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.