I am sure most families have members who cause problems. Whether its through action or inaction, some people just float through life causing problems of various kinds. I would imagine some do it out of spite, others through no fault of their own. They just seem to be followed by problems I suppose.
The worst possible time to deal with these people is when some kind of tragedy has transpired. When my grandfather passed away a few years ago, I remember how sad my father was, but it paled in comparison to how sad he was when he returned from the funeral.
It seems that his father was not but a few hours in the grave when his oldest brother began to bitch about the will, about who was invited to the funeral, about who was going to be responsible for the cost of wake, etc. The ensuing arguments did nothing to comfort those who were truly saddened by my grandfather’s passing.
When my father returned and told us stories of what happened, I wasn’t surprised. Most people see their parents passing not so much as a sad occasion, but an opportunity to ask, “What am I getting?”
I find my father alive infinitely more valuable than my father dead. No amount of money that he bestows upon me after he dies will make up for the fact that he is no longer able to call me up and tell me stories about his youth, or tales about what he ate for lunch. Every talk I have with my father these days is priceless. To think about his eventual passing brings me to the verge of a despair that I have not felt before, but what makes it worse is what I know to be true… and that is that someone in my family will only ask, “What am I getting?”
I do not wish to profit from anyone’s death. I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I am not homeless nor hungry, but getting some lump sum from my father’s estate won’t make me rich nor will it make me feel better when he passes. I have explained as much to my father. That I prefer to remember him without having to do so with a check burning a hole in my pocket. Of course, my father, ever rational explained that what he does with his money is no concern of mine. Whether he uses it all for hookers and heroin in one big blowout before he goes or he gives it all to some random woman he just met on the internet or he gives it equally to my two brothers and I, it is his money to do with as he sees fit.
Completely and totally true.
Sometimes when people die around us, we lose sight of what is important and we cling to any idea that makes us feel the loss a little less. For some, the focus becomes how much they loved us and the proof for them is in what they get in the will. I understand that, but it is hopelessly selfish in my honest opinion. If my father had given everything he owned upon his death to a woman who brought him joy, I wouldn’t fault him or begrudge her. It is his money afterall and he should do with it as he pleases even from the grave. Thats what I know to be rational, but i can bet dollars to doughnuts that someone in my family will not be satisfied with rationale because death seems to bring about the crazy in all of us.