Telling an estranged adult child about a family member’s death: Do they have a “right” to know?

by Sheri McGregor, MA

telling an estranged adult child about a family member's deathThis morning, we buried our 17-year-old cat. After a couple of weeks of wasting, Neo had spent two days on the kitchen rug close to her water dish.

“She’s meditating,” my adult daughter said of our black and white shorthair in her nearly motionless stance.

Maybe she was, her trance broken only by occasional sips of water throughout the day. She had stopped eating. Why bother to eat when food no longer nourishes?

Early this morning, she took her last choking breaths, and then she was gone.

As the sun grew hot, we dug a hole and buried her. We sprinkled wildflower seeds on and around her grave near one of our fig trees, marked by four large stones. And as I wet the ground, imagining the future flowers blooming, I also pondered death. Yet another of the pets or people my children grew up with is gone.

A loved one’s death. Should you call your estranged adult child?

When an adult child makes the decision to step out of your life, do they have a right to know what transpires within it? A birth, a death, marriage, a divorce, or perhaps a move—does your estranged adult child have the right to know? Parents often feel a sense of duty about the prospect of telling an estranged adult child about a family member’s death or other big change or loss. They ask whether they’re obligated to make a call.

In the past year, our family has suffered several losses. One was the death of our children’s grandfather. Glen married my husband’s mother a year before I married my husband. So, although he wasn’t a blood relative, he was a father figure to me, and was my children’s Grandpa Glen.

The woman he’d been living with for the last several years was in her eighties, and grieving. Helping her to settle into a new life, alone, required empathy and care amidst the turmoil of our own grief.

When Glen died, I thought of contacting my estranged son. Maybe he had a right to know. Should I inform him of the death? The thought was fleeting and quickly dismissed. At this point in our estrangement, contact seemed pointless. Why bite off more emotional distress?

Does that sound cold? That I didn’t tell him of his grandfather’s death? That I didn’t think to call him this morning when old Neo died? I told my other adult children. I knew they would want to know—and they had comforting words that made the death less sad. They remembered Neo. They shared their memories, just as they had remembered and shared about their Grandpa Glen.

In my book, I relate the story of my husband’s head injury, caused by a hurried driver on a slick road after morning rain. It’s in a part of the book that deals with the married relationship, so I  didn’t tell the whole story, the part that’s relevant to the subject here. I’ll tell you now. Some months later, when my estranged son made contact, I had mentioned his father’s accident. But Dan seemed to shrug it off. Apparently he’d seen my public Facebook post about it. “It didn’t look that bad,” he said.

Thankfully, after months of physical therapy and care, my husband was and is fine. But his full recovery wasn’t obvious from the start. To me, Dan’s response seemed to indicate that he didn’t care.

Telling an estranged adult child of a family member’s death. Are you obligated?

Some of you are in the thick of a fresh estrangement, still in shock perhaps, or believing that the distance won’t last. You may be right. Every situation is unique. Only you can decide whether to continue making contact or tell an estranged son or daughter of a family member’s death or about other family occurrences. That’s why my book, Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children, includes specific information and examples to help. It is possible to convey a specific message, and make contact without getting caught up in the response—or the silence—that follows. With real-life examples, the book also explores how reaching out for any reason can be reevaluated at any time, and new decisions about frequency or method changed.

When enough is enough

I did think of my estranged son, Dan, this morning when we buried Neo. He is wrapped up in the memories of that old cat. In my memories, I can still see and hear Dan laughing with one of my other sons. They used to call Neo “Cool Guy Wannabe” because she looked so much like our other cat who is still going strong. Neo was the standoffish one, while Cool Guy was always in the middle of our children’s fun. Neo was a part of our lives, just as Dan once was.

Those memories of my sweet children, mingled with family pets, relatives, activities, and fun as they grew from innocence to adulthood remain, and include a child who grew into an adult I no longer know. Those memories are real, and no matter what, are precious. But those days are also gone. I might reminisce about joyful times past with my other adult children, but that’s because they are a part of my life. Together, we are making more memories.

I feel no obligation to keep my estranged son up to date on the family he left behind. If he wanted, he could be with us too.

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Parents of Estranged Adult Children: Declaring Independence 2016

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44 thoughts on “Telling an estranged adult child about a family member’s death: Do they have a “right” to know?

