Last Saturday my dad passed on hospice with an intestinal blockage (that has now occurred twice).. and the Dr's did not recommend surgery for him because of his age, dementia, and other co morbidities.. All siblings had a conference call and agreed that if the blockage didn't clear on its own (like it did last time).. that we would go for hospice and comfort care.

This is the text I just recieved from her.

"On what planet or altered reality was what happened to daddy ok? I’ll never forgive you. I hope you die the same death so you can see what he went through."

I believe she is unstable, uninformed, and I am sure I (as medical power of attorney) did the right thing... I followed advice of the doctors..and we all previously agreed. It was hard to watch him die like that...but she is wanting to put it all on me.. and it is so hurtful.

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deep breaths.

Yes, she may be unstable. Unstable people, even stable unstable people, are sent off their rockers by deaths that they are unprepared for; folks who are unstable usually live in a bubble in which everyone is immortal.

Dad made you POA for a reason. You did the right thing.

If you can, ignore your sister's note as the ranting of a person who is not in control of herself right now. I know you want to tell her to pound sand or suck eggs, but if you NEED to say something to her, just say "I know you're hurting right now; we got the best medical advice available and we took it; you're not a doctor and neither am I; I looked to the docs for what they thought was best and that's what I did".
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Delete the text and block her number. Do not answer it.

If you answer her truthfully it won't change her mind.
If you are angry back it will escalate.
If you are kind in response she will never forgive you for that either.

So get rid of it and try to forget it. Leave everything to time.
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NYDaughterInLaw Apr 2019
Brilliant answer, Country!
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Katie, hospice has counseling available at no charge for a year following the death. Utilize it, they have seen what you are experiencing and worse many times. Put them in contact with sis. Her reaction, they have seen many times.

And stop reading anything you receive from her. Do not punish yourself.
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plum9195 Apr 2019
Wow. I had never really thought about advising family to utilize hospice counseling in this way. What and excellent idea. Also, it makes me realize that it has been over 6 months since my MIL died on hospice and not once has the hospice reached out to my husband to offer any sort of service or see if he could use any help. Shame on them.
You did not choose to end your dad’s life, you merely chose to end the medical intervention that was artificially prolonging his life, and also causing him suffering.

Your dad’s body wasn’t working any more. Your choice was kind, intelligent and humane.

His passing was God’s will, not yours.

Your Dad gave you POA because he knew you would make the choice he wanted. You did. Don’t look back.

Forget your sister’s cruel words. You don’t need “friends” like that. After my parents passed, a sibling said some similar things to me. I wish I wouldn’t have let those statements haunt me—but they did. I wish I would have known about this forum. I was silently suffering alone.

I decided I would not put myself in a position to hear that again and cut off communications. I have no regrets.

This forum brings healing.

Golden23 gave great advice—I have maintained close relationships with my nieces and nephews. That has been wonderful.

I’m so sorry you lost your dad. You are not alone.
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Thanks everyone for the support. I have since blocked both sisters. Even without my sisters cruel comment my Dad's death has been weighing so heavy on my mind.

He did have hospice and we moved him back to the memory care with Mom. Mom and the hospice nurse were the only ones there when he passed. There was one issue with one of the hospice nurses not medicating enough on one of their shifts and he had a period where he was in discomfort and pain before the pain meds could be caught up. All my sibs tell this story of how my father was writhing in pain.. and EVERYTHING around his care was attributed to me. So I also have guilt about that period of time when he was not comfortable... of course it was only an hour or so..but my sibs have magnified it as if it happened all night long.... but I am not happy with him being in pain at all.

We also had a conference call with all sibs and decided on comfort care if the blockage didn't clear again.. so I'm not sure how they are putting this decision squarely on my shoulders.

As for my sister.. she has been known to say some very cruel things in the past... then when she is ready to be back in my life.. she acts as if it never happened. I think right now she is trying to get rid of all the guilt of her lack of involvement by targeting me.

Its so difficult to get past this with no real (family) support. I do go to therapy and I have a support group at the memory care and they have been much more supportive then my family.. also you guys have been very supportive as well. Others here have also been in my situation and I know it is common.
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mmcmahon12000 Apr 2019
You tell your sister what a selfish, clueless, entitled brat she is via text. Then tell her to go get some help and apologize when she's grown up. No one deserves treatment like that especially from their own "family".
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My MIL died from a stroke suffered shortly after attempting to re attach her colon and intestines. We opted for this because she did not want to live with a colostomy bag but also she kept forgetting she had one.

