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Family Destroyed
Mac0908
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 9:31 PM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


I am not a caregiver. Just looking for some support. My Uncle (Dad's older brother) was diagnosed with AD about 4 years ago at age 69. He is 73 now and in final stages. He began showing signs around 65. Around 1.5 years ago when he began declining more severely and the disease began taking over, my Dad was unable to handle seeing his brother like this anymore and began distancing himself completely from his family and the situation. Whether or not this was bc my Dad was traumatized from his Mother dying from the same disease in 1992 I am not sure but I know that affected him tremendously and I believe for sure that played into what happened here. In any event my Dad always had a great relationship with his brother his entire life. They talked all the time. He was my Dad's best man at his wedding. I saw how this completely killed my Dad inside. He is 64 and has known my Aunt(Uncle's caregiver) since he was 13 years old, but were never were the closest in laws. That being said, him and my Mom were always extremely nice to her and her kids (my cousins), attended family events and never did any wrong to her, ever. They went to my Aunt's parents' funerals, saw her after a major surgery she had, etc.

My Aunt however was always a bit of a rough around the edges type of woman. She never truly clicked with my Dad and especially Mom, and she just wasn't the type of person who was going to call my Dad with updates on my Uncle. As more time began to pass, through even the holidays and all, she began to resent him more and more for disappearing and not calling. See my Aunt's family were always huge family people over the years and to them, it didn't matter what my Dad was going through. There was no call to try and figure it out. He was simply becoming dead to my Aunt for this disappearance. My Mom was never close with my Aunt at all and did not call either and instead kind of hid behind and bugged my Dad through this entire phase to go see his brother or at the very least call. Meanwhile I am just this person stuck in the middle of this all, trying to focus on my Uncle's final months and I had this insanity added on. I began resenting both of my parents but especially my Dad. Then in September 2019 after 1.5 years since he last saw/spoke to her, after more pushing from me, my brother and my mom(fyi my brother and especially me visited my Aunt and Uncle during all this time), my Dad FINALLY called my Aunt and broke down explaining himself. My Aunt said she lost all respect for him which he understood. She said he's welcome to come see his brother if he wants though. My Mom however, then got on the phone, and my Aunt was very cold to her and quickly said she’s "done" with her and hung up the phone. This destroyed my Mom and she felt she couldn't go with my Dad to see my Uncle now.

My Dad went over the house the next day alone and saw my Uncle. It was a nice visit. My Uncle even recognized him and was able to say a few words. Then before leaving my Dad questioned my Aunt about why she said what she said to my Mom and then explained that we need to try and patch things up with my her. My Aunt then yelled out loud "Oh, she's never welcome in this house again!!". It was becoming clear to my Dad that my Aunt was choosing to take all her pent up frustration/anger and grief out on my Mom in this now. Because of this, my Dad then spoke back bringing up a thing or two from the past that was on his mind for many years where my Aunt was wrong(i.e. She did not invite our family to the Alzheimer's walk which they began doing in 2016. This hurt us all terribly) and raised his voice in the process. Emotions ran wild and she then kicked him out of the house for yelling (even though she was the one who got him riled up). After all this, my Uncle apparently got so distraught over the argument he needed an entire day to calm down. But immediately my Aunt called my Dad when he got home and said his "visiting privileges were over" because of this. Before my Dad could say she was wrong for starting in about my Mom, my Aunt hung up the phone. My Mom then called and finally raised her voice asking what her problem was and that she bugged my Dad to call and go for the entire year and a half. My Aunt then hung up and blocked their number.

My Dad then called his niece and nephew (her kids) apologizing for his disappearance of 1.5 years and said he loves them. They basically took my Aunt's side but talked to him for a bit. His niece yelled at him though. They have since ignored his texts of him trying to reach out so he can go see his brother again. For the last 2 months this has now gone on, my entire my family has become broken all while my Uncle has now gone into at home hospice care. Me and MY brother have both tried nicely reaching out to my Aunt to "fix" things to no avail. Finally today I gave it one last ditch effort and after a long emotional text from me explaining how this has destroyed me and that my Dad was in tears recently and to please consider letting him and my Mom come visit with me next week. I even said she could go into another room for the half hour while they came. She responded by simply saying "The answer is no. I need everyone to leave me alone". I was stunned. I just didn't know a person could be so cold. As wrong as my Dad was in handling his problem for the 1.5 years and as bad of a time as it was to raise his voice even if he was terribly hurt by her comments about my Mom, before that he went 50 years never having an issue with my Aunt, my Mom 39 years. They may be far from perfect but IMO never meant any harm.

While I absolutely understand all she’s gone through in the hell of the last few years and I’ve understood her anger towards my parents, I feel my she has basically lost her mind a bit at this point and forbidding my Dad (and Mom, too) from seeing my dying Uncle just feels wrong. 

I love her but this really even shocked me to the point where I have a hard time seeing my Aunt’s side of things.  I feel as if I have lost my entire Father's side of the family and it has all stemmed from AD.


dayn2nite2
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 9:54 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2023


Your father made this situation and escalated it by arguing.

Stop harassing this woman.  You have your answer.

Blame your father for not stepping up.  Just leave her alone.  You’ll all have to figure out a way to cope with the consequences of your father’s behavior.

