Dealing with a difficult family member in the face of tragedy.

I have three two sisters. An older sister and a younger one. Since my younger sister, Becky, was murdered I've become the middle child. Although, I suppose I've just always been the older one..

My older sister, Rose, moved in with our grandparents when we were young. I think Rose was 14 at the time (which would have made me 11, Becky 7 and Sandy almost 6). Because of this, none of us had a close relationship with her. Least of all Becky. Rose never agreed with anything Becky did (there was a lot I disapproved of but I never made her feel unloved) and made it clear early on that she didn't want anything to do with her because of the choices Becky made.

Rose has always been very opinionated and harsh. I love her because she is my sister but we have nothing in common and she's made it so that none of us really know who she is. She has always had a very strained relationship with our mother and has on many occasions made it clear that she felt our mother was simply her 'egg donor'. Rose is one of those people who is always right even when she's wrong. Very close minded and stubborn.

Rose has lived out of state for some time now. Was in Germany for three years and now in Georgia. I last saw her on Mother's day when she came up to visit.

Since Becky's death, I feel that she's been kind of rude. Becky's friends have left memorial messages on her facebook page and Rose has taken it upon herself to comment on most of them telling them that they don't have a right to be mourn Becky because she wasn't their sister. This really upsets me because 90% of Becky's friends were more family to her than Rose ever was. She keeps telling my mom that she needs to just stop dwelling and move on already. From posting on this site I've learned that no one can rush the grieving process and the things she is saying to my mom makes me feel like she doesn't care. I'm worried that my mom will just internalize all the things she's feeling out of fear that she will be judged for not moving on quickly. I haven't said anything to Rose because I know she will take it out of context and make it something more than it is (she has done this in the past) but I feel like she has no right to say the things that she's saying and no right telling my mother that the way she is grieving is wrong. I feel like she lost her right to stick her nose in it when she gave up on us as her family. Am I wrong for feeling like that?  How do I make sure that my mom knows the way she is grieving is ok because it's her grief?

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Christine,

Making sure your mom knows the way she is griving is ok; because it is her grief  it will always be there. Just always listen to her. Your mother is the only person that I feel you have a committment to. I understand Rose has her opinion. Her opinion is not the Law or necessary the right Opinion. And remember, you really don't know her due to a lap in her present. Leaving at age 14 means she left due to personal problems she was having. Your mother is the person that hung in and that is what you remember. I too have younger sister that has not really spoke to me since my son was shot. It is okay. I have my two children and that is all that matters. Many tight hugs and I am praying for you and some comfort as I type this messeage.

 

First of all, sorry for your loss.  My wife had a big family, and had not spoken to 2 of her sisters for years when she passed.  She lived far away from them here, but was concerned for her mother because the sisters controlled her finances.  She wasn't on the best of terms with her mother either, but they still talked, mostly for holidays or birthdays.  When her mother would complain, my wife was very direct, and didn't sugar coat things for her.  She told her mother what she thought, and gave her as much advice as she could.  From what I learned from this, you should just be there for your mom as much as you can, and give her all your love and support.  Let your mom know how you feel, and just be there for each other.  Like I've read here before, everyone grieves in their own way, so let your "sister" go her own way, and you take care of yourself the best you can.

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