My point is that the surgery your father would have needed would very likely have killed him. Your sisters words show her to be behaving in an irrational manner. People can say hurtful things out of grief and frustration but that doesn't mean those sentiments should be regarded as valid. Just know in your heart you did all you could and acted with concern and love.
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The end of life is often not pretty, and I only hope that there was enough pain medication given for your Dad to be kept below level of dreaming, and unaware until he passed. You and your family made the right decision with your doctors. A surgery would have likely been only additional pain. Family members are all different and unique and your sister apparently wants someone "to blame" so that she will not have to feel the pain and frustration of this herself. You might gently respond that you understand how difficult it was for all of you, that you all attempted with the guidance of the doctor to do the right thing, that you cannot ever know what outcome the path not taken might have. Tell her you sympathize with her pain and suggest that she see a counselor to help her work through her grief. I have had to gently say to my brother "I am sorry, but I will not accept the responsibility for your pain, nor carry the guilt when I have done what I could to help make the right decision." That actually worked well. It acknowledged his own pain, as well as my own feeling that I did the best I could and out of love, and would not carry the burden of unknowns. It IS hurtful. Acknowledge that, as well. Say you understand her grief, and acknowledge her feelings, but that they are in fact, very hurtful. Not a lot can change feelings. They just are not rational things.
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My late husband's family (sister, two sons by first wife) were furious when I made decision to not put gastric feeding tube in my husband, to whom I had been married for 32 years, after a stroke that left him unable to walk or even read and watch TV as his central vision was destroyed by the stroke. We had advance directives and I was health care and financial POA, and he was in hospice care. Yes, you did the right thing. For me, it resulted in the loss of contact with people I thought liked me, and I am sorry about that. However, I would want the same for myself, and my own two children know that.
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Kittybee May 2019
My family and I had a very similar situation. We all agreed that feeding him and keeping him alive would actually be cruel, as he'd been a strong, independent person all his life. Even though we all knew it was best and agreed on the decision, it was terribly difficult. I can't imagine going through that with others questioning your decision and lashing out at you. Bless you.
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First and foremost, I'm so sorry for your loss but I'm also very happy for your dad. I don't think there was any good option for maximizing his quality of life at this point by the sounds of it and letting him decide when it was time through his body and spirit if you will, while maybe being the hardest was also the best option here. Thinking only about him I don't see how you and your siblings could have made any other decision and you as his MPOA honored his choice well including your siblings in that decision even though technically you didn't have to.

I'm going to guess that while wrong to attack you like this, especially by text, your sister is just grieving and in fact taking it all out on you is actually an indication of just how much you were the right person you are, how "safe" and secure she feels in her relationship with you. It's like a teenager telling mom they hate you and will never forgive you for not letting me go to the concert 4 hrs away with the 30 yr old guy they met on-line. Ridiculous we all know and so does the teenager deep down but emotionally they are secure in focusing their negative emotions at you. Your sister may be feeling guilty, earned or not, because she wasn't there or because she did agree and in her mind he was going to come through just like the last time, maybe she chose something over visiting the last time she was thinking about it, was distracted last time she spoke with dad or didn't tell him she loved him, we often have regrets when a parent passes. Grief is a personal thing with many dynamics and it's also a shared thing, hopefully that's a positive thing but in your sisters case it sounds like she is sharing it negatively at the moment. You have every right to be upset with her text, you are grieving too with all the same emotions and not taking them out on her but maybe your relationship is such that in other circumstances you would shluf off that text as sister venting inappropriately? I mean I have a brother who lives on the other side of the country so while he cares and wants to contribute and he does don't get me wrong, he is not a part of the day to day, week to week or month to month care of mom and often just doesn't see why the other brother and I "allow" Mom to be so unreasonable...he often wants to take a logical firm approach with her that while makes sense to us we (other bro & I) know is just going to make her dig her heels in and cooperate less. Hard to explain but the point is he just has a differing approach, says whatever he's thinking without consideration and sometimes it really frustrates or hurts me talking to him, other brother too but we know it's just Bill being Bill. My advice would be to try and put this text aside for now and giver her room to grieve, be angry (probably at herself more than you even though it's directed at you) maybe even angry at the situation more than you personally but you represent the situation as the one with ultimate control. Be inclusive of all your siblings at this time, you need each other and then later when some of this process has happened, after any service, after details, at the right time (you will know it) let her know how hurtful that text was and talk it out when you aren't both angry and highly emotional. As right as this time was for your dad to pass, as right as your decisions for him medically were and as expected as it might be the passing of a parent is simply emotional and that's ok. What is it they say "we hurt the ones we love the most".

I'm so sorry for your loss but happy for your father's peace.
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I went through the same crap with my sister because I followed my mom's written advanced directive. Now, five years later, we speak but have lost the closeness we previously had. You know in your heart you did the right thing.
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cherokeegrrl54 Apr 2019
Katiekat...i have a feeling that when its my moms time to go, my sister will try to do same thing to me...when my dad passed, it was sudden, he had been on a heart transplant waiting list for 2 yrs....i had begged her to go with me and my husband , who passed from pancreatic cancer 2 wks after my dad died....for the prior 3 weekends to see mom and dad, but she was too busy chasing a man!! And she had the gall to tell me after i did cpr for a long 20 minutes til emts arrived, that if she woulda been there, he wouldnt have died!! And yes i told her off!! It was her guilt and her unresolved issues that were driving the comments and she has always been one that makes anything that happens to her someone elses fault....we cant just stand by and let them try to destroy us when we know we have given our so sorry u r being treated disrespectfully by your siblings, especially at this time when you need to b able to and blessings to you 💖
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