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Our youngest brother has been diagnosed with laryngeal cancer recently. His oncologist has given him 2-4 months and hospice has come in.
Quite frankly, our brother looked forward to hospice, because of 'all the drugs' he would get. He is 55 years old, has never had a job and has made a life of drinking, taking and selling drugs (if he has any left). He's been in prison three times and has spend numerous months in jail. He lives on $750 per month, SSI. He lived off of my parents, when they were alive and has stolen from all his family since he was very small.
The three of us have productive, normal lives. Two of us are in the medical field.
The problem, he now expects US to pay for his formal funeral, as does his live-in girlfriend, with his internment to follow in our family plot. He will not hear of the state's cremating him nor burying him. He feels entitled. The girlfriend is on assistance, too, and is broke.
What the heck do we DO and what do we tell him?
Help us, please.

It doesn't matter what you tell him. When the time comes, he won't be around to check up. Just get through the next few months as peacefully as possible. You owe him nothing. Treat any porkies as a different version of the 'therapeutic lie' we all talk about.
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SparkyY Apr 6, 2019
The guys dieing at 55 and his self righteous sister wants to keep him out of the family plot. If it really doesn't matter what happens because he's dead anyway why have a family plot to begin with?
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Well, I have the same... in the future anyway. One of my brothers is in prison and will not be out until 2027. My other brother is on assistance. I have insurance policies for both enough just to pay for what I think will be necessary.
Tell him you will "take care of it". Promise nothing. No point in arguing. Make no written contract.
Girl friend -- pay for what you can but if you want a major funeral/burial -- better get a job.
Do what you can. If its only what the state can do well that's it.
Can't get blood from a turnip.
hgnhgn
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SparkyY Apr 6, 2019
Especially when the turnip turns out to be your own sibling. Haha
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TELL him whatever he wants, than DO whatever you want
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This is a sad situation but I think you could tell him you'll have a send-off of some kind for him but that under the circumstances it's not going to be an expensive shin-dig. Tell him he's lost the right to be saying things like he won't hear of the state's cremating him or burying him. He lost the right to call the shots when he chose the life style he did.

Entitlement is a silly overused word I M O. Too many people, I don't care who you are, how you look, what you do, no one is really entitled to anything. But you reap what you sow. He should just concentrate maybe on making things right with you guys and his maker instead of worrying about what kind of casket he is going to lay in.
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"What the heck do we DO and what do we tell him?"

Tell him: 'We owe you nothing. If anything we do for you, it's out of our compassion for you as a human being."

If you plan to just give him the very basic, then tell him: "We will GIVE you a basic cremation. If you want anything more than that, you will need to pay for it."

And if you want to pay for some of the cost above the basic, tell him: "If you want more than the basic, you can pay x% and we GIVE you the rest."

Tell him: "For once in your life, before you die, stop being a leech, and be responsible. Give us something good to remember you by."
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It seems clear that none of you wants to pay for the elaborate funeral he is planning. He can plan all he wants. The least expensive thing would be immediate cremation in alternative container. Go to a funeral home now to check it out. As next of kin, I believe you siblings would have legal say in the arrangements and girlfriend, not being a spouse, has no say at all. If girlfriend wants something different, and is paying for it, I'm sure you would agree to it. If she is not paying, why would she get a say? As to what you tell him, when he brings it up, nod and smile and change the subject. When the time comes, do what you feel is right.
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Welp. This may sound harsh. But to heck with the girlfriend...get a job and get then have a say. So sorry, because some people have legitimate issues and need assistance. But if she's not one of those, then let that go. And, harsh again, but maybe tell him nothing. Just deal with this the best you can, and find peace with it. We all have choices to make and there are consequences to the decisions we make. If he is addicted to drugs, not that it's a choice actually, but getting help and changing the way they live is a choice, and maybe he chose not to change. I wish you well. You're in a tough situation.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 7, 2019
Yep,
They don’t owe the girlfriend anything. She does not have a relationship with the family.
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This thread hits home with me big time! I lost my brother in 2013. He was in his 60’s. He had a complicated life. I loved him with all my heart but his behavior caused the entire family so much grief.

When he was 13 he became addicted to heroin. He was the oldest brother, 7 years older than me. It was terribly confusing for me. Back then methadone was used to treat addicts.

My mom would pile us in the car, drive to the clinic and he would walk inside to get his fix while we waited in the car. I will never forget the sad look on my mom’s face.

