Author Topic: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)  (Read 11298 times)

The_path_less_taken

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Sorry to even ask this today, but you guys are who I respect the most as you make more sense then many of my real life friends...the ones who spend money like I used to.

I knew this was coming. He'd had another attack in June, and I flew across the country to see him. Luckily, he sort of came out of it and was able to speak a little and even make a few jokes.

The wake is Sunday, funeral Monday. I'm thinking of not going.

Why? It's 27 degrees here now. I just carried 5 gallon water buckets to 3 chicken coops, a duck coop, 2 horse pens. In June, I hired sitters and was able to leave the 4 dogs outside in 10x10 kennels. Not able to do that now...

I've got a blind (special pet, unlike the other 40) chicken I carry in and out of a special coop each night. All 4 dogs are on meds, one is on multiple seizure meds 2x a day so timing is important. While there are "pet sitters", with this much of a high maintenance zoo...it would probably be at least $200 a day, or more. I paid $150 last time, per day and that was with animals left outside.

The plane would be $1100, no idea what a rental car would be.

And...(this is tough) I have real issues with my half sister. She basically stole my Dad's house when he got too spacey to know what was going on. All his life he'd said, "Well, the house is paid off so you and she will have something when I go." She locked it into some sort of trust for her kid. In 1999 she called and said he was wandering off in the middle of the night and needed full time care and "I'm sending him to you" which wouldn't work because I work full time, hello? I told her to sell the house and we'll both go in on getting him a nurse: she said "oh, the house is in a trust for my kid".

"Um, what? Your half of the house?"

"NO, the house. Look, I don't wanna talk about this I have to go <click>."

I looked up property prices  back then: at the time comps were going for $868K. (this state does have primogeniture laws, and I am first born)

Money is tight right now and I had planned on dumping everything left into another IRA. If I go...I'm pretty sure I'll say something pissy because...they have nothing but money and go on an average of 3 cruises a year. They send me pics from all over the world. They are major collectors of memorabilia and their house is packed with shit to the point where you literally can't walk in some rooms: Star Wars, action figures, etc. There's just this little path thru the boxes...insane.

And I feel like I've been paying for it. I could have retired in 1999 if they hadn't done that.

Anyway...what would you do?

Spork

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First off:  Damn.  I'm sorry.  Losing a parent can be awful.  I lost my mom this year and my father in law several years back.  Seriously: I'm sorry.

But your real question: I might not.  Ultimately it is up to you.  Funerals are for the survivors.  If it doesn't offer you comfort (it doesn't me) and it is a financial burden... don't.

I, too, have my share of sibling squabbles.  I get you there, too.  Don't let your half sister put any guilt trip on you.  (I'm guessing that is coming.  Maybe soon, maybe later as well.)  Do what YOU need to do for YOU.  You will have to tackle the money issues involved here... but not today.  Give yourself a little time.

The_path_less_taken

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Thank you Spork.

I've been up all night freaking out. I should probably not even be on a computer now...

iris lily

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I didn't attend my mother's funeral 4 years ago. She died around this time of year, there was a big snowstorm, and I didn't want to drive 8 hours across states to attend. It was a small affair, and held only because she had already pre-paid it. She would not have minded. Her death was expected. She had been "gone" for a couple of years anyway from dementia. We didn't have any family discord and I loved my mother and had a good relationship. But, I didn't feel the need to attend. While I'm sure there were a few tongues wagging about it, my absence was not a real big deal.

I am sorry that you have this dilemma, and sorry to hear about your father.

You are fine to not attend the funeral. It's GREAT that you were able to make the long trek to see him while he was still alive. Now he is dead and it doesn't matter to him whether you come or not.

I completely support you taking care of your animals. Your blind chicken--good for you! We have an elderly, blind French bulldog who will not be around next Christmas, so as much as I wanted to get away this weekend, we are staying here.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 10:07:00 AM by iris lily »

MayDay

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If you feel you would get closure or a sense of peace by going, then go.

But you absolutely shouldn't feel guilty skipping it. I've missed several family funerals (grandparents).  Would it be great if funerals were at convenient times with reasonable travel costs, sure I want to go to them all. But my grandma wouldn't want me killing myself to get to her funeral, and I'm sure your dad wouldn't want that either.

