A death in the family should bring people closer together, not rip the family further apart. While my family is quite divided, I would have thought this terrible tragedy would have brought about resolve, peace, and love as we all struggle to deal with the loss. I was wrong —
It’s been a nightmare that started when I learned my youngest brother had been killed. He was walking to an appointment and the driver of the car was blinded by the sun and struck him and killed him instantly. It was an accident and very unfortunate. I’m not overly angry with the driver. Though I will state that anyone who drives that road in the morning knows the sun rises in the East, he was driving headed east, his sunglasses should have been already on..but focusing on that is laying blame and that is not what this is about.
After finding out, it didn’t get any better…
I have a particular niece who loves to argue, lie and stir trouble. She is addicted to attention, be it good, bad or indifferent and she absolutely hates me. Mainly, I feel, because I have called her out on the lies about her mother and everything else she can think of and set her straight with the truth. Naturally, she does not like that, it embarrasses her and makes her look bad in front of the friends she is trying to impress or gain attention from. She doesn’t like me and the feeling is mutual, especially when I know I couldn’t trust her with an eraser, not because she’d steal it, but because she would try to use it to erase truth, facts and distort reality.
At any rate, she will take any opportunity to say something snotty and insulting to me, on the internet of course. Face to face she is as nice as warm apple pie. She did this the day after my brother was killed. Albeit I was, in fact, having a go at my brothers ex, who I’ll call “cat,” who had left him numerous times and only a few days prior to his death, left him again, and he found out for someone else, she refused to answer his calls or text messages as to why but he found out through mutual friends. As she posted his Facebook wall numerous times saying how much she loved and missed him, I became increasingly annoyed and finally asked her to please stop!
That’s when the argument started, not with her, but with the niece, then the sister gets in on it, though she started off abrasive she toned it down, but it went from there, my nephew even commented a few times but nothing insulting to me. Eventually, it calmed, but not for a while and not even when another family member commented that it was all embarrassing. It was unnecessary for the niece to stick her nose in, one she never even met the person I was directing my words to and two, my brother had no use for her and said as much many times for the same reasons that I don’t. So it wasn’t about anything other than her seeing an opportunity to say things, many things that were unkind, unwelcome, vulgar and rude.
Then..there was the ex-family member, I’ll call “Bea” who doesn’t like Cat either but really hates the ex prior to that one who I’ll call “Mabel, “who I get along with because I have that right. Also, there was not a lot of bad blood between my brother and her considering she visited him and even stayed in his house for a few months, all platonic. Naturally, none of those things will make this person like her, respect her or even want to tolerate her and yes, she does have valid reasons, but that is HER, not me nor my mom or anyone else.
Obviously, they do not like one another and that is between them. When the ex-girlfriend, Mabel, wrote on a photo of my brother that she had some pictures for his kids and would bring them to the funeral, I simply replied with “thank you”. I quickly got an email from Bea stating that no one is to give her children anything without her permission and that the boys didn’t even want to see her, it would be too upsetting for them, naming reasons that seemed to be more from her mouth than theirs. These children are early teens and had a relationship with Mabel as she lived with their dad just two years prior to his death. Further to that, I should have told to her to “f-off,” where was my temper? etc. I cannot be bullied like that or manipulated to be cross with someone who made a kind gesture. Bea was insulted because Mabel bypassed her and spoke to me when Bea and I were talking on the photo.
I understand that being insulting, however, they did not get along, why then would Mabel write directly to Bea? She wouldn’t, nor would I in that situation. This is years of bad blood, further, in my opinion, don’t yell at me about it, go tell Mabel what you think, if you, in fact, feel that offended and you want to say something vulgar to her..you do it. When the argument with Bea started it was to do with this issue, where she told me that if I didn’t want to, I should have just told her to do it herself. While I am thinking, I shouldn’t have to, I should not have been asked to do it, to begin with.
I’m an adult, I am not in high school and I don’t do anyone’s bidding for them as no one does mine either. Why should I make enemies to soothe someone else’s ego? I don’t think that I should. I like to pick and choose my battles and I don’t go after folks who are friends of mine no matter who doesn’t like them. I will say this, while I sympathise with Mabel, and on a one to one level with her, we get along, I don’t like a lot of things that went on her relationship with my brother, and yes, sometimes those things affected me very much, but it was their business and not mine.
Would I have wanted my brother back with her? No, but only because of their past and the inability to ever get along among other things, no more than I did his recent ex. But that is not my call NOR is it my business. If my brother was happy? I was happy. This did not go well with Bea who had been saying she loved me and I saying I loved her too for years…and the tension grew, then it mushroomed into more things I did that made her angry, things I didn’t even know she was mad at me for.
I explained to Bea that I emailed Mabel and asked her to just put the photos in an envelope and leave them on the tray, say good-bye to my brother and please be on her way, she knew why and she promised me she would comply. I also explained to Bea that I would not email Cat, as my disgust with her would not allow it. At that time, I began getting berated for my dislike of one and not the other, that is what it boiled down to. But using the children’s feelings as reasons for me being wrong. I finally came out with what was on my mind and explained I really felt that she was using the children (teenagers) as an excuse for her own agenda and I still do feel that way…I could be wrong but I don’t think I am. Even if I am wrong, I am not wrong for how I feel, how I act, yes, how I feel? I don’t think so. It snowballed from there to being accused of making her look like an asshole over my brother’s ashes.
The story with that is that I was told what would be done with his ashes and who was controlling that decision. I did not like the idea at all and I asked Bea what her opinion was, she didn’t either and mentioned perhaps her kids would like to have them, she did not know. So I took the initiative and called my mom and mentioned this conversation and she said, you know? You are right, they should be asked. My head has been in such a fog, it didn’t even occur to me. I called mom back a few hours later to see if anything had been accomplished, she told me that the kids would be offered. I was so happy and told Bea, by then she had spoken with her kids and they were quite happy with the original plan, so it would stay as it was, but at least, to me…they were asked what they wanted.
Suddenly, I am a bad person for doing that as I made Bea look like an asshole. I don’t get it?
Then I was a shit-stirrer and then a *itch, and so on. It became all too much for me, I am grieving the loss of my brother, so I simply advised her that I loved her and I am here for her and the kids, as I always have been but I refuse to do this anymore, it had been 2 hours of me defending myself, explaining myself and I was getting nowhere. So, a 15-year relationship is down the tubes and I feel mainly because I would not tell someone she hates to F-off. I suppose it was a relationship much more superficial than I ever thought, which makes me sad.
Over the week of my brothers’ death, I think I had fights with 3 people all except one was a family member, all the while grieving. It is so sad, even though I did actually start one of them, with Cat. I know that she knew she’d get a reaction, it’s what she did with my brother, be an instigator to get a fight, well I’m not sorry a bit because as I see it…I beat her at her own game and how do I know? I woke to an email from her on the day of my brothers wake that read “your brother didn’t even like you, so f-off”. Well, if that doesn’t say she tried to hurt me deep nothing does! I am unaffected, my brother and I had a good relationship and there is nothing she can say to change that. One has to wonder though, what kind of person does that? A mean spirited, hateful person is my guess.
I must come to realize that this family is broken and it is no longer up to me to try and salvage it. If you can’t gather willing participants, it is broken and that is how it shall stay. That is so depressing, thank goodness for good friends and a wonderful husband and other members of the family who love me dearly as I do them.
Take care and have a wonderful holiday season.