Am I overly sensitive?

gerinaDecember 31, 2009

My mom just died three weeks ago. She was ill for quite a long time and I had been her care giver for six years. It was difficult losing her, but I can now have a life again once all of her legal affairs are completed. Anyway, I have experienced some really inappropriate things and I'd like to vent.

For one, I've seen a few vultures circling and I've heard the beating of their low-flying wings overhead. "What are you doing with the house?" (I rented it out the last couple years of her life to help pay for medical expenses.) "Will you sell it?" "Maybe so and so can rent it because they lost their job (this implies that I give their kid below market rent)." One person told me their relative would love to buy the house, was pre-qualified for a mortgage that is less than 2/3 the value of the house, and would I be willing to carry the 1st on it!! Mind you, I never once initiated any of these conversations nor even remotely spoke about her estate. Let's see, I just missed out on several years of my personal life to care for my sick parent, never mind the sadness of it all, and now I should share the wealth with your distant relative.

Then there was the funeral. My mom wanted a closed casket. Her grandchild and I had something to place into the casket with her, and because he got caught in traffic behind a car accident on the way to the service, we had to place the items in with her just before she was taken out to the hearse. Everyone except for the pallbearers were asked to wait outside for privacy. A relative who knew what was going on, burst into the room stating that she had so speak with her husband (pallbearer) and she ran to the open box to have a peek at my mom!

Then there's the way some people express their sympathy. My adult step-daughter, whom I have known more than half of her life, told her dad to give me her condolences. An out of state cousin, who is a pastor mind you, sent me an e-card. I know he meant well, but if the fact that it was an e-sympathy card wasn't depressing enough, its message was twice as depressing, as well as cheesy. Had my mom's death not been a relief and instead a surprise, I think that e-card would have driven me to put a loaded gun into my mouth! The card was so terrible that I showed my two closest friends and we had a good laugh out of it; so I guess it cheered me. SO FOLKS - buy a real card and spend the 44 cents on the stamp, or make a phone call, BUT NEVER SEND AN E-CARD.

The thing is, these are all really great people, 99% of them anyway. And there were many positive experiences. I am just venting because of the surprising inappropriateness of it all. What happened to us as a society???????

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mariend

No you are not over sensitive. Try to remember the good times and ignore the people who don't act the way we wish they would. Try to pick out the good things they say and delete the rest. I thing what would bother me the most was the ecard from a pastor. Maybe he just didn't think, trying to get a message to you.
My thoughts are with you for the loss of your Mom.
Marie

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 9:12PM
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threeoffour

First, let me say that I am sorry for what you have had to endure over the years and the loss of your mother.

I don't think you're overly sensitive. You might be what I call 'raw'.
When my dad past away I noticed that people said and did stupid things. Sometimes people honestly don't know what to really do or say when it comes to death.

As far as the house thing is concerned, just simply tell them it's too early for you to make any kind of a decision on it and that you don't feel like discussing it. I don't know how well that would work, but hopefully they will back off. Then I would avoid those people as much as I could.

I would let the e-card thing go. Like I said before, people do stupid things when it comes to dealing with death. Some people are into internet crap and it may have seemed like a good idea to him at the time. He very well could have regretted sending it to you as soon as he clicked 'send'. Just take comfort in the fact that he was at least trying to do something nice.

I would have been upset with the woman bursting in on you while having a last private moment with your mom. I had something sort of similar happen to me at my dad's funeral. Did she REALLY have to speak to her husband just then? Did she feel slighted and felt she deserved to be there at that time too? Did curiosity get the better of her and she HAD to look? Or was she in her own little world and honestly not realizing she was being intrusive? Who knows. I would just let that go too. OR maybe she deserves a piece of your mind. That one is a judgement call.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss. I know you miss your mom and that's what it really comes down to. Forget the stupid stuff other people say and do.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 4:45AM
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sylviatexas1

I'm so sorry for your loss.

threeoffour said a bunch of good stuff, to which I'd add only one thing:

no, that woman did not have to burst in *at a funeral* to communicate with her husband;

the house wasn't on fire (& if it had been, & someone had just called from the fire dept to tell her, 2 more minutes wouldn't have mattered),
the kids weren't throwing knives at each other (& if they were, she herself should have ordered them to stop; 2 more minutes wouldn't have mattered),
she hadn't forgotten to mention that her pregnancy test came back positive (need I say, she wasn't much more pregnant at the funeral than she had been at breakfast, & she'd have 7 or 8 months for him to get used to the idea).

She was morbidly nosy, pushy as brass, & shockingly rude.

I would address the ecard sent by the pastor;
he "oughtta" know better, but he doesn't, & he'll do it again.

Telling him that it was insensitive will help someone else in the future.

but as 3of4 said, people don't know how to act.

Let it roll on by.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 5:00PM
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alisande

I don't think you're overly sensitive, but I'll bet the majority of grieving survivors will have similar stories. I certainly do.

