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I am so very disappointed and sad. My family was always very close. I have two brothers. We always got together with Mom and Dad and each other.
I was had the Power of Attorney for everything, and handled things after her death.


One of my brothers had been living in my Mom and Dad's house for about 18 years, rent free. He didn't have to pay any bills, etc. Once she died I had to ask him to move out so that I could sell the house and split it 3 ways. He never made an effort to work or save any money. So naturally after it was sold and I gave him his portion of the money, he does not talk to me anymore. We used to do everything together.


My other brother is married and he and his wife do their own thing and have always been pretty private. This brother texts me about news info occasionally as I do him, but we don't talk on the phone or see each other, especially now because of the pandemic.


I am single, no children, no any close friends in my city. I have been hunkered down because of Covid, am not working, and am very lonely.


Not only did I lose my Mother, but I lost my older brother because of the house sale, and seldom talk to my younger brother. I'm always the one to reach out. I would NEVER have thought things would end up this way NEVER in a million years. I am soooooo sad and hurt.

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I know what you are feeling. I too lost my relationship with my brother and sister over an argument. Mom had in house 24/7 care. They were really great, qualified people. They wanted to move Mom into a home just so they could get the house. Well I prevented that, causing them to hate me. She wasn't ready for a home. Some years lated we did have to move her to a home where she stayed until she was 103. God Bless her. I made a decision at that point that it was worth loosing my siblings to protect my mother. After all she was my mother. Haven't spoken to eather of them for over 2 years. I'm at peace with it.
If you are a person of faith turn to it and I hope you find peace.
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Perhaps the relationships weren't really what you thought they were? Sometimes we might fabricate a relationship the way we want it to be, more than it really is. When you say "My family was always very close. I have two brothers. We always got together with Mom and Dad and each other.", is it possible that you read more into this than was really there? Or is it just the others moving on with life, during the parents' decline and after their deaths? Were your parents the glue that held it all together?

I also have 2 brothers. My parents often had multi-family parties (they had a pool too), but also gatherings for us 3 & our families. We all got along and things seemed to be fine - maybe never Ozzie & Harriet or Leave it to Beaver fine, but fine. OB has lived away mostly since college - 1 to 3+ days drive, depending on what jobs he managed to find. YB is 10 years younger than me, so by the time he had kids, they were more like grandkids to me! We still managed "special" occasions, but as time went on, it seemed that I would be the one who was trying to bring everyone together. You hint at this later in your post: "I'm always the one to reach out."

Sometimes that becomes way more effort than it is worth! When you have to attempt contact over and over just to get a yes or no, and it takes days, weeks, or more to get an answer, it becomes stressful! This continued after mom's move to MC, even though it's closer than her condo was for YB. Like mating/birthing elephants to get a response!

I was the one who interfaced with mom the most, esp after we had to take her car away. Grocery shopping, supplies, appts, etc. Trying to coordinate the others or engage them in decisions was like a full-time job. OB was at this point 2 days away. YB left his family. I got laid off and decided to just hang it up and retire. So, I ended up providing the most help and support for mom, identifying the dementia, finding how we deal with it, hiring aides to try to keep her in her condo, finding a MC place, making sure all documents were updated, taking over finances, etc. Once we moved her, the next 1.75+ YEARS were tied up making long trips to clear, clean and get repairs done on the condo so we could sell it. YB hooked up with GF and often wouldn't respond to calls or text. OB came up a few times to help, but 3-4 weeks vs almost 2 years for me doesn't cut it. Meanwhile, I'm still doing her finances, arranging and taking her to appts, bringing supplies MC doesn't provide, etc. Some retirement. When I told OB b4 condo was done that it was too much, he just bellowed at me to "GIVE IT UP!" No plan. No alternatives. During that same time I discovered the abusive OB I had growing up had NOT outgrown his abusive nature. Needless to say, I'm done with him. No contact in over 2 years, until mom had a stroke. 97 and still going. I sent email to let him know - figured it was the right thing to do. 15 hrs later, reply consisted only of "Thanks for update" That's it. Pfffft!

