Re: need advice on how to cope with relatives after a loss
Okay Gypsy, you asked for 'advice' and here it is.
Do not give anyone the rights to make you feel a certain way. the only responsible thing you can do is: go to the memorial, forget the day and what it was and hold your head up high.
Tell your mother to do the same but not to change who she is, how she is or what she can give another for any reason. Grieve in her own way not according to the rules of others.
I am concerned because my sister is a needy person. My mother and Sister were at an airport to leave for vacation on our fateful day of 9/11. While they were affected by the airport lock down and eventual evacuation of the facility, they weren't in any danger because they had never gone further than the boarding area. When I got out of work that day, I went home by going in their back door and out their front door into my front door (duplex style house). Walking through I said, well I'm glad you are okay (because all day she kept calling my voicemail to tell me that no one was telling them anything). So I said, Glad you are okay and nothing more. 2 weeks later sister comes over and sitting in my living room suddenly bursts into tears. When I asked what's wrong, she was angry at me because I didn't run in and quickly hug her and my mother saying "oh, I'm so glad you didn't die" or other such nonsense. I said I didn't run in but I at least came through. Whiel I knew they were okay, why would I do anything else I could see they were okay. She replied "yes, but there was a chance we wouldn't have been alright, we could've been on the plane that was hyjacked".
Now i dread when Mother dies. She's going to want hugging and stroking. She's not going to be able to pick herself up and dust herself off. I lost my husband in 2005 and due to life, was back at work in 3 weeks although I took to my bed every night and weekend for the first year.
I will not be able to hold her and comfort her like she's probably going to desire. Its just not my nature. I give hugs and kisses but i don't stroke, coddle, etc anyone and know I have no patience. She wanted to hug me, hold me, cling to me when my husband died. We all lived together in one house --two separate residences under one roof but I didn't need a body clinging to me in my personal space. My kids and I just needed each other. We'd go separately and grieve and then come together and cry over something but we didn't sit together, walk together, hug, and cling to each other.
So in your case the advice is: Just let all the comments roll off. When they find they no longer hit their target, your grandmother and aunt will either decrease it (notice i didn't say stop it,), or move onto something else.
You just move on.