My Dad passed away on my 46th birthday, January 11, 2019. He passed without leaving a Will or any instructions for what he wanted should he die. He did have a DNR and instructions for no feeding tubes. He was 112 pounds when he passed away.
Some of you may know how close I was to my Dad, for those that don’t I’ll tell you I never left home and he saved my life on more than one occasion.
I wasn’t diagnosed as Bipolar until I had already self-medicated with alcohol for a little over 20 years. My Dad did everything he could to help me maintain my sobriety. He took me to the movies when he would rather be outside, watched numerous TV shows he normally wouldn’t have, drove me to see the animals I love in a different state, whatever it took to make sure I was safe.
I decided years ago that I would take care of my parents for as long as I possibly could no matter what. I kept that promise with both of them.
My Dad did have to stay in a long term care facility for a few weeks at the end of his life. I had become Manic, over stressed, and couldn’t lift him any longer. He was 76 and Sepsis, a UTI and Pneumonia, had caused Dementia. None of us knew this could happen. Within 6 months the man I knew became a frail child. The man who fixed and collected antique clocks now didn’t understand the difference between 5p.m. and 5a.m. leaving me up all night as he tried to leave the house in the middle of the night.
My twin helped as much as she could. She’s married with two small children and has ME Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My older brother lives in the next state over and worked a lot. (I should mention he’s my half brother and had a different father).
Growing up we were always told everything was to be split three ways if anything ever happened to my parents. He was the only Dad my brother had ever known and he was 7 when we were born so I never thought it would be a problem.
My brother and sister never got along. I was always close to him even though he had a tendency to push everyone away and was always in trouble. Drugs, alcohol, fighting, AWOL from the Military, a wife, kids, gambling their home away, jail, divorce, a lot of baggage and trauma to go around.
When I was little and had a nightmare it was my brother I went to first because our parents drank. I went with him on his paper route and watched wrestling and horror movies with him. To me he was my “cool” older brother, not so much to many other people I would find out in High School. It never stopped me from loving him.
My Dad’s Wake was uncomfortable to say the least. My sister hadn’t seen or spoken to our brother in 10 years. He had never met her children.
My twin is a difficult person to get along with and so is her husband. Once they make up their minds that’s it. I thought she would be a little more forgiving when our Dad died. Instead she felt out of control and the need to gain that control back took over.
She decided our Dad would basically be buried naked or with a “shroud” around him and a closed casket. I agreed with the closed casket because he was unrecognizable. She then had her husband first in the receiving line. I and many other people were not happy about this but my brother never said a word.
We had to get a lawyer because there was no Will and my Dad owned the house and land him and I were living in. The lawyer mentioned we didn’t have to give our brother anything because our Dad never adopted him. This was never the plan but I could see the wheels turning in my sister’s head. I put my foot down.
I didn’t know my brother had a lawyer of his own telling him the same thing at about the same time.