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Old 05-10-2017, 11:48 AM
31 posts, read 16,044 times
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Originally Posted by convextech View Post
Your mom is grieving, but so are you.

Why are you doing all the calling? Maybe she doesn't need you to call her so often. Let her set the pace.

Take some time for yourself and let them do the same.
Well....I actually tried not calling a couple of times when I was having a particularly bad day. But she would call me. I just don't have it in me not to answer her call. So, sometimes, she is the one who calls.

You are correct, we are all grieving and I have to admit, it's kicking my butt! My mother "appears" to be doing much better than I am. I say appears because i don't really know since I'm not around her 24/7. She may think the same thing about me.

Thank you, convextech.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:48 AM
Location: New Mexico
3,484 posts, read 1,422,806 times
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Default It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Family dynamics are messy & fraught. You did everything you could, everything you could think to do. If your family is unreceptive, take the chance to grieve & heal as best you can. Yah, if you feel the need, find some support - maybe a group that has gone through the same experiences. It helps not to have to spell out everything, to go over the same ground again & again. For the moment @ least, it doesn't sound like your family is going to be very supportive - maybe they're working through their own issues. It would probably be wiser to look elsewhere for support, for the near term.

& condolences on your loss, & the aftermath of your father's passing. With time & a longer view, you'll feel better - but it may take a while, likely longer than you would prefer.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:55 AM
31 posts, read 16,044 times
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Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
That is a pretty good possibility of the dynamics. (As with any, the standard caveat "or it could be different" applies.)

There is a bottom line that the interaction between you and your father was between the two of you alone, and that judgments from the outside (positive or negative) have about much meaning as the weight of a dust mite on an elephant. IOW, what you mother says or believes doesn't change the truth and there is no need to argue it. At this point, your relationship with your mother is the one you can have. If it is worth it to you to press the issue, you can try. Some battles are best left unfought, especially with the elderly or mentally ill.
Very true. I won't press it, because she will believe what she believes and I can't change it. As you say, I can have a relationship with my mother and I don't want to mess it up. I have to admit, though, that protecting myself has become a priority. I think I'll take Craig's advice and just change the subject.

Thank you, harry chickpea
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:08 PM
31 posts, read 16,044 times
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Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Perhaps your mother says similar things to your brother regarding your sacrifices. If you are feeling chronically under appreciated, you should step back.
I actually wondered about this! Then I immediately dismissed it because the two of them don't talk that way. In other words, they don't have casual conversations where something like this would come up. My brother just doesn't interact that way. I know that sounds weird and my explanation leaves a lot to be desired. All of my brothers conversations have a purpose, i.e. "I'm here to pick up the trash, where is it?", never, "How are you doing today?"

Thank you, historyfan.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:13 PM
31 posts, read 16,044 times
Reputation: 83
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post
For the moment @ least, it doesn't sound like your family is going to be very supportive - maybe they're working through their own issues. It would probably be wiser to look elsewhere for support, for the near term.

& condolences on your loss, & the aftermath of your father's passing. With time & a longer view, you'll feel better - but it may take a while, likely longer than you would prefer.
I'm beginning to realize this. I know there is no time limit on grief but it just never seems to let up. And the guilt just compounds it. I'll keep looking for a support group...

Thank you, southwest88.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:04 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,436 posts, read 24,222,225 times
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In my experience, this always happens. I did elder care for my parents for more than decade and I can't even tell you how many times I had to hear about my WONDERFUL sister who would blow into town for a weekend every other year. And the money thing too. My sister spent so much money to come visit. I should feel sorry for her. And all the while I was paying everything for their care and killing myself working nights full time, caring for them, and trying to maintain a huge house and yard. Yeah...I felt so sorry for my sister.

And after that decade was over, my parents died, and my wonderful sister walked away with more than half.

I have a theory about this. I was around for all the awful stuff so I was no fun. My sister was only around for good times. It's just like the divorced dad who is the 'good' parent. He takes the kids out for pizza and to the zoo. Mom is the horrible one who makes them brush their teeth and do their homework. Or vice versa if the father is the custodial parent.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:08 PM
Location: Finally the house is done and we are in Port St. Lucie!
3,488 posts, read 1,793,700 times
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Please, do not feel guilt. You did fight for him. Look at all the people that you had removed from his case. You did that, not your brother, not your mother...you. In a sense, you were also fighting them over your fathers' care.

You should never feel guilt over that.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:20 PM
Location: Location: Location
6,221 posts, read 7,403,050 times
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If Mom brings up the subject of Saint Brother again, try saying, "We've discussed this Mom, and I agreed it was good of him to put himself out to bring meals to us. Now, can we move on? How are you sleeping/eating/feeling?"

