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Old 02-28-2017, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,074 posts, read 32,757,593 times
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So to get back to the original question which is "What to do before passing," - here's some advice from me.

Don't lie to people about wills. Don't try to emotionally manipulate people by guilt trips such as "We know we're asking a lot, but you know we'll make it up to you one day!"

And don't allow a loved one to say, even one time, "But you need to do this - after all, think of what we're leaving you." Don't compromise your boundaries or your personal dignity out of a sense of obligation that someone tries to guilt you with.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:05 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,362,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post

I'm not bitter by the way.
Then take your father's ashes and spread them in the spot he requested.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,074 posts, read 32,757,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
Then take your father's ashes and spread them in the spot he requested.
I'll let my brother or brothers do that. I already threw him a fabulous, fabulous funeral that he would have heartily approved of. I'm good.

I don't feel any burning need to prove anything to anyone. My conscience is totally clear and I am actually relieved to know the truth now that I'm over what was a very temporary (say 12 hours or less) shock. I think I really knew all along that my parents never had my best interests in mind. I got a really strong gut feeling about that when they were encouraging me to build a "family vacation cabin" on that property but wouldn't deed it to me because according to them, I was going to inherit it one day anyway. Except - well, that wasn't really true. Minor point there. "Oh, yeah, you'll inherit one third of it. I know we told you you'd inherit all of it, but we changed our minds years ago and just kept telling you the errr, old version. Sure, you'd only really own 1/3 of the house you built, and you'd have to buy your brothers out, who may or may not want to even sell to you, but we'll be dead and gone by then and that won't be our problem. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy and use that fabulous vacation home! Wait, what do you mean you're not going to build it? Well, why not? What - you don't trust us?"

So back to the OP. More advice from me. Trust - but verify.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 02-28-2017 at 06:39 PM..
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:44 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,362,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'll let my brother or brothers do that. I already threw him a fabulous, fabulous funeral that he would have heartily approved of. I'm good.
You're not "letting" them do that. You decided you won't (after taking possession of the ashes) and now it's left to them.

You've said one brother is mentally ill and the other has had little contact with the family over the years. What happens if they can't/won't do it? Doesn't matter if you threw him a fabulous, fabulous funeral. You wanted his ashes, you have them, now you want to pass on the "hard" part: doing what is right.

You've talked about your Dad, God and the final reckoning.... Are you planning on telling God, "Nope. Didn't spread his ashes as he expected. I was really ticked he lied to me and didn't leave me that land. He's in a shoe box on a shelf in the garage. But the funeral was fabulous!"

It's the last thing you'll ever do for your father. Life isn't about copping out and quitting when things don't go our way. It's about doing the tough stuff when things don't go our way.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,074 posts, read 32,757,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
You're not "letting" them do that. You decided you won't (after taking possession of the ashes) and now it's left to them.

You've said one brother is mentally ill and the other has had little contact with the family over the years. What happens if they can't/won't do it? Doesn't matter if you threw him a fabulous, fabulous funeral. You wanted his ashes, you have them, now you want to pass on the "hard" part: doing what is right.

You've talked about your Dad, God and the final reckoning.... Are you planning on telling God, "Nope. Didn't spread his ashes as he expected. I was really ticked he lied to me and didn't leave me that land. He's in a shoe box on a shelf in the garage. But the funeral was fabulous!"

It's the last thing you'll ever do for your father. Life isn't about copping out and quitting when things don't go our way. It's about doing the tough stuff when things don't go our way.
1. I didn't "want" his ashes. I agreed to keep them because no one else was willing to do so.

2. Both brothers will be coming down to get stuff they want in a few weeks. They will be actually standing on and walking around the property my dad wanted to be scattered on. So I think it will be very easy for them to do exactly as he wanted. I am going to take those ashes up there and give them to my brothers and meanwhile I have taken care of the ashes (and the funeral - and my dad - and my mother which is ongoing) and no one else has been willing or able to do so. So when I bring them the ashes - to the exact place my dad wanted to be scattered, then they can do it. Doesn't get much easier than that.

3. I will tell God "After I moved my parents four times in six years, sat at their sides in the hospital for weeks at a time, took them to doctors appointments and therapy appointments and church and every other sort of place for years, often using my vacation time to do so which meant I had no vacation for years and years in a row, met with their attorneys and financial advisors and agreed to take on full responsibility for the probate and settlement of their estates as well as overseeing the financial side of their needs and properties, sat by my dad's deathbed for a week, finally made the heartrending decision he left me to do and had him taken off life support as he would have wanted, planned the visitation and funeral and cremation, and took care of and continue to take care of the woman he asked to to care for before he died - the woman who may live for ten or even twenty more years needing my ongoing and increasing help, the woman who has verbally and emotionally (and occasionally physically) abused her entire family for 57 years, I took my dad's ashes up to the homestead, and gave them to his two sons to scatter as he wanted. We're good to go, right? Thanks, I thought so."

