Four months, three family deaths

by Candace McC
(Seattle, WA USA)

Me with my mother on Halloween, earlier this year.

Me with my mother on Halloween, earlier this year.

I still cannot seem to get over losing my brother from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday, May 20, 1995; my favorite aunt dying on Friday, June 9, 1995; and my father on Tuesday, September 26, 1995, following a brain aneurysm that occurred on Monday, September 25, 1995. The hardest thing is that I never got to say goodbye to any or them, because they all died so suddenly.
Then I was burdened with a 72-year-old problem child, my mentally and physically disabled mother, while trying to raise two young children as a single parent. My mother was being taken pretty good care of by my brother and my father, but she has been far more than I could handle and it doesn't help that she re-wrote my father's will and got the equity out of my house and I am dealing with health problems of my own and I don't even smoke or drink. My mother very well may outlive me. It isn't so much that my family now struggles from unnecessary financial stress as well, it's more the betrayal of my mother in regard to the financial burden that has hurt me the most.
I miss the success I once experienced in the music business and as a music teacher. I'm trying to start over now that I have moved my mother to a far better facility than the one she chose. I wound up moving her 5 times in 3 years and I still seem to be recovering from that. I fear that my life will never again be on track and that I'll soon die young too, as I continue to be drained by my mother, who has never told me she loved me – not ever, even though I've been kind and told her that myself, as I refuse to lower the standards of my integrity.
I continue to do just about everything for my mother outside of the facility (she has dementia), like doctor appointments and birthday parties, I have my standards. You won’t see me being odd trying to get even – one of my dad’s favorite sayings.
I have an older brother and sister who are retired, but I'm the one who usually does most everything as I have done for my mother for the past 18 years, with nothing but complaints from her about me to other people, which doesn't help either. My family thinks I should be willing to work for free, but I have to sleep sometime. I'm not Superman!
Why can't I just move on and return to my life as it once was? Will this heartache and misery ever end?

Thank you,

Candace McC

Comments for Four months, three family deaths

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Jan 04, 2014
A plan
by: Candace McCutcheon

Yes, Doreen -- that's exactly what I need -- a plan! I am working on that now. I need to take the necessary steps to remedy this situation. Thank you so much for your intuitiveness and support. I'm sorry for your loss too -- death of a spouse can be devastating.

Thank you,

Candace McCutcheon

Nov 30, 2013
I wanted to thank Doreen
by: Candace McCutcheon


Thank you so much for your kind comments, great advice and your incredible ability to understand exactly what I've been going through. You were spot on. You really showed empathy and understanding, which is most appreciated. I had no idea that someone could comprehend just what I've been going through and I wanted to thank you for your kindness and for taking the time to write such a wonderful comment, which has comforted me very much.
I no longer feel totally alone and misunderstood about my grief. You're right -- I never really got the chance to grieve about the deaths of my brother and aunt -- it was just too much to bear at the time.
You have been very helpful and I will do my best to move forward and stick up for myself better.
Thank you so very much, Candace McCutcheon

Nov 30, 2013
Four months, three family deaths
by: Doreen UK

Candace having read your post again I missed out some support to you.
You probably have not grieved for your brother, and father and aunt and everything else in life has just crowded out your space and time to grieve. If you are able to see a grief counsellor this may benefit you and give you your time and space to find some of the answers. You say you want your life back the way it was. Life has many intrusions. Since you stepped into care for your mother for the past 18yrs. your brother and sister have been clever at just letting you get on with this. Now is the time to step back and be ASSERTIVE telling them to basically get their fingers out. you have done your share and now it is up to them. Don't give them the opportunity to manipulate you and make you feel guilty that you should do it for free. Let them now be ashamed by not being supportive to you. Then walk away and let them get on with it. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. This is false guilt. You say you feel unwell and have your own health problems, so you need to take care of yourself since no one else is there to do it. NURTURE yourself. I did this and I am recovering better after losing my husband to cancer 18 months ago. Life throws us many challenges. Only work with the ones you can take on and be careful not to take on too much. Then you will answer your own question. "Will I ever get my life back?" YES you will when you realise and everyone realises you are not superwoman. You have your limitations and you have exceeded yours. Now step back and structure your life how you want it to be and then go and make it happen. Best wishes.

Nov 30, 2013
Four months, three family deaths
by: Doreen UK

Candace hold your head up high. You are doing a good job of caring and being misunderstood as to your own needs. You do have your own life to live with your own commitments to two children but yet you have given this up for your mother who has hurt you. FOCUS. On the fact that you don't have to care but you have CHOSEN to do this work. Don't over extend yourself to the detriment of your own care and that of your children. If your brother and sister are observing that you are doing everything for your mother, they will happily let you get on with it. Make them aware the burden of responsibility has to be shared. If you find that you can't cope then you may have to put a plan in place and then walk away so that you can care for your own needs and those of your two children. Because your mother has dementia, she may be awkward and difficult to a greater degree which makes your burden greater so this has to be considered. Don't feel guilty about what you need to do to take care of yourself. It doesn't matter who cares for your mother. Just make sure a care plan is in place before you go if this is what you need to do. I have had burdens placed on me and I broke down with this immense responsibility. Now after nurturing myself and getting counselling I am in a strong position to not be manipulated and made to feel guilty. I am in control and do what I can and need to do and what I am not able to do I don't take on. Life is not always cut and dried and often we do what we have to do and we pay a price for this even if it be emotional breakdown. Just make sure you don't head into this direction. Your children would suffer, and who would care for them. Your financial situation is another matter and a big one. I am facing this also and I wouldn't have the space here to tackle this. But I hope you get your life back on track, and receive the support and care you also need at this time.

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