Sib­lings pon­der what to do with mom’s old house while still alive

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: My mother had a stroke seven months ago and now can­not walk, read or speak. She will never be able to re­turn to her house, which will need to be sold should she run out of money for the care fa­cil­ity in which she now lives. Her house sits ex­actly as she left it, full of her things, and we main­tain her lawn and check her mail­box for monthly bills.

I see no rea­son to hang onto the house. I think it hon­ors Mom for her chil­dren to fairly di­vide her things and to care for, love and ad­mire those items that she holds dear. It would make us feel closer to her to have some tan­gi­ble items, and they all hold won­der­ful mem­o­ries.

Here’s the prob­lem: One of my sis­ters thinks it is ex­ceed­ingly dis­re­spect­ful to take Mom’s things from the house while she is still liv­ing. But I think it would please Mom to see her things cher­ished by her kids. Why is that dis­re­spect­ful? This has caused quite a ruckus amongst the six kids, and no one wants to hurt the oth­ers’ feel­ings. What do you think?

— Sib­ling Un­rest

Dear Sib­ling: Can Mom com­mu­ni­cate her wishes? Has she ever ex­pressed a de­sire to dis­trib­ute her things to her chil­dren? Many par­ents do this when their chil­dren leave home, be­cause they want to scale down their pos­ses­sions. They en­joy the act of giv­ing while they can see your ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

We think your sis­ter fears that selling the house or tak­ing Mom’s things would be rush­ing Mom’s death, and this is why she finds it dis­re­spect­ful. A me­di­a­tor could help all of you work through these is­sues and avoid the ran­cor that too of­ten hap­pens be­tween sib­lings when a par­ent can no longer make these de­ci­sions. The care fa­cil­ity should be able to rec­om­mend some­one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.