers' do not want to get involved, they are just hoping, I think, that this all blows over with little lasting damage. Pigs will fly first.

This is all terribly painful. Everyone tells me I'm doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing, but I still feel bad. In part its because Mom has died, mostly its due to my sister's attitude. I am more focused on her existence than my Mom's death. Healing is hard. When I carve out time to grieve which means going to my grief counsellor's, or reading material on grieving, I feel guilty that I'm not responsive to my sister's agenda. I am 42, nearly 43, and I feel like a child. I am struggling to shift my self-image to that of the adult that I am, with my own needs and agendas and responsibilities, but it's like kayaking upstream.

My sister has a strong, self-willed personality that has much darkness to it. When I moved home 10 years ago to look after Mom she expressed fears that I would let Mom wastevaway and die. (Mom was laid up for a few months with an injury. My sis said that I wouldn't be getting Mom her meals or her meds, and that I would just let her die. WELL IT TOOK 10 YEARS!!!!! Sorry, just had to let a bit of morbid humor creep in.)

Anyway, this is not about probate and things and who's getting what. Little trouble there. It's just attitudes, selfishness, and security issues.

I miss my Mom, and I wish I was on the other side of this whole thing. (i.e. next year, probate over, house sold, I'm working and living somewhere else.) I know I'll endure, it's just that enduring this whole matter is debilitating.

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Sometimes when you grieve you need something or someone to be mad at.

Sometimes family members can just be, well you know.

Keep your routine and look after yourself, there will be time later to mend fences.

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Paul S,

I'm very sorry you, too, have to deal with such chaos in the family. I know of what you speak, having gone through ( and still doing so ) similar stuff in my own family, though your situation sounds rather more 'organized' as far as chaos goes.

My family situation has gone from poor to never-to-be-mended, unless some great miracle occurs, which won't be of my own making. Though it's been 2 years already for me since first, my Mom, and then one brother died, I'm still not at a point where I can ever see forgiving my father and remaining brother for how they 'handled' my Mother's illness, death, final arrangements, sale of my parents' home and contents, and lastly, my father's Will and 'care' in the home he's in. My brother has stolen all their funds for himself, so as far as I'm concerned, HE owes ME apologies and much more and unless that happens, our family is dead forevermore. Everything died along with my Mother. I have no history left, as my place in the family as the lone daughter was totally invalidated with all that they did. I tried my best at the time to rectify some of this before things went too far, but my brother rebuked any chances I gave him to redress his wrongs, or our father's wrongs ( which preceded his ), so I've just been left out in the cold,, as if I never existed within my own family....just like my dear Mother.

While your situation, personally, is much more dire, with immediate needs you must attend to, I can still relate to having all that extra pressure to deal with when you need to just REST and "switch gears" as you so aptly put it. I don't have much good advise to give you, since my anger is still so much alive, except for saying that whatever you do, yes, YOU and YOUR needs have to come first. We can never forget about ourselves and our own worth, when we're mourning....trust me - I've become physically ill due to all the stress and am now worried for my own health. I even know that this anger is a big part of my symptom picture, yet still haven't been able to get rid of it. So DO take whatever steps, in whatever order you see fit, to take care of yourself first, and deal with all the other complications as you can fit them in.

I've come to realize that some siblings are just plain rotten people, and naturally, their worst behaviour often comes out during crisis. But knowing that doesn't, by itself, take away the hurt that's the by-product of such behaviour. Of COURSE it hurts, and deeply! When family members act opposite to the ideals of what family's supposed to mean to all of us, it's hard not to feel betrayed, belittled and unjustly treated. And when some of us see very quickly what's really important, ie. relationships, and others don't, it's doubly frustrating and painful. Our love is being rejected, by the ones who are 'supposed' to love us more than others. It may not be a realistic picture of how alot of families really operate, but this idealistic model persists in society and that makes it really tough for those of us who don't have terribly loving families to begin with. I say, if you have friends who will lend you some support, go for THAT, as blood is often NOT thicker than water. Try to detach with love ( if there is any ), as places like Al-Anon say, just to get through the mechanics of what physically needs doing. You can deal with only so much at one time when you're grieving, so don't put any extra pressure on yourself whevever you can help it. One step, one problem, one crisis at a time. One breath, one moment, one day at a time.

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Guest Guest_Dester_*


I can feel for you at this time. I won't bore you with details...go to page 2 of this board about family not grieving/fighting over Will if you want to know. I'd like to say that you will recover quickly but I am still hurting 1 year and 3 months later and will never have a relationship with my only sibling. My family all took sides and I really don't want anything to do with any of them after what happened. The best thing I ever did was go to Hospice counseling...they helped me understand that many families fall apart after the last parent dies. They were very supportive. I hope you get some help and get a good support system because grief takes a while to work through. It takes years sometimes. Good luck to you. Dester

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Maylissa and Dester:

Thanks for your responses, I don't feel as alone.

I've been going to some grief counseling, and it has helped to keep my head together, along with AA meetings. (I don't remember if I said in my first post that I am a recovering alcoholic, 3 1/2 years sober.)

More couseling this week, including a hospice session. My first support group meeting is tomorrow night, looking forward to it.

(The website of where I'm going for counseling has a link to this place, that's how I found it.)

Things may be worse for a while. Although in retrospect what has just happened an hour ago should have been expected. Perhaps I was too hopeful.

My sister the executor has basically given me 30 days to get out. My friends have been telling me to fight this if it ever happened, but I didn't put up any fight. Any attempt would have been futile, based on her body language and that look in her eyes. It would have made this week even more untenable than it is. She and her husband are here this week to continue sorting. She is being very hard and legalistic concerning her role as executor. She may review what items (little plant stands and end tables I assumed no one would care about) I've taken to see if it meets with her approval.

I am tired and at the end of my rope. I know I'll get through this, my religious faith is deep enough, but there is only so much one can take.

I need a miracle, or just strength. Plus a need to get off my keester and get busy.

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Guest Guest_Dester_*


I'm so sorry that happened. It doesn't surprise me though. My brother, one month after my mother died and the moment he took possession of the house, came up and told me I have one hour to pack my bags and get out. I was left in San Diego with no place to stay and no car. I had to do the remainder of the estate stuff from a hotel and one of mom's old friends lent me a car. I had come to San Diego to care for month during the moths of her illness, so I didn't live there. But I had to leave my job to care for her, so I was unemployed. My brother was the one I posted about who wanted to take the gold crowns out of mothers mouth because she had so many....that's all he could think about as she lay there in a coma with her mouth gaping open. Oh it gets even worse than that.....but it is just so sick I think I may write a novel. The amazing part is that it didn't surprise the Hospice workers...they'd seen it all. I wish you strength and peace....just remember to take care of yourself and try to not focus on your sister and her toxic behavior...she will have her own Karma to deal with. Take lots of vitamins and get exercise as one has a tendency to get sick after such stress....take care...Dester

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Thanks Dester. Only one hour? I am not sure I would have survived that. I think I might have gotten unhinged. My brothers, whom I emailed largely the info in my post, were not as supportive as I had hoped. One wasn't surprised and said I shouldn't be also. Another tried to steer a neutral course and see things her way, in addition to mine. Something about she's under a lot of pressure being the executor. I know that's a pressure-situation, but when she was offered the task years ago by Mom, she could have either refused or asked that it be shared. I'm the one looking for work, a place to live and seeing my bank account dwindle.

Actually, I may have a place to live soon, but not permanent. An AA friend offered me a place in his apt, (couch and part of living room.) He was vouched for by a non-AA friend so I know he's not a psychopath.