  1. dixie09

    Sheri, so very sorry about Neo. Although mine is a “fresh” estrangement “this time”, I am with you. If your ES has left the family unit he has lost all rights to know what is going on within that unit. He may find out, but it won’t be from the Mom or Dad he chooses to leave behind. I know nothing of his life happenings and he will know nothing of mine at this point in time. I probably would not be this rigid were it the first time, but my life has value as well and although the estrangement does impact my life greatly I refuse to let it destroy me. Please give my condolences to the family regarding the death of Neo. Happy Friday!

    Reply
    1. Effie

      Just joined and I also am sorry…. Along with my estranged daughter, I lost my 13 year dauchand suddenly, and 13 year old cat to cancer… pain, pain…

    2. rparentsrparents Post author

      dixie09,
      Thank you for your empathy about Neo. I appreciate hearing your thoughts here, and I think others are in agreement. YES, your life has value!!! Thank you for your note, and please, take wonderful care of yourself!
      🙂
      Sheri

    3. rparentsrparents Post author

      Effie,
      I’m really sorry about your doggie and kitty. They really are great loves to us. Yep…pain, pain, as you say. I still have other pets, but they each hold a unique and wonderful place in our lives –and hearts. Irreplaceable.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  2. Linda

    I agree that you are not obligated. If the estranged/alienated person wants, they can always keep in touch with other relatives and friends, thereby learning of this kind of information. If they don’t choose to keep in touch with others, it indicates their level of interest in those people. Of course, they may be staying away from contact with near or far relatives, to avoid having to defend their actions toward the parents…….who knows? Why should we play this guessing game? Many times there is at least one person in the immediate or extended family with whom the estranged/alienated person is in contact and will hear any important news from. I feel that in the act of estranging/alienating themselves from the family, he/she has made a decision to be out of the family and that decision should be respected. Otherwise the estranged one can twist such an announcement as an attempt to invade the privacy boundaries they have set up. Best to let it go!

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Linda, you’re right. I have heard this, where parents say that they were told the relative’s death was just an excuse for them to make contact. Your points are all good, and that guessing game bit. So true.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Dakotah

      Linda, I agree with you on respecting the estranged child’s wishes on not wishing to keep in contact with the family. I have an estranged daughter. I am just thankful that while she was mine, I was able to guide her, and enjoy all her accomplishments. I have my little spy, Facebook, so I know she’s doing okay. All of us grew up knowing everyone takes a different path in life, and we cannot be sad when they take a path that differs from the one we imagined for them. Some adult children need that space to grow and become the thing they most want to be. Having attachments to family is like a leash and collar to them. They cannot be the people they were meant to be. In their mind they are experiencing judgement. In their mind, they feel there are expectations that they cannot possibly live up to. They may become stressed with worry which affects their everyday existence. It is up to us as their parents to give them that space they need. True, they may never come back, but what good thing lasts forever.

  3. Valerie

    Since my daughters estranged themselves from me, my husband, their sister, their brother (now deceased), their grandmother (95) eleven years ago, they have made it quite clear that they do not care about us at all so I would not bother to tell them about anyone’s passing.

    When I told them about their brother dying, the reaction was “oh, no one should have to go through the death of their child” but they spoke very little to us on the phone and weren’t very interested in anything to do with his death.

    At this point, I dislike these two individuals quite a lot and do not wish to interact with them in any manner. Call me bitter, but they killed off my love for them.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Valerie,
      I will not call you bitter. I think some will probably nod their heads in agreement with your statement about the cause of your love’s death.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  4. Virginia

    I certainly understand the rationale of not contacting the estranged child to tell them of a death in the family, however I still hold on to the minutest glimmer of hope that they might be interested. That it might be a way of opening a door again however small the hope. We don’t know what memory or thought may trigger a reconciliation after a period of time. My first estrangement with my daughter lasted seven years now again we’re into our fourth year. I have moved on with my life, I’m am sad but not grieving. I have two other children and we do continue to create more memories.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Thanks you, Virginia. What a thoughtful comment. After I wrote this posting, I wondered if I might under other circumstances, have wanted to reach out? Who knows…I do think that our feelings can change over time, and that we are allowed to change if it’s right for us, and try something different. In the chapter of the book on reconciliation, there is some talk about timing. I think timing can play a big role in whether people are ripe to reconnect, and all other factors fall into place, too. But I am not going to ponder it another minute. For now, this fits fine.
      🙂
      Thank you for your reflections here.

