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View Full Version : First hand experiences with the death of an estranged sibling or parent


talkwrite
07-09-2009, 05:48 AM
I would like to learn about first hand experiences when someone faces the impending death of an estranged sibling or parent. From the conversations I have had with people going through this I know that this is a sensitive topic - both sides feel very strongly about their own point of view.as to the value or uselessness of reconciliation. I am interested in first hand experiences to avoid the catch all judgments, but other members of the family do have an important role and say. If you wish you can send me a private message.
Thanks so much..

talkwrite
07-10-2009, 06:12 AM
Fabulous private messages you all, thanks. They don't all have to be private messaged- they are good enough to share.

Velma deSelby Bowen
07-10-2009, 09:15 PM
Well, I'll make mine public. I do not feel family ties strongly, which puts me at odds with other blood-kin, who tend to feel that blood trumps everything else, including unethical behavior, so I tend to feel only a vague sense of potential loss, but nothing remotely resembling grief. When my older brother (who'd devoted his life to cheating on his wife, maligning my mother -- his stepmother -- and lying to various family members while boasting about his lies to others, oblivious to the fact that some of us actually, you know, compared notes) was dying of cancer, I made one attempt to visit him, at the urging of my godmother, but otherwise did nothing. Until he died, and I learned that my sister-in-law expected the rest of the family to pay for his funeral. (I joked with my sister that what I was actually paying for was the stake, to make sure he stayed in the casket.)

I guess what I'm saying is that for some of us, we regret, even if slightly, the relationship(s) we could have had, and then we go on.

talkwrite
07-10-2009, 11:59 PM
Thanks for your honesty. Estrangement is often a wise choice for people to put a brake on toxic behavior to give both ---sides--- a chance to re-examine their interaction. The outcome can be resolution or either a refusal on one side to change or the other side to accept an apology. The option to continue with the estrangement can be the only way to protect one side from the toxic behavior.

But there are 2 common denominators that amaze me:
Society ( even professional counselors) is more able to comprehend and offer sound advice to dealing with a sex change or a cheating spouse than resolving or dealing with estrangement.

People who are estranged from a family member today face the same reaction in the 1960's of gasps or cluelessness to the words "We are divorced" That is why I offered the response option of a pm.

scarletpeaches
07-11-2009, 12:04 AM
Well I have been estranged from my mother for four years now, I think. Can't remember exactly. Time flies when you're having fun.

While I have no idea whether she's alive or dead, I do remember saying to a friend once, "If I found out she was dead, I would be upset - not for he, because she's a child-abusing, thieving, violent, hypocritical, deceitful whore. No, I'd cry for the relationship we never had."

Whether that's any help to you or not I don't know, but at least it's honest.

GeorgeK
07-11-2009, 11:39 AM
"If I found out she was dead, I would be upset - not for he, because she's a child-abusing, thieving, violent, hypocritical, deceitful whore. No, I'd cry for the relationship we never had."

Whether that's any help to you or not I don't know, but at least it's honest.

Let it out peaches. Remember that the best revenge is to be happy. You'll know it's truly over when you get bored of hearing yourself say it, (which is about 2-10 years longer than it will take your spouse to get tired of hearing it. Our family reunions formalized a schism into the disciples and the heretics. Being the youngest surviving sibling, I've attended both until I was forced to choose a side. Lucky me, the heretics were happy to see me.

The disciple dinner is/was presided over by the old patriarch, loudly slurping, burping, smacking his lips alternating with clearing his throat while making disparaping comments about the food and all those involved in the production of said meal while poorly hiding his glee about his flatulence. Somehow he always got the craving for sauerkraut a few hours before the reunion. In his younger years there would be shouting, blood spatter on the wall along with a dent in the wall matching the cranial configuration of one of the children. Another person would have a knife to their own wrist saying "You won't be able to hide this!"

The heretics have more fun after the first couple of drinks. The food's always great. Most of us are foodies. There's music, maybe even some dancing for those not still so repressed that they can't handle it. After the next couple of drinks starts the group therapy session, where the spouses leave the siblings in the kitchen with a few bottles of whatever and they muster off to another room to do those things that sane people do to amuse themselves while their loved one is "at a session". As the years go by, the sessions get shorter. Some of the siblings get bored and go play with the sane people.

Then one day you get the call, "How are you George?"

"Horrible. I'm squirting from both ends with the flu, why? what's up?"

"Um, Dad's in the hospital."

"No shit, on the anniversary of mom's birthday. Did he grow a conscience?"

He says he wants to get reunited with her in Heaven. He is refusing treatment and wants to die."

"Well, unless Heaven is very different from what we were taught, he'll be taking the other escalator. I assume a doctor has seen him?

Yeah they said something about free air?

"He's already had his colon out for Ogilvie's so it isn't Colon Cancer or Diverticulitis. Given the timing, on a anniversary of a spouse's birthday or death, it's probably stress ulcers and with free air, that means it's already perfed. He'll be dead in 2 to 5 days without treatment.