If she persists in the same vein, tell her you have other things to do and will be hanging up now.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:30 PM
480 posts, read 239,058 times
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I find it amazing that hospice has not offered a grief group to attend and/or put you on a mailing list newsletter for dealing with grieving. I found the newsletter very comforting after my mom passed 7 years ago. The funeral home should also have access to these kinds of resources for grieving people.

As to whether or not a DNR was in place...it should have been. What was there to think about. True story...we were talking about DNRs a few weeks ago. One person mentioned that a loved one DID want to be revived if needed. Well, after witnessing the pounding on the chest of the elderly loved one that resulted in broken bones and bruising.....that person changed their tune about DNR and final wishes. The elderly patient died a few days later afterall....very sad.

Last edited by Mae Maes Garden; 05-10-2017 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:08 PM
Location: Wonderland
40,992 posts, read 32,696,264 times
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Originally Posted by Jupiter-2 View Post
Since my father passed away in February, I've made a point of talking to my mother twice every day. We talk about various things from Daddy to my mother's cat. Well, yesterday, my mother started talking about my brother and how supportive he had been while Daddy was in the hospital. Then she made the comment of how hard it had been for my brother because of all the money he had spent on food he would bring to the hospital. To show I understood I said, "I know the money part is difficult, all that time I took off work was without pay so I know it can get hard." She immediately snapped at me that she knew all that and went on and on about all that money my brother had spent bringing food to the hospital.

Now, we all have to do what we have to do but, frankly, I did most of it. I understand that I chose to do what I did. I took a leave of absence from work that was completely without pay for several weeks. I stayed with my father the whole time except for 2 nights I spent at home trying to appease my husband. My brother continued to work and would sometimes bring lunch and/or supper for my mother and me when he came to the hospital but by no means did this happen all the time. A good bit of the time, I bought these meals from the hospital sandwich shop or cafeteria for my mother and me. The two of us had Christmas dinner in the hospital cafeteria. My brother continued to work out, go out with friends, have dinner with his wife, etc., although most days he would come to the hospital. I left the hospital only a very few times. Sometimes during his visits, my brother would verbally attack me for no reason that was apparent to me. The day before my father passed, my brother came to the hospital and immediately attacked me, more viciously than usual. I was exhausted from weeks of no sleep, would cry at the drop of a hat so this just tore me to pieces. I walked out and stayed gone for several hours that day. Hours that could have been spent with my father. So, I have some resentment toward my brother for this, but more resentment for myself for letting him run me away from my father's hospital room.

My mother would go home every day and spend a few nights at home every week. Most of the time I was left alone to deal with the doctors, who saw my father as an 87 year old inconvenience. When my mother and brother were present for doctor visits, they would refuse to speak or pass an opinion. I even deliberately said nothing on a couple of occasions to see what they would do and they just sat there and said nothing! I fired 3 doctors and 2 nurses but by the time we got a doctor who was willing to look past my father's age and actually tried to help, he was so weak it was too late. I tried to talk my mother and brother into taking my father to a more modern hospital in a larger city but they didn't want to because it would be inconvenient.

When the techs had to clean my father when he soiled himself, it was quite painful for him. I was the one who held and soothed him through this. I was the one who stroked his head, rubbed his back, made sure he had balm on his cracked lips and something to soothe his dry mouth. I was the one who got in the face of the incompetent, narcissistic doctor who insisted we just let him die. I was the one who talked for 2 hours straight to the patient advocate about all the mistakes and brutal coldness that happened with my father at the hospital.

I feel very responsible for my father's death. I should have fought harder, been more insistent with the doctors, taken my father to a different, better hospital in spite of my mother and brother. It is a guilt that is tearing me apart. To hear my mother praising my brother because he spent some money on a few meals while at the same time dismissing my contribution, is just about more than I can handle. It's as if it doesn't matter what I do, whatever my brother does will always mean more to her. I find myself not wanting to call her. I will, of course, but it's just one more stressful thing to deal with.

I did what I did because I love my father and mother. I'm not asking for thanks or compensation. However, to hear my mother say these things hurt me a great deal. I'm dealing with losing my father, my guilt, an unsupportive husband, and the fact that I simply can't sleep. I need a way to handle my mother when she says things like this that won't hurt her feelings but at the same time protects me so I can continue to call and support her. She tends to repeat herself, so I know it will come up again.

