Hurt feelings from in-laws after mother's death.

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My mother died Dec. 20. It was a horrible year for her (and my brother & I) and ended with a fall that broke bones, caused serious complications and excruciating pain for her last 2-1/2 weeks of life. I've been exhausted (along with her) from the year and am still very scattered over her death. I truly thought she might beat the odds and make it.

But, right now I am having a big problem with hurt feelings, to the point of intense anger, because my out-of-state brothers-in-law did nothing more than send an email back to husband expressing 'regrets' when he notified them she had died. Not even one of the 3 bothered to send flowers to the funeral home or even a card of condolence! No, money is not a problem for any of them and 2 are extremely wealthy and all are retired -my husband & I are the poor ones in the family and still working.

My husband and I (both of us over 65) have been married for only 7 years, but they all knew my mother and she was included in family functions when they were in to visit my MIL (here near us in a NH and my husband & I take care of her needs).

Maybe I am over-reacting, but I still can't make myself get past or let go of this. I'm not sure I will be able to be civil to them. I'm so angry I haven't taken recent calls from my MIL who phones ME at work (not my husband) with one or more requests for every freaking thing on a daily basis (mentally she's fine, but has mobility and some health problems). I expected the Facebook only 'sorry' from acquaintances and adult step-kids (his last 2 from his 2nd marriage are really spoiled & churlish), but my husband's eldest drove his family over 80 miles to attend the visitation which was so nice and I appreciated so much.

Okay, I needed to vent. My husband doesn't want to hear anything more about it and frankly acted like he didn't see a problem with them just sending an email to him which made me feel even more hurt. Actually, I didn't know they'd emailed him until a few days ago when I finally asked if he had even told them she died since I hadn't heard word one from any of the families.

It just feels very ugly. There were others I expected to hear from too, but this disregard from 'family' feels much worse.

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So what does an in law do when there was never a "real relationship"..let alone any inkling of communication?" my BIL just died 4 days ago... I am a Christian & for those who turn from this faith need to know that on one is perfect in any way... that being said, although there was no love lost... I offered my condolences and offered my help in anyway needed.... I go to the funeral today in support of my husband, still feeling very uncomfortable through it all... God bless all who grieve, the pain never goes away,  it only eases with time!
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I'm going to offer a possible explanation for inlaws not attending a funeral, something I myself am guilty of (sorry, I'll try to do better). When my sib's spouse's parents died I of course offered sympathy directly to them, but I felt that since they were surrounded by their own families and friends, none of whom I really knew, my presence wasn't needed.
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My father's funeral was yesterday. I have been married 35 years. The longest of all my six brothers and sisters. None of my inlaws called or came or even sent a plant. All of the inlaws of my siblings came and helped in so many ways. My inlaws are supposedly the most Christian and are the most self righteous people you'll ever meet. I am deeply hurt. I'll have to accept that they obviously don't care about me at all. I'm sorry for all the posters here. I feel your pain.
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Every person in my sig-other's family operates on one principle: If it didn't happen to them, it didn't happen.

They are the most exasperating people I've ever dealt with. I used to be philosophical, telling myself, "there's something I'm supposed to learn from this."

I learned that I can model all the good manners and social skills in the world, and none of it will rub off on them. 

I learned that they are best ignored. 

I learned that Caller ID is the most important technology in my home. 
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I understand where you are coming from but....you have to let it go. I let in-laws bother me for years. Not doing it anymore. They r my husband's family. If he doesn't want to visit that's OK with me. Your MIL, tell her if she needs something call her son. If you can't do that, tell her that ur work does not allow personal phone calls. Tell her to make a list and call you at home after work hours. When she does, hand the phone to her son. I hate that the wife is considered responsible for the husband's side. Not when both work.
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Lack of empathy is a very real, very serious mental health issue. So is narcissism. As far as I know, these conditions are not curable. Expecting change in people afflicted with these disorders is unrealistic. Maybe some day medical science will hold out some hope for these disorders. Now, it just isn't there.

Detaching/distancing yourself from such people may be the only defense you have.
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Thanks for your words calicokat.
I guess I always pictured more supportive people being around me when I lost my dearest loved ones. I also wrongly assumed that people who lost loved ones would know how to offer relief to others. That was my unrealistic assumptions caused by grief, I suppose..
My husband helped as much as he knew how..
His parents regularly attended/orchestrated funerals (being a Pastor/wife). I expected they'd behave more sympathetically. They seemed oddly indifferent. My MIL even tried to stop the funeral from being at their church, saying she had an appointment, but, ' (I guess) I'll cancel it..' is what my MIL said. If only I was rich, I never would've asked for their church to use.. I felt so rejected and abused.. Anytime I voiced my feelings, they projected blame back. So saddening.. My MIL behaved like a narcissist at my Moms death/funeral. I've witnessed her planning her own funeral while everyone else was crying for the deceased. She even mentioned to me what song she wanted played when she dies. At that point, I saw a single tear in her eye, and knew she was only crying thinking of her own self being dead. I've only seen her cry talking about how bad she has it.. No empathy for others.. Frightening.. This person didn't even cry at her own granddaughters funeral. I even cried despite never meeting that child, whereas this woman raised that child for a time. How could she be so indifferent to a dead child laying in a casket? That's what I call a sadistic narcissist. I've even heard her make fun of sick and dying people in church, then denies ever saying anything mean, and that others are too sensitive.. I can't, for the life of me, understand this level of selfishness, to be blind to others' pain.. My in-law is a Very dysfunctional person masquerading as an angel. I believe this level of indifference is dangerous for people to be around, emotionally and physically. I've had to cut ties with MIL and FIL ever since my Moms passing, and honestly should've years prior.. FIL isn't much better. No accountability... I told them why we can't socialize with them anymore, but they said I imagined it all.. I guess that's their way of saying, 'We never cared or acted honest in 20 years, Why expect it now?'
Sorry to rant... years of witnessing/experiencing their cruelty has taken its toll on my nerves.. I just keep praying they'll change.
I hope no one else has to go through this while they're already going through grief..
God Bless those who mourn
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"Im coming to realize some people do not have any natural affection in them (aka: empathy)."

Boy, you are so right about this too! And, I think some people are frightened by death and loss as well. Both of these types of people put their heads in the sand when confronted with death, unable to address it in any way.
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My first thought was, that these were BILs, are their wives still living? I know if I were gone, my DH would never even think to send a card or make any gesture when my sister's husband would die. That's just not how he thinks. I do all the social and etiquette things in our household. (actually, my DH sounds like yours - more of the "suck it up, you should be over it by now" kind.)

It is a little bit possible that it was just an oversight - men being obtuse (not really meaning to slander the whole gender, just an observation about those men in my life), especially since one has now stepped up and given an appropriate response.

Sorry for your loss, whether we know it's coming, or it blindsides us, our hearts are broken just the same. And our brains are baffled by a world that just keeps going on as if nothing cataclysmic has happened. Sending [[[hugs]]] your way.
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jeannegibbs and cwillie: What you said meant a lot. It's true, we've all taken the easy road when we shouldn't have when it comes to consoling others. And wearing black doesn't tell others we're hurting inside anymore either. If only it still did. I'm trying to forgive, and get through the grief. Im coming to realize some people do not have any natural affection in them (aka: empathy). My MIL was a shining example at my Moms funeral.
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