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Old 02-17-2017, 09:42 AM
 
3,276 posts, read 2,342,019 times
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My dad passed away unexpectedly a few months ago. I am so worried about my mom that I can't even let myself grieve his passing. They have been together 24/7 for the past few years since she had near fatal heart issues. She is physically fine now but the enormity of his death is crushing her. She says she can't accept it and tells me she spends her days crying, screaming or sleeping. My siblings and I all live out of town, but we are taking turns visiting her and the whole family and her friends are calling and texting daily.

She is in the big house that she can't afford and can't take care of. She has said she needs to move and hates being there because of the memories and the stress. We've all offered to bring her to our homes for awhile but she says no, she's not ready. Money is a problem, it won't be long before the savings are totally gone and she won't be able to pay the bills. All their money was in the house. She is making a little progress, closing accounts, clearing out a drawer or two, getting dressed every day and going to the grocery.

I know in my heart that my dad would not want her to be alone and I feel tremendous guilt. I stayed with her 2 weeks after it happened and could barely leave. When she was sick, if she wouldn't have pulled through, we would've just packed up my dad and brought him home with us.

We are all pretty sure that she will move near us, she has alluded to that, she likes the weather here and most of her grandkids/great grandkids are close by. I would feel better and she could live with us while hunting for her own place. It's just a new reality, a new future for all of us. It will be great for the whole family to have her closer.

How can we help her? Spring is coming, a good time to sell the house, a terrible time for her to be living there with the yard work and maintenance. There's no money to hire all that out. We don't want to make things more stressful for her, but we want to help her move on and move out and be with family, not far away by herself. My heart is broken with losing my dad and not knowing how to help mom through this.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:48 AM
 
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Ahhhhhh is it possible to have her move in with you? (I dunno how big your house is)

It must be very hard being there all alone and missing dad........

I will say a prayer now .. Good luck
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:12 AM
 
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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.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Canada
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So sorry you are going through all this. Life sure isn't easy at times and losing a loved one is so hard.

What about setting a week- weekend for a work bee for whom ever in the family can do the trip? Maybe involve some of her friends or church members if she attends one? Some can tidy up the yard, paint if needed, some can pack and get your mom pretty much ready to make the move.

It would be a start and the house would sell better if it's tidied up a bit.

Good luck hon. It WILL get better.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:28 AM
 
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My condolences to each of you for your family loss.

My Aunt made a wise statement once... grief is not rushed or put aside. Make no major changes in the first years....

Your families compassion is heartwarming.

Any abrupt or sudden changes during grief can set back the progress...keep in touch with her... let her decide her future... slow and steady....
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:12 PM
 
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I know it hasn't been that long, but the money will run out soon and she says she isn't ready to talk about moving in one breath, then in the next says she hates being there. At what point, if ever, do the children need to step up and be firm and tell their parent that they need to make a hard decision and list the house by a certain date?

I've never told my mom what to do. If she commits, I know I can rally a lot of local long time friends to help on a work day, good idea.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nov3 View Post
My condolences to each of you for your family loss.

My Aunt made a wise statement once... grief is not rushed or put aside. Make no major changes in the first years....

Your families compassion is heartwarming.

Any abrupt or sudden changes during grief can set back the progress...keep in touch with her... let her decide her future... slow and steady....
Yes, that's what I've heard, which is why we are afraid to push any change, but when the money is not there to afford the same house, what do you do? I don't want to make things worse.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:58 PM
 
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At some point the money will make the decision for everyone. At the moment it's running through the spicket so just start the process of doing what's best for all involved.

Is it a tough and at some point a stressful situation? Yes it is but as mentioned at some point the money will force hands.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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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.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:32 PM
 
3,276 posts, read 2,342,019 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.
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.
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