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Old 02-17-2017, 04:50 PM
 
26,163 posts, read 14,463,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG
Yes, she could easily move in with us, we have 3 empty bedrooms and would be happy to have her, if she would.

I've told her I'd drive the 8 hours to pick her up, any time, even just to stay with us a few days. She said if she came, she would just sit on our couch and cry all day.
Ya she probably would for awhile but having YOU there for support would help her thru this I think.. (You could hug her alot,etc)


Im so sorry.......
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:56 PM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,845,131 times
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I was in her situation about 6 years ago. For me the too-big house was a slow drain
financially but I could afford to make the move slowly.

I sold my place after a few years and love being in a townhouse.
It is so easy to care for and easy to leave & travel when I want to.

I would say it depends on whether the financial situation is
urgent or not. If she can afford to do it gradually then
it gives her time to grieve & slowly work towards
listing the house.

At 2 months she is still in shock and
just taking care of the basics is overwhelming.

If she can just grieve right now without the added stress of selling,
and making huge decisions about what to keep & get rid of and where to go
that would be best.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:05 PM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
1,691 posts, read 667,204 times
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I'm so sorry you are dealing with so much grief and loss at this time. Having lost both parents,my dad when I was only twelve,and my mom much later,I understand what you are feeling.

Three years ago my wife lost her dad when he died (while talking on the phone) due to a massive heart attack. Her mother went into such a tailspin that my wife was never able to properly grieve. Her mother spent the next two years crying and wishing for death so that she could escape her loneliness.

Her husband left her set financially with a home and vehicles paid for,and plenty of money in the bank. Blessed as she was,all she could think about was the loss of her husband of 56 years.

It's now been three years and she has turned into a mean,bitter,resentful person that is acting like a complete stranger. She still wishes she were dead.

The only advice I can share from our experience is probably not what you want or need to hear. Your mom may come around once she has properly grieved,then again she may not. Unfortunately that happens.
May I suggest that you make the time to grieve,even if it means taking time away from mom?
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:47 PM
 
997 posts, read 512,388 times
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I would just go pick her up and bring her home to your house. Let her sit on the couch and cry until she is ready to dry her tears and wash her face.

Have her pack for a trip.

You or your siblings or whoever you can get to help needs to pack up all of her stuff for her and store it somewhere.

This is too overwhelming for her right now, and possibly at any time. Her life and her memories are surrounding her and packing on her own is too hard. The dad's stuff is a reminder of him and she isn't able to do it herself. She shouldn't have to because she can't and you can get that taken care of.

She isn't ready to move forward. She is stuck. That would be fine except that she needs the money from the house. She doesn't want the house. She can't do it herself because she is stuck in the quicksand.

It is hard to sell a house with someone living there. It is easier to just clean it out and spruce it up and sell it asap.

She can find a nice place for herself to live on her own near family. The truth is, she needs that support and she will need it more in the future.

She is lucky that you love her and want her to be near you. She isn't a burden to you because you love her.

She might need some grief counseling but I would think a group for surviving spouses would be better.

The fact is that the dad would not want her to be unhappy. Yes, she is supposed to be heartbroken and not skipping around with joy, but he would want her to be ok, and not to suffer over his death. He couldn't help it.

Yes she has to grieve, and that is necessary but remind her that the dad wouldn't want that. Remind her that he would want her to go with you. He would want you to help her with the stuff she can't handle.

Even though your family isn't the type to ask for help, it is time to circle the wagons. Something needs to be done and there is no choice.

She knows that this is true. Sometimes we don't want to do something but we have to and she can't but you can and she will have to get in the car if you go there. She wouldn't make you drive all that way for nothing. I don't think she would want you to waste a trip.

You can't 'make her' do anything but you can help her to do it by taking the initiative. She doesn't sound stubborn, she is just sad and mad and not ready to do anything. That's why she shouldn't have to.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:58 PM
 
2,412 posts, read 1,179,754 times
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I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a husband too .. so I can perhaps empathize a bit with your mother. My thoughts go out to you all.


