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To be angry with my brother over our fathers death?

(202 Posts)
Buttonjugs Thu 21-May-20 13:10:25

My dad died on Tuesday, he had been living with me for the past three years since he was living up north and began to struggle on his own. I came to regret that decision because he lived far longer than anyone thought he would and I had given up half of my house. Some background: he wasn’t a particularly nice man, had been violent towards my mother with drink and when they divorced he threatened her with violence if she didn’t sign a form to renounce her entitlement to half the house and paid her a smaller sum of money. I have two brothers, one of them came over to take him shopping once a week, the other barely saw him despite only being about fifteen miles away. I had a horrible week as he got more poorly and had the paramedics out twice before they would take him into hospital due to Covid 19, but I could see he was dying anyway so it wouldn’t make any difference. I texted my brothers and only the one who took him shopping replied. The day after he died, the brother who had barely seen him posted a status on Facebook describing him as a wonderful father and role model. He got lots of sympathy and I was furious. He also seemed to imply that there was something odd about the death. He has tried to ring me a few times but I didn’t want to speak to him so in the end I sent a text letting him have it with both barrels about why I was so angry. Was this unreasonable?

Iam64 Thu 21-May-20 13:14:03

Grieving for our fathers is a difficult thing at any time. If the relationship has been like the one your experienced, the grieving process can be even harder.
Your brother sounds a prize - try to avoid any unnecessary contact with him. Look after yourself

dragonfly46 Thu 21-May-20 13:14:06

No not at all unreasonable.
Rest assured you did what you could and let your brother live with his own conscience.
This happens all too often I am afraid.
I was pleased that I have no brothers or sisters when it came to my parents. I could decide alone what was best for them supported by my father.

You will not change your brother just be thankful your other brother has given support.

MissAdventure Thu 21-May-20 13:17:39

I'd be angry too, although I suppose the distancing hasn't helped things?

The Facebook thing would really get my goat.

Smileless2012 Thu 21-May-20 13:22:07

Perfectly understandable and not at all unreasonable Buttonjugs. I'd have done the same in your position.

My condolences for your lossflowers.

Elizabeth1 Thu 21-May-20 13:25:32

Sorry to hear about your loss Buttonjugs even although you say you’re dad wasn't particularly nice you’ll still be going through the grievance process. Be pleased with yourself that you were there for him during his last days. You’ll never regret that whereas perhaps your brothers will in their own way feel sorry for themselves.I’ve seen this behaviour many times unfortunately it’s a way of life for some.

Grannyjay Thu 21-May-20 13:47:40

I could write a book about my brothers behaviour during my fathers cancer and dying. My mum was at the early stages of dementia and unfortunately my brother is a narcissist. People outside see what he wants them to and only those that knew me believed what he did. When my dad died he put a wreath on with a not saying how he loved him and he looked up to him etc. This was all to gain attention for himself. He was determined my mum was not going to spend his possible inheritance on making her life easier and constantly told her social services will take all her money if she let them help. What bad could happen did happen and I’m afraid there wasn’t one professional that stood up to him even though they knew he was abusing her mentally. It was all down to costs to the council. I nearly had a breakdown because of all the abuse and neglect and lost all trust in those who are there to protect. Your brother may not be as bad but I do understand what you are going through.

rosecarmel Thu 21-May-20 13:49:56

Why were you angry? What exactly was it that your brother did or didn't do that infuriated you?

When siblings choose to look after an abusive parent, it's only understandable that there will be confusion-

You somehow mustered up enough compassion to look after your father after all that transpired but for whatever the reason cannot muster up enough for your brother, too-

Certainly, there's more to this story other than your brothers lack of participation and Facebook post-

BlueBelle Thu 21-May-20 13:58:56

Rosecarmel read it again it’s very clear why she’s angry and it would take a saint to not be what exactly Was it that your brother did or didn’t do it’s explained very clearly in the original post
Why should she feel any compassion for her brother when he did nothing and has taken all the glory and implied she did something to end her fathers life

I would have felt the same buttonjugs my wise daughter once said to me it doesn’t matter how many children you have they usually only one who does all the ‘looking after‘ And I think she’s right
I hope you can get on with life now Good luck

Dee1012 Thu 21-May-20 14:00:22

Firstly, my condolences on your loss.

I have a friend who experienced something very similar, she has two siblings...both could have helped her care / nurse for her Mother more than they did, although one did make an effort.
24 hours after her Mother's death, the sister who'd pretty much done nothing at all, put a very long detailed post on Fb, talking about her loss, what she'd done etc etc.
Is it attention seeking, guilt.....?
Like you my friend responded, in person and told her sister exactly what she thought of her - death brings out the best and worst in people I think and the current situation will compound all of that.
Personally, I can totally understand your actions.

rosecarmel Thu 21-May-20 14:27:08

BlueBell, it isn't clear at all- There's more to this story than what the OP chose to share-

The father was abusive, not the brother- But it's the father that received the compassion and care from the OP and not the brother- What the brother got was both barrels-

Newatthis Thu 21-May-20 14:49:21

It always surprises me that sometimes, when people die, they are almost elevated into sainthood by those who are still alive even though when alive they (the deceased) were very nasty or bad people. With sympathy to you and I hope that all this can be resolved.

sodapop Thu 21-May-20 16:13:06

I'm sorry you are having such a sad and difficult time Buttonjugs. You can rest easy knowing you did the best you could for your father. Your brother's actions were totally uncalled for but this sort of thing often happens within families.
I would put it all behind you now and concentrate on looking after yourself. I don't think you were at all unreasonable.