      Sheri McGregor

  5. Shelly

    I know I also would not feel like it is up to me to let my son who has chosen to not talk to his family anything about someone that is sick or has died. With the many attempts I have made to him to respond to me in the past week, I honestly believe he has lost his sense of caring. I believe he is not well. He knows where we live, I have not blocked him from any part of my life, he has made it quite clear to leave him alone. If he finds out from another family member instead of us, and chooses to be there for the person that is sick or had died, he can but if it is me that dies, I don’t want him to be there. I don’t want him to come because he feels remorseful or guilty. I have asked him what would he do if I died tomorrow and there was no time left to make amends. Nothing no word. So there will be no word from me. I have been abused so many times in the past 6 months by him and his wife of a year that I am only embarrassed by how insane I have looked trying to figure out why or how he could do this to me and his family.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Shelly,
      Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, it sounds like you’ve learned about the level of caring. Don’t be embarrassed though. You were only being and doing what a caring, normal mother does and feels–
      wondering how to fix things with people you’ve loved. You sound perfectly sane to me!
      🙂
      Sheri

  6. Michael

    Oh god this is the greatest website! It is so late and I have to get up early in the morning but I cannot pass up this opportunity to let you all know how I cherish your expression of pain and experience that I have also endured. To the point, my ES supposedly loved animals and, before he became estranged, one of the cats he had known from age 4 died at age 16 and his interest was zero when I told him. He was cold as steel.
    Fast forward to now, it has been nearly two years since he has responded to kind efforts to contact him. I really finally gave up after getting no response to efforts to reach him on his last birthday. Like all of you, I am devastated by my son’s behavior which is calculated and meant to cut off his relationship with me. It is so disappointing and out of character that I seriously don’t think I am his biological father and that his mother has poisoned my relationship with him, perhaps even suggesting that I am not his real father.
    So I did something this last week which was pretty heavy (as we said in my early days); I contacted my lawyer and had my will changed and “disinherited” my ES by expressly excluding him or his heirs from any part of my estate. I have not told anyone, it is my private way to move on in just another way. I cannot tell you the positive feeling I got from that decision that pervades me as I type this note.
    So I am going to sleep and feeling better that I logged on to rejectedparents.net and had a place that I could read and place my innermost thoughts. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Michael,
      Thanks for sharing your story here. I know it will be helpful to others. I know that wasn’t a light decision (in fact you did call it ‘heavy’). It was good to take action though. Thanks again for your comments here.

      Sheri

    2. Katharine

      I really have found some comfort in your posting. I too am considering removing my daughter from my will. I am going to give it some more time, but it is a definite possibility. I have made so many sacrifices for her, and she does not see it. It is almost like I cannot do enough for her. She and her husband should be fine without receiving anything from me. I am a little concerned about leaving the grandchildren out, but I feel that they will be tainted in their feelings about me as well. I do not feel that their parents will share any positive memories of their grandmother with them. Fortunately, I have a son who lives close by and appreciates everything that I do for he and his family. They include me in everything. I am still searching my heart about this.

    3. Brokenlove7

      I have considered this also. I plan to make arrangements so that neither one of our estranged daughters inherit anything. Honestly, I know it probably sounds harsh, but I don’t feel that they deserve anything that I’ve worked hard for, especially when they decided to remove themselves from our lives only after we told all of our kids that we would only loan or give money for major live events and emergencies, not to support their day to day lives any longer because they choose to live beyond their means. I don’t kid myself in thinking that is the only reason for the disconnect. But apparently, the removal us as the family ATM was the straw that was just too much for them to take.
      It’s not like we were totally cutting them off financially. It’s not like they are young kids. They are adults with jobs that they went to college for. We wanted to make sure that went any of them REALLY needed help that we would be able to do that for them. Because they wanted us to continue to pay some of their day to day living expenses instead of thinking of their future, I have decided that I won’t plan for their financial future by making it very clear how any inheritance is to be distributed. Their share can go to their siblings, or to a charity.
      After one of them threatened my life, not in a moment of anger, but just in a matter of fact way, I decided that I was done. She’s continually pushed me emotionally even after telling me she wanted no contact, so I will not allow her to benefit from my death, the death that She clearly would like to happen sooner rather than later.