I am wondering if you can 'invent' a reason that you NEED her (not just want, not just to watch over her) to come live with you somehow or at least to stay and help you out for a short period? I think she could do with a bit of 'purpose' perhaps.


She says she will just come and cry on your couch but if there are grandkids in your area (or you have some young ones?) maybe if you asked her to come because someone lost a babysitter and absolutely cannot find a replacement or something of that kind, she might feel an 'obligation' to go to visit you? I know she needs to grieve but perhaps being alone and crying all day isn't the answer for her either. She may not do for herself but if she feels needed (as she probably did when your father was around) maybe it would get her through this rough period.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:19 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 5,249,971 times
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I'm not sure I would invent a reason for her to visit you, but a limited amount of being around children can be good. I think its OK for her to come sit on your couch and cry. It is much better than sitting in the big house by herself. She needs time to grieve with people who love and support her. It doesn't mean that you can say anything to make it go away, but the presence of family is bound to be helpful on some level.

I can't really argue with what Harry said, however. If the money problem is a reality, it needs to be dealt with. I think that a good, compassionate realtor could help with coming up with creative ways to sell the house and also deal with all the complications you have to face. (When I bought the house I am in, the living area was pretty well staged, but the garage was stuffed to the ceiling. That isn't the way its supposed to be, but I bought it anyway.) For sure, it is going to be a lot of work, but there may be no alternative. This is a time to make sure that the whole family is working together to solve this. If ever there was an "all hands on deck" time, this is it. Everyone doesn't have to do the same thing, but everyone's contribution is needed. I do remember when my grandmother died (it was in 1980) and all of her children (5) and spouses gathered to clean out the house, distribute things, and get the house ready for sale. It was different because both grandma and grandpa were gone, so you have a further complication. But I'm just saying that sometimes the whole family has to work together, even if normally they are pretty independent.

Because of these challenges, your grieving and that of your mother might have to take some pauses for work and logistics, but know that you will need to take some time at some point to grieve more completely, to sit and look at pictures, to cry and talk or just to sit and think.

Wishing the best for your whole family.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:58 PM
 
5,165 posts, read 2,393,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I am going to assume that everything you say is correct.

The husband passed a few MONTHS ago.

She cannot afford the house.

She cannot maintain the house.

She is unhappy there.

I hate to say it, because it may create a lot of bad feelings and you might end up being hated, but if everyone sees it the same way as you do, there needs to be an immediate intervention. Find a competent tax preparer that has dealt with death situations, get her taxes done immediately and use that opportunity to spreadsheet things forward. Present her with the figures, state that there will be no money and that delaying will be a burden not only on her but everyone else in the family. (I'm guessing that you would try to make up shortfalls out of your savings for at least a short period of time.)

Once she recognizes and agrees there is a problem, have a realtor on hand and get the house listed the same day. If she has an issue with being around strangers, limit the buyers to an open house or by appointment with one of the kids. AFTER the house is listed, go in and start the cleanout in earnest. Doing it after it is listed will give it a deadline, while trying to clean-out before listing will simply be a mental barrier to listing the property. ("I can't list it yet, I still have too much to clean or sort.")

This is one situation where the rule of "wait a year before doing anything major" does NOT hold. If what you say is correct, owning the house is a cancer on her funds. The fact that it has already been several months means that this isn't a rash decision, but a pragmatic one. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do even when dealing with other issues.



This is what my sister & I (reluctantly) had to do, only my father was still alive, but might as well have not been, as his mind was completely gone to Alzheimer's.

My mother was just paralyzed. She didn't know what to do.

My sister went there & literally started weeding through stuff & packing.

Her spouse, myself & my SO showed up a week later with the U-Haul. The house was listed.

It was hard, but there was no other way.

My heart goes out to you. You mom is lucky to have you.
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,813 posts, read 2,213,636 times
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KaraG as many have said here you are a great daughter and have given you great advice.
There are two things you need to be concerned about is your own emotional health & your mother's financial situation.

