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The Conundrums of Conundrum

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My Mother's Death - Trying to Cope

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Conundrum

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My mom passed away last week from heart failure, September 26th. I was fortunate enough to be by her side when she took her last breath and was able to tell her I love her. She made the decision the day before to remove support because the medication  was only prolonging her suffering; she was not going to recover. 

I love my mom dearly and she's was my best friend. Please keep in mind as you read the rest of this that I forgave my mom a long time ago for my abusive childhood and she apologized profusely for what she did and that she didn't protect me from the sexual abuse of my uncle. My mom did have faults, as we all do, but she was human and didn't do some things "right" when my grandmother, her mother, passed away when I was 12. 

My mom kept all jewelry from my grandmother. I never thought it was right but when I would ask why my aunt (her sister) didn't have any of my grandmother's jewelry she would get an attitude with me and avoid my question. Once she said my aunt would just sell it all. I remember my aunt asking about the jewelry but my mom lied to her and said she didn't have it. It had always bothered me because I knew my mom simply wanted to keep it all. About 15 years ago my mom gave me quite a few pieces, the rings my grandmother wore often, including her wedding set. Every time I would open that section of my jewelry box I would think "I shouldn't have this, Aunt L should have it!" 

I didn't want to cause my aunt any more pain because we just lost my mom a little more than a week ago but it was bothering me so much. I called my aunt and as gently as I could I told her that I had some of my grandma's jewelry; my mom lied to her. My amazingly loving aunt told me she already knew my mom lied but didn't know that I had it now. I took photos of everything I thought belonged to my grandmother and sent them to my aunt; all but two were my grandmother's. If my mom was correct, which I always had my doubts, my aunt would have said everything was my grandmother's and sold it. My aunt was completely honest with me and is thankful I am giving it to her, as it should have been years ago. I could tell by her voice she was crying when I said I wanted to bring it to her. (Not sad tears but thankful / emotional tears because she never thought she had a chance of seeing the jewelry again.)

I feel terrible because I know this is NOT what my mom wanted but my aunt is just as much my grandmother's daughter as my mom is. Am I wrong for doing this because I know my mom didn't want her to have it (because my mom wanted to keep all of my grandmother's jewelry) or am I making things right that was done wrong so long ago? 

I spoke with my counselor about it before I called my aunt and she told me if it was something I felt so strongly about then that's what I needed to do. 

I feel so torn. 

 

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invgjan

Posted

I'm very sorry to hear u just lost your mother. My own mother also died of heart disease about 7 years ago and I do understand what u are going thru. The thing is when someone dies there are almost always issues that take time to be resolved. Some of them never really are. I occasionally still find myself wrestling with the fact that my mother let my father emotionally and verbally abuse my brother and myself because she was almost neurotically attached to the house and she feared losing it in a divorce. I really think she cared more for the house than she did for us. In your case I believe u are actually righting a wrong. It appears your mother simply wanted to keep all the jewelry and she came up with some excuse. The thing is the jewelry is yours now and u have every right to give it to your aunt, who sounds like a very lovely and forgiving person. Please don't feel torn or guilty! I hope this helps.  

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Palimpsest

Posted

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother.  I am so glad you were able to be with her at the end and I hope she had a peaceful passing.

About the jewelry, I agree with your counselor.  It sounds as though you did not enjoy having the pieces your mother already gave you because you thought they rightfully belonged to your aunt.  If you feel strongly that your aunt should have it all then you should give it to her, whatever she decides to do with it. 

However, by the sounds of it the jewelry should have been shared between the sisters in the first place.  If there are any pieces that you feel are important to you as sentimental memories of your grandmother or your mother, mention them to your aunt.  

So I don't see giving the jewelry to your aunt as a betrayal of your mother's wishes.   I see it as righting an old wrong and possibly honoring your grandmother's wishes. 

Family dynamics can get so messed up, but your aunt seems to have forgiven your mother.  And I am sure she greatly appreciates your offer. 

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clueliss

Posted

While it wasn't your mother's 'wishes' it seems like you feel you are righting an old wrong.  And sometimes that is more important.  

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Conundrum

Posted

Thank you all so much. I felt since y'all don't know me I could get an honest opinion, which is what I need. My mom was wonderful in a lot of ways but this was one thing I never agreed with.

My aunt is so amazing and I love her so much. It was hard knowing my mom kept all the jewelry and told her she didn't have it. When she gave it to me I never felt good about it, just shame that I had it and my aunt didn't have anything. 

My mom was wonderful in so many ways but this was one of her faults. I know I have faults, too, so I tried not to be to harsh about this but now I can make it right and it's like a weight has been lifted. 

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      • Upvote 1
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      Posted (edited)

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