My parents are getting divorced. They separated nearly two years ago.
When they split, my mum received one phone call from her mother-in-law (my grandmother) to ask how she was and that was it. Nothing since. She has heard nothing from anyone on my father's side of the family. I often ask my grandmother to call her but she will not. She says it would be "awkward".
I do not speak to my father for various reasons pertaining to the divorce and his attitude. He often tries to contact me and leaves messages, often asking me to contact my grandmother.
A few months ago my uncle (father's brother) accidentally called my mum. There was an awkward pause when he realised and he hung up. He did not ask how she was or engage in any small talk.
Recently my uncle has been diagnosed with cancer (I don't know anything more than that) which my father told my mum about.
At the weekend my father messaged me and asked me to contact my grandmother, as he often does. I replied to say that relationships work two ways and perhaps she should contact me from time to time, or even contact my mum who feels as though she has been excluded from everything through no fault of her own.
He replied to say he was stunned I could say that and that if my mum had told me that his brother was "very ill with cancer" then surely the automatic reaction would be for us to contact his brother.
My question is this. Do you think my mum and I are being unreasonable by not contacting my uncle? As far as I'm concerned, I don't really want anything to do with my father's family for the way they have treated my mum. No one contacts her, she's not heard a word from anyone for two years. I keep in touch with my grandmother but only distantly. I feel that she needs to call my mum, text, email, whichever and just say hello. Ask how she is. Take an interest, but the longer she leaves it the harder it will be. My mum is being fairly stubborn in not making contact herself, but I'm inclined to agree that as it was my dad who left, his mother should make the "first" contact for a little while to see how she is getting on.
Last time I saw my grandmother I cried when I told her how this affected my mum. That my mum has been diagnosed as depressed and is drinking more than she used to - In fact, she never used to drink at all. To me, that is the time that my grandmother should have picked up the phone and asked how she was. But nothing.