Author Topic: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...  (Read 2646 times)

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johelenc1

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Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« on: December 30, 2011, 03:29:51 PM »
We had a death in my extended family on Christmas Day.  It was expected, but of course, difficult for her immediate family.  Here's the genealogy:
My grandmother (Mema) had 2 sisters and a brother.  One sister, Louise, married Al.  She died many, many, many years ago of cancer.  Louise and Al had 3 daughters, Beth, Meg, and Jo.  Al remarried about a year after Louise's death to Thea.  Beth and Jo were already out of the house and married.  Meg was about 16.  Thea had 2(or 3 - not sure) daughters herself - also grown and out of the house.  When Thea died, Al and Thea had been married about 40 years.  In general, the relationships between the step families were ok - Meg was actually close with at least one Step Sister.

HOWEVER, since Thea's death, all E-hell has broken loose.

Step-sisters (maybe just one leading the charge, maybe both or all) have:

- Starting fighting and yelling at Meg at the Funeral Home during family visitation demanding she give her $50,000 to pay off her house.   On this side of the fence, the belief is they are mad Thea died before Al because the estate goes to him and they think he will give everything to his girls and not them.  Keep in mind Al and Thea have been living in an assisted living type home (ie: not cheap).  They did once have a lot of money, but according to Meg, Al only has about $80,000 left.

- At the actual funeral - at the graveside - as they are getting ready to bury the poor woman, Al notices she is not wearing her wedding band.  (I have no idea what kind of band this is - simple gold or covered in diamonds?)  He wants her to be buried in it.  Turns out, Step-Sister has taken ALL her mom's jewelry (without permission) which of course, includes her wedding bands, and all jewelry given to her by Al.  Al has to take SS aside at the GRAVESIDE and ask for it back.  After some haggling, I suppose, SS goes to her room/house/wherever and retrieves the band.  After a 40 minute hiatus, Thea has her band back and can be buried.

- When Al returned to his home (apartment at Retirement Home), pictures had actually been removed from the wall.  Thea's purse with her ID and credit cards were missing.  They are sure other things are as well, but didn't have time to check while they spent all evening calling credit card companies to cancel cards and order new ones for Al.

I suspect this drama is not over.  I just can't imagine acting that way and treating someone like that while literally standing over their dead mother's body.

yokozbornak

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Re: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 03:40:22 PM »
That's so sad, and what's worse, it's not uncommon at all.  I had a similar situation in my own family when my dad passed, and a friend and her family were actually taken to court by a sibling because said sibling felt that she didn't get her fair share when her dad died, not seeming to realize that dad really didn't have much money and what was left behind went to their stepmom, not to them.  Their stepmom had already offered family valuables like antique furniture to both of them, but it wasn't enough for her.

Grief and greed are just not a good combination.

Kirbi

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Re: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 03:51:36 PM »
I'm just wondering whether Meg or one of Al's other daughters has asked for advice on this? I just think that, unless there's some more information that we don't have, this would be a matter for them to assist Al with rather than thew more extended family.

Is he (or his children) looking to confront Thea's daughters about this? If so, what would they hope to gain from such a conversation? I don't mean to be nosy, I just don't think that there's enough information here to address anything specifically.

I am sorry that you and your family have to deal with this ugliness, particularly at such a difficult time.

Snooks

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Re: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 06:04:28 PM »
We were watching The Muppet Christmas Carol and at the bit when the women are showing what they've taken from Scrooge's house after he's died I turned to DH and said "That's what your family were like at your grandmother's funeral" and he agreed (he'd commented on it at the time so I wasn't flinging accusations).  Grief is an awful thing to deal with as everyone has their own way of coping but I certainly think it brings out family feuds and grudges like nothing else.  I hope your great-uncle manages to get back on good terms with his step-daughters without too much trouble, hopefully one of the others will step in and deal with the problem child.

BarensMom

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Re: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 11:50:54 AM »
Since things were taken from the room at an assisted living facility, Al should call their security people and the police.  That is theft, plain and simple.

kherbert05

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Re: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2011, 03:27:59 PM »
Since things were taken from the room at an assisted living facility, Al should call their security people and the police.  That is theft, plain and simple.

POD how did they get in. If they have keys, get the locks changed. If staff let them in - raise hell with the administration and make sure they are never allowed in again.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 05:18:41 PM »
My sympathy to the family. Stories like this make me glad I am an only child.
I hope the family can give support to your cousins, al's daughters, to help protect his interests from the mercenary stepdaughters.

mmmchocolate

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Re: Nothing like a funeral to bring a family together...
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 01:54:30 PM »
I hate stories like this.  I can't even imagine what would possess people to behave that way, but money is a great incentive for idiocy.  After my best friend died, I overheard her sisters arguing about who should get her purses.  They were practically ransacking the house.