My mother is dying and my sister-in-law hasn't called or visit in 6 months and she only lives an hour away.

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Now that Mom is in the hospital and doesn't have much time left guess who is parading around with her family pretending that she is heartbroken. I'm so mad I can't breathe. For ten years she treating my Mother badly -and now... thanks for letting me vent. I am too well brought up to make a scene at the hospital but I would love to tell her what I think about her.


Alter - Ya know what - I say if you don't care about the relationship with S.I.L. after your Mom's gone - tell her just what you think. Really - you can do it without blowing up - you can do it just quietly when you're alone with her. If she makes a scene about it or tells others in the family- tell them she's making things up. Tell them that she must be feeling guilty so instead of waiting for a scene, she's trying to get sympathy for herself. Tell them she's pathetic to make up such drama when your mom is really the one who should hold the center of attention.

She's manipulating - manipulate right back. I'm sick to death of these people who do everything for appearances - my own brother and his family are masters at it. They do one measly thing for my Mom and they brag about it for YEARS. Their friends and people at church - my Mom's church - believed they did so much for her. They even told the congregation that Mom's demented so no one visited Mom for 6 months!!! All that changed when I visited and gave the pastor heck for failing to visit. Sometimes you just HAVE to say something - if you can't say it to her, talk with your brother and see if that makes you feel better.

I've been in your shoes - I kept quiet for 20 years so I could develop a relationship with my nieces and nephews and to keep my dad happy. Now the kids are grown and dads gone, it's time to set myself free - no more faking it. I don't want to see my brother so I don't and everyone understands that it's the healthy thing for ME.

Good luck to you - it's a tough situation.
As mad as you are at the sister-in-law, it's not about you. If it gives your mother any comfort in seeing her daughter-in-law come around and spend time with her, then let it go. After she dies that's a different story.
I could be mad at my deseased uncle who refused to visit his sister only an hour and a half away because it would be too depressing to see her in a nursing home, but would ride 14 hours to see his daughter and grandchildren 5 states away as well as take boat rides with them long before he was diagnosed with liver cancer. I can say the same about my mother's sister who has not visited her in more than a year since that hip surgery, but she's traveled with her boys and their families to the beach this summer and to visit her brother before he died as well as for the funeral. My boys and I don't feel like we are even considered part of that side of my family although when my mother dies one day and I inherit several hundred of the almost 1,000 acres of total land among the four farms of my grandmother's estate, I will not just sell them my third and leave. I wish things were different, but they aren't. I wish that I could fix something, but I can't. I didn't make any of these poor decisions that her siblings made to create this mess. The same is true for you and the SIL. I think that I'd start damage control already by letting people know casually that SIL is near but far away. Bet to you and your entire situation.
I agree with you, naheaton. Altersheim, you have anticipatory grief and substantive things in your life to deal with right now. Your SIL's selfishness says everything about her, and not you. Don't waste your precious life energy at this end-of-life transition fork in the road by playing to your SIL's social mania. If, after your mother dies, you still feel like confronting SIL, you'll have plenty time then. Now, your Mom needs you, and you need to say your peaceful goodbyes to your Mom. Peace.
Thank you all so much for taking out the time to give me some support. Sadly, (I am close to hysteria) Mom passed away a couple of days ago. SIL sends me messages daily... I want to scream - not because I care about SIL in the slightest - I've long given up caring about her but was being polite for my Mom's sake - but because of all the pain that SIL has caused my sweet sweet Mother in the past (no Mom didn't want to see SIL any more after all the drama SIL has caused throughout the years). SIL is only being nice because she knows I am now the trustee of Mom's estate.... - or maybe I am being unkind - she could have become a completely different person in the last week but am not holding my breath. I will however be fair and get everything settled - then I will bid SIL adieu....

LynnPO - I am so sorry that you know how I feel - I just can't comprehend how people can behave so badly - then act like they were caring... etc. Maybe it's what they tell themselves so that they can look at themselves in the mirror... Sigh.
Altersheim, sorry about your mom. You're probably right about your sister-in-law, it's too bad she has taken up so much space in your mind though. Just tell her to 'bite me' and leave her alone. You go your way, and she can go hers. What you really need is probably a vacation.
It happens in the best and worst of families. You are not alone. I don't wish bad 'karma' on anyone, but sooner or later, the people that do nothing, have all answers, display false emotions, etc., have their day of recogning. Stay away from a hospital scene, Family been there done that, and it is remembeed for a long time. Unfotunately for your sister-in-law, if she has children, they see/will have genes similar to her, at least one. She will have to deal at some point with same situation of either no help, too busy, uncaring, you did same, so what is different now? It comes home. I have seen in more than once. I do not wish ill feelings on her, but the fact remains, that whatever you do, comes back to you, at some point. She knows you are totally disgusted. She is thriving on that. Don't make your last memories of your mom, spiteful of you sister-in-law. It is time now for you and your mom, after that, you will have good memories of spending cherished moments with her and not issuing with sister-in-law. Your time is not better spent with your mom. Also your sister-in-law has a denial problem, or closeness issues. Chances are they were inherited. You can do nothing about that. I know it is hard. My dad and his sister/brother had disagreements, and they to realized it was no good. May God Help You now.
Alter - I'm sorry that your mom passed; she was lucky to have you and all the patience you had for all this time. When my dad passed and others tried to cause me problems, I started everyday by looking at all the things I had to do and then I added in at least one thing that would be just for me - something that would help me maintain my emotional health. It's not self-centered, it's self-preservation - and it's just fine!!!