It seems like the only support I'm getting is from the grief counselors, AA, my priest and some friends. The few family supporters are either 'outcast' so to speak, or have been tortured by my sister.

I hate the guilt that I may be wrong and have missed something. I dunno. It just seems that what she is doing is too cold, efficient and businesslike. Some understanding souls have said that may be her personality, but also that that's no excuse. Just that i should accept it, and adjust my reaction to her to get through it.

I am going to a hospice for counseling and whatever else they offer this Friday. I'm looking forward to it, especially after what you've said.

On the positive side, at least in a month I wouldn't have to put up with her much more, except when needed for probate issues.

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Guest Guest_Dester_*


I understand how hard it is to have family take sides...same thing happened to me. I just told them all to take a leap. It disgusted me so. It was one hour after he took possession (he wanted to keep the house so he had to buy me out)...not one hour after mom died. Fortunately, I had the foresight to ask mom to be co-executor a couple years ago. I told her that my brother would eat me alive....he tried anyway. Had I not done that I would have been left with nothing. My brother had lived near mom for years and had "arranged things" in his favor....it's hard to believe mom didn't realize it. Who knows...maybe she secretly wanted it that way as he was always her favorite. Anyway....grieing for mom took a back seat to protecting myself from my brother....it wasn't until I left and things settled down that it all hit me and it hit hard. It is over one year later and the probate stuff is still not completely settled...the stress and conflict was almost more than I could take. I let my brother take more than his share just to get out of the situation early on. Money was less important that my sanity......it was the most horrible year of my life...loss and grief and loss of my faith in family. I have to start all over now.....BTW, my brother is an untreated alcoholic...says he doesn't drink but I would challenge that after being with him during those months. I don't drink very often and I have a good nose. Even if he doesn't drink his behaviors are those of an alcoholic in need of treatment....and his wife of 30 years...don't get me started. and his son drinks like a fish too. God am I glad I am hundreds of miles away from that!!!! I know you understand.

I'm thankful you had your AA for support. I went to ALANON and Hospice the entire time and I am grateful for them all. Dester

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The family isn't taking sides, per se. They understand my sister differently from me, and this perspective has a 'chasm of undertanding' that may be hard to cross. They seek to see both sides of the situation, which is commendable, but due to certain factors, i.e. I am an alcoholic who has to maintain his 3.5 years of sobriety at all costs, or I'm useless, and they are not alkies, I am job-searching and apartment-hunting through all this, and they are secure in their homes and jobs.

They don't understand certain things about me that were deeply affected by my alcoholism. They can intellectualize it, but the emotional grasp is not there. It's as if they fall back onto a 'default' setting of seeing my life as if I were a problematic loser, not as a struggling soul seeking to cope with things they take for granted.

I have guilt over the opinions of my family, like I mentioned in my previous posting. Maybe they're right and I'm wrong. And this means I've lied and/or mislead people on this board, on recovery boards and in AA meetings. But then I just think about the 'chasm of understanding' theory up above and feel that that is maybe the way things will shape out in the months and years to come. My 'family' will be more like friends I am meeting through Church, grief support groups and AA meetings face-to-face and online.

Kind of sad. Or is it? Is it just this naive idealism I have that families are supposed to be closer to you than anyone else? I think Maylissa said that blood is definitley NOT thicker than water.

Oh, well. ***sigh***

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Guest Guest_Maylissa_*


Yes, these power struggles within families are something else, aren't they? They really rear their ugly heads during crises and the worse the crisis, the worse the power games. Human nature can be anything but humane!

I don't think it's unusual at all for others, especially in families, to hold onto certain views of each other, the reality of which may or may not have changed, but the familiarity of those views provides somewhat of a 'comfort' factor members can more easily use when dealing with each other, rather than making the effort to revisit those perspectives as required. I'm sure we, the 'victims', often do the same thing. The very fact, though, that you're willing to entertain the notion that your thinking may be wrong suggests to me that you've developed that famous 'humility' that AA espouses ( and GOOD FOR YOU! ), whereas your family can't be bothered...probably because they judge you as 'worse' than them, due to your condition. I constantly ran across this obstacle when I'd try to explain to my Mom's sisters WHY she continued to drink, what alcoholism was all about and how to personally get beyond the blame game when dealing with her. They just didn't understand any of it, and I don't think they wanted to. They just wanted someone to judge and blame for their own discomforts....something my Mom was just as guilty of...something I know I've done myself, too, but at least I was aware of doing so. All the sisters had/have the same kind of addictive personalities but applied their addictions a little differently.

On the other hand, have you ever had, or taken, the opportunity to explain, in detail, to any of them, how your alcoholism has affected your inner and outer world? Just as education about the condition helps those in AA and Al-Anon understand things, enlightening others about our inner worlds can do the same. I don't know if you'd feel safe enough to try this with your sister, but it's a thought. Who knows what inner demons drive her actions? Only you could decide, as you know her while I don't. Sometimes I think it might not be worth our while to undertake such exercises, but it's always worth at least considering....even if that only takes a few seconds!

I don't know if it's naive or not to wish for at least something approaching that ideal family. Since being on several grief boards for a few months now, I've heard of terrible families ( like all 3 of ours here ), but also of greatly loving and compassionate families, so what's the 'norm'? Certainly I've never known! <_< I've spent my entire life trying to ascertain what's a normal response/action to something, what's 'acceptable' and what's not. It's a slow learning curve unless you're fortunate enough to be able to play fly-on-the-wall in hundreds of homes. However, if we want to strive to be good people, we need those ideals as goals to work towards, so I don't see anything wrong with having hope for them as our reality. It only becomes a problem when we're the only ones in the family unit with this wish or hope. If no other Johnnies want to come out to play, it's fruitless to waste too much time on that dream. Though I spent much of my adult life having laid that dream down, it still managed to rise up again upon the death of my Mom, then brother. I foolishly thought that such a tragic and huge event would knock some common sense into my last brother's head, and also open his heart up. I was wrong...dead wrong. And like your family, since my perspective is from within ( and I'm the sensitive one in the family ) I can intellectually understand that my brother isn't wired the same as me, but no, I DON'T have that emotional understanding of WHY his heart is different than mine.

I expect that one fine day, when I'm feeling better and have ranted and raged and reworked things yet again, I'll feel more accepting once more of the death of that ideal for me, personally, in my own family. But even if I accept the situation, that doesn't mean I won't forever feel pangs of sadness and emptiness because of what I never got to experience, love-wise, with any of them. Many of us have to 'replace' our families with psuedo-families, just as those who had loving families who are all gone, too, must also do. They may not have the same nightmares as those from more dyfunctional homes have to live with, but in the end we all need MORE than our families to sustain us anyway.

Of course, that's been one of my greatest sorrows...that I can't even seem to find that. The only people I really have at present, are those on these boards, a counselor ( who's not really a 'friend' per se, and our coverage ended last month so I can't see her for awhile anyway ) and my husband and furbaby. So my world has become way too small for my comfort, and not through lack of trying, as I've tried to find even ONE good and true friend for all of 30 years or so, and failed. I'm used to crumbs, but this is getting totally ridiculous! :angry:

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Everyone tells me I'm doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing, but I still feel bad.

You know, people tell that to me too and I'm doing things very differently than you. I think that we all grieve in our own way and none of them are wrong. In fact, they're exactly what you're "supposed" to do given you're you.

