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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:23 PM
Original message
We looted my grandparent's house this weekend.
Room by room, drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf.

No cabinet went unexamined, no box unopened.

All of the possessions amassed by two people over their lifetimes picked over by their family for anything of worth.

The chaff was left for an estate sale. Even by estate sale standards, the items remaining will not fetch a whole lot.

The uniform my great grandfather wore in France in 1917 that I had dreamed of and coveted since I was alerted of its existence went to a more senior member of the family. I did secretly snatch his medal though - it was hidden in my grandfather's old radio room (he used to be a ham radio operator). No one else knew of its existence. I felt bad about taking it, but looking at the behavior of my family, I quickly got over that.

My uncle once again proved himself to be a cold, greedy twat. Any surprise that he's the lone Republican in the family? He had me looking at the backside of decorative china plates to see if they were worth anything. I told him politely but clearly that the only ones worth anything were the Danbury Mint Norman Rockwell plates. I hope he thought he had a goldmine there, because the reality is that the plates' values will leave him terribly disappointed. C'est la vie. He already stripped the place for anything of monetary value anyway. Computer, DVD player, a dual-handset telephone. That telephone had been requested by my cousin Michael, who wanted to use it when he gets his apartment next year. My uncle said he'd take it. Then, to add insult to injury, he asked Michael to put it in his Yukon with the rest of his loot. He also took the liberty of entrusting the family photos to himself, as well as the various personal effects of my grandmother, who, although she is in a nursing home, is still alive. So all of that history, all of those documents, will be entombed in some closet in his house, collecting dust and deteriorating along with the memory of my ancestors.

I think about what transpired there over the weekend and feel ill. It has made me consider an ideal inheritance system for myself when I die. I will choose certain items for certain people. They will be entrusted to my lawyer. He will distribute them accordingly.

Then my home and everything in it will be burned to the ground.

The dead deserve so much better than a shopping spree for their survivors.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sorry
:hug: People can be so ugly.

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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Indeed.
:hug:
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. Fenris, all they needed was a letter of intent to go along with a will
Edited on Mon Mar-27-06 05:46 PM by Radio_Lady
or other documents. Too bad your grandparents did not appear to have that.

The dispersal of goods shouldn't have gone this badly. However, family entanglements at the time of death get thorny.

There was a movie called "Zorba the Greek" which documented this kind of scavenging with a vengeance. The movie was released in 1964, with Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, and the wonderful Greek actress, Irene Papas. I can still recall the scene when everyone scavenges the house after a death.

"An aimless Englishman finds he has a small inheritance on a Greek island. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life. As he discovers the earthy pleasures of Greece, the Englishman finds his view on life changing."

http://www.us.imdb.com/title/tt0057831 /

Please try to love life, and not be bitter.

In peace,

Radio_Lady
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #25
40. Thanks R_L
:hug:
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ChoralScholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. cold, greedy twat
I've never seen those words in quite that combination... especially when referring to a male.

Glad you got some of the things you treasure.

My grandmother didn't have anything, but she had a lot of sentimental stuff, letters, hymnals, old bibles. I'm glad we got those. They're worthless, financially, but to my mother and I, they were priceless.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. The value of most objects is in the eye of the beholder.
I took one of my grandmother's bibles that she had written it, mainly because she wrote about my birth in it.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
27. I agree with you, Fenris and I am sorry for your loss.
One of my most cherished possessions is a St. Francis of Assisi plastic statue that sits on my kitchen windowsill. It was my mom's and was on the kitchen windowsill of every house I lived in with her.

I treasure it. It is worth about $.50
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
41. I'd rather have my grandmother's Bible than a sack of gold coins.
Edited on Mon Mar-27-06 08:27 PM by Fenris
Money is a means to an end.

Things like your St. Francis statue are worth so much more, but only to a select few.

Thanks, Midlo. :hug:
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. ugh
That's why I hope I don't have many possessions when I die-- it's just so gross how greedy people act over...things.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. There was really not anything of great worth in that house.
That's what makes it really sad.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. the fighting over money and possessions ruined my family
most of my parents siblings couldn't even stand one another after their parents died because both my mom and dad watched as greedy siblings took everything they could....even going so far as to lock my mother out of her mother's house...

In the end photos of my mother's father and people she loved were all in the hands of people who didn't care in the first place.

So my mother has taken it upon herself to bestow things to the children while she is alive.