Yeah, I don't think I've "passed on the hard part of doing what's right."
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,074 posts, read 32,757,593 times
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And I think it's time for me to say that I don't have to prove my intentions to anyone - not God, and certainly not a few regular posters who love to take issue with anything I say and needle me to pieces on a variety of topics - this one just being one of many.

God knows my heart and my intentions and He and I are fine. I am so incredibly good with that and at peace.

To reference the OP, sometimes doing the right thing involves backing away in a relationship and sometimes we have to do this even while a person we love is getting old and sick. That's hard to do when you love someone and want them to love you in return. It's hard to do when you are honest and expect others to be honest too - but when you realize they're not, it's probably not wise to continue to invest so much in that relationship, even if they are your parent.

Before you know it, you're giving your all and your best to people who don't appreciate you - and then what do you have left for the people who DO appreciate you? Who deserves your best? I'd say it's the people who appreciate you the most, who respect your relationship, who are honest with you and who want you to be honest with them.

They're out there. Love up on them.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 02-28-2017 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:15 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,362,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
And I think it's time for me to say that I don't have to prove my intentions to anyone - not God, and certainly not a few regular posters who love to take issue with anything I say and needle me to pieces on a variety of topics - this one just being one of many.
I can only speak for myself but I am not trying to "needle" you. I was a caregiver to my parents for 20 years and am sharing my thoughts from my viewpoint. Been there. (No assisted living facility stories. I made sure my mother was able to stay in their home until she died - I took care of her - and I brought my disabled father to live with us after she passed.) Done that. And I made sure EVERYTHING they wanted done was done.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 02-28-2017 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,074 posts, read 32,757,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
I can only speak for myself but I am not trying to "needle" you. I was a caregiver to my parents for 20 years and am sharing my thoughts from my viewpoint. Been there. (No assisted living facility stories. I made sure my mother was able to stay in their home until she died - I took care of her - and I brought my disabled father to live with us after she passed.) Done that. And I made sure EVERYTHING they wanted done was done.
That's great if it worked well for you and your family.

Different families have different needs, different resources, different expectations, and different scenarios altogether. Like I've said before, one size does not fit all.

For instance, my mother does not want to and has never wanted to live with any of her kids. She has made it very clear for many decades that she wants to have her own place if at all possible. This is possible, so that works well for everyone.

It is not safe, healthy, or practical for her to live in her own home alone. She knows this and therefore she chose the apartment and senior living community she is living in now. It is not a nursing home. It is not assisted living. It is independent senior living. She does not have to cook or buy groceries which she loves. They clean her apartment once a week. She has a pet cat. The staff checks on her if she misses a meal or if they don't see her for a few hours and she's not checked out. It's super comfortable - and super expensive.

I have given an example of things my parents expected me to do - my parents wanted me to invest at least $100,000 of my own money in building a cabin on land that I did not own and would not be inheriting. They tried to deceive me into doing so in fact, though I thankfully didn't fall for it. So there's one example of me not necessarily needing to do EVERYTHING they wanted done.

Oh, wait - I'll give you another example. My mother wanted me to buy her some socks the other week. She claimed she had no socks. Strange, but OK. So I bought her 8 pairs. She was thrilled with them. She told me to put them in her top drawer. When I opened that drawer, there were at least 20 pairs of socks in there. When I said, "Wow, you already had a lot of socks," she just shrugged and said, "Really? How nice." Then a few days later, we were out shopping and she said, "I need more socks." When I said, "Mom, you have a drawer full of socks, " she literally snarled at me and said, "You're not the boss of me. You don't know and can't tell me when I need and don't need socks." Should I buy her more socks?

Oh wait - I'll give you another example and you decide whether I should do EVERTYHING she wants done. She said she needed toilet paper. I bought her 8 rolls of it. Less than a week later, she told me she needed toilet paper. I said, "I just bought you 8 rolls." She laughed and said, "Well, I can't find them." Her apartment is 700 square feet. So I brought her some more, and guess what - I COULDN'T find her missing toilet paper. I told her, "I am putting this toilet paper under your sink - right here." She said "OK." About 9 that night she called me in a panic. "I don't have any toilet paper! I can't find any toilet paper! I need toilet paper!" Should I have gone rushing over there with toilet paper?