Having said that, I probably grieve more like your sister. I wanted everything to be taken care of. Stat. It helped me feel better and, truthfully, I've been so wrapped up in my own grief and I haven't even considered how I was acting might be making my brother or stepdad feel. I suspect your sister feels similarly.

I appreciate your post b/c this has inspired me to communicate more and not be in such a rush to do everything. A balance between my needs and my familys' needs must be met I think.

In your case I would maybe try to talk to you sister? Perhaps she doesn't know what you're thinking or even that her behavior is so upsetting to you? It's so hard to put ourselves in someone else's shoes when our grief and loss is so consuming.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care!

I just read through the thread and saw your update about having to leave the house. How awful for you!!! :(

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I feel for you at this time. It's hard to deal with the death of a parent. When my mom was put in a nursing home and we knew she wouldnt come home my elder sister was power of attorney for her. My mom wasnt even gone when the house was almost completely emptied into dumpsters. Like you I wasnt there for most of it. It upset me that they were throwing away my entire childhood. It felt like a part of me was gone. My mom had three kids and we all reacted differently when she died. I was the one that was actually at the nursing home when she died and I went into a fog where I wouldnt let anyone call everyone else to let them know she was gone. I had been her caretaker prior to her to being taken to the nursing home. Now it's been over a year since her death. I'm still grieving for her In ways I think I'm grieving more now than ever because of circumstances that didnt let me grieve fully at that time. My Dad passed away this Past June and now the house has been sold to take care of debts. And his eldest daughter is in charge. My family was never close but since my parents death it seems that we are even farther apart. I've started to grow closer to my sister who was Power of attorney for my mother. I think once everyone has figured out how they need to grieve and begin the process then they will be able to become closer as a family. Unfortunately the person that bound you all together is no longer on earth so now there's no one physically binding you together. You have no reason to feel guilty you were there for your mother when she needed you. And you're acting like someone who's just lost their mother.You could try to talk to your sister if there's anything from the house you want try to get it before it's thrown out. I ended up with everything from my mom's room at the nursing home. Some things from the house that I felt were important to my mom I kept. This might all be senseless babble but I hope it helped you some. I hope things work out for you. Take care of yourself.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all. Sorry for taking a month to reply, I just don't want anyone to think I'm ungrateful and that I take what I need and then leave. The holidays got in the way and I don't have a computer in the place I live. My late Mom's birthday I consider a part of the holidays (it was Jan 20th-she would've been 90).

There has been a rift splitting open in my family. Centering on me and my sister, I am being targeted with blame (co-equal with my sis), and that I understand. In any rift, it takes two to pull it apart. Some/most of the accusations are unfair and unwarranted.

I have decided that responding to the criticism would be pointless. It was suggested that dialogue with my sister may be healing, or that I explain about my alcoholism (at least the recovery angle) and so forth. That is not possible at the moment. Emotions are too raw and sensitive and positions have hardened. They wouldn't understand, anyway. I've tried a little. Some family are trying to steer a narrow course between my sis and I, and God bless 'em for trying but that just annoys me. I have loads of justifiable anger and their conciliatory nature is rubbing me the wrong way. It will help in the long run keep the rift from swallowing other people, but for my sister and I, no reconciliation is possible for a long while. She is just too cold and insensitive and would not see my perspective.

That is another reaon why I won't defend myself. There is little chance of my being understood. My Catholicism and AA recovery program has denied a 'common frame of reference', and that is fine with me. There need be no obligation to maintain everlasting contact with family. People drift apart for a variety of reasons, and a divergence of lifestream just happens. It's my life and I gotta live it.

This is unfortunate, but it may be a blessing in disuise. I now feel more liberated than before. I no longer think of "What would Mom and Dad think, and also, what would the rest of the family think?" That has been so inhibiting in the past, regardless of geographic distance or age difference. I've always considered the family's opinions in any life-decision. Well, Dad died in 1995, Mom died last November, and now the family and I are marking our separate territories. So be it. It's real sad it's taken over 40 years (I'll be 43 next Tuesday, yippee), but since we may all live to our 90's or beyond, so what? Things happen when they do.

Discovering and living new opportunities is one common theme I've discovered in my grief counseling sessions and my grief-work reading. I've found new, hidden strengths and values and desires and life is better.

In time a new paradigm will form and the family may come together. But on an equal, respectful, understanding. There may be more tragedies (I can't be the only alcoholic in the family, there's got to be others-someday. That isn't wishful thinking, either.) and I hope I can respond with any help I can.

Oh, well. I've rambled on long enough. Just want to say thanks to Maylissa and others for being around. I'll try to hang out here more often.

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Dear Paul,

Oh, it's good to hear from you again! I'd very much enjoyed our first chats/sharings and yes, I had been wondering what happened to you. But I understand the whole holiday thing ( plus your mom's birthday - the same day as my furbaby's, who just turned 19 ) and how you can get so immersed in the mourning, robbing you of energy for other things. So not to worry.

I'm glad to hear you've come to a decision, at least for current circumstances, about your family problems. Even that is a help in healing, rather than that nebulous waffling that surrounds indecision. ( where I'm still at, unfortunately )

I have to concur with the feeling of annoyance when people are sitting on the fence - I thought I was the only one to react the same way! I've recently experienced the same kind of thing with one aunt, who has a need to be 'popular' among the relatives. Despite me telling her the absolute FACTS about my brother's actions, she's excusing/ignoring his behaviours ( to my 'face' ) yet still writing me, the wronged party. I understand she's lonely and wants as many people as possible to fill her life, but her ethics are certainly lacking and there's no chance of that changing at her age. I wrote her once, at Christmas, because she sent me a card and letter....but I won't be making that mistake again. So I also understand your decision to focus on your own life and allow your family to go their own ways. That's what I'd done myself, many years ago ( except for my Mom )....it was just my Mom's death that brought back those desires to have some semblance of a family-of-origin again, and I hope that desire will subside again and die a natural death.

It's funny you should mention that your past decisions were coloured by the tapes in your head from your parents. Although for the most part, I no longer lived this way, I've noticed some vestiges of this still in the background of late, and have discovered how someways I operated were still influenced by those old tapes. Like washing my car ~ I just realized that now that my Mom's not here, I really don't seem to care the way I did if my car is clean outside, and haven't washed it in months! ( I don't use it much, though )A tiny thing, you might think, but it made me realize just how deep some of these things lay inside. It's so stupid, too, because it was never as if my Mom would actually ever see my car, since we lived in different places and couldn't visit. I've realized alot of things I've done were done with the inner intent to either 'prove' myself to my Mom ( and sometimes, my dad ) or somehow 'make her proud' of me, even though I knew she'd never see or know about them. It was all just in my head. This has lead to some depression, since I was never really doing these things for only myself and now I don't seem to have the same impetus to do them. Sometimes I really hate these learning curves!

BTW, I forgot, long ago, to remark on your use of certain words that bring a smile to my heart...like "alkies" and "keester"....I had to chuckle, as these were words I heard often from my Mom...so thanks for that nice, little blast from the past!

Something I'm in the process of doing for myself, to try and rid myself of the demons that plague me, both from the family past and the present trouble with my brother, father and relatives, is working through the "Grief Recovery Handbook" by the Grief Recovery Institute. So far I agree with 99% of the statements they make about grief/losses and working through them effectively. I have yet to DO the actual exercises ( still reading the first part ), which unfortunately, I must do without a partner, but it sounds promising. They speak of healing our broken hearts with the heart rather than the intellect, and I just feel this is accurate, as any true healing I've ever experienced hascome from the emotional side, not my head. Their program is used for any kind of loss, including relationships ( living and dead ), moving, family homes, divorce, health, you name it, so I figure this pretty much will cover my entire life to date, if it works as well as they ( and some others I've talked to ) claim. If you're interested, the G.R.I. has a website. There are also a number of articles there which are well worth reading. The book seems to be easy to find just about anywhere, for $20 plus taxes. ( you might ask around about their program, as I'm sure many counselors have heard about it )

Did you manage to find work? I would hope so, as you really are a very intelligent man and I can't imagine anyone not considering you a big asset!

