Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Brother Love

In my post entitled Toxic Church I shared how stressed and anxious I had been at the thought of attending my mother's funeral because of my brother and sister-in-law's shunning of me.

My SIL quite pointedly maintained this position, turning sharply away from me at the funeral. She even told another person that I was the one refusing to talk to her. I considered confronting her over this lie, but there are only so many times you can beg someone to deal with issues between you.

However, my brother did approach me later at the wake, and gave me a quick hug. I felt wary and confused, but inwardly hopeful. I asked him if this meant we were now talking. When he tried to assure me that we'd "always been talking", I told him that this hadn't felt like the reality I'd experienced.

But I really wanted him to know how much I'd valued his overture of friendship, so I said to him as we leaving, "If we are talking, can we have coffee together?" He responded positively, so I asked him to call me to set a date.

I came away hopeful that at least he and I might be able to restore relationship. Sadly, I've heard nothing from him in the weeks since.

As much as I want to see a different outcome, I know I can't control him or make him want to have relationship with me. So I choose to set him free.

I just hope that somewhere, deep down inside he knows this truth:


  1. Did you try calling him? I get annoyed when a friend or family member suggests a get together, and then puts the burden back on me regarding timing. The message I get it, "You want to meet, but you want me to do the work of making sure it happens? No thank you."

    Of course, I understand that there may have been special reasons for this arrangement - so please forgive me if my comment seems uncaring.

    1. Perfectly reasonable question, James :)

      In the context of my brother and SIL, I've been judged (on someone else's say-so), shunned, lied about, and verbally attacked. I've asked them multiple times in the past to meet with me and talk things through but they wouldn't do so. I love my brother, but I no longer have any basis on which to trust him or believe what he says. That is why I deliberately asked him to ring me. I wanted to know if he meant what he had said to or whether it was just hollow words. He was free to follow through on what he'd agreed, or continue to say one thing and do another. But nobody can just keep believing words spoken when actions don't add up. So I choose to set him free and be at peace myself :)

  2. I figured you probably had your reasons. :-)