Advice - Please!
The last time I wrote here 2 years ago, I was anguishing over the tragic death of my brother at age 52, and also of my mother, age 83. Many of you responded with helpful words of advice or simply with expressions of sympathy, which I did so appreciate. December 22, my father also passed away - at home, age 83. My sister was the primary caregiver for both parents - I distanced myself from the situation for a variety of reasons, and I am not suprised that she harbours resentment against me for that. She has never left the family home, never married, no kids. I moved out at age 24 (and ever since was accused of abandoning the family) to live with my love, in a home of our own - but no kids.
After the funeral for our father, we had a reception at my home for a few guests (very few family and friends left), and it went very well. She and I talked, and a day later she came over for a nice dinner, etc. I had real hope that we could put the past behind us, or at least not talk about certain touchy issues for the time being. But now, she says that her life is over, there is nothing left to live for - there is no point. She is 50, I am 47. She is angry at me that I am not cooperating with her attempts to lay serious complaints against the daytime care-giver who stayed with my father while she was at work. My father passed away in this care-giver's presence, and now my sister is imagining the worst - that the care-giver hastened or somehow assisted his demise. She is accusing me of being uncooperative "as usual". She is also going into "what-if's" - re. calling 911 or doing something sooner, then he would still be with us etc etc. He was ill for a very long time, also had dementia, which she has never yet admitted to, he could do nothing for himself this past year or so - and when I say he had no quality of life, I am lectured that it wasn't true - and that it's not for anyone to decide if they are enjoying life or not. We just did not see his condition the same way.
In addition she is saying awful things like Mum and Dad hated life as well (they were both WWII survivors from Poland, later moved to England/Canada), and the only reason they continued on was for us children and we all ended up failures, and they were very distressed to see how we had landed up - dismal failures. etc etc. I have a home, a good job - respected by colleagues at work - I don't particularly see myself as a failure simply because I don't have children. And certainly my parents never ever expressed any desire to see grand-children.
Although my father and I were not as close as my sister was, that doesn't mean I am not grieving as well, and perhaps for more than just the loss of life, but for time wasted while we were all alive on petty things...grudges, etc. I do understand that her level of involvement was far greater both before illness and during, and that this is more painful in that respect for her than for me. But, when I hear the things she is saying, I worry - I get angry. I don't want to be dragged down into misery and depression which is not all that difficult for me to descend into at the best of times. And suggesting a counsellor is tantamount to heresy.
I don't know what to do, although it is still early days, and I realize that she needs time. I am at a loss.