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To think normal humans don't behave like this?

(42 Posts)
Welshmaenad Fri 05-Aug-16 00:36:55

My dad died this evening. He has been ill and in hospital for a while but took a rapid downturn in Tuesday, that afternoon we were given test results confirming he was terminal.

Dad has two siblings he doesn't get on with (plus another who is wonderful, and two who have passed away already). Relations with his brother A are ok if strained and infrequent but sister B has not spoken to him for about 4 years, after she and her daughter said some truly horrid things about Dad and Mum (mum died 2 years ago).

I called A yesterday to tell him the diagnosis and give him the chance to visit. I did not call B, I have no contact info as we are NC and assumed A would tell her.

Dad went very downhill overnight and the hospital called my sister and I in this morning, we have been there all day. Dad was very agitated and distressed and experiencing confusion, DS and I and our partners had to take turns with him as even all of us together was too much.

A&B turned up at lunchtime and Dad was very bad, we asked them not to go in as it would upset him. A became very belligerent, shouting at DS and accusing us of blocking them out of spite. Dads nurse came out and confirmed dad was not fit for visitors. We explained he had been written up for midozalam to reduce agitation and once administered he might be calmer and we would contact them if he was ok for visitors then.

He did settle and we contacted A and told him Dad could tolerate visitors. Several hours passed and sadly Dad couldn't hang on and passed away. They arrived at the hospital about 40 minutes after his death.

DS and I were in the room with Dads remains. Her DH was in the corridor, intercepted them and broke the news. A said he did not want to see Dads remains. B however came charging onto the ward with A's wife, burst into the room without knocking and proceeded to throw herself at DS to hug and kiss her -DS was on the phone informing family. She then came at me, I put my hand up and firmly said 'NO' as I did not want to be touched, stood up and walked her backwards out of the room.

Apparently B then returned to the corridor where she told A that I had 'pushed her' and was making quite a scene, DS's husband then asked them to leave.

This isn't normal, is it? You don't barge into rooms containing a dead man and his grieving children? You don't force affection on them when you haven't spoken to them for 4 years after quite vile behaviour to their very recently deceased dad? I'm not being precious by saying this is disgusting?

I am now steeling myself for more drama - these people are narcissistic and self absorbed and love playing the victim. I wish there was a way of keeping them from his funeral but I don't think I legally can.

How am I related to people who think this is an ok way to behave??

Welshmaenad Fri 05-Aug-16 00:42:39

Sorry, has/had, doesn't/didn't....not really used to referring to him in the past tense yet sad

Amb2904 Fri 05-Aug-16 00:43:24

First of all, I am so sorry for your loss!! flowerssad

This does not seem like "normal" behaviour. Out of respect for yourself and your family, they should of knocked and also been quieter.

You didn't push them. They invaided your personal space. You didn't want to be close to that person and they tried to get close to you. You did the right thing in moving that person away.

I hope they calm down and make things a bit easier for you. I can't imagine what you have been through and are going through now. XXXX

UterusUterusGhali Fri 05-Aug-16 00:44:09

Oh god.
I'm so so sorry for your loss.

And no, they generally don't. Although people can be utter arseholes.


Lapinlapin Fri 05-Aug-16 00:45:09

No, that's not normal.

So sorry for your loss flowers

GiddyOnZackHunt Fri 05-Aug-16 00:45:50

Normal behaviour is hard to define around death. I wouldn't judge them if they were normally lovely.
If they're normally awful then there's no big surprise

flowers for your loss and dealing with the horror rellies sad

EveOnline2016 Fri 05-Aug-16 00:47:42

I am very sorry for your loss.

I am glad you are expressing your feelings here. A&B can go to the funeral but make the celebration of your dad life private.

Tartyflette Fri 05-Aug-16 00:50:17

How dreadful of your Dad"s siblings to make it all about them at such a sad time. I'm very sorry for your loss and think your actions were absolutely understandable.

LauderSyme Fri 05-Aug-16 00:59:40

So sorry for your loss. Sincere condolences flowers
Of course YANBU, what shockingly selfish behaviour at such a terrible time for you.
For some people, sadly, it is quite "normal" to be "narcissistic and self absorbed and love playing the victim". B in particular sounds vile; ignorant, emotionally obtuse and melodramatic.
Don't try to stop them coming to the funeral because if they have those character traits, it would give them ammunition against you. You will want to save your emotional energy for the important things - these people are far from that.
Try to rise above it and ignore them, now and forever more.

DailyFaily Fri 05-Aug-16 01:11:54

I'm so sorry for your loss and that B made an awful situation even worse. I'd say if all you did was push her then she was lucky to be honest - it was entirely inappropriate for her to even be there, never mind trying to act the sympathetic aunt that she clearly wasn't. Try not to let it add to your pain - I don't think you can bar her from a funeral (though you can from anything that happens afterwards) but just put her out of your mind and focus on yourself and DS; anyone who knows the backstory will be able to see that any dramatics on the part of B are ridiculous and unwarranted. Take care of yourself.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 05-Aug-16 01:16:49

I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

I think death brings out the best in some people and the worst in others. I wouldn't say that what your father's sibling did was 'normal' per se, but it may well have been 'normal' for her. That's not to say that it wasn't inexcusable, it certainly was.