Don’t call, text or go over there.  She is being very clear and the boundary has been set.


elhijo
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 9:55 PM
Joined: 7/16/2018
Posts: 18


Hello Mac,
I commend you for putting down your story so succinctly. I went through something similar with my sibling after I got legal control of my mom. While what your Aunt is doing is terrible, they old us that those who care for ALZ loved ones are in a period of grieving. An extended period of grieving but grieving nonetheless. When one grieves once isn't one's self nor rational. I know this doesn't necessarily help you but with this really ultra tense family situation the only thing I could see that would help is intense prayer. You and your sibling could go to church and pray intently and determinately for a few hours in the church. You never know what God can accomplish especially in very difficult situations like this. If you are not religious then you could take the opportunity now to get to know religion. There is always someone in a rectory or church office who can give your information on how to pray if you never have.

 

Thanks for sharing and God Bless.

elhijo

 


mostlyme
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:51 PM
Joined: 12/17/2018
Posts: 269


Wow Mac, I'm so sorry you're going through all of this.  Very sad for the family.  How I read it, it's your Uncle who's in the middle of all of this and is being upset by it.  

I tend to agree with you about your Aunt.  It reminds me of an ugly divorce where the children are the ones getting hurt due to the inability of the adults to be civil.

Your Dad obviously wasn't being vindictive about not seeing his brother - he just couldn't handle it.  He is now apologizing for his absence and trying to make amends but that is being thwarted.  The grown up way to deal with it from your Aunt's point of view would be to tell your Dad how deeply that hurt her and she doesn't know if she can get over it.  That's valid.  Keeping your Dad from his brother and yelling at your mother isn't OK.  She could leave while your Dad is there if she doesn't want to see him.  

I agree that she is most likely exhausted and stretched beyond her limit emotionally but that doesn't give her the right to be so nasty and vent on your mother  I can't even see that your mother did anything at all to deserve such wrath from her.  

At this point, it doesn't look like there is much to do.  If your Dad feels strongly about being able to see his brother to say his good-byes, he could perhaps seek legal advice about how to do that.  What I would suggest to all of your family (you, your brother, your mother and your Dad) would be to treat her like we all treat a PWD - keep saying you're sorry and that you were wrong.  It doesn't matter if it's valid or not.  It doesn't matter that your mother did nothing to deserve your Aunt's nastiness.  Don't defend yourselves at all.  Say you're sorry over and over.  Tell her you understand how she's feeling.  Tell her how hard it must be for her.  If you appeal to the emotion rather than the expression of the emotion, you might have a chance of reaching her.  If, indeed, the goal is to reconcile the family, I think this might be the only way.  She is lost in her resentment.


star26
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 11:05 PM
Joined: 2/6/2018
Posts: 56


I think you could use some focus on what your Aunt and Uncle have been going through in the last 1.5 years since their previously very close family members abandoned them in their time of need. If your Dad couldn't handle it and wanted to disappear from his brother's life how does that stop you and your Mom from continuing to visit and be a presence and loving support to your Aunt and Uncle? You are all guilty in my book and your Aunt doesn't owe you anything. Please try to think about HER for a change. Read these caregiver posts and educate yourself on what she's been going through. She has asked you to leave her alone and this is what you all need to do. If she ever wants to get in touch with any of you again, she can do it. I can't believe it's been suggested to pursue legal intervention or continue to repeat yourself to her over and over...that is a terrible thing to do to her IMO.
harshedbuzz
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 4:34 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1838


Your parents behaved abominably  in this situation.

Yeah, I get it- it's hard to watch your brother go through the decline that is the hallmark of this awful disease. It's even harder to watch your life partner disappear before you eyes to say nothing of dealing with diapers, refusing to shower, sundowning, UTIs, wandering at night, false beliefs and hallucinations.  Your uncle and his wife are the victims here. Your dad should have manned-up. At this point, the kindest thing he could do would be to give his brother's family the privacy and space they need right now.
Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 5:27 AM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


gubblebumm wrote:

your dad was not there and now he wants to be there...praying it better, what to change your aunt's mind?  She has every right to not want anything to do with your dad and his wife, sorry but its her right as it was your dad's to not be able to handle it.  If he couldn't fine, but don't think suddenly its all okay cause he now feels bad


I will always resent him and my Mom to some extent for those 1.5 years, but my thing is, better late than never. The bottom line is, he DID call and wants to see his brother now. Again, you have to find a way to understand my family situation as well. Nobody called him in 1.5 years either. Agreed that she is not rational and we all just need to find a way to leave her be. Terrible situation overall. And to the poster who said my Dad was wrong for yelling back and escalating that day, and yes he should have just played it cool but you have to understand the woman yelled at HIM first saying his own wife was never welcome in the house again after she did nothing but treat her well for 39 years. Was my Mom dead wrong for not even calling though in those 1.5 years? Yes. My Aunt has every right to be mad and even maybe done with her IMO. But my Aunt went a bit too far there saying she can't even come visit my Uncle, and my Dad took offense. My mom also pushed my Dad for the entire 1.5 years for what that's worth, but yes she was wrong too regardless.

 
Legal action post was not right IMO.

