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Thread: condolence to wife on death of estranged brother

  1. #1
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    condolence to wife on death of estranged brother

    I have been estranged from a half brother for several decades. We had a brief reconciliation when my mother passed. I have no ill will tohis wife or family. He is critically ill. He has had paranoid tendencies and anger management problems that have caused has caused problems in his social relationships throughout his life, but failed to address these issues These problems also caused long term estrangementsbetween him and our mother prior to herdeath. It is sad for me because I feel I have been deprived of anormal sibling relationship. He lives a great distance from me and Iwill not attend the funeral, and am unsure of how to best handle mycondolences to his wife and children when the inevitable occurs. What would be the best way to approach this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    How about a letter to him before he passes saying the positive things you remember (appreciating the moment of reconciliation) and closing with your regret that you never had the opportunity to be closer.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    How about a letter to him before he passes saying the positive things you remember (appreciating the moment of reconciliation) and closing with your regret that you never had the opportunity to be closer.
    +1 This way his family sees and knows this as well.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    I think to answer this you have to ask yourself if you want to try to reconcile with your brother before he passes.
    If so, send a letter. If not, then make socially appropriate condolences to his family after his passing.

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    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I say do whatever you feel you can live with. Don't regret later.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

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    I agree with SM.

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    There are no do-overs. Your action needs to take care of you so that you'll always be OK with your decision.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I don’t see that the OP is asking in any way about reconciling with the dying brother.

    The question at hand is HOW or IF to offer condolences to his family when he is gone. OP, since this is an issue in front of your thinking, that tells me that you would like to take some action. You could write to his wife a condolence card that covers these points:

    1. You know that his death is a big loss for his family and they are missing him, and you are sorry for their grief and sadness
    2. You are sad to have missed out on a good relationship with him –

    These are sincere expressions and you don’t have to lie about how you didn’t like him or think he’s a creep, You don’t have to mention what a jerk he was at all.

    Add in closing

    3.You will be thinking about them in the days ahead as they work through their grief in his absence… Blah blah blah…


    This letter is true to you, but also communicates with his wife.

    you are under no obligation to make nice with him while he is still alive if you do not want to do that.

  9. #9
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    I think you should send his wife a condolence card after his death (and one to each of his children, too, if he has any) just to let them know that they are in your thoughts during this difficult time.

    If it's true, you can say that even though you had been estranged in recent years, you still have fond childhood memories of your brother, and share a positive story about him from your past. People who have recently lost a loved one often take comfort from the memories of others, and sharing some kind words will indicate to his family that you are sorry things had to be the way they were.
    The more you know, the less you need.

  10. #10
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    First glad you came to ask us, great group of people who love to help.

    I think Iris Lillies & Tea's thoughts are very well worded.

    Hopefully their words will help you put your own thoughts and
    feelings in notes to his family.
    Take care...all loss is hard.

    p.s. the only Notes I have ever regretted are the ones I didn't write.

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