Overall, it sounds like you've got a solid plan in place for healing and I think the good head you have on your shoulders will be a definite aid. However, as things come up for you, don't be averse to bringing them forward here - I get a lot more from those who share similar stories and therefore, their processes during healing. I'll be pondering further much of what you last said here.

And Happy Birthday next Tuesday! And hey, I'm already well past your 43 years, so try not to get too depressed about it until at least your 45th! ;) ( I know, though, how sad our own birthdays can feel without our moms ) And buy yourself a little cake or other goodie. Like you said, ya gotta LIVE your own life. Take good care and hope to hear back from you soon.

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Hi Maylissa!! This alkie's keester is planted firmly in the chair and I enjoyed reading your reply.

I've seen the "Grief Recovery Handbook", but for the time being decided not to buy it. I'm not up to something as proactive as scribbling in a workbook. I've just read "Companion Through the Darkness" by Stephanie Ericsson. A great book, although the focus is more on losing a spouse. Nevertheless, it was a tremendous help to me. Especially in a chapter near the end entitled "The Saurian Tale". It's about dealing with evil. Mostly evil people, but also the evil that people do. It was what helped me to arrive at the decision to not respond to any emails and whatever other nonsense directed at me. Even if I employ Truth, can point out Facts backing me up and clearly identifying where they're wrong. It would serve no purpose except to boost my ego, and there are spiritually safer ways of doing that. Besides, after this is all over my sister will not have Mom or the Estate handling to keep her mind off things. That is when (I think) the full force of Mom's death may hit and her hardened heart may not be equipped to cope. She will either return to brutalizing others in her life, (not me, for I'll be outta hers) or drink. She's handled alcohol in the past, but avoided developing a problem either because of the need to keep her head about her because of Mom (and before, Mom and Dad) or the memory of her father-in-law dying of alcohol. Maybe my alcoholism kept her away from it. I dunno, but that was the 'tragedies' I referred to in the last post. Any response fom me may push her towards it. I can write effectively, and when I put my mind to it, can really cut open wounds. I've learned from some people the art of guilt tripping people, although I've never used it. A weapon held in reserve, but thanks to AA and my Catholicism, will remain holstered. I also don't want to leave a paper trial that she and others can point to. "See?! Look at what he said to me!!!"

The book I read befor the Ericsson was :"A Time to Grieve : Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One" by Carol Staudacher. Great book, needn't be read from fron-to-back, just flip thru it and if any of the headings seem to trigger someting, read that topic. Not sure what is next, either "Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: Comforting Catholics in Their Time of Grief" by Glenn M. Spencer, "Good Grief: A Constructive Approach to the Problem of Loss" by Granger E. Westberg, or "Grieving the Death of a Mother" by Harold Ivan Smith. From what I gather, the Westberg is a classic.

My Mom's estate sale is this Friday thru Sunday. I had hoped to be out of town, but can't afford it. Intellectually I can grasp the sale, but emotionally I regard any who go to be vultures. I dread anyone coming up to me in the future and say "Oh, Paul! I bought...at your Mom's sale!!!" It'll be all I can do to not say "I hope the thing breaks!!!"

Not good, but it's how I feel.

Otherwise things are getting better. I have a part-time job. Custodian at my Catholic parish. It's about all I can intellectually or psychologically deal with right now. I am also sending out resumes. I also have an apartment. One of the reasons I disappeared for a month was the need to find one. I was intimidated into giving 30 days notice. I was out in 20. Again, my priest came through. A godsend, he. I owe him a huge, happy debt of gratitude. Anyway, this guy in the parish rents out places he owns and is very generous. My finances don't matter. Small, 1 BR, but mine! He knew my parents through the Church, Knights of Columbus and the Parish school. He knows I come from good stock, and wants to help. Now if I can only finish unpacking and sorting. About 90% done, but its the last 10% that makes the place look like a mess. "Aceptance and "time takes time" help with this, not to mention that I'm a recovering slob in addition being a recovering drunk. It's just like old times!!

There's this old guy in the back who keeps feeding me. One week he gave me a weeks worth of ziti. Last week was several days worth of venison. That's still in the freezer. The other day was a gallon of cranberry juice. He said it doesn't mix well with his vodka. I could've told him that! I told him I don't drink, but not why. No need to.

Well, that's it for now, I suppose. Take care!

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Hey, Paul! Okay....right off the top...... :lol::lol::lol::lol:

If you've got any more of those 'golden-oldies', feel free to jot them right down here! ( I DID like the "time takes time" one, even though I've not heard that before )

You've really peaked my interest with that one chapter out of the first book. Thanks for mentioning it - I'll have to try and get it now, as I don't recall seeing any subject matter like that in any other books on grief that I've read so far...and it's certainly applicable in my case. Yes, I've heard that "Good Grief" is a classic, though I've never read it. So many good books, not enough time to read them all...and I LOVE reading and always have. I wish these had all been around when I was young ( used to read psychology books in my teens ~ in hopes of figuring out my stupid family! :P ), when I had all that 'care-free' time.

I often wonder when and if my brother will start coming apart at the seams, too, and what form it might take...but I wouldn't want to be there to see it, as he's a pretty scary guy and thankfully, I haven't had to be around people like him in many years. I've actually been rather amazed that none of us 3 kids ever seemed to develop problems with alcohol ( that I know about ), considering that it ran quite rampantly in our Mom's side, and my dad's side had a few 'mental' siblings. ( oh, we were so blessed with our genes! lol )But then, my addiction (of 'choice') is cigarettes, my (dead) brother smoked a pipe and could be violent and the remaining brother devoted his entire life to his business( workaholic ) and can be violent, so we each picked up some kind of addiction &/or dsyfunction from our parents. I remember monitoring my alcohol intake very carefully for a few months, after getting educated about it, and thankfully found that I seemed to be okay, which is good, because I have great fear of ending up like my Mom. I also remember my dead brother telling me this crazy theory he had about just "deciding" he was one of those people who would simply never get mouth cancer (from the pipe), after having read some studies about same...and I thought, "Okaaaayyyy...well, there's that classic family denial again. " So, no, he didn't get that...but he died of a stroke instead! And here I haven't been able to quit, myself, yet, despite 2 immediate family members dying from strokes.