 

 
@Star26, we are "ALL" guilty?? My brother and me especially visited my Uncle numerous times in last 1.5 years. I was there for him. I've also tried to help fix this situation but am now leaving it alone. My MOM you are right about. I resent her just as much as my Dad for not even calling my Aunt. She didn't have the problem my Dad had. I'm trying to be civil with my Mom bc she is sick over all of this and just wants peace, but she needs to know maybe all she had to do was pick up a phone for a couple times in those 1.5 years.

 Thank you everyone for your responses for me during this tough time. 


dayn2nite2
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 5:46 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2023


You can feel however you want, but leave them alone.

If it were me and I’ve told you in no uncertain terms to stop contacting me and you continued, I would go as far as getting a restraining order against you so I could enjoy the time I have left with my dying husband in peace.

Just leave them alone.  They owe you nothing.


RanchersWife
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 5:54 AM
Joined: 3/14/2018
Posts: 188


Wow.  In case you haven't realized it your aunt has been hurt and angry for a long time at being abandoned.  She's supposed to forgive everything your father didn't do because it made him feel sad and let your father make himself feel better by visiting now?  Yes, the right thing to do is let your dad come.  She's used up her whole self caring for your uncle.  She doesn't have anything left to give.  I realize your parents had little idea what your aunt was going through but if they had been there they would have known. Nobody tried to make her feel better.  Nobody was there with a shoulder, a cup of coffee, a few hours of respite.  Your dad couldn't see his brother like that but he didn't mind what his own absence did to his sister in law. 

I understand the feelings your dad had.  My LO resists visiting long time friends.  This couple is in a facility.  The man is on hospice.  The wife is with him with her own medical issues.  We go see them almost every week.  The message is "You are important to us because we care about you." Yes, it's hard to hear about and see their troubles but this is life.  I don't let my LO abandon her friends because it makes her sad.  She can suck it up and do the right thing.  When she declines to the point where she won't or can't see them she will have no friends left.  She doesn't realize that all her friends have already exited her life...

I hope this experience lets you see how much your family's absence hurt your aunt and uncle and makes you able to be there for the next person who needs you. 


Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 6:38 AM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


RanchersWife wrote:

Wow.  In case you haven't realized it your aunt has been hurt and angry for a long time at being abandoned.  She's supposed to forgive everything your father didn't do because it made him feel sad and let your father make himself feel better by visiting now?  Yes, the right thing to do is let your dad come.  She's used up her whole self caring for your uncle.  She doesn't have anything left to give.  I realize your parents had little idea what your aunt was going through but if they had been there they would have known. Nobody tried to make her feel better.  Nobody was there with a shoulder, a cup of coffee, a few hours of respite.  Your dad couldn't see his brother like that but he didn't mind what his own absence did to his sister in law. 

I understand the feelings your dad had.  My LO resists visiting long time friends.  This couple is in a facility.  The man is on hospice.  The wife is with him with her own medical issues.  We go see them almost every week.  The message is "You are important to us because we care about you." Yes, it's hard to hear about and see their troubles but this is life.  I don't let my LO abandon her friends because it makes her sad.  She can suck it up and do the right thing.  When she declines to the point where she won't or can't see them she will have no friends left.  She doesn't realize that all her friends have already exited her life...

I hope this experience lets you see how much your family's absence hurt your aunt and uncle and makes you able to be there for the next person who needs you. 

 

 Believe me I understand it. I’ve spoke to my aunt about it right after the fight and she’s made me understand as well. I even told her I may never get over my parents not even finding a way to call in 1.5 years. But, I guess I just viewed it as a better late than never thing and my Dad had this serious problem and handled it poorly. They only love and want to support her, even if it is a little late. My dad keeps saying it was 1.5 years not 5.5, and while he’s right he also understands how bad even the shorter disappearance was. There is also the other subtle factor included in my original post in that my Aunt was never exactly the most warm person to my parents over the years and even hurt them a couple of times, one of which I mentioned. I just wish they could all come together right now but I understand that ship has basically sailed. 


Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 6:43 AM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


dayn2nite2 wrote:

You can feel however you want, but leave them alone.

If it were me and I’ve told you in no uncertain terms to stop contacting me and you continued, I would go as far as getting a restraining order against you so I could enjoy the time I have left with my dying husband in peace.

Just leave them alone.  They owe you nothing.

 Hi, you understand I’m not my Father, right? I see you are very sensitive about this but please understand I’m his son and have only tried showing my love here to all parties and this has all been the most devastating thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. To be stuck in the middle of a situation that I can only describe as horrific. I’m just a person that has only tried to save his family. But it’s over now, yes. I certainly don’t need to be told you’d get a restraining order against me if it were you. Thanks


terei
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 8:10 AM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 466


There is more than enough blame to go around here.  I would try to continue to see your uncle + support your aunt as much as possible, but I doubt you are going to change her mind at this point.  

I honestly would quit discussing it with both sides.  Your aunt is not ‘right’ but nothing you say will smooth over the fact that your parents basically ignored uncle + her during a catastrophic time in their lives.  I’m sure she feels she is paying them back for their callousness.

My brother saw my mother once a week for 2 years while she was in AL + MC.  He called me one day about 6-7 months before she died + said he could not bear to see her like that anymore + he couldn’t take her to lunch again.    I was sad, but I understood. He could not be convinced to see her again.  He just did not have the emotional strength to watch her dying.  I dont hold it against him, but every family must navigate the AD journey in their own way.  Trying to do it with grace is the hard part.


Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 8:18 AM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


terei wrote:

There is more than enough blame to go around here.  I would try to continue to see your uncle + support your aunt as much as possible, but I doubt you are going to change her mind at this point.  

I honestly would quit discussing it with both sides.  Your aunt is not ‘right’ but nothing you say will smooth over the fact that your parents basically ignored uncle + her during a catastrophic time in their lives.  I’m sure she feels she is paying them back for their callousness.

My brother saw my mother once a week for 2 years while she was in AL + MC.  He called me one day about 6-7 months before she died + said he could not bear to see her like that anymore + he couldn’t take her to lunch again.    I was sad, but I understood. He could not be convinced to see her again.  He just did not have the emotional strength to watch her dying.  I dont hold it against him, but every family must navigate the AD journey in their own way.  Trying to do it with grace is the hard part.


Thanks for sharing your story. At least your brother did his part by seeing her as much as he could bare, and even when he couldn’t he called and was honest from his heart. My Dad could not even call to explain how he felt, and when he did, it was basically too late, unfortunately.

 

 


Jo C.
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 8:31 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10221


Many Members on this Board have had very difficult family issues, so we do understand.  We also have a lot of experiential wisdom based on our experiences, so that is where the responses come from. 

While I am so very sorry for all the dynamics, this seems to have gone far too far no matter what the reason or motivation; this is not a kindness.  I do understand you are hurting and I send my sympathy to you for that.  It may soothe you to try and fix this or explain to your aunt, or let her know that you are not the same as your father,  but that is for yourself, it is really not for your aunt who has definitely made her feelings known.  Please honor her feelings and her needs; that is the priority.

It is beyond time to stop.

The ONLY thing that matters is to leave your aunt alone as per her wishes.  It may serve everyone best to NOT bring up or try to intervene or discuss any of this in any way any longer. She is being emotionally and unnecessarily harangued being dragged into this and obstructed while in deep grief and mourning and while also dealing with all of the myriad direct hands-on care issues for your uncle.  This is HER time and her children's time and no one elses no matter what.  Please do let go.

It is best to drop this for the mental health for one and all, and for kindness and consideration; it is not going to be fixed, it is not appropriate, and the aunt is being dragged into dyamics that are hurtful and not necessary. 

Funerals are also for the immediate family; if you and your family are not welcomed, let that pass.  You can go to a quiet church and pray for one and all, but getting involved and pushing about a funeral would also be extremely inappropriate.

This seems so hard; I understand, but it is harder for your aunt. Being that you care, staying out of it all including justifying yourself is the best gift you can give your aunt at this time.  Silence at this point may serve you best for the long haul.  There will be better times in the far future; not in the fresh period of mourning following the death.

It may be that later, in tincture of time, this will all evolve and the family able to reconcile

Again, I am truly sorry for your hurt and pain, and so hope you understand and have gained a bit of insight from others here.  You meant well, but it as said is now time to let go.  It may be that getting short-term counseling to help you work your way through this may be helpful.  May you be well and may you find peace soon.

J.


Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 8:47 AM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


Jo C. wrote:

Many Members on this Board have had very difficult family issues, so we do understand.  We also have a lot of experiential wisdom based on our experiences, so that is where the responses come from. 

While I am so very sorry for all the dynamics, this seems to have gone far too far no matter what the reason or motivation; this is not a kindness.  I do understand you are hurting and I send my sympathy to you for that.  It may soothe you to try and fix this or explain to your aunt, or let her know that you are not the same as your father,  but that is for yourself, it is really not for your aunt who has definitely made her feelings known.  Please honor her feelings and her needs; that is the priority.

It is beyond time to stop.

The ONLY thing that matters is to leave your aunt alone as per her wishes.  It may serve everyone best to NOT bring up or try to intervene or discuss any of this in any way any longer. She is being emotionally and unnecessarily harangued being dragged into this and obstructed while in deep grief and mourning and while also dealing with all of the myriad direct hands-on care issues for your uncle.  This is HER time and her children's time and no one elses no matter what.  Please do let go.

It is best to drop this for the mental health for one and all, and for kindness and consideration; it is not going to be fixed, it is not appropriate, and the aunt is being dragged into dyamics that are hurtful and not necessary. 

Funerals are also for the immediate family; if you and your family are not welcomed, let that pass.  You can go to a quiet church and pray for one and all, but getting involved and pushing about a funeral would also be extremely inappropriate.

This seems so hard; I understand, but it is harder for your aunt. Being that you care, staying out of it all including justifying yourself is the best gift you can give your aunt at this time.  Silence at this point may serve you best for the long haul.  There will be better times in the far future; not in the fresh period of mourning following the death.

It may be that later, in tincture of time, this will all evolve and the family able to reconcile

Again, I am truly sorry for your hurt and pain, and so hope you understand and have gained a bit of insight from others here.  You meant well, but it as said is now time to let go.  It may be that getting short-term counseling to help you work your way through this may be helpful.  May you be well and may you find peace soon.

J.


Thank you for your long and thoughtful post, but you think that it would be ok if she forbids my parents to even go the funeral??


