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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.