What I really picked up on was you not wanting to leave a paper trail which others could use against you. It's so sad that some of us are forced into considering such aspects when dealing with our families, isn't it? And yes, I've had to think the same way. In fact, I still hold tape recordings I felt I had to make when my father was threatening/blackmailing me years ago. I had to go to a lawyer to protect myself when I wanted to leave the family business. Strangely, on the flip side, I wanted a paper trail when I wrote my last brother a letter after both deaths, and my counselor even encouraged this, so that if he ever said I'd said whatever, I'd have written proof that that's NOT what I said! I also sent copies of this letter to 2 relatives and one family friend, as an added safeguard. I kept thinking, "How pathetic is this, that I feel I have to do this with one of my own brothers?!"...but I'm glad I did, as he later tried to tell at least one person ( that I know about ) that I was "complaining" about things in this letter, which wasn't true at all. Most of it dealt with my relationship with my Mom, the things he may have had yet from the estate sale that meant a great deal to me and most importantly, why I would have liked to have had them. I wrote out memories surrounding these items and the feelings I attached to those moments from the past...moments me and Mom had shared together, important rituals and traditions she'd started and I'd kept in my heart and in practise...stuff like that. It was vital to me to try and reestablish the fact that I was her daughter, AND a family member, and entitled to that status and information and other things that were going on. I offered again to help him with anything he needed done, but had to do that from where I live, as we couldn't afford for me to go back home yet again. ( he'd refused my earlier offer to come and physically help, when I COULD have gone ) But he chose to either view, or just CLAIM that was complaining. So that pretty much clinched it for me....he's as nuts as the rest of them and there will be no miraculous change of heart in him, I'm sure. It still floors me that, with all her bigger problems, my Mom still managed to touch and be touched by love ( from me ), yet this brother is as cold as ice. Saaayyyy...maybe I could commission you to write something guilt-inducing for my brother?! ;)

And yes, it's hard to live with unfair estate sales. After I got cheated out of everything, I debated about calling every auction house back home, to try to buy back ( at terribly inflated prices, I'm sure ) whatever items of my Mom's I could ( I knew there had been many rep's there, buying up all sorts of things, as my stupid father was practically giving valuable things away ), but we just couldn't afford the long distance charges for all that at the time. So I was lucky to track down and buy back her china set and had to leave it at that. This is still such a sore point with me that I don't see myself ever being able to get rid of the resentment and hate I have towards my father and brother about it. I used to have fantasies all the time about finding her pieces at an auction house and taking great pleasure in telling whoever I was talking to all about what they'd done, sobbing all through the tale, of course, until they gave the item back to me for less than what they would have normally priced it at. Oh, it's a really raaawww nerve, still. I can't even bear to think about what's going to ultimately happen to those treasured things....I feel violated, as if someone burglarized my childhood, adolescence and young adulthood...because they're all wrapped up in those pieces. It was MINE and my MOM'S life, not some stranger's! It really makes my stomach churn to think of someone else even touching those things...and will they take good care of them, as I would have? I doubt it, because the love didn't go with them. I'll tell you, Paul, if I met anyone who had your mom's things, I'd ask for it back, period! The intellect doesn't serve here, as it's the heart that's broken, not the head.

I'm happy for you that you found both decent living arrangements ( including some catering! ) and work that suits you for now, as you say. Whatever works. Thank goodness you had someone to turn to for help there. Now if the Universe would just send you a professional organizer, eh? ( to teach you, not to do for you)....hey, at least you didn't say you were a dedicated slob, but a recovering one! Hope springs eternal!



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Hiya, Maylissa!

The thing about the paper trail I may reconsider. I'll ponder what you said, plus I had been thinking the other day that if I were to respond in writing to anything, there'll be an appropriate time for it. It'll make itself known and obvious. And most likely after my emotions calm down. I've learned to never say anything (well almost never) when I'm emotional. "Time takes time!" (That's an AA slogan. We've got a lot of 'em. :rolleyes: )

Regarding my Mom's estate sale, there nothing overly valuable remaining. Nor is it really unfair. I just associate it with the whole rigamarole of the rapid discarding of things my sister did in November, so quickly after Mom died. My sister took the fine silverware. (that was OK. What am I, a bachelor, gonna need with that? Let my future wife-unmet as yet-pick something out for her parents to buy :blink: ) I think she took the china, as well. That's fine, again, the bachelor thang. It's a lot of the little stuff, from everyday life like small glass bowls she used to keep odds and ends and spare change and whatnot in. Candle holders, and other small stuff. The big things, such as a sofabed and dining room set and china closet/buffet table, I kinda would have liked, but I have no where to put them. Her recliner I have emotions about, but you gotta let go.

However, its interesting that I've had fantasies similar to yours re: guilt tripping buyers at auctions and getting things back cheaper, but mine involve standing in the background of the estate sale and making extremely sentimental and nostalgic comments about my Mom and her things, in a sick-and-twisted hope of sabotaging the sale. No one would buy anything and I'd offer the ladies running it to take the stuff off their hands for free, saving my darling sister the expense of renting a dumpster. They'd appreciate my generosity and kindness and help me load my car. Hmmmm...

I feel just a little bit violated, but more like my Mom may be humiliated at the mundaneness of the stuff offered for sale. Nothing much impressive. The dining room set is old and scuffed, nothing remarkably stunning about anything else. BUT IT WAS MY MOM'S. :angry:

Oh, that book by Ericsson ("Companion...") I think should be read by married couples BEFORE their spouse dies. I'm not talking about that if one spouse has a terminal illness, I mean no matter how long one's been married and regardless of the health of either. Although the target was losing a spouse, I got A LOT of good from it.

I think people do run a genetic risk for addiction, but it may manifest in different forms. Yours may just be tobacco. You really should quit. You ever try? The patch or that gum stuff? Just wondering.

Well, until later. I may not be around till Monday, I'll be working in the Church Friday and Saturday (duty calls, but also its to hide out from the sale-keep my mind off it) Library closed on Sunday, besides, I volunteer at a Franciscan place that is like a hospice. People who are terminally ill and a prognosis of 6 months or less to live go there to die. Just volunteer work every Sunday afternoon to help me through, and it works. Being close to death, but in a detached sort of way, as these people aren't loved ones of mine, helps me with Mom's death. Also helps me get outside myself. "A mind is a bad neighborhood when you find yourself in it alone." Yep, another AA bonmot.


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Okay, this is getting very uncanny...you use a whole bunch of words that I thought only I used! "hiya" and "rigamarole"...holy crow, are we somehow related?! :huh::lol: I know you won't be reading this for a few days, but I'm posting it now anyway.

Firstly, it took me about 3 weeks to write that letter and get it 'just so', so yes, timing and calm deliberation are beneficial.

It warms the cockles of my heart to hear you say, as a male child, that you would have had no use for some of the more 'girlie' things of your mother's. My dead brother actually wanted the older set of china, which also pleased me, because he did have an appreciation for certain fine things and would have liked to see it in use. And of course, the two of us wouldn't have been fighting over who got which set! My remaining brother, on the other hand, is also a bachelor, but wanted to simply sell whatever he could in order to pocket the funds to try and save his ever-failing business. He'd told me that he was going to try and sell some things on e-Bay. He had at least one sentimental item - a 25th Anniversary cup and saucer of our parents', something he would naturally never use himself, but he wouldn't send it to me, either. So because I'm so 'used to' this kind of heartless craziness, it just does me good to hear a son thinking rationally and, well, normally.

I, too, wanted a few silly, little things...like my juice glass from when I was young ( saw it there, and should have pocketed it )...sentimental stuff. All I managed to sneak into my bags of clothing were my Mom's cowbell from the farm where she was born and her Swedish rolling pin, which was irreplaceable. Many other little things were just missing from their usual spots, or I would have had a few more items to cherish. I did have opportunity to bag all the photographs, but stupidly left them, fearing the future wrath of my father, who kept asking about them ( not realizing at the time just how BAD his dementia already was & that he wouldn't notice anyway ), after which he burned or threw them out. For this, I'm as mad at myself as I am at him.

I want to turn back the clock, even if just for that one day. I offered my father money for the china, but he wouldn't decide what a "fair price" would be to charge me before I had to leave. A "fair price"?!?! I figured I'd more than paid a huge price, over my whole life, for being held hostage by his horrible ways.