Buttonjugs Thu 21-May-20 16:18:14

@Rosecarmel No, there isn’t more to it. Other family members and friends have been shocked by how little interest he took in dad after he moved back down here. They were flabbergasted by his post too. It’s the way he contributed nothing but as soon as dad died, he posted on Facebook to garner all the sympathy. I just wanted to get a perspective from outside the family/friends circle. He says he is ‘sorry I feel that way’ which means he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. He rarely if ever saw mum before she died either. @Grannyjay I think he might be a narcissist. I can’t think of anything he has ever done for anyone else. He only ever called me when he wanted a favour.

Chewbacca Thu 21-May-20 16:24:50

rosecarmel you seem to know more about buttonjugs' circumstances than she does. Come on, tell us what you know. What is it that she's not telling? hmm

Oopsminty Thu 21-May-20 16:33:15

It was possibly guilt that made him post such a 'touching' tribute on FB.

I'd be annoyed as well Buttonjugs

Had a similar experience myself and know how galling it can be

Time will help with your feelings

rosecarmel Thu 21-May-20 19:21:59

Why weren't people shocked that your father was abusive?
Or that you put your own life on hold to care for a man that who was violent and manipulative to your mother?

Did your brother ever do any such thing?

Smileless2012 Thu 21-May-20 19:33:56

Perhaps those who responded to the OP's brother's post on FB didn't know the father was abusive rosecarmel. According to the OP, her brother described him as "a wonderful father and role model".

If it was his father's abusive history that kept this particular son away, fair enough. Not many of us would want too or could be there for such a man; all credit to Buttonjugs for doing so. To then post on FB to garner sympathy for the loss of a father you had nothing to do with, even when told he was dying and to imply there was something odd about his death, is an awful way to behave.

Namsnanny Thu 21-May-20 20:06:48

Are you being deliberately provocative rosecarmel?

You seem to be answering a question of your own making.

Please try not to view the op's problem through your own subtext, it doesn't seem appropriate when someone is in the midst of a dilemma.

Bibbity Thu 21-May-20 20:07:05

I would say they are well within their rights to have nothing to do with him after he abused them. You chose to allow him to move in and if you’ve forgiven him then that’s on you.

He reaped what he sowed in that department.

However I’d be annoyed at the status. He wasn’t a wonderful father or role model. The brother may be in turmoil over his emotions, grieving the father he hoped for and still angry at the one he had.

Some people just thrive off attention. Have you really been to hospital if you don’t post about it anymore ?

I’d just deal with the death in your own way. Ignore his calls and don’t even acknowledge his existence until a time that you feel ready to. Your brother owed your father nothing.
And you owe your brother nothing.

Namsnanny Thu 21-May-20 20:16:27

Buttonjugs No not unreasonable for my money.
As Iam64 said, try to get on with putting your life back together.

Namsnanny Thu 21-May-20 20:20:17


Chewbacca Thu 21-May-20 20:33:14

Are you being deliberately provocative rosecarmel

I think that would have to be a yes.

I know exactly how buttonjugs is feeling right now. I also have a sibling who never had a good word to say about my father; they'd barely spoken for over 40 years except to hurl insults. But when my father died, the histrionics, weeping and wailing from sibling was worthy of an Oscar. They completely overrode the planned funeral arrangements and the end result was an overtly ostentatious affair that would have mortified my father. As a previous poster said.... guilt. It's their way of rewriting history to make it more palatable for them to be able to live with themselves.

EllanVannin Thu 21-May-20 20:37:31

As Oopsminty pointed out, a guilty conscience with the other brother, to which he tried to justify himself by saying what he said. Pathetic really but infuriating at the same time though I wouldn't let it get you down and it's best ignored.

Think of yourself now and start rebuilding your life.

rosecarmel Thu 21-May-20 21:06:11

No, not all credit to the OP for doing so, Smileless- She herself regretted caring for the man- But then turns around and gets angry at her brother for not lending her a hand- It seems manipulative to me that she made a decision then expected her siblings to tow the line she chose to tow-

She didn't want to care for the man herself and yet "somehow" family and friends were "shocked" that the brother didn't bother- How did that happen? How did everyone fall into step and see the brother thru the same lens?

Did she ever bother to ask her brother why he didn't "pitch in"?

There's so much more to this story-