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Thoughts on being the last living sibling.............

Started 1311652458.377 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1311795876.99 by JuicyFruit

My mother lost her younger sister a few years ago (at age 76) and now her older brother died last week at age 84. There were just the 3 of them.

Coincidently, their mother was one of three siblings and they all died in birth order at the age of 86.

Mom is now 81 and I worry about how this affects her mentally and emotionally. She survived brest, brain & lung cancer several years ago. I'm afraid she's going to have the age of 86 in her mind like some sort of expiration date.

Am I being silly? She had me later in life and my kids are still young....she's still needed around here. {#emotions_dlg.wub}



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taffy apple1311653258.353618 PostsRegistered 1/2/2008Illinois

I've thought about these things too. I'm the oldest of 3 children, and it's hard to think that one of us will be the first to go. And as you pointed out, it doesn't always happen in order. My brother recently had a cancer scare (it wasn't) but it made me wonder who in our family will be left alone. Sad to think about....

leehare1311659197.0131805 PostsRegistered 4/7/2010

I am the last living sibling - my beloved brothers both died of cancer-different kinds, as did my dad-another cancer. Age is relative-one brother in early 40s, one just recently in early sixties-both older than me but way to soon.

It makes things very different-no one to say "remember when we did..." with, and now mom is my sole responsibility(no complaints) but a lot to take care of--and of course it is heart breaking to hear mom remember her boys.

Just reassure your mom that she is indeed needed, and that we are not in charge of "The Plan"--since she has been blessed to survive so much, there is surely a wonderful reason she is here, and hopefully for a long time.

humpty dum­pty1311660324.564088 PostsRegistered 8/19/2007Western PA

My mother and father are gone ... I had 4 brothers and one sister ... they are all gone ... I am the sole survivor of what I once thought of as a dynasty ... what a lonely feeling ...

I have 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren ... I adore all of them ... but it really is a strange feeling when you have no one left that you grew up with ...

- Good enough is good enough!! -

ellsbeth1311662518.93153 PostsRegistered 7/13/2006N.Y.S.

Not willing to let myself even think about losing either of my siblings. Just can't go there.




Remember... Ginger did it backwards and in heels!

kitkom1311678463.5535646 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

My mom lost her sister and both her brothers years before she died. Being the last surviving sibling didn't bother her at all. She was quite proud that she lived so many more years. My mom died at the age of 86 too. Weird huh.

"Happiness is Lake Charlevoix!"

MISERABLE661311679435.3934858 PostsRegistered 12/7/2010Noo Yawk

Youre not being silly. Your concern is a valid one. I would say keep those kids involved in her life as much as possible so that shes happy and not focused on an expiration date.

"Being miserable and treating people like dirt, is every New Yorkers god given right." - The mayor from Ghostbusters 2

brandiwine1311685081.632469 PostsRegistered 11/9/2006Colorado

As we go through life our attitude about death changes. My DH and I both lost our mothers very early (his mom was 47) from heart attacks. It has been my experience that in later years when siblings, friends, and spouses die, there is great sadness, but a quicker acceptence. They can have serious depression issues. We found our son brought the most comfort to my FIL. We made time for each other and have done that with an aunt that never had kids. Keep in as close contact as you can and always let them know you love them.

ratdog1111311687140.10314924 PostsRegistered 10/27/2008

"Survivor's Guilt" is a real phenomenon.

But, unless your mom is showing signs of depression or aniety about death, she is probably fine.

Many people (especially in their later years) accept death as part of life.

Keep involved and active in her life and keep her active in your life and in your kid's lives.

She will see that she is valued and loved and has a purpose for her long life.

circles1311687431.41717885 PostsRegistered 5/11/2005N.J.

Just the thought of losing my brother or sister makes me cry...there are only the three of us and we are up in age....

kaybee1311704940.728448 PostsRegistered 7/3/2006Wisconsin

Thanks for all of your nice replies.

Mom lives across the street from my kids' school and my oldest takes her grocery shopping and usually stops in to see her daily.



esmerelda1311705605.2814409 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Why would she be concerned about 86? Her siblings died at 76 and 84. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

Nothing fuels bravery more than the lack of the will to live. ~Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932: A Novel (Francine Prose)

doxiemom 41311705682.32727472 PostsRegistered 12/30/2008NJ-FL

My father and brother are gone, my mom is very ill......When her time comes it will just be me, out of the four of us.

Holly Noel 7/11/97 1/22/11 RIP My Sweet Angel
Annie Oakley 12/7/00 - 8/26/12, Another Angel.








heartkeeper1311706179.8271959 PostsRegistered 1/27/2007

You said you are afraid that your mother will get stuck on that age. You didn't say your mother was afraid. I think we all realize the end comes for all of us in no particular order and that being a last surviving sibling doesn't mean we have a hard time with being the last one alive. I guess it depends on the person, but some people are ready to go on; it doesn't frighten them.

The last surviving sibling should make the most of his/her days with the people he/she loves--just like the rest of us should do. Cherish each day and the people in our lives.

happy hous­ewife1311706521.5833158 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

i'm sure that by the time a person is into their 80s they have lost loved ones and friends and they are very aware of their own mortality. I think you are dreading her passing one day and are projecting that.I also think that everyone who gets to be elderly at some point starts to hope for an end to it all.Growing old is not for the weak.

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

kaybee1311707438.5378448 PostsRegistered 7/3/2006Wisconsin
On 7/26/2011 esmerelda said:

Why would she be concerned about 86? Her siblings died at 76 and 84. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

Reread my post. Specifically about my grandmother and her siblings ALL dying at that age.