    4. Delores

      We have lived thru our sons abandonment of us as his aging parents, off and on for years He is 50 years old.We have not seen or heard from him in 2 years. In previous times…10 years one time…..another living 6 miles from us 5 years went by. The times hes been around is for his benefit. He is a moocher..always needy..money..mostly. We are to the point of just letting the relationship die. He has never helped us…..been around in ilnesses…He takes but never gives. We are tired. It is easier to do for ourselves and not ever contact him in any way.

  7. Terri

    Long story short. My daughter for the second time, has abandoned her family. I haven’t seen her or my grandchildren in over 5 years. I have a granddaughter that I have never met. Her father out of desperation, told her he had cancer just to get her to come back. She did not . However, that same father, passed away suddenly in Oct. 2015 @ 57 yrs. My son did get in contact with her, however, I told him as soon as everything quiets down from the death, she will no longer be in contact. She did come to her father’s memorial, however, she did not approach me! So sad, the last words out of her mouth to her father a few years ago, I will not even say!!!! I told myself and her father’s spirit, “If his death did not bring back my daughter, then nothing will”!!! She is married to a very loud, obnoxious, sarcastic controlling husband (doesn’t even deserve that title) !

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Hi Terri,
      You did not say if her father, now deceased, is your husband. I’m guessing yes, and want to offer my sympathy. I know that must have been very difficult for you, and the funeral at which she didn’t speak to you. However, you obviously know her well. You called it…she wouldn’t stay in touch once things settled down. I’m sorry, Terri. Hug that son of yours!
      🙂
      Hugs to you.
      Sheri

  8. Sharon

    My mother is so upset by her beloved grandson ( my son) s behaviour she has told me , if she dies before he has come to his senses and has the nerve to come to her funeral, I am to tell him that he he broke her heart and she never recovered from the hurt he caused both herself , my father and me. That’s not something I would want to put on him but on the other hand, all decisions bring consequences and why should I protect him from the consequences of his actions? Perhaps that’s where I went wrong, shielding him when I should have let him suffer small failures so he can deal with the big stuff. Hmmmmm………

    Reply
  9. Michael

    I think this topic is really important and I want to chime in again. I will say it in a respectful way; an adult son or daughter who willfully cuts off the relationship with a mother and/or father does not deserve to have a mother or father. And most assuredly, the ES or ED does not deserve to be told of the death or severe injury of a family member.
    This website has helped me keep my sanity. Continuing to reach out to an ES orED when valiant efforts to do so have failed is insanity (Einstein’s famous saying, in other words). I believe notifying an ES orED that a family member has died is an injustice to all involved.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Thanks for your thoughts, Michael. Yes…that definition of insanity. At some point, enough is enough. I’m really glad the site has been of help.
      🙂
      Take good care of yourself.

      Sheri McGregor

  10. SunflowersDaySunflowersDay

    You did the right thing Sheri.
    So sorry about your little Neo. Just at the time I lost contact with my ED, I lost my little parrot of 24 years. These little souls leave such a big space in our hearts.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Silvermoon

    Michael, I so agree with you, thank goodness Sheri set up this website, although we all wish she didn’t have to. I think I would have gone insane without it. Like you and Brokenlove7 I am making arrangements that my ED will receive nothing from us when we leave this earth, except that is for the awful letters and emails she has sent us over the years. All you wonderful mums and dads on here and all who visit this site, take good care of yourselves, I hope you can all get to the place I am at now , living my life and loving the ones who love me, my dear husband, daughter and son and gorgeous little granddaughter. Love and hugs to you all x

    Reply
  12. LessonsLearned

    I am waiting for my lawyer to get my new Will done. So I can get is signed. MY ED
    was taken out of the Will. She gets nothing. My ED walked away from me after my
    Husband (Her Father) died three years ago. I know the reason she left. I have a
    developmentally delayed Son (her brother). ED knows that I am very involved in his
    life. My SON lives in Residential Group HOME AND I see him once a week and take
    him on some Vacations and have hi on the Holidays. My ED hates her Brother and
    does not want to be in the same room as him. She is embarrassed and humiliated by
    her brother even though he is High Functioning. I could be in her life if I would walk
    away from my Son. That won’t happen. She waited until her Father died to walk away
    from me. She would never have Estranged from me while Father was alive. She
    wanted her Father in her life. I have had two car accidents, my porch caught on fire
    and had my identity stolen, a flooded basement and a health scare since my husband
    died. ED is in touch with two Aunts so I am sure she knew what has happened in my
    life. She could not even pick up a phone to see if I was ok. She will not benefit from my
    death. I waited for over two years for her to contact me before changing my Will. I
    feel no quilt. When my husbands sister died I asked another Sister-In-Law to contact
    my ED (THE Aunt who died was ED’s Godmother) ED could not have cared less.
    ED will have the same reaction when I die. I have asked my family not to let her know
    when I die.