Anyway, OB's last "visit" with mom was a joke and he refused to return, not knowing what to do with her. YB stopped visiting except I needed him to take over Mac Deg appts (won't stand/walk, can't support her weight.) Now, post stroke, I've canceled future treatments, so most likely she won't see him either. SAD!!!

I wouldn't go so far as to call us a lovey-dovey doting family, but it's sad to have these 2, esp OB, more or less abandon mom. Anyway, once she passes on, I plan to consider myself an only child. Move on. Find people with similar interests, make new friends, enjoy life instead of pining for what may never happen. More time for me, my kitties, my kids, my grandson... I won't waste my time trying to rekindle those "relationships" - there are things I'd like to be doing that are on hold and many are far more productive and will have good tangible results!!!

Since you want to keep/fix the relationships, do make contact and give it some time, but if it isn't happening, move on.
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I also have been seeing my family break into smaller, separate units over the years. I had an older sister who lives 4 hours away and 2 Younger brothers who lived locally. They all married and had kids and grandkids while I remained single and childless.

Older sister and elder brother were always my parents favorites. Younger brother and I joke about this now. Especially since we are the ones who have been the most diligent about caring for our parents. I have made a point of always keeping my siblings informed of issues and decisions and asking their opinions.

When our father had strokes and became disabled my elder brother began to distance himself. Didn’t answer his phone, rarely replied to messages, seldom visited our parents. When Dad died he didn’t show up for two days, only after an aunt called and told him off. He didn’t participate in planning the funeral although he did come.

Mom declined and has moved from home to AL to SNC and now Memory Care. He never visited her after her first move.

Sadly this brother died a year later. Because he had distanced himself so much over the years it’s like he died years ago. His daughter seems on the same course. I seldom hear from her, we connect on Facebook and she replies if I reach out but she never contacts me, has never visited Mom although she lives a few miles from the facility.

Sister has visited a few times, called Mom once a month and me about the same. She is focused on her own children and grandchildren. We talk occasionally and always have a good time talking but I can sense her moving away.

Now with Covid it is becoming more important to keep in touch. It's so easy to just sit back and say "let them call me!" Some days it seems the only time anyone gets in touch is when they need something from me. So I keep in touch with those I value and try not to brood on the others. I signed up to volunteer with the Red Cross and am looking for other things I can do to help the world.
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Thoughts:
The live in brother probably did contribute to the care of your parents and of the home while he lived there. Perhaps he thought that he would inherit the home when the parents died or at least be able to live in it as he had always. Like you, he lost your parents but he also lost his home. Your note does not indicate any discussion of his role other than asking him to move out in order to sell the home.

Families are often fragmented by financial issues. Research also indicates that there are often precussors to a "falling out." It sounds like your younger brother has built a life with his wife and maintains the infrequent but constant contact established before the death of your parents.

One can hope that your older brother and you can establish affable relations again, but that may be just a dream. The damage done by how the estate was dissolved is behind you. You cannot make a relationship by yourself. If there is no reciprocity there is no relationship.

I would continue to recognize significant events-the holidays, birthdays, etc. and not sever contact entirely. However, what is is probably what will be.

Once Covid passes, it would be wise to build a network of friendships. A lone man is usually always a welcomed guest to dinners. Good luck.
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I lost my family the moment our parents required our care. They proactively attacked me without realizing I was happy to take on the responsibility without any help. So began the process of uncovering the scapegoat dynamic (also, single w/out kids) engrained in my family and many others. Now it's clear to me that I had idealized my family all my life and that they are today who they always were. Selfish & unloving. That's my story and I hope your story and everyone else's has a happy ending.
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Yes, it happened to me. I am also single and no kids. My Father's passing was the catalyst of the family breakdown. Mom's Alzheimer's diagnosis a few years later and lack of care moved the breakdown to completion. Funny how everyone had time for Mom when she was "useful " and the siblings could have financial benefit from her. I also had a brother who lived at home... however in my case did not care for Mom.