Jo C.
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 9:24 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10221


To answer your question, since it is HER say-so and since it is HER husband, yes; it is her call to say who can and cannot attend his services.  It really is not anyone else's call.  And; it may not happen.

This is not the decision to be made by your family or yourself; and though it sounds hurtful, it is not your or your family's purvue in any way.  If this forbidding of presence of your family at the funeral should happen, your aunt would be taking a hard stance, BUT after all the dreadful dynamics and drama of late, I could understand such a decision if she decides to take it.   She definitely would, in such a circumstance be trying to not having drama and acting out or hard words at her husband's services and would want to avoid that at all costs; I think most anyone would.

One would be best served by being mature in understanding and also in standing down.  Maturity seems to be a key word in these dynamics.  And, as said, such a banning of presence may not happen; so please do not ask her about this as she is in caregiving mode and in the last days with her beloved husband. As said, if it should happen, you can go to a church and say prayers for the uncle and family and feel the spirituality of it all which is what is important; not the social aspects.

Once again, it would definitely not be appropriate to address this with her at such a stressful and heartbreaking time; compassionate understanding would be to let go to be respectful of the grief and difficult time of loss.  It seems that you may have a difficult and heartfelt time letting go, and that is what is necessary no matter the sad and deep feelings.

Since the hurt is so deep, it really would be helpful to seek that short-term counseling very soon to help deal with this and assist with perspective. 

Sometimes letting go is the healthiest and best course and an honorable one; this too shall pass. 

J.


Unforgiven
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 9:55 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2615


There's little point in attending a funeral other than to provide comfort to the bereaved survivors.  If your presence causes extra stress, it's a kindness to stsy home.  Unless there is a worry about being criticised later for not being there, which is a whole nother ball of wax.

I know from bitter experience that a funeral is not a final chance to say good-bye.  You're uncle will not be there.  Even now he's past the point of your father making final amends.  Your father will have to make his peace for missing the opportunity when it was there.

Right now your aunt is projecting her pain onto your family.  It is a grieving tactic.  I hope this doesn't turn into an epic family feud, which it well could do if you keep on pushing.


Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 11:25 AM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


Unforgiven wrote:

There's little point in attending a funeral other than to provide comfort to the bereaved survivors.  If your presence causes extra stress, it's a kindness to stsy home.  Unless there is a worry about being criticised later for not being there, which is a whole nother ball of wax.

 


My Father is my Uncle’s brother. He would be a bereaved survivor.. 


dayn2nite2
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 12:37 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2023


If your father would like to be humiliated by being thrown out of his brother's funeral, by all means let him go to it.

Again, if it were me, I'd have the funeral director let him know he is NOT welcome and if necessary I'd call the police to get him removed.

If your father dares to go without being invited (and only a total narcissist would go), then expect the embarrassment of being kicked out.  This could include the rest of you.

 

Why do you insist on putting your father's feelings above all?  He doesn't count here AT ALL.  Not even a little bit.  Neither do you.  Your father and the rest of you can sit at home and feel sorry for yourselves and leave her in peace.


Janice.alone
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 12:38 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 78


Mac0908 wrote:

 My dad keeps saying it was 1.5 years not 5.5, and while he’s right he also understands how bad even the shorter disappearance was. There is also the other subtle factor included in my original post in that my Aunt was never exactly the most warm person to my parents over the years and even hurt them a couple of times, one of which I mentioned. I just wish they could all come together right now but I understand that ship has basically sailed. 

 

  This quote makes it obvious that you and your family have never had to experience the nightmare of being a one-on-one care giver for a dementia patient.   Because, believe me, 1.5 years is an eternity when you are the primary care giver.   And I don't think your father can possibly realize how bad even the shorter disappearance was for your Aunt if he has never been the primary care giver.   Her stress level it now to-the-moon and I can't say I blame her for lashing out.   It's one of those things that you simply can not understand unless you have walked in those shoes.  

And regarding your more recent post - Yes your father is a bereaved survivor, however, it is highly unlikely that he will receive any comfort and support from his brother's family after the recent events.   That's what funerals are about - comfort and support.  So if you know he's not going to receive it and no one will appreciate the comfort and support that he could provide, why attend?  That would just be stirring the pot, and you know the results of that already.    Seeing his dead brother's body in a casket isn't going to help your father.  He has to find another way to make peace with himself.

I agree with other posts that you must let this drop.  Quit calling, don't attend the funeral unless invited and let it drop for the foreseeable future.   It will take your Aunt a very long time to recover from her experience with your Uncle.   At some point down the road, you could spend time composing a heart-felt letter to your Aunt and Cousins regarding your own actions to defend yourself, but you should give-up being your parents defenders.



Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 1:02 PM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


 @day2nite2. First and foremost, did I ever say he was not invited to a funeral? I was talking about a theoretical situation. For all I know it won't be a problem. Now before you started ranting and randomly talking about people getting thrown out of funerals and police getting called and my Father "daring" to go, when again, I/we have NO clue yet if he will be welcome there or not, allow me to tell you that my feelings shouldn't exactly be downplayed in this entire thing to where I am nothing. 

