Caregiving Beyond the Grave

Mom recently passed away and I thought I would get that long-awaited sense of freedom but it has been out of the frying pan, into the fire. If you are like me and have been doing all the caregiving alone, guess what else you will be doing alone?


The aftermath. You know the saying, you can’t take it with you, well guess where they will be leaving it...in your lap.

First there’s the burial arrangements. I was lucky my brother flew in to be with me during moms death and making the arrangements. Then he flew out.

And here I am.

After the burial comes the legal paperwork. Social Security, pensions, insurance policies, bank accounts, all tied up in a Trust with tax implications.

I’m trying to avoid the lawyer at $250/hour so I’m working my way through the systems with the help of the internet, lots of phone calls and a kitchen table covered with designated piles.

Simple deposits and payments that ran smoothly for years suddenly become complicated state and federal issues with a myriad of forms. I downloaded a one page form that has seven pages of explanation to fill out the form. Really?

Then there is the family home of 65 years. Need I say more. You probably know how much can be in a home, garage, yard and shed with 65 years of living because you’re facing the same situation.

It’s a lot of physical work and also an emotional roller coaster as every item holds a memory. One day I cleaned out something as simple as Mom’s sewing drawer.

It was a Pandora's box of memory upon memory all intricately woven into a matrix of childhood memories. There was all her clothes to be dispersed.

She still had her wedding dress from 1946. Photos, mementos, nik naks, books, cards, letters. All the things that make up a life. A three bedroom house with furniture. A full kitchen. Bedrooms, bathrooms, cupboards, dressers, desks, closets all full. Everything to be picked up and a decision to be made. Its overwhelming.

And after the weeks? months? of making these decisions and clearing out the house, there’s the house itself. Find a realtor, make necessary repairs, get it on the market, the paperwork, cost, and tax implications of all that.

I have been bound and tied to this journey for 8 years already caregiving mom and upon her death I’m in it even deeper. Day by day I get something done. Days I can’t, that's OK. One day I assume it will really All. Be. Done.

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It's a slog
by: Anonymous

I can completely relate to what you are saying, it is absolutely soul destroying and draining all while you are dealing with a bereavement.

What I would say to you is that it WILL come to end (the logistical stuff at least) and if you find you have some inheritance put it towards something that is going to make you feel really good, so have that to look forward to and keep you going.

That's what me and my husband did although it was very little after the care home fees had eaten through virtually everything! Best of luck, you are not alone!

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Hang in there
by: Anonymous

You're getting it done, a little at a time. Bless you for caring for your mom. I have my mom (and all her stuff!) for now. (she's 88) I know soon I won't, and will be in your boat.

Fortunately for me though mom put me on everything she has except one piece of property, so my task will somewhat easier once she's gone. I'm very thankful for that.

I don't look forward to the clean-out process though. And mom asks me nearly weekly what I'll do with all her "stuff". (she's in an assisted living now but her condo full remains....) I know my grown sons won't want her things - mom's things are not "their style" and honestly they're not "my style" either.

I sometimes see such beautiful furniture at the thrift stores for so very cheap, but it's not what the younger generations want now. Hang in there and keep doing what you can when you can. Hugs for you.

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