#1 : It's time to put the Big Girl pants on in this situation & take charge while being compassionate to your mom's feelings as she grieves.
Remember she is never wrong at this time and the goal is to help her grieving even if she sounds illogical.
Tell her to move in with you & the kids , let her choose the room she wants to be in & let her choose whatever furniture or momentos she has of your dad.
I speak of your emotional health because you are going to need to be strong.

#2 : You need to take control of her financial situation ASAP !
It's sad to hear that your dad was unable to provide for her after his passing and only adds to her sadness & anxiety now.
Write up a plan to sell the house and present it to her and include options that may be stark which may include foreclosure.

Was there a will? a Life Insurance policy?
Wishing you all the best.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,486 posts, read 15,923,785 times
Reputation: 38791
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
Okay, good, those are good ideas. She is stressing about the money now, so she logically knows it won't work to stay.

I don't think she could emotionally deal with weeks/months of having people come through the house. And you're right, she will be cleaning/sorting forever.

So maybe the best plan is to have a date when we'll have a U-Haul there to load up the things she wants in her new place, which will be my house to start, plus anything she has earmarked for family members. She would leave the house that same day, for good, and not be involved in the rest of the clean up, garage/estate sale, etc, unless she wants to.

It's going to be very hard, no matter when we do it. Our family is very independent and we don't ask each other for help, so I think it's hard for her to acknowledge that this time she needs us to take care of things.
While every person/family is different, this worked well for several elderly people that I have known. They packed up (or told someone else what to pack/move) what they wanted or needed for their new apartment or room in the nursing home or wherever they were moving to, left their home and never stepped foot in it ever again. Family members (sometimes with friends or with paid professionals) handled all of the down sizing and cleaning before putting the house on the market.
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:22 AM
 
3,268 posts, read 2,338,584 times
Reputation: 5622
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly237 View Post
I was in her situation about 6 years ago. For me the too-big house was a slow drain
financially but I could afford to make the move slowly.

I sold my place after a few years and love being in a townhouse.
It is so easy to care for and easy to leave & travel when I want to.
That is great to know you love the smaller place. She has said that's what she wants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
I'm so sorry you are dealing with so much grief and loss at this time. Having lost both parents,my dad when I was only twelve,and my mom much later,I understand what you are feeling.

Three years ago my wife lost her dad when he died (while talking on the phone) due to a massive heart attack. Her mother went into such a tailspin that my wife was never able to properly grieve. Her mother spent the next two years crying and wishing for death so that she could escape her loneliness.

Her husband left her set financially with a home and vehicles paid for,and plenty of money in the bank. Blessed as she was,all she could think about was the loss of her husband of 56 years.

It's now been three years and she has turned into a mean,bitter,resentful person that is acting like a complete stranger. She still wishes she were dead.

The only advice I can share from our experience is probably not what you want or need to hear. Your mom may come around once she has properly grieved,then again she may not. Unfortunately that happens.
May I suggest that you make the time to grieve,even if it means taking time away from mom?
Thank you, I'll try. My dad came from a very large family, most of his siblings have passed. Two of my aunts sound somewhat like your mother in law and my mom does not want to end up like them. They both secluded themselves and basically pushed away their children and grandchildren. My cousin wrote us a long note warning us about how it happened with my aunt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronicka View Post
I would just go pick her up and bring her home to your house. Let her sit on the couch and cry until she is ready to dry her tears and wash her face. This is too overwhelming for her right now, and possibly at any time. Her life and her memories are surrounding her and packing on her own is too hard. The dad's stuff is a reminder of him and she isn't able to do it herself. She shouldn't have to because she can't and you can get that taken care of.

The fact is that the dad would not want her to be unhappy. Yes, she is supposed to be heartbroken and not skipping around with joy, but he would want her to be ok, and not to suffer over his death. He couldn't help it. Yes she has to grieve, and that is necessary but remind her that the dad wouldn't want that. Remind her that he would want her to go with you. He would want you to help her with the stuff she can't handle.