    Reply
  13. Mike B.

    WOW, we all share so much of the same heavy heart. For my family it has been 2 1/2 years of no contact from our son/brother. He cut the entire family out, grandparents, cousins, everyone. Sheri, without her knowledge, has helped me deal with this terribleness. At the beginning, we had great hope this would be smoothed over and resolved. Now, we have accepted the fact, he does not wish to be with his birth family. We no longer hide it from anyone in our lives. My wife and I still have 2 other children, and they both have children. In a sense, we found a way to forge on without him. The bond of our other 2 children is much stronger as we were all dumped without care nor concern.

    The topic, does he deserve to know. No, he does not. Nor do I believe he even cares. He also will be cut out of our will as others stated above. As in life, as in death, he gave up that right.

    I find it hard to judge my own parenting, but I know without a doubt, my wife was a fantastic mother. Perfect no, passionate, caring, loving, encouraging, affectionate, and this list is endless to the outstanding person she is. She did not deserve this. No way. I do not know of any caring person that deserves such a harsh punishment as was delivered.

    My wife and I have also decided if he were to return prior to our last days, we will make every effort to resolve this conflict. However, if he were to show up at our final moments of life, he will be rejected. My son still has 2 grandmothers living in their late 80’s. They have both told us, not to inform him when they pass.

    To all Parents of Estranged Children. Move on, cheer up, spread happiness, but do not forget.

    Reply
  14. Chrissy

    I am estranged from both of my children. My daughter is struggling with addiction and she tends to ‘hide’ if she is actively using. She usually makes contact when she is making better choices. For safety reasons, we do not welcome her into our house when she is using.
    My son, however, is properly estranged. The greatest ‘issue’ is that we will not allow his partner to be verbally and emotionally abusive with us. He has felt that if we cannot ‘work things out’ with her, it’s because we do not love him enough. Unfortunately, this has happened not only with my husband and myself but also with his sister, his bio-father and wife, his grandparents and all extended family. Each were separate issues and concerns. His grandfather passed away and it was the wish of the family (and the deceased) that he not attend as he had no interest in his grandfather over the last 5 years. My son was not even told about his grandfathers terminal illness because a year prior, when informed of my diagnosis of a terminal illness, his wife responded with “You will live and die alone like you deserve.” Thankfully for me, it was a misdiagnosis and while it is not terminal, it is a chronic and debilitating illness that I will be in treatment for two years and then it will be maintenance. When you are at your lowest, whether through grief or illness, this is not the time to bring negative and harmful people in. I understand his difficulty in being in an abusive relationship but this does not mean that others must agree to be abused as well.

    Reply
  15. Linda

    To Chrissy
    It sounds like your DIL has been very successful in alienating you from your son. I have this also. In my case DIL is from a very unusual family almost cult-like in that the women alienate their new partners from their family and completely disconnect. It’s a double hit because grandchildren never get to know of us either. I went to the family court here in New Zealand and got a contact order which my ES and DIL don’t like but the grand girls have really enjoyed getting to know us. The alienating continues tho. The girls get a lot of pressure from their poisonous mother not to like me.

    Reply
  16. Susan

    Interesting replies to the question of notlfing an ES on a death. My son told us he didn’t care when we died and not to call him at all!! My ES is my 2nd child. My older son is the executor of our estate. He said he would send him copies of. I’m obit after our deaths.

    Reply
  17. janis k

    My younger son estranges himself from me on occasions (never tells me why) and then when he needs something gets in touch – i never imagined you could end up not caring about your children but he has killed off any feelings i have for him other than just stay away – his children have even said how rude he is to me – when i was in his company you could see he hated me restaining himself to start on me – no more

    Reply
  18. Estranged Dad

    “I feel no obligation to keep my estranged son up to date on the family he left behind.” I think this is the key point of the entire article. And I completely agree with this observation, by the way. I see other parents of estranged kids hold out hope that perhaps the notification of the passing of a family member will promote reunification with the family. I get that, but I would observe that there is something disturbing about using a funeral or memorial service or any discussion about the passing of a valued family member as a platform to reconcile. It is as if the estranged child has take over the situation with his or her issues, where the loved one’s passing becomes a side show to the estranged child.IN that moment, the estrangement should be the side show and the focus should be on the person in the family who has just passed on–in my judgment. I don’t know, it just rubs me the wrong way. I would make the case that it is neither the time or the place…Shifting subjects slightly, I would like to present a different, more complicated twist on this already complex situation–where the PARENT does not notify the estranged adult child, but instead, the parent’s brother or sister does, and INVITES the estranged child to the memorial or funeral–much to the chagrin of the estranged parent. My mom is 91. I know her time is coming soon. I know my sister is going to invite my estranged daughter to the funeral or memorial service, my estranged daughter will come, and that is crossing a boundary for me. I know my mother would not want my estranged daughter there under the circumstances, but my sister is one of these people who does what she thinks is right and is not open to considering anyone else’s viewpoint. I have to believe other people in this circumstance face this sort of yukkiness too ( I know yukkiness is not a word but I cannot think of a better description). Interested in other takes…

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Estranged Dad, you bring up an interesting twist–and one that had not crossed my mind until very recently. Unfortunately, I don’t have much wisdom to share other than to state a fact you obiously already know: Sometimes people will make decisions that are out of your control.

      If your estranged daughter does attend as you describe, I have a feeling that you will maintain your integrity for the sake of your mother’s memory. Maybe if it happens, you can share about it later (if you feel up to it). Your experience and your feelings about it might be helpful to other parents who face similar circumstances.

      Virtual hugs to you, sir. I’ll say one more thing you also already know: Enjoy your mom for now. I miss mine dearly.
      🙂

      Sheri McGregor

  19. Melanie

    My ex poisoned my 3 oldest and if my youngest was not living with me he would be gone too im sure. I did everything for all of them and when the abuse was too much and i left, it was the start of the end. Now i am to be totally alone on xmas because i refuse to keep my son from his siblings. I have been told that i will never know my grandchildren.
    So now, if something happens my son will know but the rest have lost the right.

    Reply
  20. Estranged mum

    It has helped to read of others who are suffering or have suffered the plight of estrangement from their adult children. It has been 3 years since my ES verbally attacked me, breaking my heart and cutting me out of his family life. Sadly the other is following in his footsteps since marriage. I too have taken the deep soul searching path & have withdrawn him from my will, with a clause should he/they choose to re-connect (not for the last week or two before death!) The ache in my heart will never fade, just lessen in its intensity as time passes, though my incomprehension of ‘why’ will never change. Finding yourself to not be the only one, like depression, brings a strength to carry on. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  21. Annie

    Estranged mum,
    You have written our sentiments perfectly. Welcome here and thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry you are
    going through this too. This website/forum is such a blessing and lifeline. Hugs to you. Annie

    Reply
  22. Carol D.

    May God bless you all. It is going on 14 years since our ES and his wife were in our lives. My mother suffered terribly the last two years of her life. A well meaning relative told our ES. He said he didn’t believe it. It was just a trick that my husband and I were using to make contact. Every time my mother saw me she would ask about our ES. It was so heartbreaking. The day of her funeral, my gentle father was so angry at our ES that I thought he was in physical pain. Dad died three months later. Our ES got on Face Book and wrote how glad he was that he had reconciled with my mother. A total lie. I must forgive my ES and his wife. But I won’t enable him anymore. We have gotten a Will kit and will give everything to a church or charity. We are only holding off because we may move this year. We won’t tell him. He doesn’t want to know. Thanks all of you for sharing. God sees it. Hugs

    Reply
  23. Rachel

    I will leave anything I have left in a Legacy Trust not to my children but to different charities and a scholarship program to be dispensed ten years after I pass away.

    I am a union steamfitter and would have to work in the desert in 120 degree heat then drive 3 hours back home during the weekends to clean the yard and house.
    I worked hard to provide a home for my children even though they never cleaned up the dog poo and piss in the house and yard or tighten the door knobs when they were loose.
    my eldest at 36 was only paying 300 dollars a month for rent and her utilities were $550.
    When I asked her that i needed help to pay utilities she blew a gasket disowned me, influence my Autistic son of 24 and oldest son of 27 to also join her in her coup.
    It has been 3 years and said they will never see me again and never see the grandchildren.