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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. That's a great plan of action.
It does seem necessary that we look to the future and plan so things go smoothly.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. People try to get in the event of a person's death
what the did not get in life. I remember vividly, when my maternal grandfather died, the insanity that ensued by several family members. It was sad, really.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. It's really quite frightening.
I'd hate to think about people sitting in my house at Thanksgiving and ogling things they want when I give up the ghost. :(
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
34. Nobody will get anything if you have a will and an executor and
documents that disperse things the way you want. I don't know how old you are, but everyone should have a will or a trust. They're absolutely invaluable.

Again, try to be happy. I'm going to be 67 years old in May. I don't know how old you are, but the end of life is closer than we think. I hope you don't continue to dwell on this stuff, except to get things in order for your eventual demise. My 70 year old ex-husband was just given four to six months to live. His second wife will inherit everything, but I hope my children don't have to beat down her door for "stuff" from their father. It seems like yesterday when we were in love and going to the movies together.

In peace,

Radio_Lady in Oregon.
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El Fuego Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yes... I know what you mean.
My Father passed away 2 years ago. My Mother died relatively young a decade before.

I was the executor of the estate. I envisioned that I and my only sister would ceremoniously divide all the possessions in the house, sentimental and otherwise.

But the bitch used a team of her church-borgs and backed a truck up to the house and took EVERYTHING. I will hate her forever.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. So it goes, I guess.
Most of my relatives were gracious on disputed items ("No, you take it!" "No, I don't really want it!"). But my uncle was the one running the show. He even had lists of items in the house printed out with who claimed what next to each item (mostly his family).
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
31. I'm sorry that you had to deal with this.
At least most of your relatives were acting like family. The uncle sounds like a petty, insecure fool.

I have been fortunate with my own family, but there's been nothing of monetary value to disperse and I do believe that makes it a bit easier. The sentimental stuff had mostly been pre-assigned by the deceased.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. Pre-assignment seems to be the way to go.
Thanks, Gormy Cuss. :hug:
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nini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. aunts and uncles charged the grandkids for my grandma's stuff
she was surely spinning in her grave. There's no way in hell she would have expected my sister to buy her bedroom set so she could have something from my grandma. And oddly enough the aunts/uncles in question are the repukes ones. :grr:

Sorry you had to go through this crap too.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
43. Yep, my uncle is the ONLY Repuke in the family.
It figures.
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DuckBurp Donating Member (172 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
14. Burning the home reminds me of a Viking funeral ship
If only we could do that. It would maintain some dignity for the deceased.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
45. I like the Viking ship aspect of it.
You can't take anything with you - why not burn it?
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bertha katzenengel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
15. The dead deserve so much better than a shopping spree for their survivors
Damn right, Fenris. I am sorry. :hug:
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
46. Thanks Bertha.
:hug:
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. Poor love.
Thanks for the Hawaiian statue :)
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
47. Of course.
:)
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sundog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
17. "Then my home and everything in it will be burned to the ground."
:thumbsup:

everything's so fucking impermanent anyway

i plan on leaving this planet with as little as possible

the *stuff* will just come & go - only things you can really hold are your memories & stories for your duration on the planet

glad you survived it

chin up man :)
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
48. Hey man! Haven't seen you around in a while!
Glad you're back!

:hi:
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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
18. Whew! I would advise putting it all in writing...
who you want to get what. The worst case of greed I ever saw was my step-Daughter's family. We'd been hearing for years all the furniture she was to be left by her grandMother. She got nothing!
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
49. Amazing how little regard people have for each other.
What a horrible time for greed.
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Shine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'm sorry, Fenris.
:hug:

I'm sorry you had to go through that, but it sounds like the silver lining may have been getting clarity about what YOUR personal wishes are for your stuff.

We can't take it with us, afterall.....


Everything is so transient.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
50. Good point.
Thanks. :hug:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
20. Oh how horrible
I know it is hard.

Amzing how you see a whole different side of family when it comes time to settle an estate.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #20
51. Indeed it is.
Truly horrific.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
21. People go nuts over these things, sometimes when you don't expect it.
Case in point: My mother died a little over a year ago, and left her entire estate to my dad (she wasn't wealthy, but did have some money of her own). I was named the executor, since I am a lawyer by training and experience (though I now work in another field). My two brothers and I helped Dad move into an apartment and sell his house, and we divided up the personal possessions Dad didn't want. So far so good. No problems; nobody fought over anything.

