My father died early in October. Although he was very elderly his death was unexpected. We loved him dearly and he was a wonderful Dad. We couldn’t bear the family home to be sold and tentatively had a conversation with Dad a couple of years ago about buying my brothers out and it becoming our family home. Dad loved the idea and supported it enthusiastically.
When Dad died we did those outstanding jobs you never get round to and put our house on the market. I am very neat and tidy and don’t like mess. Dad had not decorated the house or changed anything since Mum died some years earlier. Perfectly understandable, he didn’t want anything to change.
But, it is a substantial house and needs decorating and reflooring throughout. Both bathrooms need replacing. Obviously we would like the work doing before we move in.
My younger brother is not working at present and took it upon himself to organise emptying the house. I admit this is a mammoth task. But he is controlling the process, going very slowly and won’t allow any involvement from anyone else.
I realise that this is part of his grieving process, and have tried to be sensitive to this, particularly as he provided the majority of day-to-day care for Dad in the last couple of years. This aside, my brother is driving me nuts.
We wanted to start work on the house a month ago, but agreed to put it back till the beginning of December. This is nearly upon us and we are no further along. Three of the five bedrooms have fitted wardrobes which all need coming out, but my brother says he put them in with Dad and he wants to take them out. Any offer of help or involvement is blocked and yet we are supposed to be moving in early in February. He insists on controlling the process but is getting nowhere fast. Work is due to commence next Monday. The whole house was supposed to be emptied by then and I can see that not one room will be clear. There is a load of furniture which needs listing, he hasn’t done it, but any offers of any help are met with firm refusal. I love my brother dearly, but he is driving me nuts! He also has become very awkward about anything being taken to the house. We have taken 3 or 4 pieces of furniture over (we need to keep our house pristine whilst selling). I explained to my brother that finances dictate that we have to buy some second hand furniture and have snapped up bargains whilst we can. The house is large, we wanted to empty a room at a time, decorate, refloor and shuffle furniture about. Instead of which almost all the large furniture remains and nowhere can be used or decorated. My brother agreed to one room being emptied in readiness for decorating starting next Monday, I have changed my plans and want to decorate a small bedroom first as an anniversary surprise for my husband (in December). As the whole house was supposed to be empty by then I didn’t think it a big deal, but the balloon has gone up. I received a very stroppy text off my brother earlier about his frustration in me changing my plans.
I realise that my brother is particularly struggling with the loss of my Dad. He has been fairly prickly, I truly have tried to be sympathetic and supportive, but I can see us selling our house and having to live in absolute chaos whilst the work is carried out and it is so unnecessary.
Should I continue to just grit my teeth, keep quiet on the premise, least said soonest mended and hope for the best? AIBU? I don’t have the objectivity to tell anymore.
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