Follow
Share

She thinks she did no wrong? Went to step mother's home to help stepsister remove a light fixture. Sent step sister to store ‘began loading up all her fathers clothes without asking anybody if she could have them, or if ok. Refused to bring them back after stepmom called her extremely upset & argued with her. My mother is staying with me at my home because she has dementia & loss of spouse 1 wk after moving from her home she is totally lost & now angry & crying all day. Help.

Find Care & Housing
Igcrazy, you said that your step sister said “don’t I have the right to grieve too”. I am not defending what she did in way way, I am saying this so that it may put a perspective on what she did and why she did it. Some people handle grief and stress by getting rid of things. It sounds like she came in and got rid of her dads clothes? Aside from feeling like she may have a right to right to some of his things, her comment to you sounds like it was her way of grieving. My MILs partner has always handled stress by getting rid of things. He would build up huge expensive collections of comic books and CDs and then get upset and stressed out over something and get rid of them! We joked about it over the years, about how you had to watch out for him because he threw every thing away! If something went missing, everyone figured he threw it away! The morning my MIL died, I walked in to the house for the first time in a week and I was shocked! The hitch in the kitchen was nearly empty. The family photos in the living room were gone. Her mother’s antique sewing machine was gone. Her beautiful vases with fake flowers were gone! Everything that was HERS was out of sight. Everything. I now know he had given it away, donated it or thrown it away. While she was dying, he was telling us how he had buyers lined up for her hutch and her mobility scooter. He told my SIL that as MIL passed, he wanted her & her husband to bring over a trailer and load up a bunch of stuff because he wanted it gone. The jerk had no regard for anyone else’s feelings! Didn’t stop and think that her kids might have wanted to go through her things themselves and distribute them amongst each other. Didn’t think that it would be upsetting to walk in to the house when she died and see all her stuff was gone. He didn’t care how upsetting it was to hear that he was already trying to make money off HER stuff and she wasn’t even dead yet! My SIL was able to overlook it because getting rid of stuff is how he deals with life. I say, it’s no excuse and he’s azz hole for doing what he did but I understand why he did it. And being able to understand has helped me not be so angry.

Joann clothes can have sentimental value. Not everyone wants the valuables. (Watches).
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to worriedinCali
Report

Replying to your comment to me.

Sorry, I should have said that I saw your side of the story too. ( was giving SS the benefit of the doubt)

Yes, ur step sister was wrong. She went into a house which was not her own and took things that really belonged to your mother now her husband was gone. ( whats mine is yours) When asked, she should have returned them. Why would she want his clothes anyway? A keepsake, like a watch, I can see but clothes?

It seems there is a problem with boundries when two separate families are merged together. No matter how long the couple is married, the steps seem to think they have rights over the spouse. Which they don't.

I suggest you change locks on Moms house. Its her house, her right.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Good question - did she give an explanation?  I personally think she was totally out of line and incredibly inconsiderate.  This is supposed to be a time of mourning.  Often times a loved one (even with dementia) needs time to let go of their LO's belongings.  It was your Mother's right to make that decision.  It sounds like she is "laying claim" to his belongings and I would be very careful as to what else she may have, or may have plans to take.  I am so sorry for your Mother.  Very unkind.  Bless you for being there for her.  Take care of yourself too, as this can be emotionally draining. 💙
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to dlpandjep
Report

Lets go with Battina's explanation. She thought she was doing the SM a favor. Its really hard for some people to get rid of personal belongings. I found my sisters clothes in a closet cleaning out Moms house. My sister had been gone for 20 yrs and lived 2 states away. Mom had brought them back to NJ. Why would anyone want somebodies clothes anyway especially a fathers.

Off topic here...but when cleaning out someones clothing, check pockets. My boss was asked to get some clothes together for a friend that was going to LTC. She checked the pockets of a coat and found $400. My Aunt was good about putting her Bingo winnings in record albums and books. My cousin found 3000 cleaning her house out.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
igcrazy2b Mar 24, 2019
It’s not being helpful to remove anything from somebodies home without asking first. It’s no different than theft. She was told nothing was to leave the house without mom there- I did not know she had not ask & by the time I found out mom was so upset it was all over- she refused to bring back stating don’t I have the right to grieve too? I told her of course you do but you don’t have the right to take anything from somebodies home without asking first & I told her she needed to take back & undo what she had done & she refused saying she did not do anything wrong & went on to say she discussed it with me which never happened. At that point I went off. I have lived thru hell for the past mo. & it does not seem that Mom is going to be able to let this go. It was so unnecessary,cruel, & a heartless thing to do to my mom as well as me, the care giver.
(1)
Report
also, it was your stepfathers daughter who took the clothes? Did you ask her why? Being that it was his daughter, I can see why thinks she did nothing wrong. But she should have asked your mother first.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to worriedinCali
Report

I am so sorry. I understand. My MIL’s partner started getting rid of her belongs while she was on hospice. He started around 3 weeks before she passed despite her asking him to wait until she was gone. He first started by giving her children all of the pictures and mementos they had given her over the years. She passed away early on a Friday morning and when my SIL went over to the house the following Monday to pick a dress to bury her in, 95% of her clothing was already gone!!! He had no right to do that. None whatsoever. She left her personal belongings to her children. The only clothing left when my SIL went to the house were the dresses she wore in her children’s weddings and an expensive leather coat her partner had bought her. Her irrevocable trust named my husband as her successor trustee and he was supposed to be the one to handle the distribution of her personal property but he did not get to do that because MILs partner got rid of most of her stuff before she was buried! He even tried selling some of it!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to worriedinCali
Report
igcrazy2b Mar 24, 2019
Thank you for your response I just don’t understand how people can be so insensitive & so greedy that that can’t have the common decency to wait & take what is given , not just go in & take what you want. Its the same thing as theft, you ask b4 you take anything that does not belong to you & it’s not being helpful to remove anything prior to asking if it is ok. I’m so sorry that happened to you.
(0)
Report
I've seen this type of thing happen several times. Happened to me when my husband passed, in laws just helped themselves to things without asking. SIL
took a packet of letters to copy and never returned them.

I also watched cousins haul off truckloads of my aunts collectibles while she was
very ill. The problem is once things are gone it's hard to prove or have any
leverage for their return other than to directly appeal to their common decency.

I'd say speak with her directly and calmly as possible and be prepared to negotiate
with her (ie letting her keep some items) . Consider she could be taking them to simply donate them, and may well think she is doing you both a favor. Some people can be quite callous in these types of situations and just want to speed things along. Talk to her asap to sort things out. Best of luck!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to bettina
Report

Is there perhaps a financial constraint that means the house must be quickly emptied?

Whose name is the house in?

How did she get in?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
igcrazy2b Mar 24, 2019
The house was left to his wife, my mom. They had just moved to assisted living & he died 1 week later. No hurry at all to sell house-it’s just too far for us to be able to work & care for her so we were going to by new home. They met me to help remove antique light fixture I did not want to go with the house & sent me to Lowes to get chain to hang new light fixture that was not needed! When I returned she was loading up his clothes without telling me she was going to remove anything & did not ask my mother. We let her know rite away how upset mom was but she would not bring clothes back & argued with my mother when she called & told her she had no right to remove things from her home without asking- she felt violated- it’s been over a mo. & she is still reliving as if it happened today- it’s awful to watch & listen to her crying & then her anger over & over every day is torture. We moved her back home as she is just too lost & confused out of her home
(0)
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter