My mother died before I could make amends

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Helene
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My mother died before I could make amends

Post by Helene » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:57 pm

My Mum died a few days ago. We had a sporadic relationship all through my upbringing and I truly believe although she loved me she didn't like me much. 35 years ago we had a massive argument over money she invested in me which I paid her back. Her investment doubled in 12 months but she wouldn't speak to me or my children for 15 years. My sister has surported our mother and also did not speak to me and prevented her 3 children from keeping in touch with me or their cousins. Eventually we broke the ice and began family life again So for the last 15 years I was so happy I had my family again. Unfortunately this wasn't to last. My mother told me one day she had cut me and my boys out of her will and that she would never forgive me and go to her grave a happy woman. I have just celebrated my one year sobriety birthday and am very proud of myself. I have now a sponsor and am doing step 2 work. I was waiting until my step 8/9 before approaching my mum again but sadly she died and am now at a loss of what to do. My sister who is sole beneficiary has turned her back on me once more and is keeping me away from mums house but said I'm welcome to attend the funeral. Can anyone advise on my dilemma.

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Blue Moon
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by Blue Moon » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:54 pm

Helene wrote:My Mum died a few days ago. We had a sporadic relationship all through my upbringing and I truly believe although she loved me she didn't like me much. 35 years ago we had a massive argument over money she invested in me which I paid her back. Her investment doubled in 12 months but she wouldn't speak to me or my children for 15 years. My sister has surported our mother and also did not speak to me and prevented her 3 children from keeping in touch with me or their cousins. Eventually we broke the ice and began family life again So for the last 15 years I was so happy I had my family again. Unfortunately this wasn't to last. My mother told me one day she had cut me and my boys out of her will and that she would never forgive me and go to her grave a happy woman. I have just celebrated my one year sobriety birthday and am very proud of myself. I have now a sponsor and am doing step 2 work. I was waiting until my step 8/9 before approaching my mum again but sadly she died and am now at a loss of what to do. My sister who is sole beneficiary has turned her back on me once more and is keeping me away from mums house but said I'm welcome to attend the funeral. Can anyone advise on my dilemma.
Sorry for your loss.

I'm unclear what amends you think you have to make at this time. If it can wait until you're on Step 9, that should be fine. Anything which genuinely needs dealing with more urgently, you can deal with, but most often it's best if we try not to push our own agenda. You should be proud of your sobriety, and make that the most important thing in life. Without sobriety, you don't have much chance at anything else anyway. If your sister chooses to remain bitter, that is her choice. It's really not easy to deal with loved ones who are perhaps also spiritually sick, whether they be family or close friends. All we can really each do is be true to self, first and foremost. We let others see through our actions that we are willing to change for the better. If they choose not to see it, that's on them.

I would go to the funeral, but try to keep a low profile. Try to have no expectations (good or bad), and have an exit strategy in case things get too stressful. Again, sobriety needs to come first. If you need to leave early and your sister doesn't like it, well that's just too bad, you need to do what you need to do.

Grief does funny things to people. Sometimes it brings families closer together. Other times it pushes them apart. Who knows what the future might bring? So stay sober, and just stay open to opportunities to rekindle good connections. Meanwhile, focus on the steps will help, I would press ahead with those as that's AA's path to recovery.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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Brock
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by Brock » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:34 pm

When we say things like ‘this too will pass,’ it sounds kind of hollow in situations like these, but it’s good to remember that time will heal these emotional wounds. From your description of what took place during the last 35 or so years, it’s difficult to see any fault on your part, be careful and try not to develop a resentment against your sister, although this may be difficult, as was said it’s best to think of certain people as spiritually sick, one day they may see the error in their behavior.

If I was in your position I would also try to go to the funeral, if you believe in prayer perhaps say a prayer for your mum and wish her eternal rest. I also failed to make amends to my mum, and at step nine I wrote her a letter and burnt it, as the smoke rose I said a prayer and felt it was a good amends I made.

I wish you the very best, and wish I could think of more comforting words to write, at times like these we online AA’s might wish we were face to face, so we can better express our sympathy and best wishes.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Spirit Flower
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by Spirit Flower » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:33 am

My mother was an active alcoholic who barred me from her life after I got sober and after I sent a letter of amends (I lived a long ways away). I wrote the letter of amends according to my sponsor but somehow, my mother hated it and told me to go away. Then she got cancer but didn't tell me and passed away. I did go to her funeral. Then I went to counseling for a little after her death. Then and now, I make living amends to her memory.
...a score card reading zero...

Helene
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by Helene » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:22 pm

Thank you so much for your replies. I did go to my mother's funeral with my two sons (who helped) carry the coffin. I had no invitation to help organise it and consequently it was a humanist funeral. We kept our dignity throughout, spent an hour or so at the wake and left. It may sound selfish but as you said, my sobriety came first. My alcoholic sister commented on my not drinking so as she doesn't know about my sobriety I just said I was driving. It's 35 miles from my home town. I believe me & the boys handled it really well in the end taking in the comments by yourselves. It really did help so thank you once again. I have not heard from my sister since the funeral and although I'm heartbroken in one respect, I'm hopeful for the future and am grateful for all that I do have in my life.

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Brock
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by Brock » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:49 am

It’s nice of you to let us know how it went, very glad that things turned out quite well.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by PaigeB » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:20 pm

Difficult times come in chunks. It will remain linked to people like your sister and to holidays and special occasions. This will likely not pass completely. It might be more like a sleeping toddler, so don't worry about reaching out when it wakes up. No matter what kind of sobriety you have on any given day or what kind relationship you had or whether or not you made amends.. It may very likely wake up. Time helps and the thought come less and less often - not always with a feeling of serenity. Reach out to your AA people or to your religious leader when it pops up.

There is no shame. Shame is an illusion of the mind. The Big Book offers a solution that I use when I have deep feelings about my Dad. #1 - I really should write about it and I still have not. I am not ready to get rid of my grief and sadness.(?) It doesn't exactly fit a 4th Step Inventory or defects of character, but I can do an inventory of sorts on it. However, in our daily living - which is where I FEEL these things and where I must deal with these things - it is addressed in a 10th Step solution. It is right after the Promises on page 84:
We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.

All we need to do is turn our thoughts* from the negative chaos of the mind to altruistic ideas and future actions that help someone besides ourselves. Ask for someone to listen or for any help you need. This is an inner journey and people cannot always know what we need until we say it aloud.

*Meditation helps with this. Meditation is the active practice of changing one's mind from chaos to calm. Think of one word (Love) for 2 minutes twice a day - perhaps at prayer time. 2 minutes is harder than it sounds... start slow here though and work up to 5 minutes. Just slowly repeat the word and only the word, draw it out in calmness. Loooovvve. When your mind wanders, AND IT WILL, don't worry about it - instead laugh about it and bring back your one word in calmness. NOTE: It is good to set a gong timer in and a gong timer out at 2 minutes. Most phones have this option but maybe a low ping or something. Even an egg timer across the room under a pillow will work. You don't want an alarming alarm here ~ Meditation is an act of Loving Kindness to yourself and to others.

The practical usage of this will be the ability to be walking down the hall at work with negative racing thoughts when one day very early in your practice, you will be able to close your eyes for a quick second and think Loovvee. It might just work be the the Pause (bottom of page 87) necessary to get your day back on track!


I wish Peace for you and your family. Be gentle with yourself during this difficult time. Remember to practice Love & Tolerance for yourself and for others.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

tomsteve
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by tomsteve » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:30 am

there were amends i wasnt able to make directly. for those i wrote a letter, went out in the woods,read it, prayed on it, then burned the letters- i put it all in Gods hands.
seemed to work pretty good for me.

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positrac
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Re: My mother died before I could make amends

Post by positrac » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:27 am

Sorry for the horrific loss of your mother, and extended family. You are fragile in this stage of early sobriety and no words can help ease the pain. If nothing else please don't go out because of "them" as then they will control you in a bad way! Rise above this occasion and press on with life.

I've been sober a long time to some and a pup to the real old timers; I had a issue with money with my dad and it was a fair chunk of change! I had tried to bury my issue and make it a gift and I did for many years until my mother passed back in 2006. My dad calls me foaming at the mouth calling me a thief! Nuff said and I stayed away and several years ago we had a falling out and I stormed out of the house and cooled down and came back. My dad was like me upset and didn't want this to end as it started. I mentioned my brother and asked how much did he give to you when you needed it? Goose egg! So he said I'll give the whole estate to you and I said leave it like you have it. Following week he passed and I was shocked as I knew I'd never see him again and yet I hadn't mentally prepared for this shock. We left of in peace and I think he was waiting around for me to mend our differences as he and I are very much alike except he drank up to the end.

Money is a nasty animal and it brings out the very worst in us all! I look at your situation as screw it I'm outta here and you can keep it and watch satan darken your sister's door because of her greed! (Not in a I told you so way, just being greedy and nasty) You have yourself and your kids and all you can do is be honest, but don't bash the family and try very hard to be the better person. I am so sorry for your loss and for me my mother hasn't been in my memories as I made my tearful amends and goodbye and to the very end she never could give up her Scottish ways of being cold. She loved me but had no means to totally make me feel special as her son.

I didn't drink and I just held my wits and never shed a tear in public as I had to be the sturdy oak during her funeral.

Please keep the plug in the jug and stay around the winners in the rooms and work your steps. If necessary write a letter to your mother and let it all out and then burn it as a means to make amends and when you get to the real amends portion in the steps you can have a clearer mind of events and it'll maybe allow you to heal. Just suggestions and nothing more.

Cheers
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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