What did I do ? First take care of my Mom. I now have her legal guardianship and fiduciary rep. I also care for her full time during the pandemic in my home as many out there are doing for their loved ones.

Second: Take care of my life. I ensure that I do take time for myself and recharge my batteries so I can effectively care for my Mom. I also decided to leg go of toxic family members who where wasting my time and energy with negative emotions. My advice: Make your own " family " . Chose your friends wisely and enjoy your life. While we are all quarantined, I am playing the piano, learning a new language enjoying my Mom and connecting with my friends. You are not alone. As a good friend once told me : the BEST investment is in yourself. I live by this everyday. God bless you.
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I am not yet in this situation but fear that I may be in the future when my parents pass away. I always felt that my parents were the glue that held us all together. I too am the one who always reaches out to my siblings and hopes to keep us close. Hang in there and keep the lines of communication open. You never know what the future will bring.
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I feel for you. All I can say is, leave the door open and things may eventually get better, as happened to me. It took many years, and the relative who was so cold to me had to have a health scare and counseling. It turned out to be worth it.
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I am so sorry to hear this. It happens a lot unfortunately after the death of a parents. The demands of life are sooo high that sometimes siblings don't have room to even maintain their relationships. Our MIL is in late stage dementia and my husband and siblings are sooo apart now day that I feel they will be in the same situation. Its sad. I would advise to try to create new relationships with friends, maybe been open to create a family, dont know if you are open to go to chuch etc. Loneliness is not a good thing but it can sure help to discover your most inner needs.
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I am curious about the live-in brother's situation too. There seems to be one person in every family who gives up everything - career, social life, hopes and dreams, freedom, ultimately health - to care for an elderly parent. And this sacrifice is not only not appreciated, but other people regard this martyr as some kind of freeloader.
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I am really sorry, yor not alone, i have no immediate family now after my fathr died, but i have a child, and im married, but it still hurts, but life goes on and it gets easier, again, im so sorry that happened to you.
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I am so sorry that you have been isolated with COVID. The fact your parents have passed did not cause you to lose your brothers. There were most likely problems in your relationships before your parents' passed. Continue to reach out; they are also grieving. Please consider attending a grief group - online if need be - to deal with your loss. People in these groups understand loss and ways to handle it. Also reach out into your community, your faith group, and groups for folks with similar interests. Everybody needs friends in their lives and people that are like siblings, even if they are not blood relatives.
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There is a website you can go to for comfort and find that you are not alone in coping with the death of a loved one. Or having problems with siblings after a death. Also there is information on how to cope with loneliness. JW.ORG website. The content is all free to download. Enjoy
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My family imploded when my parents got sick. Things worsened after their death. This has been very difficult as I believed my foundation was my family.

To say I loved my siblings is an understatement. They were my world. A couple of my siblings treated my parents terribly, however. My parents mourned these relationships and eventually came to peace with their sorrow.

Over the course of about 30 years, I evolved into Mom and Dad’s caretaker and was logically designated their executor. The sibs all vanished when the “good times” became scarce.

They did not conceal deep seeded bitterness and said things along the lines of, “ Well since you were the favorite, you shouldn’t need any help from us now.“ (This abandonment when I needed them most was excrutiating).

My parents, through great foresight, had already planned to exclude a couple of them from the estate. This resulted in a lawsuit targeted against me (as executor) which was costly, both emotionally and financially. The case was thrown out of court before any trial and my siblings lost on two attempted appeals. My parents’ intent prevailed since the lawyers were able to defend their will completely.

No one could predict that one of the “good” siblings that benefited from this positive hard-earned result would later throw a fit because she felt she didn’t get her money fast enough! My Mom and Dad would have been so ashamed by her reaction.

My parents were both generous and fair. There was noting inequitable about their choices. In fact, the siblings who sued behaved so ugly in the lawsuit that my parents’ wisdom was confirmed.