 
My Aunt has gone through hell on Earth no doubt about it, but I have seen my family destroyed over this and have become sick over it in the process. I've only come here to talk it out and get some advice. I didn't put my Father's feelings "above all" by any means. I made an attempt to try and patch things up out of love, got absolutely nowhere, and have said several times now that is it over and I am letting my Aunt be. The gall of you to write "Your Father and the rest of you can sit at home and feel sorry for yourselves" shows that you either don't fully comprehend the situation or simply have no heart at all. Take care.

Teresa701
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 1:43 PM
Joined: 7/19/2018
Posts: 17


Mac,

You seem to have posed a question that you aren't getting the answer you want.  You need to understand that from the viewpoint of many caregivers here, you, your dad, your mom, your brother are wholly in the wrong on this issue.  

I'll give it to you from this perspective... if I were one of your uncles and aunts children, meaning your cousin, and my mother told me this story and then told me that anyone from your family had tried to make further contact, I would warn you once.  If that didn't seem to get through, then I would not hesitate to take whatever steps needed to keep you away.  

How would you feel if it was your dad dying, and your mother in this position?  The stress on caregivers is something you cannot imagine if you haven't done it.  All of you need to leave this situation alone.  Let them grieve and mourn in peace.

Sorry, if no one here is agreeing with you and giving you the answer you want.  That should tell you something.


Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 1:53 PM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


I never disagreed with the fact that she should be left alone with regards to being bothered about this all anymore. I’ve said several times I’m done and even kinda feel bad now after my second and last attempt yesterday. I don’t however totally agree with people shaming me for at least trying in a small way (text message) in general, to see if I could patch things up. I just thought that some comments were overly harsh and condescending towards me when I’ve only meant well in all this. Also some posters who clearly showed that they didn’t read the entire story and instantly just took the side of the caregiver.

 I am still going to see my Aunt and support her. She hasn’t BLOCKED me. But in general it’s  just a very, very tough pill to swallow seeing as how she won’t let my Uncle’s own brother even say goodbye to him for 10 minutes. That’s really all.


Doityourselfer
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 2:16 PM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 405


I sort of know how your aunt feels about not wanting to see your dad and family who haven't been around to support her and your uncle.  My husband's 7 siblings don't even call, text, or visit their brother who was diagnosed in 2016.  Well, one brother visited 8 months ago.   It's shameful on the siblings for ignoring my husband.   I don't feel I should update them and I don't want anything to do with them.  

Being a caregiver for a spouse is very, very, very difficult.  We have enough to deal with every day and having a family feud is something we don't need.


Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 2:20 PM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


Doityourselfer wrote:

I sort of know how your aunt feels about not wanting to see your dad and family who haven't been around to support her and your uncle.  My husband's 7 siblings don't even call, text, or visit their brother who was diagnosed in 2016.  Well, one brother visited 8 months ago.   It's shameful on the siblings for ignoring my husband.   I don't feel I should update them and I don't want anything to do with them.  

Being a caregiver for a spouse is very, very, very difficult.  We have enough to deal with every day and having a family feud is something we don't need.


Completely agree. But it just doesn’t have to be this way, you know? All my Aunt has to do is allow them to come over for 10 whole minutes.  After 50 years of a nice relationship and zero fights (before this) I feel like my Dad at least deserved that. I told her he was in tears over not being able to say goodbye to his brother.  But if she’s not able to make a rational decision right now it just is what it is and I can understand that. 

 


Carolyn613
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 2:34 PM
Joined: 7/15/2016
Posts: 1066


Mac, I am very sorry for what you are going thru, and I know you are hurting. You sound like you only want to be a peacemaker. But as I read your story, it seemed to me that your parents are making this all about them. They didn't mean to hurt your aunt, your father couldn't stand to watch his brother go downhill, etc. It across as "I felt like this, I felt like that, so that's why I abandoned you (your aunt) and didn't call or visit." What is your aunt supposed to say? "Oh, that's all right! I understand that you're hurting way more than I am! I'm only his wife, and I only have to live with his disease 24/7/365!"

 

I am not meaning to be sarcastic, really, but your parents' absence hurt your aunt far more than you or I will ever know. And then for them to raise their voices at her when she told them how upset she was made matters worse. Sometimes when someone tells you that they think you've been horrible, you need to just be quiet and listen and try to understand their hurt.

 

You are a caring person. But your parents need to leave your aunt alone now. Btw, yes, she absolutely has the right to tell your father he may not go to the funeral. I hope she won't do that, but she has a right to do so.

 


Carolyn613
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 2:38 PM
Joined: 7/15/2016
Posts: 1066


Mac0908 wrote:

 

 

Completely agree. But it just doesn’t have to be this way, you know? All my Aunt has to do is allow them to come over for 10 whole minutes.  After 50 years of a nice relationship and zero fights (before this) I feel like my Dad at least deserved that. I told her he was in tears over not being able to say goodbye to his brother.  But if she’s not able to make a rational decision right now it just is what it is and I can understand that. 

 

 

 For your aunt, yes, it does have to be this way. It absolutely has to be this way and no other, for her peace of mind. No, she does not "have" to allow your parents to come over for 10 minutes. She deserves to let her husband go in her own way. She has a different idea of what your father "deserves", after everything. And I think her decision is entirely rational.

 

I'm sorry. I know it hurts. But this is more about her, as your uncle's wife, than it is about your parents. Your father had 1.5 years to be a brother. He made his choice.

