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Sadness & regret—wish I had a crystal ball!

SMto2's picture

Hello, all, 

It's been a minute since I posted. My favorite aunt who was like a 2nd mother to me died Dec. 26th, and I'm still reeling. She had recently been having some coughing spells that led to some testing that led her doctor thining she "may" have lung cancer. She had no children and no significant other, so as her favorite niece, I was her world, even though I lived an hour away. We were waiting for testing to see if she had lung cancer and of so, the treatment options. DH and I decided in advance if my rapidly declining aunt was in the hospital on Christmas Eve, them DH would scale back and handle hosting SSs (SS28, SGDIL, SGDs 8 and 10 and SS27) while I was with my aunt. I did not realize how bad my aunt was, and I planned to visit and spend the night with her a couple days starting December 26th, the day after Christmas. Therefore, I worked all day the day December 23rd,  the day before Christmas Eve, cooking to prepare to host SSs on Christmas Eve, such that I didn't call my aunt. I didn't call her on Christmas Eve b/c I was so consumed with hosting SSs (getting ready for and having dinner, cleaning up, opening presents) and then getting to church for Christmas Eve service. I received a call from my cousin on Christmas Eve as we were pulling into church at 10:30 pm  indicating that my aunt was not doing well but refused to go to the hospital. 

The next morning, my DSs (21 and 15) opened gifts quickly and I headed out of town to my aunt's. I convinced her to go to the ER, where I was blessed to spend her last night on earth with her in the hospital . However, sadly, she passed away the next day, December 26th. 

After my aunt passed, I posted on FB about her loss, and NEITHER of my SSs, who've known her since they were 3 and 5, bothered to offer condolences (never mind coming to her services.)

Since then, I've been fraught with guilt that I didn't visit my aunt or even call on Dec. 23rd or 24th because I was so busy preparing for and hosting SSs, who couldn't care less.  The last visit with SS28 before that was spent talking about BM's dad, who suffered a nasty fall and sustained a concussion. We expressed our concern while he talked about the fact his grandfather couid have died. 

Although I've known forever that my SSs wouldn't p*SS on me if I were on fire, I have to admit that it hurt me deeply that SSs said nothing to me about my aunt's passing and she was so kind to them, especially when I devoted the last two days before she went to the hospital getting ready for and hosting them. I definitely did everything I did for my DH, but it still hurts. I told DH I'm totally done with what little bit of hosting them I did do. He can buy a store bought cake and host their birthdays on his own. 

It's truly my own fault, no one else's. I just am feeling sad and disappointed with myself that I let hosting SSs get in the way of my precious aunt's last days on earth. I hope to never forget how I feel about this. 



JRI's picture

I'm very sorry for the loss of your dear aunt.  You are obviously still grieving deeply.  And happening at that time of the year, and so suddenly, makes it worse.  Peace and healing to you.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

I'm so sorry for your loss, SMto2. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

How awful that neither SS said a single word of condolence to you. IMO, you're right to be done doing one damn thing for those selfish, inconsiderate jerks.

Please don't be too hard on yourself. No one knows how much time is left to spend with a loved one. You arrived in time and can be thankful for those final hours with her. *give_rose*

AlmostGone834's picture

Yes agreed. Give yourself some grace. No one knows indeed how long anyone has and I'm positive your Aunt was happy enough to see you before she went. I know she definitely wouldn't want you to live with the pain of regret and I hope in time this heals for you. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm so sorry about your aunt's passing. And at such an especially difficult time of year, too. Your poor heart.

Like you, I devoted myself to my DH and his people for a lot of years. I thought - no, I deluded myself into thinking I was family. I gave and gave, especially during the years we had custody of his youngest.

When my mother died, it was the first time I'd had any sort of crisis since marrying. For over fifteen years I'd been a team player, yet no skids came to the funeral, nor did one SIL. My mother was very ill and lived with DH and me the last several months of her life, yet none of his family reached out, checked in, or offered any assistance. They didn't offer help or condolences because they simply didnt care. The lesson was before me, but it took several more years before I was ready to learn it. 

I hope that out of your hurt and disappointment will come acceptance of the truth, and that you find the strength and self respect to let these stunted people go. They bring NOTHING positive to your life, and energy you spend on them is energy you're NOT spending on those who actually do care about you. They are not your people - heck, they're not even good people.

Please be gentle with yourself and let your sons and DH care for you. Focus on YOU, and drop the rope. You've more than earned the right to do so.

SMto3's picture

I lost my favorite brother to a sudden heart attack July 2021. He passed in the early morning at work and was about to turn 41. My SS23 did not make it out at all. Not to the hospital, where I was when I first got the news, not to the wake and not to the burial. He had some excuse or another for not being around. It hurt as well, because my stepsons don't have any family who are involved with them. My husband's entire immediate family is in his county and their mom's siblings don't have anything to do with them. 
My brother made sure to make conversations with them individually when he visited and was the only person in my family to include them in his Xmas gift shopping. 
It hurts to think of these people who you help to raise being so selfish during a time of need. 
I pray for strength and healing for you. 

justmakingthebest's picture

I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how you are feeling and the lack of basic human decency from the steps is inexcusable. I don't know what is wrong with these kids. 

When my mom got cancer, SS wouldn't even acknowledge her. We offered to send out some cards to him, pre addressed and stamped so that he could sign one a week to send to her to cheer her up. "No thanks" was his response. Yep... Couldn't be bothered to sign his name and walk to his mailbox once a week for a little while. My parents were always wonderful to him and that is how he is. He is just as bad to DH's mom. These kids are just a-holes and that is all there is to it. 

