Family - Broken Pieces - Part 6 of 28
Life is a fragile, unpredictable,
and a precious gift from God.
There is no order or set amount of time we or our
loved ones will be here with us. There is no promise how
we will feel, and what we can do today, or how we feel
and what we can do tomorrow. There is no promise that
the health and relative wealth we enjoy today will be with
us in the morning.
Facing up to the fragility of life can be scary. It can also
be empowering. It can help us hold onto a perspective that
supports us living a life rich with positive experiences. It
can leave us with a conviction to
make the most of our days.
Of all life experiences, death and bereavement
are considered to be the most unsettling.
Whenever or however death occurs,
every loss brings its share of paralyzing pain,
numbness, a deep ache, intense sorrow, grief,
disruption, changes, and challenges.
The death of a loved one can have a major impact
on families. Each individual family member must
reconcile the end of their physical relationship with
the person who died and their ongoing grief
over the loss.
Unfortunately, this often means that at a time when the
family could benefit from being closer than ever...
misunderstandings and differences
set them at a distance.
The death of a family member can be overwhelming
and excruciating under any circumstance.
Death is inevitable, yet the loss of a loved one
always causes us to experience a range of emotions.
Many people describe the first few days
following the death of a loved one as blurry.
It’s as if life is going on around them,
but they aren’t fully present.
When someone we love dies...
there is fertile ground for family misunderstanding
as family members try and deal with changing roles
to a loved one. Death not only destroys
the natural life of the deceased,
but it can also hurt and destroy lives
of those around it.
I don’t know if encountering death
ever gets easy.
Death has a remarkable way
of bringing out the best
and the worst in people.
Sometimes we may see the reconciliation of a relationship
that was long estranged.
We may witness family supporting each other
in unimaginably selfless ways.
While some adult siblings bond more closely
after the death of their parents and or other siblings,
others find that the loss brings unresolved tensions
and old rivalries to the surface
that can trigger the worst...
like fighting at a time
when we should all be coming together.
Trying to cope with the death...
while our support system is the source of our stress
and far from supportive... can take a toll on us.
The combined stressors of grieving the death
of our loved one,
and losing the family at the same time...
can have us feeling like our world is crumbling.
We all grieve in different ways
and for different periods of time.
It’s not uncommon for family resentments to boil over
in the wake of grief, which often leads to hurt feelings
and arguments after the death of a loved one.
It is important that we understand
there's no specific way to grieve or mourn.
Everyone copes with death in an individual way,
the emotions can be very complicated.
greed is an even uglier
common reaction to death.
Those who are greedy are ever in want.
They are stuck in an endless effort to be full of desire
without ever reaching satisfaction.
Greed is a bottomless pit.
It is an unreasonable, unnecessary, egotistical,
insatiable longing, or entitlement for unneeded excess,
especially for more wealth, more status, and more power.
Greed wants it all.
The prospect of an inheritance can turn up the heat
under the, already, simmering dysfunction.
Greed wrecks relationships,
stresses the heart, and sears the soul.
There are those who take advantage of a death
in the family to line their own pockets,
even if it means going against
the wishes of the deceased.
You can almost see the tentacles of materialism and greed
reaching and grabbing, pushing and shoving
into every sphere.
You might assume that a will or estate plan ensures
that money will go to the intended heirs —
but inheritance theft is a treacherous and under-reported
problem that can cost families dearly.
And since inheritance thieves are usually
the fallout often is not only about money,
but also family ties.
There are many, like me,
who see grief turn into greed,
the vulture mentality,
or… out and out corruption.
Some people are opportunistic and greedy.
Money and things, for some, is thicker than blood.
Anything that gives some people a sense of gain
can bring out the most horrendous side of that person.
When my brother died, his death produced
a sharpening of my awareness.
I became acutely aware
of many complicated relationships within our family.
It was an unseen, gnawing type of enigma which,
while my brother was alive,
had stayed submerged and fairly well
below the surface.