Chrissy

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The funeral is for you and the other survivors.  If going doesn't serve you, don't go.

Also, don't be mad at your sister for getting what she could... it does sound like she took care of your father for a long time, and the caretaker often feels entitled.  I'd be annoyed at your father for not setting up his estate properly when he was competent.

Take comfort in the fact that your relationship with your sister is now over.  Remove her from Facebook, return her letters, stop taking her calls.  You never have to see how she spends her money again.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 10:32:19 AM by Chrissy »

Catbert

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I agree with the others: funerals are for the living.  If it doesn't work for you then don't go.  You certainly aren't in the mood to emotionally support your 1/2 sister, nor should you be.  I'm assuming there are no other relatives you feel obligated show up for(??).   

lizzzi

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There is no reason to go unless you yourself feel you absolutely must be there, and would be haunted forever if you were not. It has nothing to do with the inheritance issues--you can deal with all that later…and with the family dynamics. You saw your Dad when he was alive, earlier in the year, and now you have not only the financial constraints of the flight, but responsibilities at home that sound like they would be almost impossible to delegate at this time of year. Sometimes you just cannot get to a funeral…and that's OK.

KeeKat

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I am so, so sorry for your loss. I agree that if attending will not bring you peace, do not feel obligated to go. Your dad would understand and during this difficult time you don't need to be dealing with the extra stress of your half sister.

Again, I'm really so sorry. Please do what is best for you during this time.

lizzzi

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Very sorry for your loss, especially at this time of year. I wish you peace and renewal in 2015.

thedayisbrave

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2014, 10:50:37 AM »
I'm so sorry.

I'll echo what the others have said.  Go, if you think it will help you with the loss/grieving process.  But if it is just a burden, don't go.  Only you know what is best for yourself.  You are NOT some awful person if you choose not to go.

Breaker

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2014, 10:51:05 AM »
Hi,

I am sorry that you lost your Dad.  It can be a very tough time.  But I commend you for going to see him while he was alive and how great that he could still know that you were there.  I have often wondered why relatives spend the money to go to a funeral when they wouldn't spend it to visit when the person is still alive.  I bet your Father was happy with your decision.

Do not go for appearances sake.  In the words of Dr. Seuss:  "Those who matter won't care and those who care don't matter." 

As for the house, I'm sure you checked to make sure there really is a Trust.  If it were me, I would NOT pay for anything else.  Tell your sister to take the money out of what should have been your share of the house.

Frankies Girl

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2014, 10:55:23 AM »
I agree with the others - if you won't get anything emotionally/closure by going, then you don't need to feel like you have to go.

So very sorry for your loss.

Exflyboy

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2014, 10:57:40 AM »
I am so sorry for your loss.

Thankyou for including us in your dilemma.

I too think the funeral is for you if you want to go.. If not there really is no shame. Do whats right for you and cut your half Sister out of your life completely.

All the very best for the future.

Frank

Villanelle

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2014, 11:43:32 AM »
I'm sorry for your loss and for the family tension.

Funerals are for the living.  If it won't serve you to go, and you don't think your presence will be a necessary comfort to other family members, there's no good reason to go.

iluvzbeach

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2014, 11:47:36 AM »
So very sorry for your loss and that you have the issues of dealing with your half-sister on top of it. I agree with what the others say about not going, unless you feel like you must. You can always hold your own private ceremony right there in your own home. Just carve out a few hours to reflect on the relationship with your father and his life. Do what makes you happy!

Primm

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2014, 11:48:37 AM »
I'm so sorry for your loss.

Although it's not in the same league, my uncle died yesterday too, and the funeral is the same day as your dad's. I'm not going. I went down (interstate, many hundreds of dollars in airfares) to his house last week while he was still alive, and said my goodbyes. If I were to go to the funeral it would be for me, nobody else, and I don't feel the need.


mm1970

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2014, 12:22:55 PM »
I'm very sorry for your loss.  I lost my Dad on Christmas Eve 2007 and my mom December 2011.  It sucks.

If I were you, I wouldn't go if you don't want to go.

KBecks2

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2014, 12:49:52 PM »
I'm so sorry about your dad.  You do not have to go to the funeral if it's going to stress you out.

