Earlier this week, Alaskan Bush People star Ami Brown lost her mom, and reports say that the 53-year-old was “devastated” that they didn’t get the opportunity to reunite before her mother’s death. Now, the Discovery Channel personality’s brother, Les Branson is opening about their relationship and sharing that their mom, Earlene Branson, felt pretty much the same way. But he doesn’t blame Ami for the fact that the two women hadn’t seen each other in almost 40 years. He’s blaming her husband, Billy Brown.

“All [our mom] wanted was to see Ami one more time. She never got that,” Les exclusively tells In Touch. “[But] my mother never blamed Ami for not contacting her… Before she died, she said, ‘Tell Ami that I forgive her.'” Who she didn’t have forgiveness for was Billy — and neither does Les. “She blamed Billy, that sorry son-of-a-b—h. He prevented his wife from having a relationship with her mother and this broke her heart. She died with a broken heart.”

And there was plenty of hurt before things got to that point, too. “When my mother found out that Ami had cancer and was dying, she tried calling hospitals to find her,” Les shared. “She never gave up hope of trying to have that last conversation with Ami. This broke her heart that she couldn’t get that one conversation. Towards the end of my mother’s life, she had Alzheimer’s as well as pneumonia, and she thought that Ami was dead. We had to remind her that Ami was still alive. She would watch her on TV and she never stopped watching her show.”

He’s not ready to give up on his sister, though. He’s still holding out hope that they might get the chance to reconnect, even if it’s too late for Ami and Earlene. “We would love to have Ami at the funeral on Friday at 2 p.m. There will be a lot of people there that still love Ami very much and she is more than welcome to come and pay her final respects.”

As for Earlene, she may have been missing her daughter in her final days, but she was far from alone. “My mother died of complications due to pneumonia on November 9,” Les shared. “She was at home and surrounded by love when she took her last breath.” May that at least be a comfort to the family.

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