There were also many valuables that should have gone to me, but only certain pieces I really wanted. Among them were things my Mom had always told me not to buy for myself, as I'd get hers. I never wanted any furniture, though in retrospect, I would have liked her dining room suite, as finding furniture that well-made these days is well beyond our budget. It was solid teak, sat 8 - 12, had anti-tarnish lining in the silverware drawers; all this, and they sold it for a measley $1300, when it was easily worth $9,000. It was a total travesty.

I concur with your desciptor of "vultures", as someone was also snatching up things like Silver Anniversary trays engraved with my parents' names, the date, etc., and a wedding photo of them I'd had retouched and reframed for their 40th. I mean, who, in all good conscience, could bring themselves to buy such things?! There was also a scene my father made one day that made it all too clear that something was terribly amiss here, and I later heard of mutterings among the crowd, wondering why the daughter ( clearly in view in photos around the house ) hadn't taken all these treasures already. But they still bought them all eventually. It's been pretty hard for me to believe in the goodness of people's hearts, as a whole, after this fiasco. I even attended one estate sale myself, locally, to see if someone about my Mother's age would have any of the same, or similar, items for sale. No....because these are the things that are normally passed down to the children. Well, not in my family. My Mother would be rolling in her grave about this, if she had one. I sickens me...it just sickens me.

So I LOVED your fantasy...I could stay in that one forever....that tells me all I need to know about where your heart lies, and I only wish that someone like you was my brother instead. And like you said, no matter the monetary worth of anything, it's the fact that it was our Mother's that matters. I've seen a few things in antique-type places that my Mom had ( the items that I didn't particularly want, despite their value ), but even to buy them, although identical, isn't the same. I would know they weren't the ones her hands touched. I tried to explain this concept in that letter to my brother, but though my counselor had said, "I don't think you realize how powerful your words here are...", it obviously didn't make any meaningful dent on my brother's heart...or whatever alien organ he's got in that cavity, masquerading as human tissue.

On other subjects, yes, I did try quitting - twice. TWO different brands of the patch, the gum, changing my habits some....failed miserably. I made it a grand total of 3 lousy days. This was before my fur-boy died, and since then I've been so wrapped up in anxiety about his sister's health, then everything with my Mom, that I don't believe I'd stand a chance at success yet. I still hope to quit, but don't know when.

Funny, too, that you mention a Franciscan 'hospice' ( another Twilight Zonish moment with you! ). My Mom had this very strange idea that her china ( the set I have ) had been made by some Franciscan monks somewhere in the U.S., as if monks would be making china. :huh: I have no idea where she got this wild idea, as the manufacturer is clearly written on the undersides.

I think it's very courageous of you to volunteer with the dying, and so soon, too. Your karma's going to be in fine shape! I would be of NO help to those dear people; probably just use up all of their tissues! I'll be thinking of you over the wknd., hoping you'll get past this current hurdle okay....and then go and remind you about it when you find this post! Geez...I didn't think this through too well, did I? Sorry!! Well, you can have your turn next, and remind me of something I'd put on the back-burner, K?

Stay in touch!

PS - almost forgot - Marty T. has a link to an article she referred to on this site, which might resonate with you, as it did with me.


(can't figure out how to do this properly, so let me know if it doesn't work )

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Hi, Maylissa. Or, rather, HIYA!!

I know I said I wouldn't be here till Monday, but on my way to the Church I felt pulled to see what was up at Mom's house. (I left for work just b4 the Estate sale was to begin. That is pushing "leaning into the pain" concept of griefwork a bit much. There are cars and SUV's and pickups lined up and down the street.

Got me all melancholy so I came here to attend to this board and a recovery discussion forum that helps.

You're wierding me out here. I actually got my juice glass from babyhood. Sis set it aside for me, along with other things from wayback (my baptismal outfit, and some other Catholic-y things I'm not sure what they are.) She's not totally evil, just warped. She's also into bells, and took some antique little bells that were laying about (again, I knew she would as it was an interest of hers, so no problem.) but she left behind a (drum roll, pleeeeze) COWBELL. That's somewhere in my new pad.

Photos I got plenty, she was cool about those, including some from her oldest daughter's wedding that she thought should be tossed (kid is divorced now), but I wanted cuz all the family are in 'em. got them back.

Hmm... I also managed to take most (maybe all) of the annniversary stuff of my parent's (25th and 50th). Not that I'd ever use it, they're going into storage along with mugs I bought Mom and Dad over the years with nice sentimental sayings.

This is a wierd post. I understand that part about you not needing to buy certain things cuz your Mom said hers would be yours. Mom said that to me, which is why I took certain small things like end tables and doo-dads my sis accused me of stealing. (It all had to go thru her approval process as SHE is the Executioner (my intended major Freudian) of the estate). I naturally assumed that since Mom gave 'em to me, they were mine. In addition, I was the only one to have used this small table or that plant stand these past 10 years. All this stuff (and its not like they are major antique pieces) helps ease my transition to whatever life I am developing. I guess it never ocurred to Mom that she should've kept a record of such transactions. Some people I know in their 60's and 70's tell their kids to scribble their names on things they want. Dad long ago said that upon his death all his tools would be mine. Not that I'd have much use for a lathe or a table saw in a small 1BR apt., but at least some of the guys in the family took 'em. Which is fine as they'd be of better use with them.

You mean people bought your family photos and engraved items???? By the Great Googly Moogly, that's taking investing into antiques into the realm of the mercenary.

Here's an incentive to quit smoking: I notice you're like a major contributor to this forum. Myself and probably a bunch of others here would NOT want to use this forum to grieve over losing you. Kindly cease that fruitless activity of smoking and stick around a few more decades.

I'm way late for work. Matters not, I choose my own hours, the priest only care about results. When I work is my responsibility. See you Monday around here.

PS: the hyperlink worked, I'm saving that article. thanks!

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Hiya back, Paul,

This uncanniness goes even further....my father's name is Paul, for one. And about bells....oh, yes, that's even more uncanny that you have one, too! (Doo-doo-DOO-doo...doo-doo-DOO-doo) I also had returned to me a crystal dinner-bell that my Mom had bought for herself ( from the family friend, who'd bought it himself during the estate sale )....so some people do give things back once they know what really happened.

'Course, that's been another one of my daydreams - had I still been living at home, showing up at the sale ( which, BTW, I wasn't told about and happened to find out about serendipitously ~~ pretty sure my Mom's spirit must have had a hand in that ), bursting in and screaming in horror at my father, "What are you DOING?!?!?! Those are all MOTHER'S things!! You're not supposed to SELL them!!!", then running around quickly gathering up whatever I could, even snatching things from people's hands, and just generally creating total pandemonium! Then, once I'd found out that my BROTHER was ( at that point ) the one behind this, screaming at his helpers to "get the **** OUT! And go tell my crooked brother that he now has ME to deal with as WELL!" Aahhhh, dream-life...so much more satisfying than reality. I'm pretty sure the house would have emptied out P.D.Q. and I could have just loaded up whatever was left by then.

Yes, we assume, once given to us, things are ours. But in the real world, it's not always so. I remember my dead brother telling me of yet another upset with our father during this time, where he wouldn't even allow him to take my brother's OWN speaker, which he'd just left at our parents' house years ago. And again, since we were walking on eggshells with our father at the time ( too much, as usual, depended on not riling him up ), he didn't think it wise to fight him for it. Nowadays, it runs through my head unceasingly that had we only known what was to come....I would have played things SO differently.

