Be­reaved sis­ter is hurt by lack of con­do­lences over brother’s death

The China Post - - LIFE -

DEAR AN­NIE: I am so hurt about the way I was treated dur­ing one of the most dif­fi­cult times in my life. Last week, I lost my dear brother of 59 years to a sud­den heart attack. He had un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions, but the sud­den pass­ing still hit me hard.

My fi­ance and I have lived to­gether for the past four years. We have not yet mar­ried due to fi­nan­cial rea­sons, but his fam­ily, friends and chil­dren all know that we con­sider our­selves life part­ners. I thought I had a good re­la­tion­ship with th­ese peo­ple, in­clud­ing his young adult daugh­ters. I have them over for din­ner sev­eral times a week and help pay for their col­lege tu­itions and cars. Last year, when two of his friends had wed­dings, I took time off of work and paid to travel out of state to at­tend and to take part in wed­ding showers for their chil­dren.

All of th­ese peo­ple are friends with me on Face­book and see ev­ery­thing that is posted about our lives. When my brother died, I posted his obit­u­ary along with de­tails about the fu­neral and visi- tation. My part­ner also told th­ese peo­ple about what hap­pened.

An­nie, not a sin­gle per­son called, texted, sent a card or came to the visi­ta­tion. They didn’t even post “sorry for your loss” on my Face­book page. Th­ese are pro­fes­sional, welle­d­u­cated peo­ple who know how to be­have in so­cial sit­u­a­tions. When my part­ner lost his par­ents within a short time of each other, th­ese same peo­ple were right there for him and his sis­ters. If any of them had lost a sib­ling, I would have brought food, sent flow­ers and called to see how I could help.

I am crushed by the to­tal lack of ac­knowl­edg­ment from any of them, par­tic­u­larly my fi­ance’s daugh­ters. I feel I’ve been an id­iot to con­sider them friends or fam­ily. I’m not even worth a text mes­sage to them. I told my fi­ance that I want noth­ing more to do with th­ese phony peo­ple now that I know how they re­ally feel about me. How should I deal with my anger and re­sent­ment?

— At a Loss in Ohio

Dear Ohio: Our con­do­lences on your loss. We agree that th­ese peo­ple should have ac­knowl­edged your brother’s pass­ing. How­ever, they may not have known him well (or at all) and so felt lit­tle con­nec­tion to your loss. Many peo­ple, even well-ed­u­cated ones, aren’t sure how to re­act to the death of some­one with whom they have only a re­mote third-per­son as­so­ci­a­tion. And when un­sure, they do noth­ing.

Please tell your fi­ance’s daugh­ters and clos­est friends how hurt you were that they did not of­fer con­do­lences, and ex­press your hope that this did not mean they don’t care. We think they will apol­o­gize, and for the sake of your re­la­tion­ship, we hope you can find a way to for­give them. We can as­sure you that it serves no pur­pose to hold a grudge.

DEAR AN­NIE: I have some ad­vice for “Germ-Free,” whose friend never washes his hands be­fore eat­ing. I carry hand san­i­tizer in my purse and pass it around the ta­ble af­ter order­ing. When they see me pull it out, most friends ask to use it. I don’t even have to of­fer. Just be sure to use the kind that is NOT an­tibac­te­rial so you don’t end up with some­thing that pro­motes an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance.

— Haven’t Had a Cold in Years An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@ cre­, or write to: An­nie’ s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA, USA.

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