Continued...

Family - Broken Pieces - Part 6 of 28

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 


and dynamics. 



No one is ever fully prepared to say goodbye 


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, 


and sometimes, 


the emotions can be very complicated.



Many families are left feeling

that another member's pain was re-directed at them 

as anger and blame. 

This can leave members befuddled 

divided, isolated, and misunderstood.

However,


 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 


family members, 


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.


They will bring people against us 

and will use the actions of friends, relatives, 

and even spouses to shoot flaming arrows 

in our direction.


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; 


without remorse!

 

Where is the justice in this?

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.