A few months later, the younger of my brothers married an older woman he had known for a number of years. None of the rest of the family had ever liked her much -- she's pushy, overbearing and obnoxious, and she made a huge nuisance of herself when my mom was sick (Mom suddenly became ill and passed away about 5 months later) -- always bossing everybody around, interfering and arguing over everything we wanted to do about her medical treatment. She insisted on "helping" Mom even though Mom didn't like her. But we always tolerated her for my brother's sake, and tried to be nice. After she and my brother got married they moved out of state and bought a huge house on a large piece of land. She has quite a lot of money from a previous marriage and some business she used to own. Neither of them has to work any more.

So a few days ago -- out of the clear blue -- I get a nastygram from SIL about how I should have insisted that Dad give the money he inherited from Mom to my brother because he deserved it on account of all the "help" they had provided to Mom and to Dad after she died. After a series of e-mails in which I tried to explain the duties of an executor, and also that as far as I was concerned the money was Dad's to do whatever he wanted with, she totally flamed me and said she wanted nothing more to do with me. That's fine; I don't like her, either. But I feel bad that my brother is married to such a f*cking vampire. My family has always been close and we've never had problems until this witch showed up. I don't want to become estranged from him but I don't know what to do. I can't deal with this woman.

The weird thing is that she's got money up the wazoo and doesn't need a dime of ours. I guess some people never have enough.

Did I mention that she's a far-right Republican with an SUV covered with Bush bumper stickers?
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seaglass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. Sorry to hear that. My husband's side of the family has been
torn apart twice when family members died. It's amazing how common fighting over money/possessions become when a family member dies.

My mom chose me as her executrix because I am the oldest. I have one SIL who I know is going to give me a hard time and will try to put my brother up to challenge me on my decisions. My niece has already asked my mom for specific pieces of jewelry which she wants now...unbelievable.

I hope you can make things work with your brother - you should try to communicate with him to prevent her from poisoning his mind.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #21
52. Christ, the greed of some people knows no end!
That's astounding!And she thinks she's entitled to it!
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
22. One of my earliest childhood memories was of dividing an estate
When my great grandpa died, the family was invited out to his house, to divide up his belongings. I was pretty young at the time, but I remember driving out to New Hampshire for it. I've never seen a house like his before or since. Every room, every hall, every inch of the place, he'd built in bookshelves, from floor to ceiling. It was amazing. I don't remember any squabbling, just everyone looking at book after book. And one book was a diary of an ancestor who'd gone out west in the covered wagons ... the family sat around as a group looking at that, and one person took it to get it transcribed and share it with everyone. I still have some of the books of cartoons that were picked out for me that day.

It's really the only memory of him that I have at all, which is funny since it's not of him, but rather the way he lived. That, and one photo of the two of us walking hand in hand away from the camera into a field, me a wobbly toddler, him a giant bent over to reach my hand.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #22
53. That sounds like a lovely photo.
:hug:
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-26-06 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
23. Well said. Sorry you had to go through that.
Redstone
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #23
55. Thanks Redstone.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
24. Good idea about assigning things you want people to inherit...
Having gone through the same thing myself, I too am sickened by the process.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
56. Yeah, I've slept a good portion of today.
Something about it really bothered me.

Hope you're holding up well. :hug:
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #56
70. The mover is coming tomorrow to assess what the move will involve....
My sister beat up on me today via email because I am "uncommunicative" -- about crap that did not involve her.

:rofl: Pot, meet kettle.

Guess I have made too many independent decisions.

Hope it goes better for you.

:hug: This thread really pegged it for me. Thanks.
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mikeiddy Donating Member (218 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
26. There is a saying in the legal field . . .
You don't know the character of your relatives until you share an inheritance with them.

Seems apropos in your circumstance. And I agree, a sad commentary.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
57. Indeed.
The character is frightening.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
28. I'm so sorry, Fenris ...
Edited on Mon Mar-27-06 05:14 PM by Lisa
That is one of the most sickening and disappointing things which any human being can witness, I've concluded -- especially since, almost by definition, a household-dismantling involves the family.

I once watched such an event unfold when the owner was not only still alive, but sitting right there! She was a tough and optimistic person, but even she was rendered silent as we watched a swarm of friends/relatives picking her place to shreds, prior to a planned move. At one point she had to physically restrain a distant cousin from out of town, as he attempted to make off with a box of K-Mart china which the two of us had packed up the night before and labelled with my name. (He was getting 6 out of 10 place settings, plus the soup tureen and gravy boat, all the dessert stuff, and all but 1 of the serving platters -- but that wasn't enough, evidently.)