Regarding stealing of the house, get a lawyer.  Seriously, you should talk to a lawyer when there is $400k on the line for you, that was intended for you.  It is not OK for the half-sister to walk away with a house, and avoiding it on the phone does not a solution make.   This happened in 1999?  Stand up for your part of the estate.  Please, figure this out.

Comfort yourself now, but do take care of business in a month or so when you can emotionally handle it.  There is an estate for you, was there a will?  You may need to travel out there to take care of business, and do it, do take care of it.

Hugs!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 12:51:53 PM by KBecks2 »

Cpa Cat

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2014, 01:15:59 PM »
I think you should take care of your blind chicken. :)

If you want to do something - my aunt did not attend my father's funeral, but she did send a letter to be read. It was touching.

There was some inheritance ugliness when my dad died and it made me angry that someone had chosen to greedily take advantage of the situation and essentially steal from my father and his heirs (because this person felt they "deserved" it). It was far less money and far less important (financially) to me than the situation that you've described, but it was cathartic to stand up against it.

In the end, I was able to settle it to my satisfaction without a lawyer simply by confronting it and not allowing the person to guilt trip me or manipulate me. It was not an easy confrontation to have - but I don't think I would feel right today if I had just let it go. Win or lose - I would not have been able to find closure emotionally about that betrayal if I had not confronted it.

TerriM

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2014, 01:26:29 PM »
I'm sorry for your loss as well.

I think you have to decide how you want to say farewell to him.  If you already did when you last visited, then you already did.

Personally, as a Catholic, the most important part of the funeral for me is saying prayers for the soul of the one who has died.   Even if I can't go to their funeral, I can still pray for their souls from where I am.   If you or he are Catholic, I'd recommend enrolling him in a Mass, (i.e., go to your local church and ask for a Mass to be said for him).  If neither of you are Catholic, consider whether there's a spiritual aspect of his death and your grief that you want satisfied from where you live.

I'd also say, don't let your half-sister PREVENT you from going if you want to go.  It sounds like your animals' welfare is more important to your than avoiding her, but if it's the opposite, then don't let her prevent you from going if deep down you really want to be there.

You could also send a letter you'd like read on your behalf for your father at the funeral.  That way you could participate from where you are without having to go.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 01:30:20 PM by TerriM »

pbkmaine

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2014, 02:27:58 PM »
Sorry for your loss. Do not go to the funeral if it would be a hardship. I doubt your father would want that. You need to speak to a trusts and estates attorney in you father's state of residence. You also need to see the will and what it says. It may be that your half sister had everything drawn up all right and tight and proper. She may also be trying to slip one by you. You will not know until you check things out.

former player

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2014, 03:43:52 PM »
I'm sorry for your loss.

There is no-one but yourself that you need to answer to in making a decision whether or not to attend the funeral.  My mother's funeral was two days ago.  A lot of her friends, and some elderly relatives, live 250 miles away, and I completely understood that it was not practical for them to travel in winter weather, at short notice and over the holiday period.  I have received a lot of very kind cards and letters from them instead.

If it helps, my rule of thumb in making a difficult decision is to do what I think I'll regret the least.  If you don't go, I would suggest sending some flowers, and perhaps if there are any close relatives other than your half-sister that you want to stay in touch with you might send a card or letter to them.  The funeral director should be able to send you a copy of the order of service and a list of those who attended, if you want.

Regarding your father's estate, and the issue of the house, I don't usually recommend fighting these things because the emotional toll, and sometimes the financial one too, is more than it's worth.  But a baseline of checking out the will and probate and seeing that there is a fair distribution from the estate seems essential.  That should include checking whether you have been told the truth about the house, and if so whether there is an easy way to get the value of it back out of the estate.

homehandymum

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2014, 03:57:30 PM »
I'm so sorry for your loss.  :(

I agree with those saying that it is totally ok not to go to the funeral.  When my mother died, my brother and his wife didn't come - they live an expensive flight away, and had been to see her 6 months earlier.  This was completely fine with everyone.