    I did have a breakdown of extreme depression to the point I wanted to commit suicide. Worse than a death in the family. It has taken me two years to heal, love myself and have fun. I decided not to allow myself to die for their pleasure and enjoyment of my hard earned assets.

    I now have friends and i could not believe that I am not alone, that there are multitudes of Men and women who have been kicked to the curb.
    and yes it is embarrassing, it is difficult to talk about this because they look at me weird like saying ing in their eyes, “What kind of mother are you”, “they must have a good reason”.
    My family is now my two black cats, my honey bee hives and most important retired with my boyfriend.
    I

    Reply
    1. Wepawee

      @Rachel, BRAVO!!! I appreciate your strength. My husband and I have been married for 25 years and have three children together. We tried to be good parents. God knows we did. I can face the firing squad knowing that I never gave up, I love my children and I am not perfect. Our son has not spoken to us in over 2 years and now our 21 yr old daughter (Birthday was today) has decided to join the bandwagon and cut us off too. Its like they are enjoying punishing us. Yes, they got punished when they were naughty little brats, but I did not enjoy punishing them, its a lot of effort to make a kid stand in the corner or keep em grounded. I would rather reward good behavior, I did what I thought was right, I did what I knew from my own parents. And believe me, my parents made LOTS of selfish mistakes but I forgive them because I don’t have to live under their rules anymore. I have my own house, I love my mom, can’t stand my step dad but can’t see my mom without him around. That’s the way it is.
      So today we went out to dinner to celebrate our daughters birthday and have decided after a tearful day, that we are no longer going to grieve this abomination any longer. if our2 oldest kids don’t want us, then so be it. We are not going to allow our” Little Monsters” to Torture us anymore. They want out. OK, fine, go, STAY out. I am done with feeling like crap, I know they are laughing when they think I am miserable. I officially take away that power. Bye, Bye Bullies.

  24. Carmelita L.

    Dear all, I surely feel your pain. I’m actively going through some pretty harsh times here. first of all, I have a lovely daughter, who for who knows why, has not allowed me to see her since 2001. I met her first two children (we supported her with 1500 euro a month for about a year while she lived in Israel) but I have not been allowed to meet her son, whom I believe to be about 14 or 15 now. Like most of you, I tried everything. writing, sending gifts, remembering birthdays, writing cheerful letters to kids I didn’t know, sending christmas presents when we couldn’t afford it. I should mention that she is a multimillionaire and lives in a beautiful spread in the Colorado mountains. She lets her dad come to visit, pays his way, for a couple weeks a year. She never had a relationship with him when she was being reared, but when we came back to the States after about 20 years abroad, she cut me off completely. She has told her siblings (whom she has also cut off) that she had to do it because: Mom has an evil spirit. Mom hit me when I was 16. Mom will make fun of my disabled daughter. Mom is not a fit person. I could fill a few pages of “what Mom did,” but you get the point. earlier this year I decided not to initiate any calls to her. One of her sibs more or less forced me to call on her birthday (because, Mom, that’s what we do, we do the right thing.) She will talk to us, but only about fluff. mostly about her dog kennels and her dogs, never about the children. she fancies herself a politico, so she can tell you all her political views but never anything worth knowing. She pumps us for info about the family, and I NEVER give her any, but her father will spill the beans on the latest, which, if it’s bad, she loves it. I thought she was the funniest of the kids, and enjoyed her all her life. I made mistakes (I failed to send out wedding announcements after she blew off a huge wedding to run away) so people didn’t send her gifts, and I was butt hurt about that. We were strung out to dry on the costs, but we never said anything, I just totally forgot to mail out announcements. I was pretty fried, and didn’t want to spend a bunch of money sending out announcements of a fait acompli. whatever.

    Now, the immediate problem is this: I have 7 other kids, and in recent months, one daughter got into a real mess. Her fiance got on drugs, they never said anything, and I guess he spent all her money and all his, they lost everything, house, car, he was pawning their good things. they were evicted last week, and she has a little boy. I have never done tough love before in my life, but we didn’t feel that the little boy should be sleeping in a car or homeless shelter, so we took her and the baby in, but said the boyfriend couldn’t stay.

