Family Fracas

| 6/10/2014 10:29:00 AM

family fracas

Tim White, PhD, LPC, NCC offers advice on family planning and parenting, LGBT issues, disability issues, education and work issues, relationships, ethics and "unusual" social issues. Send questions to Tim for future columns through his website

Hi Tim,
I am a 34 year old, divorced woman with no kids, living with and helping care for my parents in their 80's who are fairly well off. I chose this arrangement and did not need to move back home. My father is doing well but has limited mobility, but my mother is terminally ill and will likely not be with us much longer. I am caring for them well enough, but my brother and sister are the problem. They come to visit about every two weeks for each of them, only staying a couple of hours and spending a good part of that time badgering my parents about making a will and who will get what. They pester my father about making a will, which he and my mother have not done, and even try to talk him into divvying up their belongings, assigning it to each of us so we will "know what we are entitled to," and "what we can expect." They are even picking things out and telling me to remember what they want! My sister had the nerve to ask me to start a running list of the items they have selected, "So there is no confusion," and asked me to show them my parents' financial statements! 

I am disgusted by all of them and my father and I have simply shut down, refusing to engage with these selfish pigs but they call and still come by, oblivious. When my mother became ill I envisioned that we would rally around my parents and be a strong family, but we don't even act like one at all now. How do I get my parents prepared for the inevitable without sounding like one of those jerks? 

—Disillusioned Daughter

Hi Disillusioned,
What a terrible ordeal for you, to be the caregiver for your parents with the recent news compounding the stress, only to have more heaped upon you three by selfish siblings. It is unfortunate that during times of loss such as yours some folks misdirect their feelings about that loss and become obsessed with things instead of the people they call loved ones. Some others are just selfish, mean people already. It sounds like your siblings are so caught up in themselves that they do not appreciate still having living parents, and give little thought to how their comments must hurt them. Fortunately, this King Lear had the good sense to keep his Cordelia close to him, and your mother. 

6/12/2014 12:46:48 PM

S'not Amused at how discussing, unsanitary & unaware allot of people are. That man needs to get a clue a Rx and a couple corks!!!!!! Toes.. Keep your foot in your mouth! Your sister may be into it and then you'll just be consumed with disgust at both of them, then who will you talk too? To each his own!

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