Grief and death can often make us all a bit irrational, though.  Be kind to yourself, and cut yourself some slack.  There is no one right answer to your question - if you make what seems like the right decision now, and some months later wish you had chosen differently, then that's actually ok.  It's all part of being human and needing to make decisions in the moment.  There's no such thing as the perfectly perfect response.

It sounds like you're asking permission to not attend?  You have that.  You also have permission to pull out all stops to find animal-sitters etc and fly at short notice to be there, regardless of your half-sister.

A third option, if you feel like the official funeral will be too much about your half-sister's circus; Find some way of marking the occasion where you are - whatever works for you (anything from lighting a candle, to having a beer in your Dad's honour, to planting a memorial garden or tree, reading a poem, creating a sculpture, to just staring at the sunset and saying goodbye... the potential ideas are endless), and making the journey to your Dad's grave/headstone/grave marker at a time that works for you, without the pressure of it being right now.

peace be with you

Cassie

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2014, 04:46:08 PM »
For the last 20 years I have lived across the country from my folks & choose to go see them when they were still alive. I did not go to the funerals because they were being buried & the costs were extreme to get there that quickly. When my MIL died  she wanted to be cremated so we held her funeral 2 weeks later so everyone could get reasonable airfare. Of course when someone is being buried you don't have a choice.  I saw both my parents many times thru the years & a few weeks before they died.  That is what is important.

Goldielocks

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2014, 05:02:27 PM »
Sorry to hear of your loss. 

A funeral is not about money, and most can put aside money and conflict for the day, so don't let your sister stop you.  It may not be an issue until after.

My grandfather chose to not have a service, and it did feel like something was missing.  If you don't go, can a relative or friend who knew him visit you for a day of reflection, and share a prayer or toast or whatever?    I do suggest doing something, even if you prefer to be on your own to do it.

InternationalStache

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2014, 06:05:25 PM »
I'm so sorry for your loss.

In my opinion, a parent's funeral is one of the few things in life where you sacrifice whatever it costs to be there. Don't let your sibling's petty/horrid acts keep you away.

southern granny

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2014, 08:46:43 PM »
So sorry for your loss, especially this time of year.  I think it is more important that you saw him in June, than to go to his service.  It sounds like it would be a hardship for you. You can grieve for him in your own way, surrounded by the things that give you comfort.   Although if you decide to go, call the airlines and tell them the circumstances and they may be able to give you a much better rate than a normal ticket.  They often do, but they may also call the funeral home to make sure you are being truthful with them (can't really blame them for that).  Take care of yourself and do what you feel is the right thing. 

iwasjustwondering

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2014, 08:56:43 PM »
I'm sorry for your loss.  Is there anyone you would want to see at the funeral?  If not, then I really wouldn't worry about attending, but I do agree with the poster who said you shouldn't stay away because of your sister, if you really do want to attend.

Just do what you want/need to do. 

Rural

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2014, 07:36:52 AM »
If your quandary is about what others will think of you, don't go. If it's about how you will feel about yourself, then go.

BPA

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2014, 08:59:06 AM »
Like the others, I agree that if not going is what you want, don't go.  I didn't attend my father's funeral either.  In my case, we weren't close and it would have cost me about $2k that I didn't have to go.  Funerals are for the living.

Sorry about the family strife.  One part of me wants to say "Sue her ass asap" and the other thinks, "One of the benefits of being FI (or on your way to FI) is to not give a shit about inheritances."

Regardless of what you choose to do, you are well within your rights.

So sorry for the loss of your dad.

Greg

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2014, 02:35:26 PM »
What your sister did is terrible, but don't let it keep you from going if you don't want to.  It sounds like you have a lot of responsibilities and if you can't go, it's ok.

If my sister did that to me there would be as much legal trouble as I could muster coming her way.  Some might say that's petty, or maybe you don't need it, and think of the relationship (there isn't one it sounds like) and so on.  I'd say those concerns, or lack thereof are on her, and you should fight for what your father intended to leave for you as a way of providing for you.  The $ could go toward your kid's college, or your livestock care, or whatever.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2014, 06:51:23 PM »
I'm so sorry for your loss.

Although it's not in the same league, my uncle died yesterday too, and the funeral is the same day as your dad's. I'm not going. I went down (interstate, many hundreds of dollars in airfares) to his house last week while he was still alive, and said my goodbyes. If I were to go to the funeral it would be for me, nobody else, and I don't feel the need.


