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Estrangement

Stepbrother trying to block me from my stepdad's funeral

(13 Posts)
Peacelily321 Tue 13-Jul-21 15:21:03

My stepdad very recently passed away following a rapid decline. For years, I've been the one sibling out of four children who has regularly visited my parents, helped them out, sent them cards and flowers and been a loving daughter. My sister has sometimes forgotten to send birthday or Christmas cards and they've been hurt by this but said nothing. Sometimes it was tough because my stepdad was slightly jealous of me being my mum's bio daughter but I didn't let this stop me from spending time with them.
Also, I've always held my stepdad in high esteem because my own father had been violent towards me as a child and disinherited me from his will (because I didn't apologise to him for ceasing contact with him), leaving EVERYTHING to my sister. My sister has been spiteful to me for about twenty years and I've not been able to have a meaningful relationship with her or her children. I've made numerous attempts to reconnect but two years ago, I stopped trying. I'm happier as a result of not having anything to do with her.
My older stepbrother was a bully as we grew up and once threw me through the garage door on to concrete. He's always been known as volatile and quite selfish/insecure. I've generally avoided him as much as possible.
About two months ago, I could see my parents were not coping by themselves and organised an occupational therapy assessment of their home. I'd also made contact with my mum's GP, Age Concern and the local support service for advice on how to get extra home help. They had both had falls at night and were becoming fractious with each other. The occupational therapist made some urgent referrals and I made contact with my stepbrothers to escalate that I needed help to look after their dad.
The older stepbrother said he would 'pop in' to see them whilst he was in the area on a mini-break. Afterwards, he called me to say he was concerned by what he'd seen but went home (100 miles away). Then my stepdad had a series of falls and ended up in hospital. Stepbrother now took things more seriously and arranged respite care for his father for two weeks.
Those two weeks gave my mum a chance to rest, tidy the house, allow me to cut her hair and feel more confident. I have to say she looked transformed and I was quietly very happy for her. Se started wearing jewellery again and found a cleaner and gardener. We got DIY jobs done that my stepdad had blocked for years.
The two weeks of respite care came to an end and my stepbrother called my mum and started pushing for my stepdad to be brought home. I was actually in the house putting up a bathroom blind at the time and I could hear the shouting on the phone. He was sounding very unreasonable with my mum and I could hear her making polite reasons why she wouldn't be able to cope with looking after my stepdad. She's 78.
I then get a text in a group chat from my stepbrother calling my mum selfish and 'all I'm hearing is selfish excuses' for why dad can't come home. He then became very bossy and said "We'll have to take shifts to bring him home and look after him". Very controlling and like a bull in a china shop.
I think it was at this point I became cross and stood up for my mum saying, "Please be civil and courteous, my mum has made a significant contribution to your dad's health for 31 years etc"
The next thing I know, he's tried to set the chat to disappearing messages, found out he can't, then made me an admin and left the group and blocked me.
My stepdad passed away that weekend (he broke his hip trying to reach for chocolates his son had given him and he already had a 'do not resuscitate' order in place). He never did come home.
The funeral has been arranged by my stepbrother. He's not sent me the details of the funeral and today, has sent the webcast link for the service to my mum and sister, but not me. My mum is having to forward all emails on to me so I have the information.
One of the memories I've written about my stepdad has been rehashed so it doesn't include my name or the most special part of the memory which was my stepdad giving me a huge hug just when I needed one in life.
I'm trying not to let this pettiness get to me and I've had a hypnotherapy session to keep me in a protective bubble for the funeral. Before hypnotherapy, I was having panic attacks at the thought of being in the same place as my stepbrother and spiteful sister. I'm in a better place now but still, I cannot wait to be shot of this horrible stepbrother so I can remember my stepdad with fondness.
I would really appreciate anyone's similar experiences or stories, and opinions of this situation.

tanith Tue 13-Jul-21 15:32:59

I would just go to the funeral be polite if you converse with them if not ignore them if you wish. Then get on with your life without them and leave the stress behind.

aggie Tue 13-Jul-21 15:38:20

I am so sorry to hear of this bullying
Go to the funeral and make sure your Mum is ok , ignore or
be polite , whichever you can , but don’t get into an argument with the others xxxx

Poppyred Tue 13-Jul-21 15:43:34

I agree with Tanith and Aggie - just be polite, ignore his spitefulness - be the bigger person. Hopefully you won’t have to see him at all after the funeral.