You can't 'make her' do anything but you can help her to do it by taking the initiative. She doesn't sound stubborn, she is just sad and mad and not ready to do anything. That's why she shouldn't have to.
You are right. Dad doesn't want her alone. She can't and shouldn't have to deal with packing up the house. I do need to really tell her we're handling it like Dad would want us to, because that is true. You know, he didn't even let her pump her own gas, we had to teach her. She's smart and capable, but he just took care of a lot of things for her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aery11 View Post
I am wondering if you can 'invent' a reason that you NEED her (not just want, not just to watch over her) to come live with you somehow or at least to stay and help you out for a short period? I think she could do with a bit of 'purpose' perhaps.
She says she will just come and cry on your couch but if there are grandkids in your area (or you have some young ones?) maybe if you asked her to come because someone lost a babysitter and absolutely cannot find a replacement or something of that kind, she might feel an 'obligation' to go to visit you?
I understand what you're saying. We've talked about how there are more family and more things she could be doing if/when she moved here. I told her I'd love if she would help me at my store some times. Before he passed, she would say she'd love to because she was bored. After her heart attacks, she lost her own business and that was very depressing for her as well. Four of the grandkids live one state away and we see them often, they need to know her better and she needs them right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
This is a time to make sure that the whole family is working together to solve this. If ever there was an "all hands on deck" time, this is it. Everyone doesn't have to do the same thing, but everyone's contribution is needed. I do remember when my grandmother died (it was in 1980) and all of her children (5) and spouses gathered to clean out the house, distribute things, and get the house ready for sale. It was different because both grandma and grandpa were gone, so you have a further complication. But I'm just saying that sometimes the whole family has to work together, even if normally they are pretty independent.

Because of these challenges, your grieving and that of your mother might have to take some pauses for work and logistics, but know that you will need to take some time at some point to grieve more completely, to sit and look at pictures, to cry and talk or just to sit and think.
Yes, the logistics of it all are what is crowding my head, needing to get mom to a safe place before I can really let myself grieve. I mean, I have broken down many places and many times, including right now because of everyone's helpful replies. I'm the oldest and I know my brother and I and our spouses are on the same page, not sure what my sister is thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarciaMarshaMarcia View Post
This is what my sister & I (reluctantly) had to do, only my father was still alive, but might as well have not been, as his mind was completely gone to Alzheimer's. My mother was just paralyzed. She didn't know what to do. My sister went there & literally started weeding through stuff & packing. Her spouse, myself & my SO showed up a week later with the U-Haul. The house was listed. It was hard, but there was no other way.
I know we would've just done that if Mom had died first. You all are giving me strength to do this, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobdreamz View Post
#1 : It's time to put the Big Girl pants on in this situation & take charge while being compassionate to your mom's feelings as she grieves. Remember she is never wrong at this time and the goal is to help her grieving even if she sounds illogical. Tell her to move in with you & the kids , let her choose the room she wants to be in & let her choose whatever furniture or momentos she has of your dad. I speak of your emotional health because you are going to need to be strong.

#2 : You need to take control of her financial situation ASAP ! It's sad to hear that your dad was unable to provide for her after his passing and only adds to her sadness & anxiety now. Write up a plan to sell the house and present it to her and include options that may be stark which may include foreclosure.

Was there a will? a Life Insurance policy? Wishing you all the best.
Everything just went to mom in the will. They always told us, jokingly but true, that they were spending all their money now, that we shouldn't expect anything. When mom stressed about the money, dad would say they just needed to sell the house. It is what it is, dad was right, once mom sells she'll be fine, it's just getting through the beginning. A tiny life insurance policy went to the funeral, we kids chipped in on the cemetery expenses. Another small policy just came in which is going all to property taxes, just in time.

I can't thank you all enough for all your advice.
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