It doesn't necessarily end after "the end."


Hello all, I haven't posted here in ages. I was a FT caretaker for my mother since September of 2015, all day every day. She was confined to bed for that entire time so if you've ever done any caretaking you understand the magnitude of the job. She went into a very steep decline in early April and passed away on 5/21. While the entire experience was challenging, the last month and a half was an absolute nightmare that made the rest of it seem easy in comparison. I did some PT work from home during that span (still do) but saving money was tough. My goal (aside from supporting us both) was to pay off her debts and save a little cash to float me when the time came. I managed to wipe out her worst debts but this happened then that broke and soon the nest egg was down to nothing. My sister died in 2010 and there aren't any other heirs (aside from mom's three worthless granddaughters who contributed absolutely nothing) and her will specifically states I am to inherit her house, her only asset other than an old insurance policy. This is what she wanted. So here I am, two weeks after watching her pass away. My bank account is dwindling quickly, I cannot get the insurance representative to return my calls and I have to begin the probate process this week (which isn't free, BTW). I have to find a job, I have to buy a car (driving a loaner from a friend, mine was totaled back in Feb), the bills are starting to pile up and so forth. On top of that mom's oldest granddaughter (29), who didn't call, visit or even send her grandmother a card (a GM who was instrumental in funding and raising her, BTW) for over two full years is harassing me about a "memorial service" (which mom explicitly stated she did not want) so she can "say goodbye" (she was already cremated according to her wishes), as if I can drop thousands of dollars so she can stop by and feel bad. On top of THAT my best friends lost their 22 year old son in April, a son I was also close with. So right now my FT "job" is a) hunting down an insurance agent so I can find out what if anything her fifty year old life insurance policy is worth b) start the probate process and all that entails and c) try to "move on" after two-plus years of caretaking and watching my mom die right in front of me. I am a living example of poor planning. Do NOT let this happen to you!



dmanbro - so sorry to hear of your loss.

As others have mentioned, don't let these details overwhelm you. Take your time, deal with one "fire" at a time, putting that one out before you move on to the next. First priority should be getting that insurance policy settled - then worry about finding a job, even a part-time one, if there's something you can walk to close by, since you mentioned you don't have a car - or maybe public transport is possible. The rest will fall into place after that.

Don't worry about the granddaughter - if she wants a memorial for your mother, let her have one herself and she can foot the bill for it. Maybe that will give her a small taste of what it's been like for you over the years.

You are doing your best right now, and that's all that matters. Forget what the granddaughters think or feel - worry about yourself. Make self-care a priority every day - get out and take a walk in the fresh air, or do something you really used to enjoy, but haven't been able to do since caring for Mom. You're going to make it.

When I was probating Dad's will, I found that sending letters (along with the required death certificate) to insurance companies was the fastest way to get any response. I didn't bother calling them. Insurance Companies like "hard copies" either in the form of letters or email best and respond quicker. [There are some good examples on the internet of form letters to insurance companies that you can copy informing them of someone's death and requesting reimbursement.] I had 10 copies of Dad's death certificate and I used every single one of them to send to someone who needed proof of his death.

I even had to have a death certificate to cancel Dad's CELL PHONE since it was "under contract". {Apparently the death certificate was needed because the cell phone company was having trouble with spouses cancelling their ex-spouses' cell phone accounts :) }

I suggest that you tell the granddaughter that her grandmother didn't want a "memorial service" so you didn't have one and if she wants a "memorial service" then she needs to plan it and pay for it herself.

Please take time for yourself. One of my friends goes for a drive "because she can" whenever she feels the need to get away. She doesn't plan the trip, she just gets into the car and drives. She does take a small overnight bag because one time she found herself in another state 8 hours away from home. She really enjoyed it and I could tell that it did "a world of good" for her wellbeing. I wish that I could do that but my health took a HUGE nosedive after Mom entered the nursing home and I can't even drive 1 hour without problems. {SIGH}

Remember that GOD is always with you and HE is holding you in HIS loving arms today and every day. God Bless.