He looks like he's in pain

Yeah, that's a very painful condition. You should call Hospice

They gave him a PCA, but he wont press the button to get the morphine.

Call Hospice they deal with dying patients and estranged families all the time.

Aren't you coming up?

What for?

To say goodbye

I said my goodbyes ten years ago. I could deal with him attacking me. I could even deal with him attacking my wife cause she'll just dish it back. But when he attacked my kids, orchestrating a kidnapping, making false accusations to police, that was it. I told him he could call back if and when he could apologise. He can't even fake one.

Don't think about him. Think about what you need. There will be no other chance.

Are Hitler Youth and Manson Girl there?

Yeah

Then no. I shook his dust from my sandals. I tried turning him to good with kindness. He went to the bank and charmed them into adding his name to my school loans and then filed a change of address so I would no longer get the notices. Then he was going to get the whistle blowers fee for turning in someone defaulting on a government loan. I even chucked that up to maybe senility, knowing that that was not the real problem. He wasn't senile during the beatings or the rapings.

You can't trust what she said about that. It's her word against his and she was seeing a psychiatrist.

I always did what he asked but he tried to take my infant children, that's when my eyes were finally opened. I saw all the corruption and evil. He called Childrens Protective Services from 3 states away making up all sorts of crap about our house that he's never even seen. My kids are my priority, not him. I'm not going to attempt an 8 hour drive that realistically I could not do safely with my current health problems anyway only to be met by those other two who have promissed to kill me, and they are just pycho enough to think that they are doing GodDad's Will. No, Put in simplest terms, the risk outweighs the possible benefit.

They said that they won't really try to ambush you in the parking lot.

So they've thought enough about it to have a plan. No Thank you. There is nothing that he can tell me that makes it worth risking my kids getting orphaned.

Should I give him a message for you?

Sure, that my life has improved and I don't hold a grudge.

You sound kind of angry. That sounds like a grudge.

When the gazelle runs from the lion, it is not from a grudge. It is merely self preservation. Logic tells me, Stay home and play with your children, laugh, be happy.

thethinker42
07-11-2009, 12:16 PM
Well I have been estranged from my mother for four years now, I think. Can't remember exactly. Time flies when you're having fun.

While I have no idea whether she's alive or dead, I do remember saying to a friend once, "If I found out she was dead, I would be upset - not for he, because she's a child-abusing, thieving, violent, hypocritical, deceitful whore. No, I'd cry for the relationship we never had."

Whether that's any help to you or not I don't know, but at least it's honest.

This is how I reacted when my grandmother died. Not a parent/sibling, obviously, but I practically lived with her for 15 of my 20 years. She treated me like shit and made my life hell for a long, long time. When she was on her deathbed, my family urged me to go see her and sort things out. My response? "I've heard everything she's said over the years, but I can't stomach hearing them from her when she knows she's going to die." Funny, everyone backed off after that, because she WAS trash-talking me on her deathbed...for two solid weeks.

In the end, I wasn't sad to see her go, but I was sad that we never had the opportunity to patch things up. The last thing she ever said to me (the day before she announced that she'd be dead in two weeks - I'm not kidding) was that I was useless and drove her crazy. It's been 9 years and I haven't shed a tear for her except for the fact that I know we'll never resolve our differences.

Funny thing was, everyone who witnessed this for 15 years suddenly had rose-colored glasses when she died. "Oh, she was sick, she was in pain, she didn't mean any of it..." "She was a wonderful old lady." No, she was a hateful old bat and she was a toxic presence in my life.

As Scarlet said, I grieved for the relationship we never had, not the person herself. (You know it's bad when you go to your therapist of 7+ years and say "I don't need to see you anymore, my problem is dead"...and she agrees.)

GeorgeK
07-14-2009, 02:52 AM
she was a toxic presence in my life.


Interesting use of words, it's so like a book that helped me, and might be good for the OP to read
Toxic Parents by Susan Forward

scarletpeaches
07-14-2009, 02:56 AM
Another thought on the matter which popped into my noggin:

When the glorious day comes that the whore who spawned me shuffles off this mortal coil and feels the need for asbestos underpants and Factor 1,000,000 suncream, there will be one main difficulty for me to cope with.

Other people's sympathy.

How do you cope with being patronised by people who say things like, "Oh, I'm so sorry. You must be so upset," and don't believe you when you say you're not?

I tasted that to a lesser degree when she disappeared. My overwhelming emotion was relief at the sudden quiet.

thethinker42
07-14-2009, 05:07 AM
How do you cope with being patronised by people who say things like, "Oh, I'm so sorry. You must be so upset," and don't believe you when you say you're not?

I've been dealing with that for 9 years. From people who KNEW. And I'm not going to lie: It sucks. I want to grab them by the shoulders and say "Don't you remember how that bitch treated me??? NO I'm not sad, NO I don't miss her, and YES I'm happier now."

So...yeah...no sense sugar-coating it. The patronizing and rose-colored glasses are NOT pleasant.