I'm so sorry for your loss. I am SO GLAD you got to say the goodbyes while he was still alive!!!!!!!!


The_path_less_taken

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2014, 06:52:59 PM »
I'm very sorry for your loss.  I lost my Dad on Christmas Eve 2007 and my mom December 2011.  It sucks.

If I were you, I wouldn't go if you don't want to go.

Oh my God that is horrible! I am so sorry for your loss...I can't picture what your xmas season feels like, missing them both.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2014, 06:56:25 PM »
I'm sorry for your loss.

There is no-one but yourself that you need to answer to in making a decision whether or not to attend the funeral.  My mother's funeral was two days ago.  A lot of her friends, and some elderly relatives, live 250 miles away, and I completely understood that it was not practical for them to travel in winter weather, at short notice and over the holiday period.  I have received a lot of very kind cards and letters from them instead.

If it helps, my rule of thumb in making a difficult decision is to do what I think I'll regret the least.  If you don't go, I would suggest sending some flowers, and perhaps if there are any close relatives other than your half-sister that you want to stay in touch with you might send a card or letter to them.  The funeral director should be able to send you a copy of the order of service and a list of those who attended, if you want.

Regarding your father's estate, and the issue of the house, I don't usually recommend fighting these things because the emotional toll, and sometimes the financial one too, is more than it's worth.  But a baseline of checking out the will and probate and seeing that there is a fair distribution from the estate seems essential.  That should include checking whether you have been told the truth about the house, and if so whether there is an easy way to get the value of it back out of the estate.


I'm very sorry about the loss of your mother. Thank you for the advice.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2014, 07:00:56 PM »
Ok....I am crying so hard I cant breathe right now

thank you

all of you.

I knew you were all amazing before this but now...

Please forgive me for not being able to respond individiually...I'm not functioning vry well right now.

I'm not going. it took until nw and you helping to decide. I sent $800+ in flowrs which was just a spray and aheart.

Fuck I can't see to type...thank you

Metta

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2014, 07:10:23 PM »
I am also sorry for your loss. Since you are not going to the funeral, you might want to get together with a few good friends. Having people around is a blessing in times like this.

Exflyboy

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2014, 07:11:13 PM »
Ok....I am crying so hard I cant breathe right now

thank you

all of you.

I knew you were all amazing before this but now...

Please forgive me for not being able to respond individiually...I'm not functioning vry well right now.

I'm not going. it took until nw and you helping to decide. I sent $800+ in flowrs which was just a spray and aheart.

Fuck I can't see to type...thank you

My heart breaks for you!

You do what makes sense for you right now.. Thats the only priority you have!

Responding individually to any of us, dealing with the half Sister, going to the funeral.. None of that is relevant!!

As you say your barely functioning, this is completely normal.. Surround yourself with those that love you be that animals, friends or other humans.

Nobody has (or should have) ANY expectations of performance from you right now.

You just look after yourself and give yourself time and space to grieve.. Most of us have been there.

Lean on us for support as you need to.

All the best

Frank

astvilla

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2014, 07:42:45 PM »
Based off the OP, your half-sister is a total jerk and good for nothing person and it sounds like the world would be better off w/out her, the NERVE! You should've done something, contested it, fight, don't lay down on that issue if it bothers you so much.

I'm gonna stray from the rest of the posters and say you should go. Of course I am not in your shoes regarding your relationship with half-sister but I would go. Being Asian, my parents are very important to me and I don't want to think of my relationship with them as being worth less than some evil half-sister. I would've considered my parent's wishes and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want me to avoid their funeral/wake even for the half-sister. It varies I guess, if your father is less important than this sibling and you won't get closure then don't go but I would try if possible and not think too much about the money. Is your mom there? Maybe visit her and comfort her too and reminisce about the memories? Can also bring up the issue of house with mom? I would go...personally, I wouldn't be here w/out my dad as bad as I may think of him sometimes I would still go. Even if family isn't so close together as I'd like I think parental bonds are very important.

KBecks2

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Re: My Dad died last night...have a MMMish question. (long AND stupid question)
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2014, 06:29:35 AM »
Sending you virtual hugs.