Do you know what happens when a parent dies. Yes … you grieve. But the world does not stop. Everything continues, life goes on and the world doesn’t cease it’s rotation; the sun still sets. You might feel like you’ve stopped breathing, but your heart continues beating. You keep dreaming, even though your dream has become a nightmare. You will one day dream again. Speaking for myself, about five months after Dad died, the sun has tentatively begun to break over this ocean I call grief. I suppose we call it ‘Grief’ because it is real … like the word ‘Love’. It makes one wonder how much of the rest of our lives are actually real or just a perception which society has imposed upon us … a kind of preconceived structural montage.
But I digress …
During this five months, there has been fighting. I will call it ‘grievous arguing’ … because there were many broken hearts, a family lost their patriarch; each individual believed that their experiences were the only reality and they were alone …; And in truth, each of us have been in a vacuum; each of us have been solitary in an ocean of grief. Everyone has a different idea of how one’s estate should be dealt with. Everyone’s perception is as different as East, West, North and South. Grandchildren expect a ‘Formal’ reading of the will, only to find that there never was a will. People feel adrift even more than ever as the landscape changed every minute. Underlying each of our very deep experience is the question … ‘But why? Why? Why?’ … Feelings are hurt. A life insurance policy was paid out, but people were forgotten … and again there was the question … “Why?”.
There is no answer to the question, “Why?”. People settle their lives in their own time, in their own way for their own reasons. We might assume or believe that it is fair, or unfair. But it just “IS” what it “IS”. That’s all. It’s every person’s right to choose how they want to be remembered, how they wish their legacies to be dispersed and how their life insurance policies have beneficiaries. Yes, it is even ones own choice to have a will or not to have a will. Sometimes people do not have a choice, they believe they will live longer or that they can do it later; But my father had a choice long before he landed in the hospital. He had time; He put thought into it. At 78 years old, he chose not to have a will, even though he said, or thought that he would do it ‘later’ … he chose that he would not. He made a point of making a statement late one evening that makes all to much sense now. If he realistically had only two years more by the odds, he only ‘might’ have written a will. The truth is this: The odds are that he still would not have written a will.
There is a worldly truth also. This truth is that money is only a neutral tool. Many people lay emotion onto money. Money: has no emotions, it has no feelings and it is not good or evil. Money allows an individual to settle their bill with the world, even after they die.
There is a business to settle, a home to clean and finances to cope with. This was his life, his home, his earnings and his debt. One would think that creditors would not beat at the door so rashly; Some are quite sensitive, but then request and even demand for a logical financial settlement.
There is no reason for a family to be torn apart over money or things; Because what you really have after all the dust settles is each other; the love and the memories. Do you really want the all the ‘stuff’? It’s only the remnants of a life well lived.
All I want are the pictures, the love and the memories. He trusted that I would understand these things; If there is anything else left, I consider it a gift.
Get an attorney, settle the estate and grieve. Let it be. Let the tears go.
Allow the legacy to live.
Love each other.
Because in the end, the love is what you take with you.