    Well, of course, there was the tears and the how could yous and all that. But we stood firm, and she moved in without the boyfriend. In the meantime, she’s broken, broke, sad, embarrassed, all the wasted emotions that come with failure. she’s tearful and apologetic. (she was a banker, but lost her job, too.) so four of her sisters rallied around. had a birthday party for the little guy. were trying to love on her. we — our family, not his — arranged for the boyfriend to get admitted to a rehab, and the 4 daughters called by to take her to lunch on Saturday and try to cheer her up. she blows up at them, how could you tell me let’s go eat lunch while my boyfriend is homeless? I was shocked at her anger, but kinda sorta understand. But instead of being calm and understanding she’s at the lowest point of her life, the four got mad and escalated it all. I was walking a tightrope for about three days here, trying to keep five women calm plus turn out my 600 pages of court reporting work that I have to do, and can’t get to for needing to be a referee in my own home.

    they were calling at every hour asking how things were going, and I was saying, it’s okay, we’re getting better over here. but tonight I had to go visit with one’s visiting grandma (in-law) for a few minutes — I tend their kids a couple times a week, and I love them so much — and the s-in-law comes to me shouting that his children can’t come into my home ever again while the one who is down and out is in my home. you might as well have punched me in my gut. one of the twins started sobbing and they ran to me, clinging like little monkeys. I got teary, but then the youngest of my daughters lit into me like a firecracker, saying I always only sided with the sister in trouble, blah, blah, blah, and then … I would think this could be written into a situation comedy — tried to throw me out of her sister’s house. I looked at my son-in-law and asked, so let me understand, she can throw me out of Your house now? Is that it? so I left.

    This is three weeks before thanksgiving. we have 30 members in the family, and we’ve always been a big, warm and friendly family. no exclusions. everyone invited. The one at my house says she’s not attending, and frankly, I imagine she’ll go and have a nice dinner at the rehab place her fiance is going to. but, if she won’t go, I figure I can still go. Except that now they’re saying, we don’t want our two year old in contact with her two year old. this was always my favorite holiday, and now I’m the one who will be excluded because her fiance decided to become an addict. I am not getting it right now. I’m furious. I burst into tears, and the children were so upset, it’s four year old twins and a two year old. they adore me and Poppa. We have RAISED them since they were days old. They slept in our bed with us for the first six months of their life.

    So I just left after kissing my babies goodbye. the mother called me and said well, just wait until he has to take care of them for a couple of days, and they’ll be back over. but he promises me he’s going to scream at the daughter in my house to make her apologize for putting the family through this. I’m just saying, let her recover from all this, let her get back to work, let things get stable.

    and we have a family wedding shower that — do we go or do they all stay away so we can go? then there’s thanksgiving, and then there’s freakin christmas barrelling down, and then the wedding three days after christmas. I’m furious. I know how to write properly, but I’m just doing it so quickly, please forgive me for the punctuation errors. I’m just freaked out. this was far more involved than I’ve put here, but I was grateful for this forum to unload my feelings even if I don’t get an opportunity to have it read by anyone. I really don’t know what to do. I’m 71, tired, and still a full-time reporter, largely due to spending my entire retirement to help various family members out here and there.

    when I told my husband what happened tonight, I told him you know what? I’m ready to move back to Ireland and chuck ’em all. wish anyone had any input that would make sense.

    I’m glad this forum is here. I didn’t realize that there were so many people like me, but I had an aunt whose daughter cut her off at age 17, and showed up to a family reunion about 50 years later, said hello to her mom, her mother was so pleased to see her, and then my aunt died about three weeks later unexpectedly. I was really upset with my cousin to do that to her mother.

    It is what it is. Strength to you all. Carm

    Reply
  25. Wepawee

    I just spent 30 minutes writing a reply, then dropped the mouse and everything is GONE.. 🙁
    Your story made me cry and I am sorry this has happened to you. It is devastating what is happening these days. I think it is very common all through history it is just we hear more about it because our communication has really advanced. Not to get preachy, but when our son abandoned us (Two Years ago) three months after he got married, Genesis 2;24 gave me some comfort. “And a man shall cleave to his wife and leave his mother and father, they shall become one flesh,” Don’t say nutten about them hanging around for Sunday Dinner or even staying in touch, just that they are going to leave.
    Sorry about your Aunty, but maybe, just maybe it was her dying wish to see her daughter again. 🙂 Hang in there, remember good things, savor your happy memories.

    Reply

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