Your life after their death,

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Yesterday, mum died. Yesterday, I rang my children, mum's brother, her nephews and nieces, her friends. I was strong. I'm always strong; it's not an act, it's how I am. I suspect most of you on this forum are the same. Next week, I'm at the hospital for several hours having some scans for a future op. I know life will be hectic for the next few weeks.
So, today, I did something I've never done before. I have sat in my garden all day and done absolutely nothing. I didn't read or listen to music; I just sat and reflected. Sometimes I cried, sometimes I smiled. I've looked at mum's picture and laughed at the memories. For 10 hours! I shall miss her for the rest of my life, but I won't let the miss spoil the rest of my life. Mum lost two darling husbands. She mourned them both and never forgot them, but she built herself another, different life each time. Her first husband, my dad, died 60 years ago, but he is remembered as often now as he was then. Still very much loved. We'll be like that with mum; gone, but always in our hearts. I'll miss her every day, but I'll be OK.
Good on yer Penny! I so admire your strength and the care you have shown. I hope you find the time to sit in your garden again,for however many hours you want to. Why not?! (((Hugs)))
What a great day of reflection and respect. I admire your practical way of approaching things and hope I will cope in the same strong way once I lose my Dad.
I grieved for my mum in all the wrong ways but learnt some early lessons and won't repeat the same mistakes.
Penny, I think you've got it exactly right. I think you set aside time for memory, for reflection, for honouring your mother and her life. For 'marking' the end of it, so that you can 'move on' and make the most, the very very most, of your life.

Life and death are strange, strange things, and both philosophers and we 'ordinary' folk have pondered the meaning of both ever since humanity evolved, and we doubtless always will.

So I think that just sitting in your garden, on a summer's day, 'pondering' is exactly the right thing to do.

There's a line in Tennyson's Morte D'Arthur about when Sir Bedivere watches the mortally wounded King Aurhur being borne across the lake towards the magic isle of Avilon 'where he would heal him of his wounds' , when he's described as 'long stood sir Bedivere, revolving many memories'.......
Many thanks for all your kind words. This forum has been such a comfort over the past 10 months.
Hi Penny, Myself and other carers on this forum can relate to your loss of your mum. I cared for my mum for the
past 19 months. Sadly she passed away yesterday, i was so very fortunate to have been with her when she passed away! She had a blood disorder and had blood transfusions for the past 14 months. Then she had a stroke early September which affected her speech, and she was admitted to hospital. While her stay in hospital the blood doctors, made a decision not to give my mum any more blood transfusions. They felt her blood count would not
ever, get up to what it should be! Once the doctors broke the news to me, they asked me where would i like her
to be, in her last days of her life? I decided on a very good nursing home, which i did some research on prior to
when i was given the bad news! It was given very good reviews, and the gardens looked so beautiful on their
website!!! So mum went in the nursing last Tuesday and passed away yesterday. She had 24/7 care, and i was
allowed to stay with her and my little dog!!! As the nursing home is dog friendly!!!

Now i feel a big void in my life, and i miss her so much because we were close! Well i have happy memories
of her, and the fact that she was a wonderful mum to myself, and my sister!!! She so brave and never complained,
not once, bless her!!!
Her funeral will be next week. After that i have the job of clearing her possessions out of her home. She made no
will. So i would like some advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation to myself! Should i clear her
possessions? Should i take legal advice? My sister has been advised of our mums ill health, and then on her
passing. She didn't once visit mum while she was in hospital, or when she went into the nursing home. Before
our mum passed away, my sister asked me has mum made a will? I was gob smacked that she had the cheek to
ask the question, at such a difficult time for mum and myself. So i need some advice please, before my sister
starts demanding what she wants!!


