When my mother died at 98, she was still in her right mind. She had lived by herself and even drove until 95. I am retired and lived 500 miles away. Since my sister was still working, I took my mother to live with me the last 3 years of her life. I helped her dress and bathe; I emptied the bedside potty chair; I took her to her appointments, etc, etc, etc. You as caregivers understand the lifestyle changes. I willingly gave up my life in order to help her through her final years. But right now, I am unable to grieve because of anger---no that word is insufficient to describe my feelings…. rage is more accurate.
At her death I discovered that two years before she came to live with me, she changed her will. She left my sister the house, a trailer, the property, and half of her money. My sister told me after the funeral that she was aware of the will change and that she and my mother chose not to tell me. At times my mother and I had conversations where she told me that she didn’t need to worry about me because I was capable, dependable, and responsible.
The fact that the larger share of the estate went to my sister doesn’t overly concern me because since I am capable, dependable, and responsible, I am financially secure. My difficulty is that my mother did not tell me; even though she was living in my home and I was her only caregiver, she let me continue to believe that her estate was divided equally. I feel betrayed by the woman to whom I devoted the past three years. This I see as a lie of omission; I am hurt that my mother would deal with me as such----don’t I deserve to know why I was treated that way----with no explanation and now, at her death, no chance to understand why she chose not to tell me?
It also hurts that my sister had cleaned out my mother’s lock box and after the funeral surprised me the secret will. I talked to my mother’s lawyer and was told, “Yes, this was her last will,” and that he had written it for her.
Am I over reacting? How can I let go of the perceived unfairness---not in the property division but in the secretiveness ---the ‘ganging up’ of my mother and sister to deceive me? My mother believed in family, and at her death she killed her remaining family. I refuse to argue with or express my rage to my sister because nothing I say will change what has happened. My plan is to silently withdraw…I guess the proper term for it is passive aggressiveness. If my sister calls, I will talk decently to her, but because of what I call treachery, I will make no effort to continue or support a relationship with her. Thus, over the years, our lives will become separate.