I’m frequently asked whether I resent my parents for making their bold decision. I respect them more. They were able to see through my siblings in a way that I was not. Their actions taught me that it is okay to break ties. Grudges have their place —when someone’s behavior is bad and there is no hope for rehabilitation.

i know you are mourning the loss of your siblings too. Mourn them and move on to happiness. Like my siblings, they probably never really were there for you in the first place.
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Imho, it has for me as I rarely hear from my sole sibling. He runs a law practice - I get that he's busy, but it gets old having a one-way convo. Prayers sent.
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Yes and our attorney told me this is not uncommon. Same thing over the sale of the house as I was the oldest and executor. Only complication was my uncle lived downstairs, and he didn't want to buy out our half of the house (3 children) when my Dad died, so he went to live with his girlfriend. My youngest brother (in his 50's) didn't talk to me for 4 years and we will never be close again. The only upside of it is that I grew closer to my other brother because he sided with me. Neither one of us wanted another house to take care of which needed a new roof, furnace, etc. It is very hard and a damn shame.
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We all have crosses to bare. We don’t choose our siblings as we do our friends. We are all different and react to loss in different ways. The family dynamic is not always what it seems. Disfunction is not alway obvious. Our lives go in different directions and are impacted by different experiences. But, we have choices. We can bring the hurt and disappointment with us all the days of our lives or with some help, walk away from it. Something that has helped me over time is the belief that I, PERSONALLY , am not responsible for the actions of others and that they can be greedy, nasty, shellfish and thoughtless people and it has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with me.
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Dear Caregiver11

The previous comments from mommycare are well thought out and applicable...
You are not alone in having feelings of many kinds that can overwhelm you for short periods of time. You will find yourself coming to terms with how you feel with time, good friends to talk with who will listen, perhaps even some counsel from a psychologist for a bit...

Our family also broke up after placing our Mom into longterm care. The family was broken long before this but basic civility was maintained on behalf of our parents... There is grief, many pronged when not only do we lose our parent, but the dream we had of our siblings. The loss of what we had assumed about them, had hoped for in any ongoing relationships with them. There is also anger when siblings do not keep up their obligations, or steal from the parent, or bully other siblings, or hold their power of power of attorney, or executor, or guardian over the heads of other siblings. There is anger and hurt when a sibling just doesn't care and you realize this during a crisis with your family.  

I know finding people to become friends with is hard, but not impossible. Be brave and reach out to others as you have done on the chat site here. Over my (over 50 ++++) years I eventually learned to find other people whom I share interests with. Some times that worked sometimes not....I found a 30 + year friend by arguing over which variety of Nasturtium repelled aphids better!! 

I found a great heart friend by sharing tears of loss that just poured out at the sight of her gift of a plate of her apple tarts.  There are wonderful people around us always....just let them in Many of us long time Caregivers also need to know and accept its healthy to accept kindness and care and love from others who genuinely like you for you...  Day by Day...
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You have my sympathy. I too, had two brothers. As adults, we were friendly but not close. As the only girl, and a nurse to boot, I was expected to see to the care of elderly parents. I expected that . Did not resent it in any way. I did not have either of them in my home, but closely supervised and assisted their care in hospital or, briefly, in skilled care facility. Brothers voiced disapproval of some of my actions, but they were not present for anything but giving advice. I followed my mother's end of life wishes as I promised her (unwritten, to the horror of my lawyer brother). So there was strain in our relationships.
But the final blow came when my father left me more in his will (I don't know how much more) than he did to the boys. Why should I get more, they reasoned. After all, they had wives and children, therefore financial burdens I did not have as a single woman. (Of course they each had six figure incomes. I did not!)
The brothers never forgave me...as if I somehow deliberately influenced my father to favor me.! One, in particular made some really unkind remarks. Like you, I was very sad because I felt like I had lost my whole family. Not just parents, but siblings as well.