On the other hand... when our mother died...
it was on...
they became even more blatant and uglier!
Some are clever enough, brazen enough,
and merciless enough to find a way to claim and seize
that which is not theirs.
In a nutshell,
some family members willingly and intentionally
take advantage of the family
at their most vulnerable low points.
It’s never fun to have the realization
that someone has taken something from you,
but it really adds insult to the injury
when we discover that the thieves are family members.
It turned out that mother’s will was changed
months before she passed.
She was confused and disoriented
and very close to death.
According to mother, she was coerced
to make changes to her will.
She said the changes were against her wishes.
Some people have a pathological need
to control others and will use many lies
to accomplish it.
It's as if their mind has
more lies than truth running through it.
Whichever gains control of the situation... dictates.
Many actions employed by some stems from...
habitual and compulsive lying
and a pathological need to control others.
Some lie effectively and will go to any extent
to bring their agenda to extort supply to fruition.
They will go over and beyond to make people,
in the family, surrender their identity,
their power, and individualism.
In most cases, their sense of entitlement is delusional...
much like Jacob offering Esau a bowl of stew
for his birthright.
Some would rather win the argument
and push the point...
that they are right (which is usually not the case)...
and not ever consider respectfully attempting
to resolve the conflict.
Conflicts can escalate when the people involved
are too acrimonious to listen to each other.
Misunderstandings can fuel arguments.
When we are constantly interrupted
and the conversation is redirected by unrelated issues...
nothing gets resolved.
Some people act as if their goal is to devalue family
members, take away their worth,
and have family accept their self-serving abuse
as normal… or else.
Some have a desperate and debilitating love for family…
which has absolutely nothing to do with love.
Some people are unscrupulous and
mean spirited with family,
but quite the opposite around those whom
they feel the need to impress.
Because I knew what our Mother’s concerns were...
regarding my sister and her partner...
I became my sister’s whipping post,
scapegoat, and fall guy.
She has treated me with disdain and disgust
in an attempt to manipulate and shut me down.
When I speak up for myself
she attempts to "Gaslight" me ...
this is to impress upon others that I am crazy,
should not be listened to, should not be respected,
or taken seriously.
Trust, I did not volunteer for this position.
I was pretty much slam dunked into it.
My mom would say one thing to me...
and would be afraid to address my sister
and would say whatever my sister wanted to hear.
Elderly parents can sometimes become intimidated
by aggressive (bossy and shady) adult children.
This power over mother was gained...
when dad passed, in 1992.
The conflicts and clashes have been brewing for decades
with my sister and younger brother, versus me.
There have been extreme cases of
character assassination attempts,
slander, lies and malicious gossiping,
bullying, and theft.
My older brother told me that my older sister
has disliked me, since birth.
Sibling rivalry may sound like a stretch,
but it is as old and as unavoidable as time itself.
It is the "Bad blood" unfriendliness, malice,
loathing, tension, feuding, or hostility
between brothers and/or sisters
which manifests itself in circumstances much like
the sibling rivalry as seen in the pages of the Bible.
Our family was held together
by our now deceased parents.
When they died…
the vultures came out
to grab the spoils
without considering the pain and family strife
that would unfold.
In the case of dad, mother, and the middle brother
who died, my only living sister and younger brother,
whom I shared the same parents with…
positioned themselves to benefit monetarily
from our loved one’s death.
It was painful to believe they could be so treacherous.
These covetous two, now executors of the estate,
notoriously sprung into action!
They engaged in criminal behavior, forging signatures,
creating strife, fighting about everything,
hurling slanderous… unfounded accusations,
and they told out and out lies… repeatedly,
to cover their tracks.
These two appropriated inheritances
not meant for them;
Some families are blessed, after a death,
to realize a closer-knit family unit.
Close-knit families leave no opportunity
for any of their members to fall through the cracks.
They are supportive, they share similar goals and values,
they are united by certain convictions
and common characteristics,
and they, for the most part, work together as a unit.