After the Caring is Over, and it's Time for Inheritance, Now They Appear!
I, like many, stepped up, without being asked, to care for my dad when he developed dementia and could no longer care for himself.
I lived 40 minutes away. My other siblings lived in the same town as my dad, some as close as the next street over. Yet I was the one who did the majority of the work, especially the hard stuff, and made the most personal sacrifices to care for my dad.
I had to put my life on hold while I oversaw his 24x7 care and ran his life for him, while caring for another sick sibling, working a job, and trying to keep my own life together. I too was trying to have children at that time, and sadly, it didn't work out.
Sometimes my siblings would help. Other times when I needed them the most, they said "No, they had to work" or "No, weekends are my time with my own family". One sister who lives 1/4 mile away rarely visited my father, especially after I told her how badly his health was declining.
The resentments built. I got counseling and other support to help me through it, but even that didn't get rid of the stress and the pain that I felt.
Fast forward, dad passed away. Now everyone shows up and shows a strong interest in dad's estate. Now everything's important, everyone wants to be involved, and everyone wants to know everything.
One brother, upset that he wasn't in charge, tried to take control over the estate by making false accusations
that I stole dad's money among other things. He has gotten the other siblings to gang up against me, and has threatened me with a lawsuit. What bothers me most about this is that I made personal financial sacrifices while caring for my dad (I lost money), but to be accused of stealing money is unforgivable.
I struggle to come to grips with the fact the my family doesn't care about me and no longer wants me at family events. I do not understand why - is it jealously? is it lunacy? I may never know.
The one thing I hoped for after my dad died was a close family, and that isn't going to happen. I grieve that loss every day.
In the end, I wouldn't do anything differently. Though caring for my dad was difficult, it was rewarding and I felt myself grow in ways that I can't describe. My heart is larger, and I am proud to say I was there for my dad when he needed me.
To the rest of you going through this, write things down, keep a diary. If you are in charge of money, keep good records, over-document each transaction, make photocopies of checks deposited & paid, keep voided checks and write the reasons why.
When the hard parts are over, feel proud for what you did, try to rebuild your life, forget about the idiots and seek out things that bring YOU joy. In the end, this is your life to live. And yes, karma does exist. I have seen it work.