Infinity2 Tue 13-Jul-21 15:44:05

Oh Peacelily321 - I am so sorry that all of this has happened. It must be so distressing for you.
Your stepbrother et al sound horrible. They are selfish and petty.
If you can accept the fact that these people are going to behave very badly and be spiteful and unpleasant - you can overcome your feelings of hurt and quickly move past this. The problem usually is that we expect other people to behave like decent human beings , and some people just aren’t.
Be as calm as possible and don’t waste your time trying to justify yourself or reason with the unreasonable.
Do what is best for you. If your stepbrother wants to behave like a petty five year old let him.
In the end it doesn’t matter if your part of the eulogy has been altered or if you are left out of many of the arrangements. You tried to do what was best for both your dear mum and your step father.
Well done you. You should be proud of yourself.

Allsorts Tue 13-Jul-21 15:48:11

Rise above it, do what you think is correct. I do believe you don’t let a bully determine your actions. I would not engage in conversation with him, polite no more. I do hope your mother is coping alright and that he doesn’t bully her, I’m sure she knows your worth.

Smileless2012 Tue 13-Jul-21 15:51:49

Go to the funeral Peacelily to honour and remember your step father who you clearly loved.

Avoid any interaction with these awful people and as Infinity has posted, you've done well and "you should be proud of yourself"; I'm sure your mum and step father areflowers.

DiscoDancer1975 Tue 13-Jul-21 16:08:48

Yes, make this the last time you’ll ever have to see them. Your step dad obviously meant a lot to you, you’re entitled to go, especially if your mum is. I presume she is.
It will give you closure to everything. It’ll be much easier for you knowing it is finished afterwards. 💐

GillT57 Tue 13-Jul-21 16:17:59

I agree with what others have posted, go to the funeral, be proud of what you have done for your stepfather, and don't be goaded by your stepbrother and sister. Keep calm and rise above them. Good luck.

HolySox Tue 13-Jul-21 16:29:51

So sorry for your loss.

Your step-brother is being dishonourable if he doesn't welcome anybody who loved your step-father to his funeral - particularly a family member. I can't see any reason for you not to go especially if your mum, tbe next-of-kin, wants you there. However, I can appreciate this might make things uncomfortable so talk with your mum about this. Does she want you there?

Peacelily321 Tue 13-Jul-21 16:51:56

Thank you, yes, mum definitely wants me there. She hasn't cried yet and I think it will hit her hard once the funeral is over.

Thank you everyone for your very kind comments. They really do make a difference right now.

wildswan16 Tue 13-Jul-21 17:34:52

So sorry for what you are having to cope with. I do hope you can help your mum through the funeral, and ignore any "looks" from your step-brother.

You know what is in your heart, your feelings for your stepfather. That is, in the end, all that matters. He would, I'm sure be sad that this ill-feeling has come about. Afterwards, you and your mum can honour his memory in any way that you wish and that would give you both comfort.

valdali Tue 13-Jul-21 21:08:41

This is such a sad time for you, it's desperately unfair that you are being treated like this. I agree with other posters, go to your step-dad's funeral for yourself and for your mum. You may find you feel calmer when the day arrives, understandably you are dreading it at the moment. I always try to see the best in everyone, I'm sure most the time that works, but when you come up against spiteful people like this, the only answer is to have as little to do with them as possible. I hope some of the other people at the funeral recognise all you did for him and give you a pat on the back for this, you obviously loved him.