Any suggestions? Could my resentment toward my brother be coloring my reaction to what my mother said? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Any and all comments will be appreciated.
I could have written this post myself. Just for some context - my dad passed away in October. My mother is pretty clueless about things, considering she's mentally ill, has vascular dementia, and had a major stroke about ten years ago. My dad enabled and coddled her and I believe she just thought he'd be there forever to take care of her. Now that fun job is left up to me. And I say "me" because neither of my two brothers can step up to the plate like I can, and I'm not sure they would if they could. They both live out of state and have their own families and personal dramas to deal with. And here I am, ten miles away, and I don't work so I'm the ONE it all falls on.

Like you, I was the one who spent nearly every minute up at the hospital, talked to the doctors, had the medical POA, made all the decisions, dealt with my mom, drove her around everywhere (except not to the hospital very much - she doesn't like hospitals and didn't want to go up there, even though my dad was dying). After it became obvious that he was not going to leave the hospital alive, both my brothers managed to make it to his bedside before he died, which was a blessing but which was also costly to them. So my mom covered all their expenses. Several times in fact.

Anyway, long story short, my dad left everything to my mom, but had a list of some very valuable things that he wanted to go to other people. The bulk of this all went to his two sons, and honestly, I don't much mind that because I don't want his vehicles or his military collections or his Rolex, that sort of thing. So it wasn't THAT - it was just that they got a TON of stuff, AND got paid to come see him (and then one brother got paid to come down again and help me get the house on the market - twice), and THEN - OMG, this is when it tilted to too much in my opinion - the vehicles (yes, multiple) that he inherited needed some work on them and he asked my mom to pay for it and she did. At that point I was thinking, "OK, enough already."

Meanwhile, I am doing all the day in and day out stuff for and with my mom. She needs hands on help about every other day. Also, I call her or she calls me about every other day - unless she gets in one of her really confused modes and calls me in a panic about upcoming appointments three or four or five times in one day, sometimes at 3 am or midnight or whatever. I see her about every three days. I take her shopping. I take her to all her appointments. I take her out to eat after church. I take her to see great grandkids. I pick up her prescriptions. I do her taxes. I sold her house. I cleaned out her house. I pay all her bills. I manage her assets. I buy her cat kitty litter and cat food. I do it all, every week. Week in and week out.

And I get to hear about how wonderful my brothers are and what sacrifices they make for her and how proud she is of them. Now, to be fair, they tell me that when they talk with her (about once a week at the most) she tells them how wonderful I am. Even though she is often pretty rude with me.

But the disparity of it all really does get to me if I let it.

The thing is, I have to remind myself that my mom is still grieving and shocked and her entire world has been through upheaval. That's the truth. I think your mom is in the same boat. They tend to take us, the people closest to them, a bit for granted.

More than that though, what I've found is that in this sort of scenario, the worst of family dynamics often come out. It's like everyone's emotions are raw, and UGLY comes right on out.

I have good news for you though.

First of all, quit feeling guilty about your dad. You made the best decisions you could at the time, with the information you had. And he was 87 years old. That's a good, long life. Maybe you could have eeked out a few more weeks or months, maybe not, but it sounds like he would have been very sick under those circumstances. Quality of life is more important than quantity, especially when a person is very old and very sick. That's been my experience.

Quit agonizing over the few hours you spent away from your dad during his last day or two, because of your anger toward your brother. Once again, you did the best you could do at the time. Hindsight is always 20/20. Heck, I have a photo on my phone taken at the EXACT moment my dad died in the other room - of me and some family members. But how could I have possibly known that was going to happen? I could beat myself up about not being with him at that exact moment - no one was with him in fact. But we had all just stepped out for a few minutes, when some other family members showed up, family we hardly ever get to see. Maybe he CHOSE that moment alone to pass to the other side, who knows? I could beat myself up all day over that, but the truth is that I was with him nearly non stop throughout his entire final illness. That's what matters most and that's what you did too.

The good news is also that things ARE going to get better. Your emotions are going to calm down. Your mom's are going to calm down. You and your mom will settle into a groove. Your brothers will too. Your feelings about all this will settle into a groove as well. Things will settle into perspective. But right now, everyone's emotions are raw.

I went to some grief counseling. I'm still going about twice a month in fact. It's been very helpful. VERY helpful. My husband nearly insisted on it, because all the stress I was under was affecting me so badly it was also affecting our relationship. Your husband may not suggest it, so I'm suggesting it. Please consider doing this for yourself. Not for anyone else. FOR YOURSELF.

Ask your counselor about establishing healthy personal boundaries. You need to revisit this topic, or visit it for the first time (don't know your story), because a death like this shakes one's foundations and family.

When you re establish those boundaries and spend a bit more time on yourself and your own life, you'll really, truly start to feel better.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I mean that sincerely.
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