Legally you can keep them away from the funeral. I've been to a funeral where a particular person was intercepted and escorted to their car. But you'd have to consider the consequences and decide whether it would be worth it. You may want to have someone 'keep an eye' on her if she does come with an eye to intervening if she starts getting out of line.

It's just shit to have to even think of something like this at this time. I'm so sorry.

Newbienew Fri 05-Aug-16 06:59:42

I'm ever so sorry for your loss.
It isn't normal behaviour but death does weird thinks to people especially those that love a bit of drama !
Just take care of yourself and let your close family take care of you.

Pearlman Fri 05-Aug-16 07:06:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jezabella1 Fri 05-Aug-16 07:07:58

Sorry for your loss flowers

No it's not normal. Dying and death in the family bring out both surprisingly good and bad traits in people. My dps dad died last month and I was surprised at how his coping mechanism was to not visit him in hospital, block all the what's app chats about caring for his dying dad and then finally go to see him, luckily a day before he died.

ProfessorPreciseaBug Fri 05-Aug-16 07:16:59

My cousins were stripping valuables out of my grqndfathers house whilst he lay dying from cancer.

Death seems to bring out the true nature of some people.

Hold onto the memories and love for your father and let his siblings slip out of your life.

bushtailadventures Fri 05-Aug-16 07:43:05

Firstly, sorry for your loss, losing a parent is hard flowers

After my DM died, her brother, who hadn't spoken to her for years,only contacted me to ask if she had left any money. On being told she hadn't had a penny to her name, he left, and we haven't heard from him since.

Death brings out the worst in some people, just take care of yourself and your sister, try not to worry about people who don't care about you.

Welshmaenad Fri 05-Aug-16 09:52:44

Thanks you for all the kind thoughts.

I'm not sure I buy that it was grief.

She didn't do much as look at him or approach him. It was all the drama of trying to hug and kiss us - knowing full well we wouldn't want this due to her past behaviour and four years of zero contact. If she was grief stricken surely she'd be focused on him? Can't see why she would be, having not bothered with him in four years, and not visited him for the six weeks he was in hospital, until she found out he was dying.

Welshmaenad Fri 05-Aug-16 09:54:31

You are all right, I shouldn't be giving them headspace but I am so angry.

Pearlman Fri 05-Aug-16 09:55:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlimCheesy2 Fri 05-Aug-16 10:02:33

I am so so sorry for your loss.

Previous posters are right when they say death brings out the worst. (And a friend of mine says;'Where there's a will there's a war'. It is true sadly.

When my Gfather died, he was in hospital for a month. My DUncle never came to see him, despite their being no issue known to prevent it (he lived close by, there had been no falling out - he was a bit of the golden child actually). DFather rang him every day to keep him updated, but he never came, even when we knew GP was terminal. The only contact initiated by Uncle was to call two hours after being notified of death to say to DFather (Executor) 'Don't freeze the bank accounts until we've cleared them'.

Unbelieveable really.

echelon Fri 05-Aug-16 10:03:40

So sorry for your loss OP sad flowers

Do you think it might have been her clumsy way of trying to reach out to you, in the emotion of the moment, a kind of "come here, let's put the past behind us" type gesture?

trafalgargal Fri 05-Aug-16 10:26:59

I'd have seen it as that kind of gesture too. My family were nightmares for falling out with each other . Doesn't mean you had to accept the gesture though.

logosthecat Fri 05-Aug-16 10:34:04

I am so, so sorry for your loss. This all sounds incredibly stressful and traumatic at what must be the hardest time for you and your own family.

People do behave in really quite extreme ways around death and mourning. Grief will make people do really mad things. But that does not excuse behaviour that is hurtful, bullying and self-absorbed, particularly not to this extent. I also do not agree that the grief of a sibling is necessary of the same magnitude as the grief of a child losing a parent. It really depends on the family, but in many cases, the child will be the more affected party.

I would focus on yourself and your daughter (I think? Though you have written 'DS' in your post but referred to them are 'her'?) and ignore these individuals as much as you can. Try not to let the justified anger you feel at their behaviour take over the process of taking care of yourself at what is an extraordinarily rough time.

You probably can't keep them from the funeral, but you can reduce your contact with them to a minimum both at that event and after it. Your daughter's husband sounds like he could be really helpful - he had the presence of mind, as someone slightly less affected, to ask them to leave, so perhaps he can play a role in ensuring that the funeral isn't disrupted by their histrionics. I suspect funeral directors have a fair bit of experience of difficult families too, and they may also have advice.

Once again, I'm terribly sorry for your loss. flowers

Welshmaenad Fri 05-Aug-16 10:46:05

Sorry logos, DS is my sister. My own children are still young - I'm waiting on their dad dropping them back to me so I can break the news about their Grampy.

It's possible that it was a gesture of reconciliation - from what I know of her personality it would be unusual - if it was it was massively ill timed and poorly judged, and unfortunately I'm not interested in reconciling, I do not want her in my life. Dad had a lovely circle of close friends who have offered is amazing support and were there for him when he was alive, and they and his pleasant family members are all I need. So B can jog on, harsh as that possibly sounds. She burned her bridges years ago.

Butteredparsnips Fri 05-Aug-16 10:52:29

I'm very sorry ^Welshmaenad* it sounds like dreadful behaviour. flowers

It also sounds like your DS and yourself supported and looked out for your Dad to the end, making sure he was settled and comfortable and with the people he loved. You should be proud of yourselves for supporting your Dad to have a good death.

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