Remember there's not a thing wrong with "going silent" on the SIL, communicate only with your brother and ignore her. Life is too short to put up with manipulative BS when there's no reason to do it any more. Give yourself permission to do things at YOUR pace and to heck with everyone else!!! The next year might have some tough moments - the first mothers day without Mom, the first Thanksgiving, etc - save your emotion for those times when you're grieving again.
good luck!
Hello Altersheim,
Unfortunately I am in a situation that perhaps is even more horrific. My brother and sister-in-law live 1 block away from my mom. I am an hour away. For the last 10 years or more, sister-in-law refused to come to mom's for any family gatherings, especially after dad died. In fact, she was unwilling to do anything for my mom, even to pick up a quart of milk. She feels threatened by my brother's close relationship with mom, and has distanced her two sons, now 28 and 26 from family. I have been the main caregiver for mom, but when she had a mini stroke and diagnosis of moderate Alzheimers 3 years ago, mom has required 24 hour care. Of course, no one was there to help her but me, and I had to arrange interviewing, hiring, and all things related. To add to this, my brother gets diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 4 years ago and it has progressed quickly to the point that he is bed ridden for the last year. She has not allowed my mom to see him in her house, since no one is allowed in. I have begged, pleaded and my brother won't stand up to her because she is so distraught with him and he is totally dependent on her for everything. He lives in a bed in their living room. They can't get him out of the house because they don't have a ramp. Don't ask me why. Brother was hospitalized this spring with an infection, developed sepsis and almost died. While in rehab, I was able to arrange my mother's sister to bring my mom in a wheelchair to see her son, my brother, who she had not seen in 2 and a half years due to sister-in law's rules. I have not been allowed to see my brother in his home since June . Mind you that I am in the neighborhood 1-2x a week. In September my mom was hospitalized with pneumonia and her dementia worsened. She stopped eating and was unable to take her medications that would keep her safe from seizures and stroke. No one visited her except my sons, not her other grandsons. No one has visited her since. She has not seen my brother's sons in 2 years (they live around the block). MOM IS DYING now, I elected to have a feeding tube put in her, thinking how could I deny my mom food and water because she was disabled? I regret this decision because my mom was miserable afterwards. But, she is calmer now and I have continued to keep her home. I just came to accept that the quality of mom's life is poor and last week I asked the doctor to sign a DNR form, so that if 911 were called, mom would be spared from more invasive life preserving measures and be allowed to die. This has been a process for me, but in this process, I called my brother last week and said, "do you want to see mom before she dies?" and his answer was yes. Somehow however, I don't think he realizes that she can get sick at any time and that's it. I emailed my sister in law and brother and requested that I bring my mom over to see her son one last time, and they refused. Just to let you know, my mom cries and calls out for him every day for 3 years. My sister- in law fears that my brother will get worse with MS symptoms and my brother will get emotional. I told him to stop thinking about himself and allow his mom to see him. One cannot fathom the rage I have had toward this sick sister-in-law who has estranged herself, her sons, and now has isolated my disabled brother, not allowing him to see his mom; He will do what she wants because he has to, he has no choice. Oh, and yet their 28 year son, my nephew and my mother's grandson is getting married in January. Their comment was "Why can't we see her then at the wedding?" My mom may not be alive by then, and I don't know if I can get her to the wedding in her condition. I want to boycott this ceremony and not go to the wedding with my family, since they are not acting like family. My friend says that my sister in law is sick, has problems and one cannot expect normal behavior from a sick person. Does anyone have any ideas? I can just bring my mom over and sit on her doorstep until they open the door, but I don't want to put mom through that. I was thinking of talking to their priest, who I know, who knows my mom and the family. It is so wrong to deny my dying mom 5 minutes with her son.
I totally understand everyone's feelings here. I took my grandmother in to my home to keep her out of a nursing facility. We had to buy a bigger home and cannot sell the old one due to the economic times. We're almost bankrupt due to it. But, no one in the family seems to care. My uncle, Gran's only surviving child, only comes to see her once or twice a year; though he lives less than an hour away. He will take longer drives to go see his wife's family or to go hunting. He calls every night and thinks that he is doing is duty. I have to take care of all her business; though he refuses to let me have access to her account to even make sure she has enough money in the bank to pay her bills. He got everything of hers signed over into his name (I found that out after we moved her in with us when I was trying to take care of her affairs). I have three sisters who never call, write or come by. One sister hasn't even been to see her in over two years. Pathetic!

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