My mother died in January of 1999 from throat cancer. She was a victim of malpractice and settled out of court for a rather large sum of money before she died. It was a long painful death and she was unable to speak for the last year of her life. Being the only child of six children living in the same city as her, I took care of her for years when she needed it The last nine months of her life she lived with us. My husband had bought a home with acreage and my mother wanted to build a house on our property when she retired. This was a plan long before she died, and before her cancer returned with a vengeance.
When my mom’s cancer came back, it was me who the doctor talked to, and it was my husband and I who had to tell her she was dying.
We went to her house and tearfully told her. Her first reply was to write down “I still want my house”. We packed her up, I called her work and told them she would not return and I took a leave of absence for my work We managed to talk her into a double wide trailer but when she did receive her money, she decided she wanted a basement. My mother was used to having her way and at this point in time how could I tell her no.
How do you tell a dying person how to spend their money the last few months of their life doing something that made her happy and something to look forward to? I let her do what she wanted. What was I supposed to say? “No, mom you can’t have your house now because you’re dying now”? She wrote a letter to my family telling them they were to split the first $25,000, which was $5,000 each, I was to get the trailer and everything else including any money was to be split equally.
She asked that I mail a copy of the letter to the attorney and ask him to add it to her will, which I did The attorney did not add it. My family hated me because of this. I was accused of writing the letter I was accused of hiding my mom’s will and all sorts of absolutely awful things. My sister constantly lied telling the rest of the family that my mom had a told her things that she did not. She was only there are a few times. She tried to use a guilt trip on me saying I was taking money away from my other sister who desperately needed it. They got mad at me because I chose a funeral home for my mother. The nearest sibling was 200 mi. away. When my mom went on hospice they wanted a funeral home. Since none of them had ever lived in this town (except the one brother for short time) how could they even know which funeral home was the best What was I to do, call them and ask their permission for a particular funeral home after my mother died and wait for all of them to get back to me?
My sister had even said my mother had told her which funeral home she had wanted. I spent much time with my mother. My mother would not talk much about her pending death because he didn’t think she was going to die. She was tough, and if anyone could have lived through it, it would have been her. She outlived what the doctors predicted. My sister managed to manipulate my brother into believing her and he began accusing me of these things also. My brother and I have always been very close and now, he, too, didn’t like me anymore. I felt like killing myself. I was grieving terribly for my mother who I had taken care of to the minute she died, and I needed he strength of my family and they turned their back on me because my mom gave me more, and I loved them and the hurt was nearly too much to bear.
Since my mother didn’t speak, she wrote everything. I showed them her notebooks of what she had written. They still didn’t believe me. My brother told me I had played her like a grand piano. I was going to just give them everything and sell our home because the trailer was on our property with our home, but my husband and daughter talked me out of it. I told them they could take the trailer if it meant that much to them, but they would have to use money from the estate and have the basement removed. I had talked to the zoning department in the small town we live in and they had no problem with the removal, but would not allow an open hole. That did not satisfy them either. They simply wanted all of the money and me to have the trailer on a basement, that had not passed a building inspection yet.
My husband and I ended up spending thousands, and to this day, although it passed building code, it’s still not completed. There was no talking to them. When I tried to bring the issue up as a family, my sister would refuse to talk about it. I feel she did this because her lies would be exposed and she didn’t want that because at this point she was having a time keeping up with her stories. I was catching her in her lies. My sister also claimed that I wanted compensation. She was the executor of the will and she was the one who was compensated an extra $15,000.
This past week my beloved brother died in a car accident. We never had the opportunity to make peace with one another and I did love him so much. I am so sad and distraught right now and I feel as though I’m living this nightmare again. The first thing his sometimes girlfriend said to me from the hospital after he died was that he had a lot of hard feelings toward me and she could tell me what he did with the Christmas card I had sent him just a few days before he died, but she wouldn’t go into it right now. I had those same feelings toward him but I did attempt to open up the communication by sending the card. He was a great guy and easily persuaded. I feel I was so victimized by my family for trying to do the right things for my mother.
I don’t know what to say or do anymore. Hospice was great. They prepared me for everything, except what to do in a situation like this. I was totally thrown off guard by the attack of my sisters and brothers and I didn’t know what to do to make them realize the truth. The more I tried , the less they would talk to me about it. They didn’t want to hear me. They still believe all of this stuff. I guess writing this helps me to at least get it out, but I sincerely urge professionals to try to help families prepare for this. It should truly be a part of the process in preparing for the death of a loved one. I would have done the same for my mother had she not had a dime. I loved her dearly. PLEASE PLEASE put out literature on this subject. Send it to the hospices, the hospitals and anywhere else you can think of. I can only pray that my brother now knows I was not lying and how much I truly loved him. Of all my brothers and sisters, I was shocked that he turned against me because we were very close. It’s too late for him and I now. As for the rest of my family, sometimes I think it’s just best to forget I have any siblings left. When I do talk to them, I feel as though they’re just being nice to my face and saying the same things about me. It hurts so bad I can barely live with it.