Like you, I've decided that it would be best to settle things well in advance, in terms of who gets what. (I don't think I'd be able to burn my place down, since I rent ...)

As an earlier poster said, it makes me wonder if the ancient Vikings were onto something (put you and all your possessions into your boat when you die, then send it off, burning, into the sunset ...)
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #28
58. It is truly sickening.
It makes one physically ill.

I do really want a Viking funeral. That way the only thing anyone will be left with are memories.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
30. Fenris, I am so sorry about this
>The dead deserve so much better than a shopping spree for their survivors.<

Yes, they do. I have stories about my father's side's behavior when a family member dies that are too lurid and humiliating to even post here.

I was the executrix of my mother's estate. I don't wish this job on anyone.

Julie
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #30
59. Yeah, it's sad.
Oddly enough, my grandparents entrusted my uncle to be executor because he was her golden boy. Golden boy hardly visits her in the home and seems to show up only to settle accounts. Meanwhile, my dad and my aunt and even my step-aunt have gone to the home countless times just to sit with her. She remarked to my aunt that "Jim doesn't seem to want to visit anymore." :(
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
32. oh sorry to hear it
that stuff always makes me sick. The only things of value really are the people you love and the simple things that remind you of them...


:hug:
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #32
60. Thanks, Barb.
:hug:
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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
33. Too Sad.
:cry:
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #33
61. Indeed.
Far too sad. :(
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
35. It always pisses me off when a relative dies...
Because in come the vultures. You always find out who loved the deceased and who just loved their stuff. When my grandma Pauline passed away, his son couldn't be bothered to clean out her house himself. He sent his greedy wife. She was trashing stuff right and left. If my mom hadn't showed up, she wouldn't have known what was special to Grandma and what wasn't. We ended up with a trash can and several frames and the pictures and frames we had given her over the years. I wonder what happened to the picture of her parents she kept on her bedside table and the wahoo game we played when we visited. At least the really special stuff went to the grandchildren who loved her, like the ceramic christmas tree she treasured and the buffet she'd had for fifty years.

I'm so sorry you have an uncle like that. I swear to God, if, when my mother dies anyone comes in and starts to pillage, someone is getting their ass kicked. It makes me want to puke that people treat the lifelong possessions and treasures of their loved ones that way. They didn't love them. They were just biding their time until they died and they could have their stuff. I hope your grandmother finds out and kicks your uncle's ass.
Duckie
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #35
62. Thanks Duckie.
:hug:

People are, as a rule, primarily concerned with themselves. :(
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. And doesn't that make you want to beat the crap out of them?
Dammit, Selfish people piss me off. :grr:
Duckie
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. My mother made me go outside several times.
For fear I would say something nasty to my uncle.

She really wanted to hit him.
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Left Is Write Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
36. I'm sorry.
:hug:

I can't bear the thought of people picking through my mother's things like vultures, dollar signs in their eyes.

My mother has a beautiful yellow Homer Laughlin ceramic pie plate that belonged to my grandmother in the 1930s. I have two matching ones in different sizes that I found on eBay, purchased only for the sentimental value in that they reminded me of Gramma.

Mom made me promise once to be the Keeper Of The Yellow Pie Plate - "I want you to promise it will never end up at a flea market or antique sale somewhere." (I'm sure she has specified in her will what items should go to which people.) She and I understand each other and our fondness for the real (not monetary) value of the old things we each own.

Again, I'm sorry. It must have been a hard weekend for you.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #36
64. My other grandmother, who is 86
Has a lovely set of Homer Laughlin place settings. She uses the all the time.

What good is china if it goes unused? That's her philosophy. :)

:hug:
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
37. It's times like these when I'm thankful for two things:
Edited on Mon Mar-27-06 06:18 PM by GOPisEvil
1. I'm an only child
2. None of my relatives have anything worth looting after their death (except my parents - see #1).
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. I have a lot of siblings.
We argue about all sorts of trivial things, but nothing important. Take the whole lot of us out to a restauraunt and it's impossible to split the bill because everyone wants to pay the entire thing. My wife's has a large family too, and they are the same way. A lot of family heirlooms, some of them very old, simply float around among us. If someone doesn't have room for something, they give it to someone who does. If someone wants to make a special place for a family treasure, they ask for it. It really doesn't matter who has what, or how valuable it might be, so long as it has a good home and someone is taking care of the story behind it.