Time has passed. I've developed friendships and helpful associations outside family. You must do the same. The hurt is still there, but I've put it in the past. And I know my father never anticipated the fall-out that developed in our family. Both brothers have passed on and I attended their funerals, meeting peaceably with their spouses and children. Amazingly, now that I am old, a nephew, who seems to bear me no ill-will, has become quite helpful to me. And I am on distant but amicable terms with both sisters-in-law (in their late 80's and 90's) But know this: those who are the most faithful friends are OFTEN not those related by blood.
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So sorry to hear this; yet , I know exactly where you stand. The death of any parent(s) or any elder(s) who were the glue and compass for the family can bring out the worst in those siblings who don't want to grow up, accept responsibility and be fair. I have discovered that many of the feelings that come out during these circumstances were actually already there but not openly expressed in front of the matriarch or patriarch. We are led to believe that our siblings are our automatic friends and on occasions this couldn't be farther from the truth! A person who is selfish, inconsiderate or just plain rotten and related to you is still all of those descriptors regardless of you sharing a set of parents.

Give yourself permission to only accept relationships in your life that are fruitful, positive, supportive and meaningful; apply that to include relatives. Learn to love and care for them from a distance without compromising yourself. Do not allow them to ignore or overstep your boundaries. You deserve to be emotionally safe and if they don't contribute to that, keep them outside your safety circle!
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Yes, my family became distant (and sometimes resentful and bitter) too, after mom died. Dad died 3 years before mom; however, mom was the one who insisted we family members get together for holidays, so to please her, we accommodated her wishes. Mom's favorite child was my younger brother who lived with my parents into his 40's. My younger brother FINALLY found a strong-willed woman who was willing to put up with him and keep him sober. However, when mom started going downhill, younger brother would not do any actual care-giving -- would not take her to doctor appointments saying she could not get her into his truck but would not accept the platform step so she could, which is what I used for her to get into my SUV. I became primary care-giver even though mom really did not want me there. Younger brother WOULD bring her (on occasion) some special foods she liked or a special gift and she ate it up, bragging to all the family who called about how wonderful he was to her. Younger brother considered those gestures as fulfillment of his part of the "care-giving" duties. Older brother was still working during the first 5 years of her care, but once he retired, he DID pick up prescriptions and helped with getting her to Doctor Appointments. However, once mom died and the house had to be sold and proceeds split, my two brothers fought like cats & dogs. Family designated to receive money felt they should get MORE (when they hardly did anything over the 7 years of care involved). I DID made a LONG LIST of everything major thing I did to care for mom and when they started in about they should have gotten more, I showed them the list. I also showed them the asset total and what each beneficiary's portion was, after Executor of Will portion was taken (which was not nearly as much as the law allowed). Some were surprised at how little mom & dad had left. Our parents did not leave Life Insurance money, and the house was so neglected and needed so many major repairs we had to sell it "as is." So split 4 ways, the paper showed them how little there was to begin with. That helped. But we have drifted apart and I've learned to do what another person suggested -- I've made friends and moved on with my life. Life is too short to hold grudges. Bitterness will make you sick, which will lead to cancer. So you just have to let it go. To let go, I personally had a day where I forgave them, one by one, of the terrible things they said or did to me, then stopped thinking about it. These days, my older brother calls & stays in touch each week and has thanked me for all that I did. I rarely hear from my younger brother -- I have to reach out to him by text and he gives a short un-detailed response. It is what it is and only God can change their hearts.
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Yes, you aren't the only one.
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I am learning how caring for an elderly parent can put a huge wedge between siblings. My sister and I used to be best friends but since mom has needed more care, I have pulled away from her. Lots of hurt, anger, and resentment. I honestly believe that when mom is gone, there will be little reason for us to have any kind of relationship. It feels like a death.

I would encourage you to create a life for yourself. Get involved with a group. If that seems difficult, find something you can do by yourself. What activities do you enjoy? Gardening, reading, cooking, baking, exercise? I know with COVID everything seems to have stopped, but the more you can stay busy/active doing things you love, the more content you will feel. Try to stay connected with people who know what you're going through. It helps tremendously to know you're not alone.


