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Old Feb 15, '12, 11:04 am
CES1973 CES1973 is offline
Observing Member
Join Date: May 13, 2011
Posts: 2
Religion: Catholic
Default What are my duties to my recently widowed sister-in-law?

I'm a single Catholic guy in my late 30s. My only sibling brother who was 40 years old died a week ago. I'm still grieving over our mother's death last year and my father's death a few years before. It just seems like a pile up of emotions. My brother and sister-in-law had no children. She has never worked in her life and stayed at home. She has been provided for very well in the past.

After my brother's rosary, the priest spoke to me in private. He reminded me about the old testament and Jewish tradition about single brother taking over as in matrimony. I told the priest bluntly, it will NEVER happen. I became so sick that I threw up outside the funeral home over the thought.

She has an older sister and her brother-in-law as well as grown nephews. I have no one left in my family but my uncle who is mentally challenged and I care for at home. I have my own business and have to work as well.

I paid the utilities at my brother's home last week. I might be able to continue doing that. My sorrow and grief is heavy and my way of dealing with it is through Christ and our Catholic faith. I just can't console my sister-in-law in the way she needs consoling. I know financially, I will not be able to provide for her like my brother did. When was recently around her, I felt like I was going to loose my mind, I just can't deal with my own grief and be there for my uncle who really needs me and my sister-in-law. What should I do???
Old Feb 15, '12, 2:17 pm
Fr. Vincent Serpa Fr. Vincent Serpa is offline
Catholic Answers Apologist
Join Date: May 4, 2004
Posts: 4,937

Dear friend,

We are not under Old Testament tradition. The priest’s words were highly in appropriate. You are not responsible for your sister-law’s welfare. You already have your hands full with your uncle. She has family.

What should you do? Do what you can. If you can give her some financial help, then do it. But it is not your responsibility to financially support her. She is and adult and is responsible for herself. If you should want to communicate with me further, just click on my name and you can write me privately. You are in our prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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my widowed sister in law.

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