When the elder dies.

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My 95-year-old mother died two weeks ago. For the past seven years, my sister, my son and his family and I have been so focused on Mother that the problems we had with her were what apparently had held us together. Now that she is gone, the family is falling apart. Eventually everyone will heal and we'll be a family again, but right now we each need our space from each other. Just want everyone to know this may happen to you, so be prepared for it. Don't have guilt feelings about needing your space, and don't let any of the family put you on a guilt trip because you are not living up to their expectations.

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RG, my mom and your mom are in heaven together. I lost my mom the day before Memorial Day. I spent 17 years being her caregiver after dad passed. It isnt until now that the family is chipping in whereas when she was alive, I was the sole caregiver. I know my mom the best and I resent the fact that my relatives look up to my "older" sibling in this time of grief when they all know that I was the one who took her to doctors and ran her errands and took her here and there, got her a hospital bed, got her home aides etc etc.

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