I recently lost my dear, beautiful mum, at the end of October. We were close and I was her carer for a very long time.
My older sister was not so close. She loved mum, but struggled to understand her struggles. She would see mum perhaps once a year.
I just wanted to know if I am being unreasonable or is my hurt warranted. Naturally, my heart is heavy with grief.
My sister lives about 10 hours away from mum's place.
When we were putting together the funeral arrangements, it was just my two brothers, my Dh and my SIL. My brother(who is executor) said that we would look at mum's property later and we would be able to take something of sentimental value from her. We would ideally sell the bigger items and use that to paint the home/do minor repairs.
My older sister didn't contribute to the funeral. On the day of the viewing(she didn't come) she wasn't really interested in me picking out mum's clothies. Nothing. It hurt and I felt alone although my older brother and his wife and my DH were there for each other.
As I said my sister lives 10 hours away.
We buried mum and then we drove back to her house as we were picking up a neighbour to take her to mum's memorial service.
When we got there, my sister and her husband's ute was in the driveway. When we walked into the house, they were going through cupboards, removing paintings/artwork from the wall. My husband asked how they got in and they said they got a key from my brother. My sister had formed a pile on the ground of things, linen, plants, photos, artwork, craftwork belonging to my mum and dad.
I was shocked and said, "Don't you think you could do this another time?
"No" my sister said, as we have to take availability of being down here.
I left feeling broken. My mum, just buried and already they are going through her things... and rarely cared about her.
AFter the Memorial service(my sister didn't talk to me at the service) my BIl text my dh to ask him to help move mum's fridge onto their ute. He told him he was busy.
Later that day we got a text saying they had taken fridge and dining room table. The next day they came for the chairs.
They took quite a bit of things and then left for home the next day
My sister called me and asked if the funeral went ok according to my plans. I thought it was a strange question.
I told her I was a bit hurt they took the things on day of mum's funeral.
She said, "So, when do you think we could have taken them?
I replied, "Maybe later on in the year".
Sister 'so. you expect my DH to take time off work to come all this way to get these things?
Sister's Dh text us and said we insulted my sister.
He said their conscience was clear.
So.....why do I feel hurt?
Should I feel hurt?
My sister isn't talking to me now because I have insulted her. I love my sister. I am sad that I am grieving now with this added grief.
I want to make reconcilliiation but that may mean letting this all go. My sister's husband confessed that it was HIS plan. He has been greedy and this isn't the first time they have taken things from mum.
Or have they done an oK thing? Because they were saving themselves from another long journey?
your thoughts please.
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13-11-2015 10:50 #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2015
When to go through your mum's home after her passing? Is this reasonable?
13-11-2015 10:55 #2
I would have been devastated to see that. I don't think you are wrong to be upset at all. I'm so sorry for your loss and the extra hurt you are feeling right now from your sisters actions. Did your brother realise when he gave them access what they were planning?
13-11-2015 11:01 #3Junior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2015
13-11-2015 11:08 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
I think this is terrible and you have every right to be upset. The thing that would bother me the most is they took things presumably with no negotiation? Or had there been a longstanding expectation that your sister would have those things on your mother's passing? I just don't get how she had 'first pick' of whatever she wanted. Your family should discuss her belongings together and fairly divide up things that people want to keep. My aunty did this when my grandfather died and they gave away to his friends some gifts I had given him the year before he died without asking. Really upset me as they just took everything without discussing with the rest of us.
In my experience people can go a bit silly when there is a death, that doesn't seem right to us but for them in their grief it's perfectly ok. But yes I would have been upset in your situation.
13-11-2015 11:11 #5
That's terrible I think you have every right to feel hurt and upset. I would be devastated in your situation. I'm so sorry you've lost your Mum xx
13-11-2015 11:40 #6
I'm so sorry to hear of your Mum's passing. What a hard thing to be going through. The passing of a loved one is hard enough without family taking things before you're ready for them too.
From what you've written I'd be really upset from how your sister had just gone through her things, taking what she wanted without discussing anything with the rest of the family. I know everyone deals with grief differently but gosh that would be hard if you got back to your mum's place with them going through her things without arranging it first. I would have expected your sister to talk to the family before taking things & to have a discussion with who's taking what & if everyone's happy with it or not.
I'd be a bit taken aback for people to go through belongings immediately even of they do live far away. If it's important enough surely they'd be able to take a few days off later on? Or arrange it for a long weekend?
I remember when my great Grandma passed away. We were really close & she had many beautiful sapphire rings she always wore & loved (one for just about every finger). I really wanted a piece of jewellery of hers to feel close to her (very much sentimental reasons) but before anyone could do anything, my Aunt had swooped in & taken all jewellery. She wasn't even that close to her. It was more hurtful than anything that no one had discussed anything prior & she had just assumed & hadn't thought of anyone else or how it would affect them. I'm just so fortunate my great Grandma & I were very close & I have a lot of beautiful memories to look back on.
I'm sorry to hear it happened so soon & I hope it all works out ok for you & your family. I'd hope if your sister was upset or is feeling bad about it perhaps she could contact you instead of her husband doing it for her? I hope after a bit of time you'll both be talking again. Were you & your sister close before this happened?
13-11-2015 12:11 #7
I would be feeling just the same as you given this situation. I agree they really had no right to just go and take what they wanted without there being some sort of agreement beforehand. I feel you sister has been very insensitive, and quite selfish, to be more concerned about how far they have to travel, and not thinking t how anyone else would feel about your mothers belongings. what she has done is just not right, and I would be struggling to speak with her.
I am sorry for your loss, and sending you my sympathies. marie.
13-11-2015 12:34 #8
What gingermillie said. To take things without it all being discussed is rude. To do it on the day of the funeral is also rude.
She's putting her needs and wants ahead of everybody else's then cracked it because she's been called out on it.
13-11-2015 12:50 #9
Yes I agree with everyone else. Rude and inconsiderate of others. From the other anecdotes here, it seems to be those who aren't close with the deceased that seem to swoop in and take what they want before others have a chance to even think about those things.
Sadly, money brings out the worst in people.
Hold your head high- you did nothing wrong. You pointed out to your sister that she was being insensitive and she used a classic tactic of throwing it back on you and trying to make you feel guilty. Don't wear it.
It should have been a day put aside in the near future where all the siblings sat down together and gone through things together. I remember my mum and her siblings doing it with my papas things- I would have only been 7 or so, and all of them were in the family home and they were reminiscing and crying and laughing about all the memories together, but what stands out is the cooperation. They worked together and were so polite
"If no one else is interested in the piano, I would like to put my hand up for it"
"I had thought that we might like it too. But then again, we've already got the dining table. Two large pieces of furniture is a lot, isn't it?"
"Not at all. Look, we already have a piano at home anyway. You have it. Your girls will love it." Etc.
I'm so sorry for your loss and even more sorry your sister is being insensitive and thoughtless and cold.
13-11-2015 12:51 #10
I would be feeling upset about this situation too. What she has done was inappropriate and greedy. There's a time and place for these things to be sorted and the day of the funeral is not this time.
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