kind regards
Brenda
First of all, sorry to hear that mum has passed away, no matter how ill someone is, or how much you know there is a short life expectancy, it's still a milestone in life. Without a will, with two children, make sure you get proper legal advice from the CAB. Sister can't just grab and go without involving you. I'd suggest removing all valuables "for safe keeping". Who owns the house? If mum owned it, then you will need to get a valuation. If not, and the total assets are under around £20,000, it is a fairly easy process. But make sure you get proper advice. Maybe get a book from the library?
Hi Brenda
So sorry about your Mum. Mine passed away mid August. Yesterday we cleared everything out of her attic and you've never seen such a mountain of 'stuff'. Wednesday a valuer is coming to give me an overall estimate for her possessions for the probate form. My mum didn't have anything of great value and a lot of the nicer things would only 'sell' for a few pounds per item. However I just couldn't begin to guess what the total value of a lifetime of never throwing anything away would be. Not a great deal, but I would prefer to submit a written valuation than a guess. I even found some goggle like things to be worn in case of a gas attack in WW2.
If you go to a solicitor on their 'free half hour' intro offer, (many do this) they will advise you how to go about claiming your Mum's estate, more difficult without a will. However you should remove anything that is of significant value or of sentimental value for safe keeping but until probate is granted none of Mum's possessions belong to you or your sister, but to your Mum's estate and she shouldn't be allowed to take anything away.
You can throw away any rubbish of course and things like bedding, curtains, towels and clothing are counted as nil value as I understand it. Unless Mum had designer clothing and a couple of fur coats, you can, I think, take clothes to the charity shops or throw out. Unless her white goods are pretty new, things like the washing machine, fridge etc don't count for much, if at all, and furniture again depends on whether it is actually antique or just old and past its best. All very difficult to guess at, which is why I'm having it all valued which is one headache less.
Jewellery and works of art need to be valued so does any vehicle, silver, stamp collections and anything else which may be worth something. All the value of her possessions, her money, savings certificates, house (if she owned it), is added together to make her 'estate'. The cost of the funeral can come out of the estate plus things like any bills not paid when Mum died.
Do make sure you inform all the utilities and the local council. Mum may be due some rebates which go into the estate. Lots of work to get it all sorted I'm afraid. I'm still filling in forms and sending off copies of the death certificate and it's been weeks since my Mum died. Every post seems to bring something else to sort out. yet another letter saying 'sorry to hear and sorry to trouble you but please fill out this form and send us the following information---'. AAAGH!
The DWP is the most important to inform. You only have a short time to do so. The 'tell us once' option is handy too.
I shan't go on and on but I'm going through it all too, so if I can tell you anything to help, I will.
All the best
Elaine
I am glad your mum had a 'good end' - it is what we all want for those we love, and for ourselves as well. How good that you were with her right to the end - a huge comfort for you.

As for her estate, I echo the others. Perhaps change the locks straight away, saying it's for 'general security' but actually to keep your sister at bay! (I wouldn't hesitate to keep her out at this stage -you can tell her that because your mum died without a will, intestate, everything has to be valued first!).

BUT, personally, I would ensure that not only do you 'secure' the obviously valuable items (eg jewelry)(you could put it in a safe deposit box in the bank if you want - I don't think they are very epxensive - I pay something like £50 a year I think for my mother's jewelry box)(it's been there 20 plus years!).This will keep your sister at bay as well.

Also, I do think it might be good to take the 'sentimental items' that YOU want, the inexpensive but 'meaningful' things, because it sounds like your sister is probably only interested in the financialy valuable things.

I hope the funeral goes well, without tension between you and your sister (if she can bring herself to that), and that it serves as a lovely 'send off' for your mum.....

She was lucky to have you as her daughter, and your love for her shone through your post....

Kindest wishes, at a painful time, Jenny
Thank you to everyone who answered my post,and gave me advice on what to do with my mum's possessions, because she left no will? My mum rented her flat, so i suppose it makes it a little easier. While she was in hospital, mum gave me her jewellery to look after! She didn't have much of great value, bless her. However, my sister tried
to manipulate my mum, and turn her against me, but my mum wouldn't do that! So after mum received verbal
and financial abuse, from both my sister and my nephew, my sister then broke contact with our mum. So i cancelled mum's pension card, which they had in their possession, they went bonkers! I didn't care i wasn't going
to allow them to collect my mum's pension, not paying her rent shortfall. They gave her a small amount of her
pension, kept the rest for themselves. When mum received a letter form the housing association telling her she
was in rent arrears, that was the last straw!!!! I cancelled her card, as i said earlier!!! After that she was able to
buy what she wanted, when she wanted!! She even bought a recliner chair from HSL, honestly she didn't know
herself!!!! A new television for her lounge New curtains from Hillary's!! New clothes!! New shoes!! New fridge!!
She really went to town, and was so very pleased for her!! She finally had some luxury in her life!! Something she
never had, not even with our dad.So i will contact cab, and get some advice! I have all the front door keys, to my
mum's home luckliy!

I'm so pleased i was able to look after my mum when she was at her most vulnerable part of her life!!!!
She was very grateful to me, because she used to tell me so!!! I don't think my sister will come to our mum's
funeral, because she doesn't know what date it is? Also she hasn't asked. She is in only interested in the
financial side of things.When our mum was in hospital i wrote to my sister informing her, of our mum's health
issues. She phoned my mum;s landline number and left a message, saying she wouldn't be able to visit mum
in hospital, because of what she's got. What mum had health wise wasn't catching!!!!! I'll never understand
my sister's logic? Anyway i told my mum that i had written a letter to my sister, and my mum didn't want to
see my sister. I did understand why? She knew what my sister was like, just an abusive person.


Thanks again to everyone who gave me advice, on what is a difficult subject!!!!

kind regards
Brenda