No support groups back then. Lots of arguments at our house. Everything was hush hush.

Several kids told me when I was young that they couldn’t play with me because their parents told them I had a ‘bad brother’. I would cry because I said to them that I wasn’t bad but it didn’t matter. They had to obey their parents. I understood that later in life but not as a kid.

Once he had hallucinations where he thought he had growths of some sort on his arms and my parents had to wrestle a knife away from him to keep him from cutting his arms up trying to remove the imaginary growths. That terrified me!

He overdosed on our front porch. I thought he was dead. My younger brother and I ran to tell my mom. A doctor came to our house and helped him. They made house calls back then for emergencies. My brother was able to be revived. Was very scary for us.

I never understood why we had to drive for hours and pick him up from a large building (juvenile detention home) for a day pass and then bring him back. The ones that were closer he ran away from and found friends to hide out with. When I asked mom why he couldn’t come home she only told me that he did something bad. I always wondered if I was bad would I end up there too.

Later he committed armed robbery and went to prison for many years. I couldn’t bring myself to visit him and see him locked up.

He got HepC. Mom and dad were ailing by then. They asked me to take care of him, doctor appointments, hospital visits, shopping and so forth.

My dad died. Hurricane Katrina hit our city. Mom moved in with us.

He had a horrible motorcycle accident. I was the only one at the hospital for the surgery. He nearly died. He asked me to buy heroin for him. I told him I would never purchase drugs for him. I fell apart and a nurse told me to take care of myself.

I set him up with hospice. He lied about everything to them. He ate the pain pills like candy. I helped him clean his apartment and almost stuck myself on one of his dirty needles. I finally told my mom I couldn’t help him anymore.

I had tried to get him to go to rehab. I truly tied all I could to help him. His problem was bigger than he was.

He stopped hospice, eventually became homeless. I prayed daily for him.

An old man took pity on him and let him stay in a trailer on his property. When he became very sick he brought him to an end of life hospice program.

I brought my mom to see him. He was nothing but skin and bones. He never apologized for hurting me but three nurses told me that he was sorry and that he loved me. I forgave him completely. I was the last one with him seconds before he died. The nurse called me as we were backing out of the parking lot to say he died.

My mom asked me to make the funeral arrangements. He was cremated and is in our family plot. We had a priest go to hospice and say a graveside service.

I have mixed emotions. I loved him as a brother but I hated having an addict in our family. I have enormous compassion for addicts but there is no denying that it is hell for everyone.

He wasn’t a bad kid before that. His best friend asked him to try it because he was lonely. His father was a doctor and was never, ever home, at ball games, nothing and wanted to escape the loneliness and asked my brother to join him. His best friend ended up dead too, couldn’t pay his dealers so they beat him to death.

I can relate, do what you feel is best.
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SparkyY Apr 6, 2019
And you are one of the reasons I still stay with this site. You have compassion and common sense. That's a rare combination. I'm sure your brother appreciated and loved you. What I've learned about drug addicts is that most are not bad people they do bad things to support their habit. Most do want to quit. Most try several times to get clean. They go to church for guidance, try rehab usually multiple times. Each time they relapse they know their family is going to be upset or worse just wash their hands of them.
The disease of addiction is insidious affecting everyone around the addict. So they start hanging around other addicts who don't judge them.
The OP would benefit greatly by attending Al-Anon (for friends and family of alcoholics) or nar-anon (for friends and family of drug addicts.
She sounded so bitter in her post. She doesn't have to have to have an expensive wedding to have a formal one. But to deny him a place in the family plot borders on hateful. And her little quip about him using hospice to get drugs shows she still thinks he needs to be punished. I can't get over the coldness of her post. The guy has less than six months to live. If she doesn't find a way to forgive him before he dies she will regret it.
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In a similar situation I just said No. They were not and still are not happy about it but for me it was the right thing to do.
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If this fellow has caused people so much pain, why are they hanging around listening to his plans to abuse from the grave? The family has no obligation to put him in their plot. Who is his executor? They get to make the decisions and pay for it. If that's his girlfriend, great, she can pay from her purse. Otherwise I'd just make sure the company that maintains the family plot knows he is not to be buried there. There's no need to argue with him- you can just say no to the girlfriend once he's gone. We've chosen body donation which is better than free as the company will scatter cremains over the Pacific. She's free to do that as well, which is not done by the state.
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