God Bless you in your journey. He sees you and knows your struggles.
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Yes,absolutely lost everyone.Still an ongoing attack,..and I've done nothing wrong.They even turned anyone they could convince against me.Lied about me..
GREEEEDY relatives.Have health issues from stress,..I see people as mainly bad now.I gave up my freedom,and worked hard looking after the home in and out,lawns,hedges,handyman duties,along with trying to maintain my job as best I could...lost 10 pounds doing all this,..along with all the EXTREME stress of caretaking a relative that couldn't walk or barely use their hands.The greedy sibling never offered help in those 3 years,..but continued to party on including staying in a tropical paradise for a month each year,..while I was literally killing myself to save my parent.Now I'm being dragged through the gravel for 0ver 2 years now...i have done nothing wrong,..it's GREEEED,..
I'm done with most people,..AND with 'Family' to heck with 'em all.
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I am sorry for what you are enduring - it is so hard and lonely. I have learned the hard way that sometimes in life, we are forced to do something that is most likely the hardest thing we ever did - WALK AWAY FROM CERTAIN PEOPLE AND NEVER LOOK BACK AND MOVE ON TO A NEW LIFE. I don't think you had the close bond you think you had and hoped for. In this case, cut your losses and walk away. I had to do this and while it was horribly difficult, over time it was the best thing in the world I ever did. Believe me, there is a new life and a better tomorrow out there. Cut your losses and move on. Develop new friendships and interests and your life will be happier and more peaceful. Don't wait.
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Yes,absolutely lost everyone.Still an ongoing attack,..and I've done nothing wrong.
greedy relatives.Have health issues from stress,..I see people as mainly bad now.I gave up my freedom,and worked hard looking after the home in and out,along with all the stress of caretaking a relative that couldn't walk or barely use their hands.The greedy sibling never offered help in those 3 years,..but continued to party on including staying in a tropical paradise for a month each year,..while I was literally killing myself to save my parent.Now I'm being dragged through the gravel for 0ver 2 years now...i have done nothing wrong,..it's GREEEED,..
I'm done with most people,..AND with 'Family' to heck with 'em all.
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Yes,absolutely lost everyone.Still an ongoing attack,..and I've done nothing wrong.
greedy relatives.Have health issues from stress,..I see people as mainly bad now.I gave up my freedom,and worked hard looking after the home in and out,along with all the stress of caretaking a relative that couldn't walk or barely use their hands.The gredy sibling never offered help in those 3 years,..but continued to party on including staying in a tropical paradise for a month each year,..while I was literally killing myself to save my parent.Now I'm being dragged through the gravel for 0ver 2 years now...i have done nothing wrong,..it's GREEEED,..
I'm done with most people,..AND with 'Family' to heck with 'em all.
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Definitely happens. My entire family lives within 20 miles of each other. Mom is also here, living in memory care. Dad passed in 2019.

We spent many happy get togethers at parent's house over the years. Family was very close. Those gatherings stopped as mom's dementia grew worse and she was unwilling to have people to the house. Dad missed the gatherings, so my sister and stepped in and hosted them at our homes. But siblings also have elderly in laws and kids/grandkids who need their time/attention. Attendance at family gatherings is becoming hit or miss as time goes on. We have to pick and choose which family to spend holidays with. So gatherings where we all are together don't happen anymore. It just happens.
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I am sorry for both of you. My son is in the same situation. He has some sort of disability that prevents him from moving forward with his life. Was your brother working? Was he your mothers care taker? Maybe he thought he deserved to continue to live there for a while?
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My family fell apart after my father's death, but unlike yours we were never really close. I tried to be, but the two older darlings of my mother (she didn't like my younger brother or me from our births) never wanted me or my younger brother in their lives. My trying was pointless and a waste of my life, if that's any help to you - that is, don't try if he's not open to you. That's the way the world is nowadays, so don't feel badly so much that it interferes with you enjoying your life when you are ready.
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