Don't let our grief reconcile us.

So, my sister died.

Which is actually ok, because as much as I’ll miss her and loved her, she was in tons and tons of pain. She was hurting and tired. She had diabetes, some vein eating disease which I can’t remember the name of, and coronary problems. Her legs had been amputated and it was only a matter of time which illness would finish her off first. She had already passed the date her doctors had given her to live and for each month after, made a “Kiss my ass, I’m still alive” cake. She told the family to get a discount on her cremation, since there was only half of her left. She told them to put her in a mason jar, because an urn was too big. She was awesome and lovely and I’ll miss her like crazy.

Now, the back story. My incubator is a crazy, pathological liar. She’s addicted to painkillers or any other thing she can get her hands on at the time. Unfortunately, we are still related. See, her mother adopted me, so officially, she’s my sister. Yes, yes, make all the redneck jokes you want. In my family, most of them are true.

Anyway, I flew back to the States, to Arizona, picked up my Mom, sister and brother-in-law and we drove to Oklahoma to go to my sister’s funeral. Sadly, this is also where the incubator lives. I visited her last Christmas and there was a bit of a meltdown. See, her son, whom I still call brother, is married to a woman I hadn’t met before. The incubator had told me all kinds of evil things about her. Lots. I mean, I was really prepared to hate this woman. Ha! She was lovely and we fit together like two peas in a pod. I mean, we were so similar in so many ways, it was like finding a real sister that I actually get along with. I also realized that if I were this woman and my mother-in-law was spreading all of these sick lies around the family, I’d want to know about it and put a stop to it. And I was right. I let her know what was going on and left it to her. Her husband (my brother) had a talk with his father who then told the incubator. Which was fine with me as well, let them handle it.

But then the incubator continues to lie and sends the nastiest email to me, my mother and my sister, accusing us of conspiring against her, telling vicious lies about her and trying to ruin her family. Um, huh? No, this was all me and I only did it to stop the malice against a lovely young woman I care about. But inc. calls us all a bunch of names and blah-blah-blah. For me, whatever. But, this hurt my mother and sister deeply. She has manipulated and lied about so many things to me since I can even first recall, and if I never talk with her again, my heart won’t break. So, I’ve had no contact with her.

Until the funeral.

I had already decided that this funeral was about my sister and supporting her family in their grief. To say goodbye. There was going to be no other drama and I wouldn’t have a fight scene or anything else crazy to do with inc. I would be civil if we had to speak, but would otherwise avoid any confrontation. Oh, brother. At the funeral home, she’s being dramatic as possible and upon seeing me, comes over, throws herself on me and starts," Oh, I love you, baby. I love you so much. I love you…" Blah, you get the picture. She’s been bad-mouthing me, Mom and sister for months and now all of a sudden, “I love you?”

No. HELL, no! I’m sorry you’re hurting and tired and grief-stricken, but that does not erase the past. You’ve lied to me all my life and when I finally confront it, you try to cover it with more lies and now it’s all over because you’re sad? A little teary-eyed? And that makes everything better and I should just rush into your arms and we cry together and make up like we’re in a stupid movie?


So sorry for the loss of your sister. It sounds like you had to deal with more stress than was necessary - funerals bring out the drama queen in some folks, don’t they?

I’m sorry to hear of your loss. It’s nice to have good memories of your sister.

How did you react in this situation?

I’m so sorry this is such a painful time for you. You and those you love are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Hang in there.

Heloise your sister, family and of course you, are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Some people are not happy unless they can be the center of attention. I’m sure everybody knows that it’s all an act. Good for you for showing class and being supportive of your sister’s family when they needed it most and not letting her get to you!

Helosie, I’m sorry - both for the loss of your sister and your relationship with your incubator.

But I disagree with swampbear - or at least there is a different spin. Some people are inconsistant and live completely in the moment. They can’t seem to remember what they last did and have no ability to look forward and act in a way that will positively impact the future. They are also usually extremely self centered. So it is possible that your incubator does feel deeply about you, but only can think about it in the moment in which she can recognize the loss of someone else close to her - it isn’t an act - but it is completely self centered as in “I am currently hurting.” That makes her say “I love you all so much.” Don’t worry though, she will completely forget these feelings quickly - these sorts of people just can’t remember long enough to actually change their behavior to reflect actually caring about someone. (My grandmother is like this).

Heloise–I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s illness and death.

Stay strong. I’m glad you have other family members to support you in your grief. Your sister sounds like she was a really cool person.

Heloise - you’re in my thoughts. I’m so very very sorry for your loss. I send you hugs and warmth…

Thank you for the support, guys. It’s appreciated.

To answer your question, Mangetout, I let her hug me for a moment before prying her off. I didn’t want to make a scene, because we were all in the family room of the funeral parlour before the service. I didn’t want to make things worse for my sister’s husband and children, so I let her hug me for a second, then backed away. I didn’t say a word. Later, her husband tried to get all huggy/touchy with me and I did the same. He’s a complete enabler and walks around like a sainted martyr (martyred saint?) because everyone knows she’s off her rocker and isn’t he wonderful for sticking by her through all her troubles?

And besides that, he was the one who sent inc.'s email to us, because they don’t have internet at home and he does at work. So, knowing that she’s wacked, he sent the email anyway with no word of support or acknowledgment that he knows she’s wrong.

It’s not always easy to bite your lip. Well done for not making a scene.

Sounds like she was a fun person, and the idea of a “kiss my ass” cake makes me chuckle. Sorry for your loss.

My condolences for your loss.

Much of your OP sounds like it could have been written by me: crazy, manipulative mother sending nasty emails. A sister-in-law that is very nice. (Well, Brother’s now ex-girlfriend. We’re best friends and have been for years.) Trying to avoid confrontation and nasty public scenes.

Sounds like you have a good handle on defending your boundaries and are much more considerate of others that your incubator.

I hope things settle down soon.

I’m sorry for the loss of your sister.

Good for you to have distanced yourself from such an inconsistent, negative person. Now that the funeral is over, you won’t have to see her again for a long time, right?

I’ve read about your mother, sorry about her, too.

As for settling down, Mom just told me the other day that incubator wanted to apologize to me for all the hurt she’s caused. She was afraid to call and tell me herself because she was afraid I wouldn’t talk to her. Damn right.

If she wanted to apologize for specifically everything she’s done, that is one thing. But she doesn’t. I think she more wants to apologize to get me to start talking to her again, get her back in my life again. Well, no. Sorry. I can let it go, but that doesn’t mean I have to start fresh one more time and let all the pain start again, do I? I have no intention of getting the cycle started again.

And, Maastricht to answer your question, no. I still live in Holland, so unless I go seeking her (ha!) I don’t have to see her again at all.

I’m so sorry for your loss. hugs tight You definitely were the mature, level-headed one in this situation, and kudos to you–I think you did the right thing.

As one who also no longer speaks to her mother, I understand completely your desire not to hear an apology. There comes a point where it doesn’t matter anymore. You’ve moved on, and accepting an apology would be going backwards.

As my dad says, don’t trip over anything behind you.

Don’t trip over anything behind you. Heh.

I really like that. And if accepting an apology means that everything goes back to “normal,” then no, I can’t do that.

Dammit. Did it again. Sorry, mods!