Dmanbro, Hoping that you're well and coping. I'm so sorry about the recent loss of your mother.

PLEASE come back and let us know how you're doing, okay?

Dear dmanbro,

My deepest sympathies and condolences on the passing of your mother. You did the best you could. Never forget that. I completely hear you and you are so right. Grief is hard enough without having to face all these administrative duties and questions about our future. It wasn't poor planning it was just life.

Thinking of you during this difficult time. Take care of yourself the best you can.

If the insurance agent is local,, can you go and park yourself in his office? Or just send the death cert and copy of the policy information to the home office ( look on your bill), or call the 800 number? All my dad;s policies had to be sent to the home office with the DC.. and a form you can probably find on their website. It went pretty easy for me,, hope you get this figured out.

Bumping up so the others who interacted with DManBro a few years ago can see this thread.

I'm sorry for your loss. Be kind to yourself, you don't need to accomplish everything all at once, allow yourself some quiet time every few days just to grieve.

I'd been involved in the financial and legal life of my family member for quite some time, but even then... I definitely found that in the midst of caregiving, certain additional legal and financial matters do come to the surface. But, I was so busy doing the intense work involved in caregiving, that there was no time to work on those issues that came up. It's not poor planning, it's the nature of seeing another human being through that phase of life and facing all the demands that come with it. No reason to put together a memorial service - you stated your mom would not have wanted it and that's all you need to know. Granddaughters do not get a say in it, but I wonder why it's suddenly so important to them that there be a service of some kind? Something's going on there.
Be patient with yourself - you really have been through a lot. One more thing - re the insurance company. I had a similar issue where I got the run-around and complete rudeness on the phone multiple times. I eventually sent a fax with a VERY plainly-worded cover sheet explaining how many times I'd contacted them and requesting action. They did not verbally respond to that, BUT I had the check within days. Done.

Dmanbro, I'm glad you returned to share the changes in your life, but I am so sorry to learn that your mother has passed, and that there are other tragedies that have occurred as well.

I recall your posts, your diligent and often aggressive action and intervention to assure that your mother was properly cared for. You were an outstanding caregiver; please remember that, always, and especially when life is as challenging for you as it is now.

Just a few comments on my mind now. You do NOT have to pay off your mother's debts. It's not your obligation, and if there's no more money left in your mother's assets, that's it.

But I compliment your sincerity and ethics.

So the granddaughter (at least one) still hasn't grown up. That's unfortunate, but you have the right to not take her calls, not accept pressure, and "just say no" to the request for a memorial. Alternatively, you can ask her how much she can contribute, as the piggy bank is empty now.

I've decided that when faced with situations like this, I won't take the call but respond by e-mail so I've got documentation, and so that I'm not pestered with irrelevant self interested calls.

You are definitely NOT an example of poor planning. I remember well how well you planned for care for your mother and was impressed with your devotion. That's an example of good planning carried out for a good purpose.

Financial planning is always a challenge when caregiving; we never know what will happen.

Getting close to the 2 month point since my own father died, I want to share with you that relaxation and respite time, and especially avoidance of blaming yourself for anything, are critical to establishing a new normal. Don't be surprised when you're too depressed to get up or face another day. Treat yourself well; you deserve it.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

dmanbro, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family for the passing of your Mom.

I have been following your postings since 2015 and your experience with being a caregiver. your Mom was quite lucky to have a son like you to help her in her final years. I know it wasn't easy for you.

No, you are not an example of poor planning. We are thrown into a "job" of caregiving that we never had any training. There was no mentor waiting at the door to help us along. Everything was trial and error, and mostly error. It definitely was on the job training.

I've been down the Probate trail. Lot of speed-bumps along the way. What a relief once it is finally done. And you're right, it isn't free. Oh why does this have to be so complex?

Time to find your new normal. Time to find that job that you really enjoy getting up in the morning to be there. it might be too soon so soon after your Mom had passed so don't be surprised if you feel not quite ready yet.

Oh good grief, I thought your Mom's grand-daughters would have matured by now, and not be so self centered. I still remember your posts how they would come over to try to help and weren't any help at all.