What do you do? Advice needed.

Many of my readers know of my tumultuous relationship with my estranged, alcoholic mother. To recap our last encounter, I reached out after several quiet (and drama free years) to offer my sympathy when I found out her last living brother had cancer. That didn’t end very well and we left things worse than they were, basically ending all contact forever.

I found out that he passed away yesterday. The last phone call from her was August 19th and I remember it like it was yesterday. And it still hurts like it was yesterday. But I’ve received so much support and love from my family and friends  – I am no longer hurting or bitter about it. It is what it is and I know it’s not me…it’s her disease. And I vowed I would never speak to her again, per her voicemail on that day, but my heart is hurting for her right now. I’ve sent along my condolences verbally with my sister, but do you think it’s ok to send a card? Nothing more – no phone call (NEVER!) and no flowers, but just a signed sympathy card from me to let her know that even though we may never speak again, that I’m still sorry for her loss…which I am. I hate that for anyone…even her. Or should I just leave it alone? The last time I opened that door, it turned out horribly. And I’m not opening that door – I’m just sending a card. But I didn’t think I was opening the door last time by offering my sympathy, but apparently I was (my mistake was calling). I’m so confused. Your advice and thoughts would be so appreciated.

Thanks you in advance readers!

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11 Responses

  1. Laura Gallitz says:

    First of all, I’m sorry for your family’s loss. Even if you weren’t close, it is hard to lose a family member, especially to cancer. If you think you should send a card, let Hallmark do the talking and send a card. You would do that for a co-worker or anyone else you knew. As one of the family, though, you’re also bereaved, so it’s fine if you don’t. Your sympathy is assumed. If you think this will make your mom think you weren’t serious a few months ago, and she’ll contact you again and you don’t want to do it, it would be fine. You can’t make a bad choice here, because any choice you make will be with your best intentions.

    • sherri@yougotrossed.com says:

      Thank you, sweet friend. I appreciate your thoughts and input. You’re right – I’m going to let it go. Hugs to you!

  2. Kaitlin says:

    You can’t control how other people act, just how you do! So if you feel that it’s appropriate to send a card to express condolences, her reaction doesn’t matter. You can’t let other people and their problems and their sickness keep you from being a good person and living your life the way you know it should be lived. Hugs and prayers that everything will go well! I know it’s a tough spot to be in. Just remember, her unkind words and nastiness are not a reflection on you, they are truly a reflection of her illness.

  3. stephanie naman says:

    I would not send a card. I would not reach out to her in any way. You can send her good energy and prayers, but reaching out to her is a sign that there is the smallest crack in your defenses – via your kind heart – that she can then potentially exploit with her drama. Even if you wouldn’t let her, why give her an invitation to try. After watching my own mother struggle with how to deal with an alcoholic father, zero contact was her only recourse. It actually helped him reach his “rock bottom” and turn his life around to some degree, though of course mom was no part of it. Love and prayers for you my friend. Call me if you need anything!

    • sherri@yougotrossed.com says:

      Thank you. I think you are right. I am not going to send one. I’ve done what I can and that’s all I can do. I love you so much.

  4. Brenda says:

    Sherri, you are an angel. Whatever you decide to do, it will be the right thing. You have done your part – in the past – and paid dearly for your kindnesses….. Your heart is in the right place. Consider your mental health. Love you so much and hate to see you suffer.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Dont send a card. Im telling you right now itll just ipen up that door again. Shes using his death as a reason to drink heavy again.

  6. sherri@yougotrossed.com says:

    I want to thank everyone who reached out and gave their input. After much deliberation and talking to my sister, I decided not to send a card or reach out. I said a prayer for his family (and her, of course) that they find peace and healing soon. Thank you again for your words of support and wisdom. I appreciate you.

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