Monthly Archives: December 2014

Resolve Things With Your Parents Before They Die

Today’s post is Part 5 of 5, Helen’s story about her mother’s last days in my book, Final Years Stories of Parent Care, Loss and Lives ChangedPart 1 of my Chapter 5 excerpt can be read on my blog here: Mom’s Final Act Hurts Those Left BehindPart 2 can be read at this link: Mom’s Final Act Hurts Those Left Behind (Part 2), Part 3 here: Nothing Was Ever Enough, and Part 4 here: Kids Shocked When 3 Million Dollar Inheritance Goes to Charity.

I Had No Attachment to Her House

Bunsen Kairns house 2011What was clearing out her home like for you?

“Clearing out her house wasn’t emotional; I had no attachment to this house or the stuff in it. It’s the house we grew up in, and as an adult when I visited, the memories weren’t all that pleasant.

We all pitched in.  Every now and then there was something that one of us wanted, but not much.  There was no conflict among us.  My daughter was so upset over what happened that she wanted nothing.  One grandchild wanted some things and I said that all of the grandchildren should have some things then.  One brother hired a mover to take the furniture.  When I left, the feeling was surreal—that’s the only word I can use.”

Resolving Her Grief is a Complicated Process

Are you able to move on, to resolve your grief and feelings of betrayal?

“I feel sort of stuck right now.  I’m really sad for my mom for her inability to love all of her life. And I’m angry at what she did to us and the position she put my daughter in.  It was just such a shock. It’s hard to really grieve for her when this was her last act towards us.”

Helen doesn’t feel that her grief is normal because of her anger. She is considering seeing a therapist to help with her anger. 

Might you have felt differently had your mother shared with you all ahead of time her plans to leave her money to charity, and her reasons for doing so?  For example, if this had really been something in her heart that she wanted to do?

P1040770Helen agreed it would have felt much more acceptable if she had sat them down and explained what she was doing and why.

Are you certain it was a hateful act?  Was your mom philanthropic when she was alive? Could there have been a positive motivation?

“No,” she said, with soft emphasis and sadness in her voice.  I could hear bewilderment in Helen’s tone, as though she is still trying to figure it out.

“I talked to one of her closest friends of 50 years to try to gain some understanding of why Continue reading