My dad has been terminally ill for a while. It's progressed to the point that he's bed-ridden, though he can communicate fine. I just traveled to visit for a few days, and it was pretty rough. My dad walked out when I was a baby. I had no relationship with him until the end of my college years. I tried to have a friendly relationship, but when I was 25, he was diagnosed with cancer. This has been off and on now for 5 years.
I went to see him and to take my kids, who I'm assuming will not see him again. (We live 700 miles away.) He has not been forthcoming with me about his prognosis, though I know roughly what's going on. My brother (different moms, but also not around when my brother was a kid) lives with him. They've lived together for 3 years or so.
My brother is overwhelmed, though. He works full-time, and he's spending all of his free time caring for my dad. Everyone seems to think that I should stop my life and go down there to stay with him.
I am feeling okay with the fact that I *don't* want to do that. My dad was grouchy when I was there. That's understandable, but seriously. This is a man who did NOTHING for me during my entire childhood. It was weird and uncomfortable. I am worried, though, about how to handle everyone else - the relatives who think I should go, my mother who is inserting herself into this situation despite her 30-year hatred of the man.
I don't know what I'm looking for. I'm just wondering, I suppose, how to really come to terms with the fact that I don't want to be there to take care of him. Or to be told that I'm being completely selfish. There are no do-overs. I know that, but after being there for 4 days, I realized that I won't regret that I didn't care for him in the end. I've gone. I've said good-bye.
My husband & I don't have a problem hiring household help or sending things if they're needed. His estate is going to be an absolute mess after he dies, and I don't think that my brother wants to be the one to worry about all of the legalities associated with his personal or business assets. I know that I will take the bulk of that role on, and that's fine with me. I just don't want to leave my brother is a really bad situation, either.