 

I'm sorry you are not hearing what you hoped for.



Doityourselfer
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 3:00 PM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 405


Being unable to see a brother who has AD is a very poor excuse for not visiting.   I don't buy that excuse at all.  We spouses have a hard time seeing our spouses like this every single day, I repeat every single day.
Teresa701
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 3:11 PM
Joined: 7/19/2018
Posts: 17


Mac0908 wrote:

For the last 2 months this has now gone on, my entire my family has become broken all while my Uncle has now gone into at home hospice care. Me and MY brother have both tried nicely reaching out to my Aunt to "fix" things to no avail. Finally today I gave it one last ditch effort and after a long emotional text from me explaining how this has destroyed me and that my Dad was in tears recently and to please consider letting him and my Mom come visit with me next week, she responded by simply saying "The answer is no. I need everyone to leave me alone". 

Per your own post, aunt has asked everyone to leave her alone.  Unless, there is info that's missing that she said it was ok for you to come over, then stay away.  And even if you are welcomed over, leave the situation alone.  You trying to fix it is only compounding her stress.  

 


jfkoc
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 3:54 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17545


I am the wife who would not let her husband's children come and say goodby. The decision was made based on what I felt was my husband's well being.

These were non-attentive children who wanted to say good by as a form of making amends and I simply would not put my husband through the emotional stress of that.

I did suggest to the errant children that a nice chatty letter would be welcomed. None came from two and the third ended with "let us know what all you have been up to". My husband loved the letter.

I also opted out of a funeral because I knew I could not handle being with them.

It is very possible that your aunt's reasoning is similar to mine. I think I acted properly...I bet she thinks she is doing the right thing too for her husband.

I am quite certain that your father is devastated. You have reached out on his behalf and your attempt was rejected. I think all you can do now is be a support to your father. Listen to him and accept him feelings which will undoubtedly run from pain, to sorrow to anger.

My heart does go out to you and your dad.

 

 


mostlyme
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 4:52 PM
Joined: 12/17/2018
Posts: 269


Mac, I'm sorry that you're getting beaten up in some of the responses.  That isn't right.  It sounds like you and your brother have been very supportive of your Aunt and Uncle.  I'm also sorry that your parents and your Aunt are at a standstill in this.  I can imagine how stressful it is for you trying to reconcile this.  When I mentioned earlier to communicate only apologies and not defend yourselves - I didn't mean to make phone calls and knock on the door - but rather send a card etc.  You seem to be smart and caring so I have no doubt you would be sympathetic to what your Aunt is going through.

I'm really surprised that there is little said about your Uncle in the responses.  I know most people on this forum are caregivers hence the connection with your Aunt.  But to go so far as to say it' ALL about her doesn't seem right to me.

There was a discussion on here about those who still 'saw' their LO in spite of the dementia and those that no longer 'saw' their LO anymore.  I am totally in the first camp.  She's my mother and I still see her wholly.  Perhaps it's for that reason that I'm thinking of your Uncle.  He has a relationship with his brother.  What about him?  Maybe at some level it would be good for him to spend time with his brother?  And for the funeral - isn't it also a tribute to the deceased?  They love each other right?

I have a brother who is not involved in my mother's care.  I did get to the point of getting resentful.  I would ask for his help in specific areas and not hear from him.  I decided at one point that I didn't owe him updates anymore.  I then hit the wall with the stress of everything and shared that with him.  He became more sympathetic and started phoning my mother more.  I realized that he just didn't understand what I was going through.  He comes yearly for visits and I make sure to make it a nice time for him and my mother to connect.  If he actually broke down in tears with an apology, it would mean something to me.  I'm not saying I wouldn't still have hurt in my heart, but it's an open door to start communicating.  I have struggled with his lack of actions - even just phoning me to see how I am doing.  But I would never come between him and my mother because of my hurt. 

Like terei's brother, your father couldn't cope with watching his brother decline in such a way.  It's too bad he didn't communicate this at the time - but that was a mistake.  He made another mistake when he mentioned making things right with your mother when he had just got back in with your Aunt himself.  He should have been tiptoeing and thanking your Aunt for every minute he got to spend with his brother.  I maintain that he should apologize for that.  Write her a note and not say anything at all in defense of themselves or offer any explanations - just a note of apology and understanding for what your Aunt has had to endure.  

I also maintain that being under stress doesn't give a person the right to be hurtful.  That's now your Aunt's mistake.  I hope that they can all muster forgiveness for each other in order to honor your Uncle.  We all make mistakes.  It's important to try to see another person's point of view instead of always being dogmatically righteous and defending ourselves.  

As for you Mac, I know you're struggling with your Aunt's decision and it's making it difficult to not have bad feelings toward her.  You express yourself quite eloquently and you're good at communicating the bottom line so do that with her.  It doesn't have to be heavy.  Just tell her you're having a hard time with it and leave it at that.  It's important that she realizes that her actions have consequences too.  It sounds like you have done that very thing with your Dad so he understands your hurt about his absence and it also seems like he 'gets it' now.  I'm sure this will be a struggle for him not being able to see his brother now that his eyes are opened.  It's sad Mac.  It's just sad.  