Like Sylvia said, let it roll on by.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 9:31AM
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sunnyca_gw

I had a few insensitive things said when my DH died. "What are you doing at church when your husband just died?" I told her that was good place to go to get nearer to God! I always went to church on Sun. Many people put their foot in their mouth when talking to grieving people either because nobody they know died or they feel so bad for you or they are just plain insensitive. Lady was just snoopy going in on private moment. Pastor may not be able to afford a "real" card & that was best he could do. With bad economy 1st thing that gets cut is minister's salary. They often have to pay for own gas to go visit members,visit hospitals around town, nursing homes, drive to weddings if held somewhere other then church, funeral at gravesite, & they often get stiffed (weddings & funerals in some religions give the minister a small sum $50- $100 for their time as they have to be there for rehearsal night, plus wedding) Our minister even goes & does funerals for families that have no one to do it for them at the local cemetery. He doesn't get paid in most cases. I would be grateful he thought of me. Ministers have to listen to people's problems, be available night & day, their wives are supposed to be perfect, people call that aren't connected to our church & are at their wits end & you can spend hours on phone talking them out of killing themselves or trying to get them to get help, I know, I work around the church doing the bulletin boards & changing the silk flowers for the seasons so they look nice for weddings. Then there are those that come in & have lost their jobs & need prescription for family member (our minister has gone to pharmacy & paid for it)we try not to dish out cash too many drug addicts around. Groceries are given to some. Most of time our minister is only 1 at church tues-sat. 9-3 or later so he has to do whatever including finding a smelly clogged toilet& taking care of it. Ministers don't just stand in pulpit for couple of hours a week & sit around at home if they are caring people & many are. I've learned a lot about what they really do in last 10 yrs. It's anything but easy! Thank him in an email for thinking of you! It will make his day & you will actually feel better!!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 12:03PM
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bookworm1

So sorry for your loss, and no your are not overly sensitive, the world has changed so much in the last twenty years and manners have gone by the wayside. I am also a caregiver for my mother and know that someday soon I amy be facing that same thing no matter how much I prepare myself. As far as the house, as someone said already tell them point blank, you are still grieving and do not have any plans for now to change anything. Say excuse me and walk away. The woman was just a nosey parker, would avoid her like plague. The pastor just did not know any better or is too poor. ignore the rest of them. Take some time out for yourself, take a vacation you deserve it, and think of all the heppy memories you must have had with your Mom before she got sick.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 3:48PM
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evaf555

Four days after my husband's death, an acquaintance asked me over for the evening. She took me out to a noisy restaurant, and spent an hour playing with her new iPhone and talking about her success on an internet dating site. She showed me pictures of all the men she'd had dates with, had "winked" at, had emailed.

I wasn't even sad, at that point, just in shocked that someone could be so clueless.

The fact that she clearly has unlimited talk/text/data on the device and pays for a dating site and has cable TV, and she didn't know how she could afford her mortgage, that was just icing on the cake.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 8:56AM
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gerina

Eva-

I am really sorry for your loss. It sounds like you didn't even and your DH never even got a chance to process the diagnosis before he passed.

I also read your other post about the friend and the noisy restaurant. I was going to comment on it, but then I didn't think I was going to have much nice to say and I kept my yapper shut. You really have to wonder about some folks, don't you? I have made a point of keep a fair distance from one of the bigger offenders (the casket peeper) in my story. I spoke with her once since the funeral and she continued to say inappropriate things about my mom and my late sister. She's a relative and I will have to deal with her on other occasions, but for now distance is the way to go.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:17PM
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evaf555

No we didn't have a chance to process anything. Diagnosis first week of February, Chemo first week of March, then gone.

On another grieving site, one woman wrote a very long passage about her husbands battle with cancer: Every mis-step, every challenge, every hospital visit... filled the monitor screen with no paragraph breaks...

I wish we'd had time to say goodbye, is all. But I suspect, (and I'd prefer to believe) the pneumonia would have made him sick and miserable the entire time. I have heard others talk about the "journey" and how they had the opportunity to reconnect and do things together they had put off. I didn't foresee Husband being well enough to have any real quality time.

We kind of joked about it, gently. We purchased this big house and were going to spend 15 years or so restoring it: we were only part way through. I joked with him one day that it was my fantasy to rent out the bedrooms to beautiful, bright young women, since being around young people would help keep me young. He said, "That's my fantasy, too!"

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:57PM
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Zyperiris

No, you are not being over sensitive. My hubby and I also cared for his Mom. She had polio as a young woman..and was wheelchair bound by 80. She had a large estate and so everything was handled by the attorneys. I experienced some of what you are going through.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 12:37AM
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sylviatexas1

Eva, yes, pneumonia makes even otherwise healthy people sick & miserable.

I'm glad he kept his sense of humor ("Yes that's my fantasy too").

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:05PM
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