Need advice on family - lengthy

  1. Hello all! I need your advice. My family has been in an uproar since my wedding in 6/2000. My aunt and mom had a falling out and since then they've only spoken once or twice. The problems have extended on to my other aunt and Grandmother. There's been some underlying tension there for as long as I can remember but I don't know why - my guess is something that happened long before I was born. (Apparently my Grandfather wasn't always the nicest person and I think my mom still harbors ill-will related to that, never mind the fact that he died when I was three...) The three sisters all got together once to try to hash things out and my mom feels like she got blamed for everything. True or not, I don't know (if she got blamed, that is). Now, my Grandmother was just hospitalized for chronic Emphysema (O2 pulse ox 72, ABG O2 sat in the low 30s). My aunt called my mom to tell her and they got in an argument. Now they're not speaking at all and my aunt has even gone so far as to block my mom's E-Mail address. I'm stuck in the middle - my aunt and mom both turn to me as if they expect me to do something (maybe it's just for a related ear to vent to?). What can I do? What should I do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My mom refused to go to the hospital because she didn't want to see the rest of the family and I'm pretty sure she won't go see grandmother at home, either. She's in her 80s and given her health, probably won't be around in 5 years, so I really hate to see them all like this. I'm afraid that my grandmother will die without mom having seen her and will suffer the associated guilt and delayed/impaired greiving process. Again, any advice is welcomed. Thanks guys!

  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Robin61970
    I Think I would tell my mom that her mother might die and she really need to think about that facy before choosing never to go see her....then I would tell her AND the aunt that they are adults and that I will not be a go between or discuss their problems anymore. Basically tell them to grow are acting more of an adult than they opinion.....
  4. by   Nurse Izzy
    I asked my mom when my Grandmother was in the hospital if she wanted her to die without her having seen her and she replied "well, I don't know." I promptly told her that no - she doesn't. It's would be amusing if it weren't so sad because they are acting like such children, each accusing the other of being immature, etc.

    Thanks for your response - I really appreciate it!
  5. by   kids
    My Mom has NSCLC, it was diagnosed in March. She is now on a final attempt at remission/pallitive chemo).

    I am the 'baby' at 39, the only nurse and the only one Mom trusts with her POAs. My Brother (48) is pretty much Mom's favorite...he is kinda slow, in a big hearted, have to watch out for him sorta way. My 2 sisters (56 & 54)have been spitting at, shytting on and back biting each other for ALL of my life. Neither are especially close to Mom (1 lived 3 blocks from her...went to her house 2 times in 2 years).

    Anyway, when Mom got sick the "evil twins" started up on each other...spread it onto my brother and put me in the middle. We come from a huge (and close) extended family, everyone had an idea what was going on with them but very few had first hand knowledge of it. I tried discussing it rationally, mediating, begging, crying and bribing I finally gave up, let them have it and told them:

    "Your Mother is dying, this is your last chance to let her leave this world thinking she raised kind, thoughtful and decent children and not the mean, petty, selfish azzes that you are.
    You do not have to like each other but you do have to behave like adults. Now, put civil tongues in your mouths and smiles on your faces because so help me God, if MY Mother suffers one second of misery in her dying days because of you I will see you in HELL before the rest of this familly acknowledges your existance again." (and then I threw them out of my house).

    Naturally NIETHER of my sisters are speaking to me anymore outside of Mom's presence (I would have done it sooner had I only known!) but they are at least showing up for family functions and giving Mom some peace and happiness.
    Last edit by kids on Jan 27, '03
  6. by   canoehead
    Some moms are better off being left alone- if it means your mom will feel better...

    I would support her in whatever she decides, there are obviously issues that you don't know about.
  7. by   Nurse Izzy
    Thanks for all your advice. I'm still at a loss. My aunt still E-Mails me, so at least I know Grandmother's condition and can relay it on to mom, but... I just can't help but think what if something happens - not just to Grandmother but to any of them...
  8. by   renerian
    Try to point her in the direction of seeing her mom. It is not your job to be the peacekeeper. Sometimes things are out of our control. I feel for you though. I really do.

  9. by   BadBird
    I went through something like that a long time ago when my sister and mother stopped talking to each other. I told them both to GROW UP and stop putting me in the middle, I refused to play their game, I would not relay messages, eventually they both got over it, took about 3 years. I know how frustrating family can be but I don't think that you help by playing their game, just simply refuse to, if they get mad at you oh well they probably would anyway but at least you will be happier.