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The past few weeks a story has played out in the local newspaper. When I first read about it, a dread crept up my spine, as I suspected what I would later find out would be the case.

A man, Robert, had been caring for his mother, Francis, for 10 yrs. He lived in the house with her and his dog. Neighbors saw him walking the dog, working on his van and working in the yard. They called him a hermit, but said he seemed very attached to his dog. The deed to the house was in his name and his mothers name.

His dog and his mother died about the same time. Now in come the siblings - a brother and sister. The brother lived locally and was a chiropractor. We don't know anything about the sister yet. Apparently there was an argument over the disposition of the house (the one that was in Robert and his mother's name). Robert, after giving up 10 years of his life to care for his mother, and after losing his Mom and his dog in rapid succession, and now seeing his home disappearing in front of him, got a gun. He shot his brother and his sister and then himself. His sister survived and drove her car until she passed out and got into an accident. Officers tracked her movements back to the house where they discovered Robert and his brother, both dead.

Please, don't let sibling differences come to this. Nothing is worth this.

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What a terribly sad thing to happen, poor people. Thank you for the cautionary tale, a good reminder about keeping a sense of proportion.
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Yeah, it makes me think that maybe my complete non-attachment to my family might be healthier by comparison.
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When I read stuff like this I'm so glad I'm an only child.
And that I'm out of state, 1800 miles away from my side of the family.
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Whystle, for me, I appreciated the phone calls from my siblings in the states. They allowed me to vent about what I was going through. And sometimes, I get so touched when bro would write an extra $$ for his portion of the land tax. He will tell me to keep the change. Or other older brother (before he got financially strapped) would send me $200/month to do whatever I wanted with it - not for mom or dad - but for me. I usually ended up using it for the bills. Now, same bro only gives me $10/payday. I wait for it to reach $100.00 in our bank account, and then I withdraw it. I've been putting it in my emergency fund. Older sis also has money problem. Because she knows I love to read, she once sent a package of used books to me using the domestic flat rate box. But what I really liked was just talking to them on the phone. I vent, and they vent. I learned in therapy that they are my emotional support.
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Good luck this weekend WhystleStop. Let your brother know how much you appreciate how much he does. My brother lives long distance, and he misses no opportunity to let me know how much he appreciates what I do. It makes a difference. Soon we will be close to him, so he will be able to provide more respite help. The siblings in this story were just minutes away. Sad.
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I can understand this. I worry that my brother will have too much stress on him and I am too financially strapped to leave my family 750 miles away when my boys still need me. I'm driving down tonight and I don't know when I can get back. Some long-distance caregivers may truly not want to help, but I do, and without money to travel and time away from work, I don't have anything left to give them or my own family. My brother only has them and his daughter who is grown.
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I understood him too... scary to admit. However, my decision is to let 'them' fight over it, at the end of the day (so to speak) and I have decided to get back to living with my, ever so wonderful and caring DH. Being a caregiver has been very trying experience, but it has also taught me many new valuable life lessons. Very strange and cruel world we live in.
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I understood him too. I felt so sorry for him. He took care of his Mom all by himself, loved his dog, and had no friends - that could be most of us. You're right - the ultimate betrayal.
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None of my 7 siblings wanted to help with mom. Then with dad. But, lo and behold, when it was mom's funeral, they all voted that we split the funeral money. I was confused. I thought since dad was the surviving spouse, the money should have gone to him - he Did put over 25 years taking care of mom full time. He retired early to be her main caregiver. My siblings even decided that oldest sis, who just moved in January (mom died in March) but sis came for about 7 months Monday-Friday to cover for the parents until I came home from work. My 6 siblings decided to omit her from the funeral money share because dad and I were paying her babysitting money. (Huh? What about the 6 siblings who did NO babysitting or cash to help out???)

You know when I read the story above, I Understood Robert. It's the ultimate betrayal. He took care of mom 24/7, she put his name on the house and now his siblings wanted to take it away. These same siblings who had a job, paid vacations (never thinking to invite him to go with them, etc..) and maybe didn't visit as often as they should - so that he can have some respite. That's my take - when I read this. They just pushed him over the edge.
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family brawls have gotten so bad at one of the funeral homes in our town that theyve had to hire a couple of goons to keep the peace . the family names behing these brawls leads one to think they must have been fighting over the deceased ' s 1979 chevette .
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Whatever the other chapters are, his mothers wishes regarding the house seem to have been that Robert get it, as his name was on the title. The neighbors never saw anyone else at the house in those years, so the siblings didn't visit often, if at all even though the brother lived only about 15 minutes away and had quite a thriving chiropractic practice. I hope we learn more about what happened, but as the sister was one of the shooting victims, she may not have a totally unbiased view of what happened. Not that I think what Robert did was right, but I can see where he might have felt he had nothing left to lose. So sad.
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What a sad story. Wonder if Robert had lived with his mother his whole life, never married, and even though he was her Caregiver those last 10 years, his mother's passing was probably quite overwhelming for him... then the passing of his dog added more fuel to the emotional fire. Then along comes his brother and sister.

Hopefully the sister can give more information to the dynamics that were happening within the family. Maybe the siblings wanted Mother in a care facility and Robert refused all those years. Maybe they wanted to help and Robert wouldn't let them. There's probably a lot of chapters to this story.
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I feel bad for Robert, but not the people who tried to boot him out. Each year at Thanksgiving, there's plenty of folks who would rather save the turkey and carve up their relatives.
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