All of us openly joke about who will get what whenever we are together. "If dad gives you that, I'm going to sneak into your house and take it!" It's an informal way of calculating the value of something to each of us. I care a great deal about my grandfather's scientific and engineering treasures; my siblings don't care as much.

Most of the stuff we care about is family folk art, or little odds and ends that someone who has passed away was especially fond of. My wife has her grandfather's tin lunch box that he took to work with him every day. I have my grandfather's home movies and tapes.

The nice thing about pictures, movies, tape recordings, drawings, etc. is that they are easily duplicated. Our original family photographs are pretty evenly distributed, but everyone has copies of any photographs they want.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #37
66. That's a good point.
;)
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MidwestMomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
38. A suggestion about the family photos and documents
Edited on Mon Mar-27-06 06:58 PM by MidwestMomma
Once some time has passed, maybe you could ask your uncle if you could borrow the photos and docs so you can scan them onto CD's so they can be distributed to all that would want. Maybe stress it would be a good way to keep them safe in case of fire or theft or something.

Your story made me sad cause I see something similar happening in my family's future when my mom dies. All the rat bastards will come out of the woodwork and want to pillage through her stuff when they can't even bother to visit her. :(

I joke with my mom and tell, 'don't look back cause it will probably be ugly'. (And my mom has nothing of real value but there will be some that will still squabble.)

And about the photos and stuff, my sister is working on this now while my Mom is still alive. She's trying to scan the family photos and stuff like that so we can all have a record.

Here's a :hug: Glad you got the medal.

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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #38
67. Thanks for the suggestion.
Edited on Mon Mar-27-06 09:01 PM by Fenris
I might try it.

:hi:

:hug:

This is what the medal looks like (although in poorer condition):

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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
44. Fenris....all that you need of your grandparents' is the love you have
stored in your heart...and the memories in your head. :hug: It is so difficult to see family members turn into scavengers, isn't it?
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #44
68. Oh it's beyond difficult.
It's just sickening. :(

:hug:
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we can do it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
54. So Sorry for You. I Watched a Similar Scavenging when My Neighbor Died
She was so cool - a retired teacher who was really into history. She took care of her younger sister who had alzheimer's at home. Of course, none of the family gave her any help. She developed a bowel obstruction and went to the hospital, but didn't stay long enough because her sister was home alone. She went home to care for her sister and died a few days later. I too was sickened by the vultures who ransacked their home one afternoon, leaving the unwanted items out on the curb, and putting the place up for rent.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #54
69. So sad.
So many memories tossed to the curb. :(
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Pied Piper Donating Member (363 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
71. I have a few stories...
My great-aunt lost her husband while I was in high school. She was his second wife. His first wife and daughter actually left him in in the '30s to "join the circus" (!) For some strange reason, the estate was to be divided equally between my great aunt and the first wife (and daughter), both of whom lived out of state. The executor of the estate also lived out of state. Almost immediate after he died, my great aunt held an estate sale. Except it wasn't exactly a "sale," because everything was free. She wanted to unload as much as possible before the estate could be assessed. We cleaned out the house, at her request. Our side of the family acquired his old hunting rifles, suit coats and ties, even shoes. I myself got an old Swiss Army Knife and gold pocketwatch. Mrs. Runaway Ex-Wife and Daughter were surprised at their meager portion, but life turns out that way sometimes!

After witnessing that whole mess, my sister and I over the years have privately made our choices known to each other, and our parents have been brought into the circle. I will someday inherit the dining room table which belonged to our mother when she was a little girl. My sister will inherit the china cabinet and all its contents. The rest of the stuff and the house will be sold. Hopefully, that's a long way off.

A few years ago, my maternal grandmother was sent to hospice with Alzheimer's. When my mom finally decided to sell the house (which was not the house she grew up in, so it was a bit easier), she brought all of us to the house to pick out what we wanted (my grandmother was still alive at the time, but incapacitated). Everyone was most respectable, and no one questioned anyone else's choices. Everyone walked away with something sentimental to them, and everything else was left for the new owners. When my grandmother finally passed away, all of the estate issues had already been settled, except for some land that my grandmother still owned, and that is expected to be sold within the next month.

I don't think that it will be so easy when it comes to my paternal grandfather. He just turned 90, and that side of the family is rabidly right-wing and greedy. Fortunately, that's 1000 miles from me. I won't witness any of it, although I expect I'll hear about it for a long time afterwards!
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