I still have yet to decide whether to hire a lawyer to contest the illegal Will my brother had our father make out, once the time comes. On one hand, I don't want to have to have anything to do with him anymore, but on the other hand, I don't want him to get away with theft and fraud. I'd love to be the one to teach him a different lesson than the one our father taught him - how to be crooked and WIN. I want to be the one who upholds my Mother's honour, as well as mine. But I just don't know if it's worth all the extra stress it will surely cause me. I'm constantly fighting with myself over doing the principled thing, or the spiritually-bigger thing. I just don't know....and I really hate the idea of possibly wasting one more dime of OUR money on these two horrid individuals, should there not be anything much left to fight over anyway, because that would mean in the end, they'd have won.

How my brother sleeps nights is beyond me. Our Mother had still been going over to clean up after him, while she was in her 80's and he in his 50's....all the way to scrubbing carpets and cleaning his dirty underwear because he's had ( at a minimum ) colitis for years, with bleeding as well. While he didn't want our Mom there, it's not like he actively stopped her, either. He'd try and get his usually-lone employee to play maid for him as well - some would comply, others barely so. They'd all end up either fired or quitting suddenly.

I also just talked to the Chief Medical Examiner's office where my father lives, and it looks like, no matter WHAT I want to do, I'll have to talk to a lawyer first. I'd wanted an autopsy done on our father after he dies, to see if he has Alzheimer's or just some other type of dementia, but apparently, permission to have one done must come from the....wait for it....Executioner! ( gawd, did I LAUGH over that one!! )...if there's a Will, and that, of course, would be...my BROTHER, AGAIN!! Oh, I'm SO frustrated!!

You do realize, that should I die, no one on these boards would know, as I'd just suddenly not be posting.... B) But shucks and aaaawwwwwww...thanks for caring what happens to me. And actually, I've been thinking that, after I get rid of an affliction that's been plaguing me for a few months now, my homeopath and I can work on getting me smoke-free next, so keep your fingers crossed.

And with that, I'll have to go, as now I have to review the copious notes I'd started for a lawyer's perusal. Hope your wknd. goes well enough for you, Paul. As always, thanks for the chats.

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I did not have a happy weekend. The estate sale was well-attended, which is fine from an intellectual point of view, after all, I get 25% of the take, after just debts, etc.

I even received a few phone calls from people inquiring about it. (Although I've moved I got the phone transferred into my name and then to my new place.) I didn't return any calls. Hey, if you want to know about the lathes, get off your keester and go over and ask. One person asked: "Is this the place with the Estate sale?" I said "No." Which is not a lie, but the truth as my apartment was NOT the site of the sale.

I also was on my own during my shift at the Franciscan place. A couple volunteers didn't show up, they had a 18 girl show up to shadow me around (it's like a training thing for her) and I discovered that 18 years old girls are useless to help when there are other 18 year old girls around. Casting aspersions, I know, with a broad paintbrush, there are countless kidlings performing valuable service to the community, but it was a bit early in my volunteer career there to be harried with doing evrything. Got my mind off the estate sale, tho. And I did goodly.

You said: (this is a copy-and-paste, I can't get the quite thing to work): "Nowadays, it runs through my head unceasingly that had we only known what was to come....I would have played things SO differently."

and also...: "I'm constantly fighting with myself over doing the principled thing, or the spiritually-bigger thing. I just don't know...."

I know from personal experience the amount of time that can be wasted dwelling excessively on the past, the "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" Granted, it took me a zillion AA meetings to finally stop reliving it, but with time I managed to evict the evil people and events from "renting space in my head." They weren't paying rent, anyway. It ain't easy, but too much of the present time is missed by dwelling on the past. "Let not my thoughts disturb my peace of mind." "Let it go." "The person I wished I was wastes the person I am today." Easier said than done, but by letting it constantly eat at you only gives your Dad and brother victories over you that they don't even have to do anything about to achieve. Don't give them the satisfaction.

Can't offer advice on the lawyer. That's a you-and-your-hubby issue. Maybe it's too late to fight? If he's a lousy businessman as you said, what may be left to get? I dunno.

To me, going after the spiritually-bigger thing usually takes care of the principled-thing. Changes your perspective, gains some insight on resolutions, or just helps you get over it. Just my 2 kopeck's worth. (Kopeck? Where'd that come from, I ain't Russian! :blink: )

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Hey, Paulski, ( Kopecks, indeed )

So here we go again! ~ I honestly thought the only one who ever said "goodly" was me! :lol: You really must be in my head!....so maybe I need say absolutely nothing! ...................But then I couldn't yammer, so so much for that unreasonable idea.

Well, I didn't expect it would be a happy wknd. for you, but it's very unfortunate you had to receive ( reminder ) calls about the sale on top of it all. I would have felt and said the same as you. And ah, yes...ambiguity during grief - sometimes a blessing, other times not so much.

Oh, and that's yet another sameness -- "kidlings" vs. my "kidlets" = pretty muchly -> "You're in my head again!" :ph34r:

Yes, I know you're right about repeatedly giving my brother and father the power to hurt me in my head ( and I'd forgotten how many good sayings AA has! ), yet it's been too difficult so far to stop the process. So many triggers that set it off so quickly inside. Plus, I keep having to deal with issues around it all ( like the autopsy thing ), so it's still a chapter that hasn't finished being written yet. I'm finding I'm procrastinating on getting the lawyer stuff together, because it's all so unpleasant and I'm so very tired of things that hurt and strain. Maybe this week I'll get my act together, as I also hate having this hanging over my head. Everyone keeps telling me that I ought to at least get some learned opinions from a lawyer, in hopes that will help me make up my mind about whether to give it all up or pursue it. I'm not even sure which answers I'd rather hear, frankly....but one that didn't involve me directly yet punished my brother suitably would be wonderful! B)

My wknd. was filled with upsetting things, too, as now I keep having disturbing dreams involving my Mother, dead brother, father, and our furbaby. Plus I've been dealing with a terrible rash that I've had since Sept., which seems to be tied to stress, so it's been impossible to eradicate. And I don't want to use what little my GP has offered, as they're nothing more than symptom-cover-ups and not a cure for the cause. Maybe if I stop procrastinating, this rash will go away? Anyway, I've not been able to sleep well, due partly to the rash and partly to our furbaby, who's been very restless overnight this entire week, so my sleep is interrupted continually - a recipe for illness, but one that I have little to no control over.

I'm also in the middle of looking into whether I'd want to do a group thing around that Grief Recovery Handbook. I just got the name of a contact person here recently, but I'm so tired that the thought of having to go out every week for this...just makes me want to sleep all the more! I'll have to see how far away it might be first.

Keep me posted on how you're doing.

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I found out this AM that Mom's house is up for sale. New listing. "Character and charm." I wanna slap someone. :huh: Anyhow, good thing I had a grief counseling session yesterday. Went over Mom's recent not-achieved 90th b-day, my uncelebrated 43rd b-day yesterday, and the estate sale. (preferrably uncelebrated. It's just a day.) I also mentioned you, tho not by name or website. He said it's good I have somebody to talk to who "Gets it."

Sometimes I just wish I can dive into a bottle of vodka. And sometimes I just wonder where did my ancestors get the idea to ferment potatoes of all things. What were they trying to get over????

Y'all said... "... yet it's been too difficult so far to stop the process. So many triggers that set it off so quickly inside." Boy, do I know how THAT is. Sometimes things have to run their course. "This, too, shall pass" doesn't mean that it'll pass right away. Things happen when they do.

