My husband of 35+ years passed away a year ago. His half-sister (lives in the same town a few blocks away), hasn't reached out to me since he passed and, well, throughout his life and the 35+ years of our marriage, she didn't embrace a relationship with him or his family (me or his children). Oh, she pretended to "love" them during family get-togethers, but aside from that, she didn't include him in the family. She wants others to believe she does so when we were together at family outings, she made a big deal (hugs, sweet voice, missing you sentiments) so everyone thinks she is kind to him (us).
But, during the memorial service and thereafter, not one word to me since his passing. Not one. She did lament to someone (at a bar over her sixth beer) that she doesn't know why I hate her. That I haven't called her since her brother died. Whatever. The reason for this question is...I will be seeing her this weekend for the first time in over a year. I plan on being very cordial, nice to see you, blah blah blah. But after that, what in the world do I say? I KNOW she will ask: How have you been? in her oh-so-sweet voice. Let me say that in the 30+ years that we were married, in the first 10 or so, I went overboard to become part of her life...trying to get the children together for play dates, to movies, to shopping and other attempts to become a "sister-in-law" and part of the family. ALL attempts were ignored. Not once did she take me up on any of it. So after a while, I just stopped. I had my husband and children, my mom, dad, sister, etc. When his family had outings and get-togethers, we'd of course join, but aside from these 3 or 4 events throughout the year, nadda.
At first, I was really hurt, but after more than 10 years, I just didn't care any more! So, no, I don't hate her. I really don't spend my precious time on her at all. I still feel badly that she hurt her brother all those years, but now that he's gone, I don't feel any obligation to her. Throughout the years, I have had several friends and family who lost a sister, brother, best friend. My M.O. is to call the person left behind. Take them to dinner. Find out how they are and if they need anything. It's what a person does. We console each other. The fact that she was "waiting" for me to call her and that she hasn’t called me (texted or sent a card) after he passed just reinforces her narcissism. Yes, he was her brother, but she never had time for him while he was alive.
On the other hand, he was my husband, my friend, my every day. I miss him and our life every day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him...sometimes to growl at him! :-) I have my children, grandchildren, friends--all of whom embrace my sorrow, have been there in the good and bad times and who all have tried and succeeded in making life after his passing as pleasant as they can. Seriously. I don't give her a thought. She just wasn't part of my life for a good 30 years. Wow. It could have and should have been better, but that was her choice. He and I have a loving family unit. My entire family embraced him. He was an easy person to love. Now that he is no longer here, I’ve chosen not to be part of her "family". I think it’s funny that she is pretending that it bothers her, but that’s how she gets other people (her people) to feel sorry for her. It’s always about her, you know. She needs the attention, so that is the story she is spinning. That I am the one who hasn’t kept in touch with her. Anyway, any advice on how I should conduct myself? Just be nice is my motto, but believe me, it won't be easy. (PS: I wouldn't be thinking of her now, but this little get-together is being hosted by my children. I feel I have to go...or I would make an excuse not to go!)