Fortunately, in my family, that's never happened. All of us love each other and those we have lost so much that any material possessions left behind are inconsequential. What matters is how we respect and treat each other.
Unfortunately, I have observed this behavior in friends. In one instance, the sisters of the deceased challenged the inheritance of the only child. Not only did it turn emotionally ugly but dissolved into an out-and-out legal battle. So not only did my friend lose his mother, but greedy family members continue to put him through the emotional turmoil of not being able to move on with his life. Talk about a selfish, mean act. One wonders how others can be so cruel.
The other instance had one sibling instigating harsh feelings and disagreement for no real reason other than trying to justify her own greed over what could be claimed over the estate. Sadly, her siblings cared little for the remaining possessions or money, hoping only for a few small momentos of their mother.
Times of grief call for the unconditional love I speak of in my books. Unfortunately, there are those in this world who only consider themselves and care little for others. I always hold my own brother as a benchmark for how we should all behave during these times. When we lost our mother a number of years ago, I couldn't have asked for a kinder, more generous or understanding brother. I, in turn, offered the same to him. Once we had gone through the grieving process of losing someone so near and dear to us, it was time to figure out what to do with her possessions and the rest of her estate. She had set it up so that it was divided evenly between us. But, because she knew we wouldn't let greed interfere with our love for each other, she left it open, other than asking us verbally to have certain considerations.
So, here's how it went. We looked at each other and said, "Tell me what means the most to you." And we agreed accordingly. There were things that had tremendous sentimental value for each of us for various reasons, and we respected this. We held to our mother's request on specific things and kept it all 50-50. Now, isn't that how it should be?
The love lost between family members over material possessions and money makes me heartsick. You can replace "things." You can't ever replace the love you lose.
Til Next Time,