What, exactly, just is a furbaby???????

A dreary day. Must do laundry and go over to Church and work there.

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Dear Paul,

OH, I'm SO sorry! I KNEW there was something else I was supposed to do on Tuesday! ( DANG this stupid memory loss! ) Birthday Wishes to you!! ( notice I didn't say 'Happy' - I know how it is ). I wish I could have sent you a card, proper, as those of us still here on earth need to be the ones to fill up the holes left after our loved ones leave. I know it really helped ease me through my first one when a cousin sent me a card, filling in for the one I would have gotten from my Mom. ( of course, since then, she's become just another source of hurt for me!...but at the time, she wasn't, so it was nice )

I didn't realize it was also your mother's B-Day around now, too. For me, that was, and still is, the hardest of the special occasions afterwards, as it was the last time I was to see my Mom, in the rehab. centre. She cried ( and so did I )when I woke her up from her sleep in her Broda chair ( a specialized wheelchair with extra comforts and safety features ) and kept repeating my name over and over, then introduced me to every aide and nurse all day long. It was a very special moment, and wknd. When I had to leave, I cried so hard my knees folded underneath me, as I knew this could very well be the last time I'd see her....and tragically, it was. So yes, birthdays, especially hers, are VERY hard for me. I don't know how they were for you and your mom, but my heart goes out to you regardless.

And of course, in my own, spinny head, it didn't strike me before that your birthday was also falling right after the sale....and now the sale of the house, on top of the rest! Boy, Someone must want to clump your traumatic events all together, rather than drawing them out separately...maybe so you can, in future, only have to feel terrible over a shorter period of time, or something??? Yah, it must 'kill' to read that description of your family home, your mom's home.

Thankfully, that was something I never had to see, as no one realized our old home was even up for sale until after it was sold, and I don't even think there had been a sale sign out front, it sold so fast....sigh....and to reflect my father's life-long pattern of poor money management, it sold for a song, even though it was one of the few, good sellers' markets that their city had seen in quite awhile. He was always such a clueless fool. He'd always make a ton of money, then in one swift, self-sabotaging, stupid move, lose most, if not all, of it. My dead brother had just told me that year that our parents had actually gone into bankruptcy more than once when I was younger, and that I probably either wasn't told or just didn't remember. I do remember the fights, so that means I just wasn't told the 'details' of our situation.

I suppose you'll be feeling very ambiguous again when it does sell, as I assume you also are entitled to a share of those proceeds as well. While this will be tough, I have to say that it's gotta be better than not getting one red cent....not that this is a contest, but just to try and take some edge off how lousy this is going to feel for you.

So you saw your counselor instead of buying yourself a slice of cake...well, that's a gift to yourself as well, so I'm glad you had that scheduled. BTW, doesn't matter to me if you mention me by name, as this isn't my real name anyway...makes it easier to recount things if you've got a name to use, rather than "that woman who's on that grief board that I'm frequenting..." (inhale here);)

And now I can have my chuckle, again!...."What were they trying to get over????" HA HA - you slay me, Paul! My guess...probably trying to get over having nothing much else to eat BUT potatoes...hey, waste not, want not, right? And BTW, I have so much admiration for anyone, including you, for having the fortitude to 'pass' on any addictive substance ( or even just a craving! ), especially when under pressure. I've become so weak in this over the last 2 years, it's truly pathetic. I'm just trying to cut out all caffeine ( from all sources ) because this can interfere with homeopathic remedies, and going completely nuts! ( no, not so much from coffee, but from all the dozens of chocolates my husband bought during holidays, which I haven't been able to scoff at all! ) :blink::blink:

A "furbaby", kidlet, furchild, fur-gal or fur-boy, is a furred life form who is considered to be as one's own child....a 'pet', in other words, but with the connotations of them as mere 'objects' for our amusement being far removed, and instead, replaced with respect, honour and love. In my case, our beloved feline child. :D - she is the light of our lives, as was her brother, who taught me more about the most important questions about Life, and Death, than anyone else ever could have. Six years, tomorrow, after his transition, I still miss him more than anyone else I've ever had to 'give up'...and it will be even worse for me when his sister goes, as she's our last furchild. Not only did she get me through our fur-boy's death, but she had pre-taught me how to take care of my Mom's needs when she was so ill, so....she's precious and priceless to me. No human has ever loved me as much as my 'kids', and for that, how could I be anything BUT totally grateful? Some day I might even write a book about them.

I plan on at least looking at that lawyer stuff today, and hopefully at least updating what I'd already done months ago. Yuk. That'll probably make for more crazy-making dreams tonight. Ah well....life goes on, such that it is.

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Hey. It's a thought that I've had, that every trial is meant to better prepare me for even more 'kaka' down the road. As a Christian, it's actually a comfort. Sorta.

And that despription of Ma's home missed out on the 'killer' backyard. A great backyard for kids and gardeners, it ain't flat like most. The street runs along some high ground and therefore all the backyards slope downward. Dad, wayback in the 1950's, built cinderblock retaining walls, and Mom and Dad gardened the resulting terraces. The retaining walls admittedly could use a bit of help in their 'retaining' function nowadays, but that was one thing I wasn't able to get to. (Fatigue these past few years from alcohol abuse. I have been getting more endurance each year, and this summer was the time I was going to make some headway on repair. Alas...) Tall Lebanese cedars line the property boundaries, shrubbery and stuff here and there. A pretty backyard. A tad neglected due to my addiction, but each passing year I had been able to better tend to the gardening part.

Regarding the proceeds from the sales, I get 25%, after just debts are paid, etc. I'll decide what to do depending on what the amount is. Either invest for the future, (seriously lacking in that regard, but then financial security is an illusion) or move. The latter will depend on how well I can cope with living around here and not be at that house. I'm not talking about to another state, just maybe a farther part of this county, or the next one over. There has been a troubling rise in the level of resentment over my not living there. I'll get over it, as bad emotions tend to fade away (if they don't, I'll end up drinking) But if I am continually troubled, then I may do a 'geographic'. Another state may be a possibility, depends on how I feel.

Yep, I saw my counselor on my b-day. Intended that, plus I also knew the estate sale might be just before it (just a guess, actually). I also went to Confessions just before. Those Franciscans have a chapel in a Mall near here, and Confessions are held daily. Helps clean out my pipes.

I bought ice cream, not cake. Chocolate. For some reason I have had this intense craving for chocolate ice cream these past few weeks. It can't be for sweets, as I'd be going after candy, too. Its just chocolate ice cream. Mom was a chocoholic, but it can't be that, she preferred Hershey's Kisses (and vanilla, or Neapolitan ice cream to chocolate. But she was never one to turn away a lonely bowl of chocolate ice cream, either).

I dunno. Oh, furbabies. I had one. A cat. American(ski) shorthair browish tabby. Tony. He got me when we were in California. His prior human moved to San Diego and couldn't take "Killer" (his previous name) along. So the fat furball looked me over and decided I was a good thing, and moved in. He was about 5-8 years old when he adopted me, lived another 9 years. (Died the Monday after Easter 2003)I was going to plant a tree over his grave to replace the broken sewerpipe end that was his marker, but alas...

Unfortunately, I screwed up the registration process and "Paul S" is my real name. Well, the surname has a few more letters in it than just "S". :blink: I had wanted "postscript" which is the username on the email addy I use for griefwork and Catholic-y sites, but I fumfuh'd it. Oh, well. :huh:

My attendance on this board may be questionable the next few days. I know, I've said that before and still managed to show up... <_<

Until whenever... toodles.

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