This is a story about the way my uncle treated my parents, and I'm curious to hear other's reactions to what happened:
To give some background, my grandmother, my father's mother and a widow, had dementia during the last year of her life and she deteriorated badly. She was unable to handle her financial affairs or keep up her home, and yet she insisted she would not leave her house for any kind of senior-living center. Her doctor was of no help in providing mental health or elder care, and so it fell to my parents to take care of her because they lived closest to her. But close was not actually close - it was a 120-mile roundtrip from their house to her house, and they had to drive through Manhattan and Queens to get to her, so the drive could take anywhere from 1.5 hours to over 3 hours each way. Towards the end, my parents were going out to her house every weekend, doing repairs, shopping for her, taking her to doctors appointments, etc. My mother became co-signer on her bank accounts because she could not otherwise be trusted to handle her own money. In the end my grandmother had to be carried out of her home on a stretcher, ranting and raving because she was so far gone mentally, and she was eventually placed in hospice care near my parents. During that time my mother visited her every single day until she died, right around Christmas. During the whole time she was sick, neither of my father's siblings (my aunt and uncle) ever came to visit my grandmother.
Upon her death, my parents found out that they were the executors of her will. This meant that not only did they have to disburse her money, they were also responsible for selling her house. The will stipulated that all my grandmother's assets be divided up equally between her three children. My parents decided that, because the house sale might take awhile, they would initially divide up the money in the bank and send my aunt and uncle a check, and then when the house was sold they would send out additional checks to divide up all the remaining money.
All the financial affairs were finally settled up in the summer, around the time that my uncle was getting married. My parents decided that they would enclose the final check to my uncle in the card they were giving to him for his wedding. My mom folded it inside and included a little note that said, "I know you mom would have wanted you to have this."
After he got back from his honeymoon, my uncle sent my parents an email thanking them for going to the wedding and then wrote, "I'm curious, why did you write that about Mom? Did she ever tell you something along those lines?" My mom emailed him back and explained that no, she'd just written that because she had planned to give him the rest of the money and thought it would be a nice note to include.
Well, my uncle fired back an email taking my mom to task. He said that what she wrote was hurtful and disrespectful, if in fact my grandmother had never actually said those words, and how could she think of doing a thing like that at his wedding? The email was so harsh that it made my mom cry, and she and my father took a months-long moratorium on communicating with my uncle because they were so upset by what he had written.
I was angry at him on her behalf - after all, she and my father had spent so much time, and been under so much stress, being the sole caretakers of my grandmother, when he hadn't done anything at all to help out. Not only was what he wrote rude in itself, but I felt it was especially galling that he was lambasting the people who had taken on the burden of caring for his mother without any of his help. We've all moved on since then, but I'm still pretty unwilling to forge anything more than a surface relationship with my uncle because he never apologized, and I think this is indicative of the type of person he is.