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Thu Mar 24, 2022, 05:13 AM

Only a few members of my family

want to talk about my brother's death. He died the last week of August.

My cousins change the subject. My mother says she thinks about him every once in a while. She is like TFG, a malignant narcissist. My brother did not like her very much. She talks about everything but his death. My youngest brother has been very matter of fact, but does not want to share any feelings.

My brother had a good friend, Karl. They met through work. Karl is odd. My SIL and I are pretty sure he is on the spectrum. I have always liked him and shared a bond with him and his wife. He will talk to me about my brother's death and how we both miss him. Karl will share, and he is not even family.

My daughters and my husband are just as disappointing. No luck there. My son called me and shared some of his feelings. Then he came out to visit with me. He is a little better than the rest of them. He helped his sister a lot when her first husband died. He took care of the many practical details. We all supported her. We spoke with her daily for a long time. Now there is nothing.

My brother and his wife had been separated, but not divorced, for many years. His youngest daughter took care of a lot of the details. But his children and wife have nothing to say. And one of his daughters should know better. She lost her husband two years ago. She has three young children. She has had all kinds of support.

Other than Karl, I feel like I am sitting on an island.






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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Only a few members of my family (Original post)
murielm99 Mar 2022 OP
KT2000 Mar 2022 #1
Chin music Mar 2022 #2
littlemissmartypants Mar 2022 #3
sprinkleeninow Mar 2022 #4
murielm99 Mar 2022 #13
sprinkleeninow Mar 2022 #14
murielm99 Mar 2022 #5
PurgedVoter Mar 2022 #6
alittlelark Mar 2022 #7
Roy Rolling Mar 2022 #8
brer cat Mar 2022 #9
SheltieLover Mar 2022 #10
DemUnleashed Mar 2022 #11
Joinfortmill Mar 2022 #12

Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 05:21 AM

1. I know the feeling

My brother won't talk about our sister who died - not even right after. If I bring her name up he thinks I am saying I miss her more than he does but he won't talk about her at all. I don't understand it.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)


Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 05:27 AM

3. Grief is hard for so many reasons. I'm sorry that they're making it harder for you.

I'm glad you have Karl and that you're reaching out here. I wish I could give you a hug. That is only if you wanted one. Just know that you're loved and not to sound trite, I understand. Stay encouraged. ❤

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 05:35 AM

4. I have placed you in my heart.

There's much that I really can't understand about families nowadays. Perhaps those 4+ toxic years of you know, 'the strong pollutant'--a factor. I have some strange ones that are left and no communication. Actually better that way.. People in my small circle are more caring versions of 'family' than those related thru blood. Heck, some are my neighbors, grocery store associates where I shop, and the PO where I have a box. Offers from strangers to be there for me!

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Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 04:22 PM

13. In September, two weeks in a row,

Karl had the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered for the repose of my brother's soul. I am not Catholic, but I was very moved by this. I wrote him a letter of thanks.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 10:19 PM

14. Your Karl is heaven sent. So beautiful his gift, and yes, his gesture is moving.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 05:45 AM

5. I have shared a few memories of my brother here.

He was a funny little kid. I shared about how he worried when we got a new President. He wondered what George Washington was going to do now. I shared about how he studied his Sunday School lesson. He told us that Jesus had healed the ten "leapers."

Karl and I were worried about some of his behavior and actions in the two weeks before his death. We thought he might be rationing his insulin, because the cost had increased so much. Karl had already loaned him money. We were trying to figure out a way to help him without wounding his pride. My brother would have rejected any more open charity. We thought about taking him out to eat more. We were trying to figure out a way to provide groceries. I had some ideas about that. I did not live close to him. He was ninety miles away. We were too late.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 06:22 AM

6. You have my total sympathy. Narcissism rips a family up.

As far as I know, all you can do is count the blessing that you escaped.

When you have narcissistic tendencies in your family, you not only have the narcissists to deal with, but the cult members damaged by growing up in that environment. I say cult members, because a narcissist will often build a cult of narcissist enablers around them.

For any of you out there that wonder if there is a narcissist in your midst, there are warning signs. If a person has never admitted personal failure, the odds are good they are a narcissist. If you hear anything like, "Look what you made him/her do." Then you almost definitely have a narcissist enabler talking about a narcissist. Be very careful of the enabler.

If any of you out there have a narcissist in your midst, my best advice is to stay far away and become a good listener. Do not volunteer any information to anyone who is associated with the narcissist. Listen, but do not tell them the time of day.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 06:30 AM

7. Many people see death as a personal threat.

Death is inevitable, but they are terrified of it and will use any psychological constructs to avoid thinking about it.

The psychological pain MUST be painted over with indifference.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 06:36 AM

8. You *Are* an Island

To quote Simon and Garfunkel, you are a rock, you are an island—among similar islands. And though an island, you have me (and others on DU) who’ll listen about your brother..

Go ahead, tell me about your brother.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 07:25 AM

9. I'm sorry that you feel so alone with your grief.

I was very lucky to have two sisters to help me through the grief and depression after my parents died. I can't imagine going through that alone with my feelings.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 07:51 AM

10. Have you contacted a hospice for bereavement therapy?

Most will provide 13 months of support to guide you through "the year of firsts," bdays, holidays, etc.

I'm so sorry to hear your family is ignoring the elephant in the room.

You're not alone, though. Someone is always on at DU & I'm sure many of us would welcome an opportunity to know your brother through your posts.

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 07:54 AM

11. How...

How devastating it must be for you. If your brother's passing wasn't difficult enough but to have to experience the indifference from those in your family, must make the difficulty unbearable!

Please do keep up the communication with Karl...it sounds like it could be beneficial for both of you

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Response to murielm99 (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2022, 08:19 AM

12. I'm so sorry for your loss.

We cannot choose our family and they can seem very strange to us sometimes, but we can choose our "tribe", no matter how small that tribe may be. It sounds like you have both. Your tribe may be small, as mine is, but you only need one other person.

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