OutsideLookingIn
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 5:34 PM
Joined: 7/30/2018
Posts: 121


I'm going to interject a different perspective here -- not that it will change the situation.  I can see how the dad got a bit panicky over seeing his brother.  Not from how bad things were, though that's what was said, but over the fact the dad is now the age (approximately) the brother was when diagnosed.  Now, if that were me, I would have a hard time looking at what I perceive to be my future.  That would make it rough.  

Unfortunately, the dad wasn't able to voice that, and it went downhill in a hurry from there.  Does the reason for the behavior justify it?  No.  And in agreement with what others have said, Mac's family must live with the consequences of that behavior and give the brother's family the space they need.  I can see that it won't get any easier as the time grows closer, and things won't change.  So Mac's family must start finding a way to grieve without being in the brother's family's space.  

I hate to see families torn apart during these crises, but it happens.  Hopefully the cousins will, in time, find a way to reconnect.


dayn2nite2
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 5:55 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2023


Mac0908 wrote:

All my Aunt has to do is allow them to come over for 10 whole minutes.  After 50 years of a nice relationship and zero fights (before this) I feel like my Dad at least deserved that. 

 

She doesn't have to do anything for them.  Your father doesn't deserve that courtesy.  He will have to deal with it on his own.

BadMoonRising
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 7:51 PM
Joined: 4/22/2017
Posts: 282


I wish people could wait until after their LOs death before throwing a hissy fit about who did what or who did not do what or... whatever. Seriously.

Mac0908
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 9:13 PM
Joined: 10/18/2019
Posts: 17


Me and my family all know with absolute certainty that if my Uncle could talk not only would my Mother and Father be welcomed there, but he would probably divorce my Aunt on the spot for pulling what she's pulling. That's reality, and I could bet my life on it in a heartbeat as well.

@Carolyn613, nobody wants to make it "All about them". So please, come on now. Not sure I can really get behind people saying that at all anymore, to be honest. The man simply wanted to see his dying brother who he's known since 1955 one final time and if that was some sort of ridiculous over the top "All about me" insane request then I don't know anything anymore. He didn't want to bother my Aunt with trying to talk things out or doing this, that, or spend an entire weekend with them or anything else. That could be for down the road. Right now it should all be about my Uncle and like I told my Aunt in the text, he needs as much support and love as he can get right now, especially from family. While me and my Dad have unfortunately pretty much accepted now that this will never happen(Mom still a wreck), we also know that this will now likely haunt our family for the rest of our lives.

Also, you can't be serious with your idea thinking that my Father expected my Aunt to just snap her fingers and be all friendly to him when he finally called. He knew for certain he was dead wrong and knew it wasn't going to be an easy thing. He even told her he accepted it when she told him she lost all respect for him. 

I don't know anymore everyone. Maybe this should be my last post. I came on here last night as a broken man looking for some support, clearly going through a living hell having to recently see my family that I've known for 35 years that for the most part never had any issues, destroyed within a matter of weeks, and me being caught right smack directly in the middle of this all as a nephew/son. I understood that not everyone was going to comprehend what I'm going through and I understood that the general idea would be that my Father was in the wrong, but in no way did I think that the general harsh consensus of 90% of responses would be summed up by the following:

Screw your Father. 

He doesn't deserve anything. 

Your Aunt is 100% right no matter what. 

End of discussion.

 

That's right. That's what I've basically seen here.

While my Father was in fact terribly wrong and as I said I will resent him maybe forever for what he did, the reality is he's a good man at heart and didn't commit a crime and simply broke down when his brother became seriously ill. I get how my Aunt doesn't understand it all and doesn't care and chose to take it out on my Mom, but in reality, that is what happened. The man had a problem. He didn't murder anyone. He didn't rob their house and he certainly didn't curse my Aunt out or act like he didn't give a darn* when he finally decided to reach back out.

My Father has known his brother for 64 years. Before my Aunt and before many other people. He grew up with him and maintained a great relationship with him his entire life. His brother was his best man. His Mother died in 1992 from the same disease when he was only 37. He met my Aunt in 1969 and never one fight with the woman in 50 years. Was always a very good brother in law. The man made ONE (albeit terrible) mistake in the way he handled his problem when my Uncle began entering a more severe decline. That mistake had consequences no doubt. My Aunt is fine to resent the crap out of him for it. She is fine to never speak to or see him and my Mother ever again for as long as she lives after my Uncle passes away if she wants. My cousins (her kids) are allowed to feel the same. But for her to forbid him to see his own brother and my Mom's brother in law even one last time before he dies is downright wrong and though I am accepting it, I will never respect it. Yes it is about her and not my Father. But this is his brother. His DYING brother that at the end of the day, he wants to see now, and wants to say goodbye. In my entire life I never heard my Father in tears until the other day on the phone. People here are making him out to sound like Joe Schmo who saw my Uncle 5 times in his life and suddenly wants to creep back in. I love my Aunt, but she is wrong here in this one area, and in the process now has terribly hurt me and my brother. Those are the ramifications I suppose. 

Like another poster said earlier, it does reach a point where a person being under severe stress doesn't give them the right to be hurtful. She hurt my Mom terribly with the comments she made to her/about her and is now literally mentally killing my Father for this all which just isn't right.


 
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