Part of Grieving I did not expect..


My mom passed away 3 weeks ago. SHe'd had a stroke 1 1/2 years ago, and we didn't expect her to live the week, so we were blessed with much more time. Knowing the end would come I tried to "prepare" myself. I know now that you really can't. This is the first really close death I've experienced.

Anyway I really didn't expect the loss of concentration I am experiencing. It's like anything I had planned in the weeks before her death I've forgotten. I'm an administrative assistant, and this is not good, it is good that I have notes on my computer.

I also didn't expect the day of just feeling down I've experienced. No real "reason", just a feeling of depression. We were so busy the week of the funeral, then the next week we had a graduation party (graduation ceremony in the middle of funeral arrangements, talk about your ups and downs), anyway I don't think I had time to let myself think or really feel. I'm sure that makes sense to some of you.

I also didn't expect to feel some of the anger (and I am trying to let it go) that I feel towards my sister-in-laws for being so greedy and taking some of Mom's jewerly before my sister and I had a chance to go through it. The thing is she and I had really different taste in Jewerly. She liked BIG rings, I don't. Quite honestly I don't think she had anything I really wanted. Maybe a couple I would "like' for memory purposes, but none that I'd seen and said..I want that. Anyway Sister In Law and some granddaughters picked through before I got to look. I picked out a couple of things I like (of what was left mind you), but one SIL got the diamond tennis bracelet (I think my sister, the oldest child should have gotten first choice). Anyway on SIL (not the one who got the tennis bracelet) wore the jewerly to the burial. There were rings on every finger, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings (notice the plural on everything) all of which were Mom's. They were not there when I got to pick. That did upset me. Again not becasue I "WANTED" them, but because she had SOO much and wore it ALL? I don't know. I'm really trying to let this one go, but as you can see I'm not being very successful.


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You have my sympathies on the loss of your mother. I think you'll find that you'll experience a wide variety of emotions during your period of grief. It's difficult to predict what they might be, how long they last or how intense they might be. Just be assured that most are within the realm of what is considered "normal".

Lack of concentration is something I had to deal with after my Dad died. In my case it was primarily because I felt that mundane tasks were unimportant and I couldn't muster the will or the ambition to care much about them for some time. Eventually it passes.

As far as feeling down "for no real reason", you will experience more of that. You may not think you have a reason, but just the absence of your Mom in your life and the void that leaves behind is enough reason to feel down. These feelings will come and go, without warning, and will vary in intensity. It's been 6 months since Dad died and I still have those days. Some will probably tell you that they still experience them years later. Don't worry about feeling down for no reason, just don't let it get the best of you.

As for the whole jewelery thing, that's a tough one. I can certainly understand your feelings of resentment and anger. They are justified. By your description, your SIL's acted very inappropriately. Discuss it with your siblings to make sure your Mom didn't make any arrangements to dispose of these things that maybe you weren't aware of. Beyond that, I guess it depends on how strongly you feel about their actions. Confrontation at this time, over such issues can divide a family for a long time, but then again, keeping your anger and resentment inside isn't healthy either. Hopefully someone else will have good advice for you on how to deal with that.

Good luck and may God's peace be with you.

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I am sorry for the difficulties you are going thru. I think that often, we are so consumed with the things that "need" to be done, the other things get pushed back and when everything is crowding inside your head for a place to sit, i think it is a normal defense mechanism to lose your concentration. i can certainly understand your feelings about the jewelry and i think that needs to be validated. it is unfortunate that a sister in law felt she could take these things prior to the actual daughter being able to view these items. as you said, for nothing other than memories, it would have been nice to be able to look before everything was picked over. i simply do not understand why it seems that people move in like vultures to claim things like this. perhaps that is a strong word, but i see this all the time. the fact is, your sister in law was very wrong to assume she should have access over you to take these things. she should have asked "may i..." once you had the opportunity to decide what you wanted to do. by then, you may have felt it appropriate to offer her something as a memory. i agree with bill on this, it will depend upon how much anger and resentment builds on this, but it will not be good to let it go without addressing this. you are right, and if it were me, i would most likely find the right time, and sit down and have a heart to heart talk one on one with sister in law and let her know how this hurt you. surely there must be a tactful way of handling this once some time passes that will help you feel you have resolved this. my concern is that if it is not addressed and your feelings not validated, this could make for a very long time of building resentment and anger towards her.
i hope it works out. peace be with you.

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Even after 3 1/2 years with my father's slow decline, it still hit like a ROCK!!!

Just because we've been able to identify some of the elements in greiving, doesn't mean we eliminate them! It just helps us to know we are not going NUTS!!!

Lack of concentration, etc = NORMAL. Discuss DAILY your next day and next weeks' agenda with someone who is not apart of the loss. Are you fortunate enough to have a secretary?

About the jewelry...Who is the executor of the Trust or Will???

How big a stink do you want to make over this???

I might actually suggest a councelling session or two, quickly, just so that you don't bend the ears off of others also trying to grieve...