Well...the meanies are out for the day so I will abandon this thread.....good day all.



terrier31311707512.08328969 PostsRegistered 7/13/2007

My aunt is the last living sibling out of 15. She is now 78.

She was 8 years younger than #14 - a surprise for my grandmother's 45th birthday!

She could never have children of her own and my uncle passed at 68.

I talk to her every day and see her at least once a week. But I know it's not the same - she had a close bond with my mom and misses having people around who "remember when".

It's tough any way you look at it!

Epicurean1311707523.9131558 PostsRegistered 8/19/2005

my parents, sisters, aunts & uncles are all gone. thankfully I have a great husband, children & grand kids. sometimes I still feel like an orphan. but I do have contact with niece's, nephews and great Niece's and nephews. sometimes I feel guilty for being well, as both my sisters died from B/C.

Death is a part of life. we don't have to like it, but must accept it.

qvcfreak1311707928.6076201 PostsRegistered 3/14/2005

My Mom just passed away in January, she was the 4th child of 6 and the first to go. Funny thing, the rest of her siblings have all been fighting illnesses for many years, Grandfather passed away at the age of 98 and we thought Mom would probably have a long life, but she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and sadly died 2 yrs and 5 mos from diagnosis.

I had a friend who's sister passed away, they were a large family and they were the last two. She was so sad and I'll never forget her saying "she was the last person I could talk to about our childhood". Very sad.

terrier31311709449.18728969 PostsRegistered 7/13/2007
On 7/26/2011 qvcfreak said:

My Mom just passed away in January, she was the 4th child of 6 and the first to go. Funny thing, the rest of her siblings have all been fighting illnesses for many years, Grandfather passed away at the age of 98 and we thought Mom would probably have a long life, but she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and sadly died 2 yrs and 5 mos from diagnosis.

I had a friend who's sister passed away, they were a large family and they were the last two. She was so sad and I'll never forget her saying "she was the last person I could talk to about our childhood". Very sad.

That is just how my aunt feels.

My son and I try to get her to open up and share the stories with us...so we can continue to cherish their memories.

RedHeadedW­ench1311709884.139404 PostsRegistered 10/1/2006
I am the last living sibling in my family...my sister passed when she was only 23, and I'm it. There is nothing I can do about it, it's just the way it is. None of us have control over this. My mom has I TP, and was only given 2-3 years to live. She has lasted 7. Cherish the time you a have now, because you never know.

Be kind to dragons, for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.
-------

Lottina1311710304.121370 PostsRegistered 6/19/2007Georgia
On 7/25/2011 kaybee said:

Coincidently, their mother was one of three siblings and they all died in birth order at the age of 86.

Mom is now 81 and I worry about how this affects her mentally and emotionally. She survived brest, brain & lung cancer several years ago. I'm afraid she's going to have the age of 86 in her mind like some sort of expiration date.

Am I being silly? She had me later in life and my kids are still young....she's still needed around here. {#emotions_dlg.wub}

kaybee, I know exactly what you are talking about. My mother died a number of years ago (actually in 1994). I remember that because everyone of her relatives that lived to old age, died at age 82. Honestly, it was on my mind for several years that she would do the same thing. I think she thought so also. However, it did not happen. She lived until age 89. You never can predict those things, I know now.

Just enjoy what you get and it may be more than you think.

Lottina

esmerelda1311713162.814409 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 7/26/2011 kaybee said:
On 7/26/2011 esmerelda said:

Why would she be concerned about 86? Her siblings died at 76 and 84. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

Reread my post. Specifically about my grandmother and her siblings ALL dying at that age.

Well...the meanies are out for the day so I will abandon this thread.....good day all.

I could understand better if she was one of your grandmother's siblings as she (your g'mother) and her siblings died at that age. She is not.

I agree with morning lover...you are dreading (understandable) and projecting (unproductive).

Meanies? You're kidding, right?

Nothing fuels bravery more than the lack of the will to live. ~Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932: A Novel (Francine Prose)

Andrewsgra­ndma1311714445.243736 PostsRegistered 9/2/2006Phx

My mom's mom died at 74. Her sons died at the same age. One daughter died at 60. These are all health related deaths, heart. My mom is 79, still doing o.k. her only health issues are self warranted, she is very sedentary, always has been, won't follow any drs. orders. Oldest sis is going to be 90 in Dec. So you just never know. 90 yr. old is doing really good, can't walk but that is due to polio that she had as a child.She is still mentally intact. Like I said, you can't predict. My dad,79, healthy as a horse physically, doesn't even need glasses,he has alzheimers. He was the one I thought would go to 100.

GoodStuff1311715700.3715726 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

Yes, it's kinda hard to think about, but I guarantee it: We and our siblings will all die in one way or another, at times we don't plan, in an order not of our choosing. The important thing is to love and enjoy one another while we're alive, live life fully, and be ready to go when your name is called.

My mom was the youngest of twelve children. She is now 88, suffering from Alzheimer's, the last living sibling. Is it good that she often can't remember that her siblings or parents are gone or that she's the only one left? For several years, she (the youngest) and one of her brothers (the oldest) were the last two living members of that immediate family. Her brother finally died at age 103! You just never know!

wildcherry1311728163.7133622 PostsRegistered 11/23/2005

I think if someone finds themselves left alone after parents and siblings die, a good support system of friends, children and maybe grandchildren would really help to keep them able to go on. What else can you do?

OP, your last sentence says it all about the fact that your mother is still needed. As long as she knows that, she should be fine. Smile

Last edited on 7/26/2011

Last edited on 7/26/2011

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