AlmostGone834's picture

Amen! Selfish as the day is long. I know when my mother passes, Little Idiot won't do or say a darn thing and my mom has been GOOD to her. Spoiling her with gifts at Christmas. It's disgusting the way these barf bags have been raised. 

TheAccidentalSM's picture

Sorry for your loss.  Please take the time for yourself to grieve properly.  You are always giving of yourself to others.  Now is the time to focus on your needs and feelings.

Don't "coulda, shouda, woulda" your aunt's death.  I know its hard but it sounds like you got to see and spend some time with her before the end.

You'll be in my thoughts.

ESMOD's picture

I'm so sorry.. .. and your Aunt sounds like she was such a lovely part of your life.  My mom passed away on Mother's Day.. and I found out when I was getting ready to walk out the door to go see her at the nursing home.. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye.. and she had some dementia.. so phone calls were not really possible.. and we lived several hours away.  So.. I totally get the regret.. the wish we had gone another day earlier.. etc..   but, you have to know she loved you and knew you loved her.. and she was comforted by that.. whether you were there in those days or not.  In hindsight.. you would have made different choices I'm sure.. but we have to make choices with what we know.. and you couldn't have known how it would go.

classyNJ's picture

I am so sorry for your loss.  

Please take care of you and take the time to grieve and heal that is needed.

Much love and peace to you.

PetSpoiler's picture

Your feelings are normal.  I could easily say don't beat yourself up but if you're like me it won't do any good.  I beat myself up over not being there when my dad passed away.  Over not spending enough time with him.  Truth is it wouldn't have mattered if I'd camped out on his doorstep and then at the hospital.  I still would've found a reason to beat myself up.  It's part of grieving.  It was something I had to work through.  I came to realize that Dad knew I loved him.  He wouldn't have wanted me to camp out at the hospital or at his house.  That was part of the reason he didn't tell us his cancer was terminal.  He wanted us to live our lives and visit him when we could.  I believe your aunt understood you not being there or calling. She understood you had family to see to, and it was a holiday.  She probably wouldn't have wanted you to do any different.  You did come to spend her last day with her.  I'm sure that meant a lot to her.  If you didn't care you wouldn't have done that.  She knew.  

As far as not hosting the stepbrats, don't. They're your husband's problem and should have been all along.  Let him and your bios take care of you.  Take care of yourself too.  


reedle2021's picture

I am so very sorry for your loss.  I am glad you got to stay with her in the hospital.  I am an Auntie myself with a niece I love like my daughter and I can only hope she'll take care of me and be there for me the way you did for your Aunt.  Don't feel guilty about not getting to her sooner - she would not want you to feel guilt.  You balanced everything going on with her and the holidays well.  I'm sure your Aunt is smiling down on you right now, your very own angel. 

I think it's awful how the skids treated you.  You lost someone close to you and even if the relationship between you all is not great, the kind, compassionate and classy thing to do is to at least offer condolences.  This shows how selfish and rude they are.  I think you are making the right move by not hosting them anymore.  I would full-on disengage and I wouldn't even remotely feel bad about it.  Let your husband deal with them.  I would most certainly be done with the skids. 

Take care of yourself.... **HUGS**

AgedOut's picture

I hurt for you. I know how it feels to doubt yourself and if you did the right thing at the right time. You did. Don't beat yourself up. Your Aunt knew you loved her and you know she loved you. That's all you need to focus on. How blessed were the both of you. I agree that stepping completely back from your SSs is a good idea. I would do the same.

When my Mom passed I was home. I had been up with her whenever I could, often in 12 hr stints. But I had other obligations and that night I went home. I know she wasn't aware by then and when she was aware she knew how much I loved her. had she been aware she'd have told me to head home and get some rest and catch up on things. I'm good with knowing that. Your Aunt passed knowing how much she was loved. That is what she felt, loved.  


CLove's picture

Im so sorry for your loss.

When I told SD23 Feral Forger that my mother had lung cancer, she rolled her eyes. She was 17 at the time and hasnt really advanced much beyond that. My mother had always bought her gifts for bday and christmas. Shes in remission now, and doing ok...

SD16 Power sulk takes the money and sais thank you but thats pretty much her entire breadth of consideration and I doubt heavily when it comes time that she will be at all concerned enough to bat an eyelash.

Bad parenting, thats all that can be said for them, as well as your SS.

I hope and pray that you will go through your grief and that it will lessen over time to open up the joy that she brought you. 

Elea's picture

I am so sorry for your loss. 

Your story reinforces my resolve to love those who accept my love even harder and to limit the energy I put into those who don't. (SDiablas) 

We have so much to give, no need to throw it away on those who don't care or appreciate our love. 

Merry's picture

I'm sorry you lost your dear Aunt. You couldn't have known she was so close to the end. Please be gentle with yourself.

Sadly, like others, my skids didn't utter a word when my Mom passed. They both knew her. And, while I don't equate a beloved family member to a beloved pet, I lost two within a couple months. Nothing then either. In both cases, condolences from strangers were more heartfelt.

Now that their Dad is having serious health issues, their silence is even more deafening. It's really painful. 

SMto2's picture

Thank you SO MUCH for all your kind words. It really does help to know others relate and understand. Your stories really touched me. I hope to find time this weekend to come back and comment individually, but I wanted to let you know how much they mean to me. I'm spending tomorrow continuing the grueling task of cleaning out my aunt's house to get it ready to sell, so I need all the emotional support I can get. XOXOXO