This is probably not the first indication that your SIL is a controlling, greedy, thoughtless b---ch...
(Have a hard time exressing myself don't I :) )

1)I'd "let go" through the aide of the councellor.

2)Go see the Executor and work through her/him on getting back the one or two items that mean something to you. (She was tacklessly wearing it all, so you know what she has.)

3)I'd find out who is the executor for the other significant family members and indicate this should NOT happen again!

4)And make sure your OWN things are in order, yes, even now-ish after the dust settles, because her children are taking notes!

Please take it slow, eat well, try to get plenty of sleep.
The hurt dissipates, things get better.
God has an odd sense of humor, try to enjoy it.

Hope this helped and did not hurt too much (which would never have been my intention) AMS

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i dont blame you for being upset about the jewelry....i would have been so mad if i had seen someone else with jamies jewelry on without my knowledge....deb is right about the vultures...after jamie died i made a rash decision just as they were carrying her body out to sell the house she had lived and died in...if i had it to do over i would have locked it up and got my bearings and then made the decision...but at times like that you dont think straight.....once i told my brother i would sell to him he couldnt get her stuff out fast was like a frenzy...and ill my husband pulling in our yard when he dropped off her furniture...the look on his face...he started throwing stuff(my husband)he was in the anger stage and wasnt ready to face cannibalizing her possessions yet...your sister in law is lucky you as i was were probably in shock ...otherwise you may have ripped the jewelry off her right then and there....thinking back i probably should have had a confronation ...and i regret i didnt...because holding it in consumes you ..and grief does enough of that...maybe you could approach your brother(her husband)about your feelings..he may not even be aware....for whatever reason it is so important that we make the decision who gets what and will feel much better speaking up about far as your other has been said in other threads..grief is a roller coaster will feel almost normal one day and crazy the will go thru so many emotions that you are not sure of...i read everything i could on grief to try and understand...and it helped me alot

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The mush-brain is normal. You probably have a mix of grieving for her and relief it's finally over, but the brain still shuts off.

The anger is normal - they were RUDE and greedy and you should talk to the executor to make sure he/she knows that there was some uncontrolled "distribution of assets" (an ILLEGAL one, I might add).

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That was awful bold of your Sister-in-law. When my Mother died, my brother, sister and I had to clear the house and sale it very soon after. I was very proud of us. We went through the home and took turns picking out everything in each room we wanted (furniture and misc.) For my brother, his wife took his turn. Then my brother took all my Mom's fishing and such and took all the grandkids and let them do the same thing. It really worked well and I did not expect it to go so good. My Dear Husband passed just January and I have not gone through his jewelry yet. I have not divided any thing out to the kids. I have given one of his favorite golf things to a grandson that graduated from high school as a extra gift. But I am not sure about anyone wanting any of his other things. I guess I need to ask the girls if there is anything they really want. He didn't have much jewelry, few rings and things. But I cann't part with them yet. So sorry to hear about your Mom. I remember what I went through and that was 1978. I know the kids will really miss their Dad Sunday.

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FWIW, for a month or two after my Dad passed away I really couldn't think straight either. Part of it seemed like distraction and part of it seemed like I had actually lost about 30 IQ points. I just couldn't put 2 and 2 together and I, like you, never expected any such thing.

Hopefully your experience will be similar to mine and you will begin getting back to your full mental acuity soon.


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I'm sorry, my husband passed last year and also my my mom. I'm still angry and I still cry alot. I know how you feel about your sister-in-law, my brothers were never around for her when she needed them. When she passed all of a sudden there. They took her bible which I wanted. I still have her ashes, they want to put them in a plot so they can visit her. (Now they want to visit her) I'm sorry if I feel bitter. Your Mom sounded like a grand person.
Depression is part of grieving, also crying. You get exhusted by all this so sleep is very important. You go back to work only when your ready.

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Vickey, the "emty brain syndrome" is so normal for a grieving person. I was telling someone just yesterday that I don't know if I will ever feel normal again, but I am ready to. I have been grieving for my 19 year old daughter and now my mom who left us June 3. Hopefully, your coworkers will be patient with you during this time.
I also would be livid if someone had taken their things without checking with me. If I were you, I would try to talk to my siblings first and let them know how you feel. Try to do it calmly. Just tell them that you believe that you all should have gotten a fair chance in picking what you want, and you would like to pool everything together, the siblings take first choice and then let the daughters in law pick what they may like to have. If that doesn't work, then go directly to the daughters in law and tell them that you didn't get a chance to look through your mom's things and you would like to see what they took to see if there is anything that you really would like to have. Since you are a daughter, certainly you should have first choice. If they are bold enough to refuse, then you know where they stand. I just believe that nicely talking to them first would be the best approach. That way, it won't look like you are stirring up a big deal with the executor. I could see that going about it in that way may generate hard feelings.

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Vickey, just saw your post and wanted to respond. One of my best friends lost her son to a suicide at age 23. This happened in 1999 and she has not yet, to this day, been able to read a novel or any kind of book and stay with it. She says it's though her concentration is gone!

I think it's a totally normal result of the brain and heart just being on overload! ((Vickey))

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