Oh - here's another example - I have thousands. She has never had a debit card. Actually, she has never paid a bill in her life and has no idea how to write a check or use a debit card. But she sees me using one and she wants one. I said, "Mom, I understand you wanting some cash on hand - but anytime you might need a debit card, I'm with you. Maybe we can get you some cash instead for little expenses (they have a little store on site). She said, "OK - I want $50 in cash - mostly ones." OK. So we stopped at the bank, and I went in and got her the cash in a bank envelope and watched her put it in her purse. She then said, "This is fine but what I REALLY want is a debit card." (They can't use debit cards at the little on site store, by the way.) I said, "Mom, I'll be honest. I'm worried about you losing it or someone stealing it. I don't think it's a good idea." She sat there pouting and finally said, "Well, OK. But if I want one, I just have to go in the bank there and tell them to order one, right?" Anyway, so I take her back to her apartment, and she goes inside. An hour or so later, she called me in a panic. "I can't find my money! Check your car! It's got to be in your car!" It wasn't in my car. I saw her put it in her purse. I said, "Mom, it's nearly supper time and I'm home for the day. I don't want to come back over and look for your money. You keep looking for it and if you can't find it, it was only $50. But don't throw anything away. I'll come over tomorrow and help you find it if you still can't find it by then." The next day she called me - she had found it on the floor of her closet. Do you think I need to do EVERYTHING she wants done and get her a debit card?

My mother is not your mother, and I am not you. You should be just as grateful about the first fact as I am about the second.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,749 posts, read 21,804,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Most of us here have had a loved one die. We have experienced the loss, the grief, the sorrow, and for a lucky few a continuation of life while where the deceased lives within us as a joy and treasure. What we have also all had as an experience is a regret of things not done, questions not asked, and loose ends left hanging, no matter how careful we tried to be.

I just went to the grocery today, and a cashier I had not seen for a year was there. In making connection with her (we do that in Alabama) she stated that her father had terminal cancer. It was a stunner, but I commented that she might want to get a tape recorder or something similar and ask questions about family relations, important events, and anything else she could think of. Having that information might not be important for her but could be for other family members and it would be an ongoing connection with her father.

The experience made me recognize that we are in some ways a privileged group, in that we all have the experience to put together some kind advice for those about to go into the experience we have had.

Using your own pain to guide others through their upcoming pain, what unique advice do you have to offer someone about to experience the loss of a loved one? To help guide responses, I'll set these scenarios:

Overall loss

Loss of a parent

Loss of a mate

Loss of a child


Please be as kind and gentle as you can be, but also be realistic. If you don't know or don't have a response for more than one situation, that is fine. It is all about authenticity in advice, not guessing what should be good advice. Take your time. Don't immediately respond, but take a day or more to gather your thoughts. Take what regrets you might have had and let them help someone else.
I'm posting before reading anything else here. My mom lost her husband and son. I lost my dad and brother. His kids lost a dad. My sister lost her son (no words for that) when he was 16. He was a pretty baby and a nice kid.

It takes a long, long time to work your way through death. There's all sorts of paperwork and other nonsense, but that's not the half of it. There's a 3AM every day. I've seen many of those.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,074 posts, read 32,757,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
I'm posting before reading anything else here. My mom lost her husband and son. I lost my dad and brother. His kids lost a dad. My sister lost her son (no words for that) when he was 16. He was a pretty baby and a nice kid.

It takes a long, long time to work your way through death. There's all sorts of paperwork and other nonsense, but that's not the half of it. There's a 3AM every day. I've seen many of those.
This is a beautiful post and so true.

Different people work through it at different paces and there's no great virtue in any one approach. My brother and I are very different and we're processing our grief over the loss of our dad very differently. I'm a very demonstrative person who relishes or at least grasps firmly to each emotion. I vent and don't hold much in (though like most people I hold my deepest feelings close to my chest). If I feel like crying, I cry - I can't relate at all when people say "I wish I could cry but I just can't." I mean, I am sorry they are frustrated by that but it's not a frustration I've ever felt - if anything I think more often "Dang - I hope I don't make a fool of myself by crying."

My brother was telling me just the other day, "I haven't been able to cry about Dad yet. I want to, but I can't do it." And he is not as far along the whole grief thing either. He doesn't like to think about it. It makes him sad. So he tries not to think about it.

Anyway, I don't think any of us really know how we're going to react when we lose a loved one. But I do believe something I read in some sort of survival book one time. I read that people who think through possible scenarios - what they would do if this happened or that happened - who face the possibilities rather than shy away from them - have a higher survival and success rate than those who say "I'm not going to think about that today" or even, "That's negative thinking so I won't go there."

So my point is that's one thing that I think we can all do - accept the fact that we may lose a loved one. I mean, especially a parent or even a significant other or spouse. (Not so sure I could dwell on what I'd do if I lost a child, though if I had one that was sick I would probably think about it.) I think we need to have a plan rather than winging it. I mean, it's likely to happen. Face it, think it through, have a plan, so when it happens, we know what the next step to take should be.
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