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Mum died, and left me with a heartbreaking truth
31

Wavesandsmilesencore · 26/06/2022 11:26

I’m in my early 40s, single mum. My adored father died suddenly 11 years ago and my mum died in the same way (sudden unexpected heart attack in her sleep), earlier this year. Mum and I would speak several times a day on the phone/video chat and with her grandchildren too. I live in another country so last saw her in November. Our relationship was rocky at times; she had anorexia and other mental health issues which really surfaced when I was a teenager. She didn’t speak with her own mother for most of her life and I wasn’t permitted to see her.

I developed issues of my own and in a way in my 20s went through a grieving process of my own, for the mother I never had. On and off since we’ve had some big rows, the biggest in 2013 when I was pregnant with hyperemesis and she even ran over my foot with her car (on purpose). She was constantly putting me down to my children and would also smack them if they misbehaved so for a few months we had no contact.

The day after her funeral in March, I went to the lawyer with my sister, her husband; my uncle and baby, and had to hear the words read - I was completely removed from her will, like I never existed. The will was updated in 2013 and she even deliberately excluded the child I was pregnant with at the time.

She carried on all these years knowing that I’d one day sit and hear this read aloud; knowing I’d have to wake up every day knowing that she didn’t love me, didn’t want me to be considered as her daughter, and knowing the she wanted my younger children (who she seemingly doted on), also to be excluded.

I try to rationalise it, but I keep coming back to the point: she didn’t care enough about me or her grandchildren to update something done in a fit of temper. And I know that every day I will wake up and think of this, and there is nothing I can do. I feel like it’s a life sentence, and all I can hold onto is the fact I could never ever even consider doing this to my children. I hug them all even more than usual, but they all know I’m so sad, and I can’t even really explain why as I want them to remember the Grandma they loved.

I guess, I’m just not sure how to move past this, and much as that happened, I miss my mum; and my dad, so very very much.

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Scottishflower65 · 26/06/2022 11:49

Would the other beneficiaries consider a variation of the will to give you / your daughters some share? I would also suggest some counselling to help you come to terms with the emotional side. You are grieving the mother you never had, not the one you actually had. 💐

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Iguessyourestuckwithme · 26/06/2022 11:50

Oh Waves, I'm so sorry to hear this :( I also was written out or not written into my father's will. My sister was. And it hurts.

I think what hurts more for you is that she held this secret from you for the past decade. Thinking of you

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bluedomino · 26/06/2022 11:55

I'm so sorry. That's a truly horrible and unforgivable thing that she did. I think we expect so much of our parents and sometimes they are just very flawed humans who make terrible decisions. She obviously had huge issues, which were neither your fault or responsibility. I think you can feel peace in the way you acted, you called and let her have a relationship with your children. You have nothing to feel guilty for in the way you acted. You should be able to argue with your parents and they should still love you unconditionally. Take comfort from the knowledge that you know you will never do that to your children. You are a better human. Try to get some counselling to help you work through this as you are not wrong to feel incredibly hurt. Take care x

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airrrrAIRRRRiELLLL · 26/06/2022 12:18

My take would be that you were originally in it, there was a bust up in 2013 and she changed it to exclude you and the baby. Once your relationship was repaired I'm sure she meant to change the will again but it was just one of those things that she never got around to or later on it just got forgotten. So sorry that the situation is upsetting for you.

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TheWayoftheLeaf · 26/06/2022 12:48

She may just have forgotten to change it back once you made up.

If I was your family members I'd be sharing out the money/assets to include you and your children too. I'd never sit there and leave my sister without any.

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BadnessInTheFolds · 26/06/2022 13:34

I'm so sorry OP, I can't imagine how painful it is.

Just to add to what PP have said, is it possible that she originally changed her will in a fit of anger, as you said, but rather than forgetting she wasn't able to face what she'd done once your relationship improved and therefore avoided the issue? I don't know if that will bring any comfort (I'm not saying it should).

It's so sad when the chance to mend bridges is taken away. Please be kind to yourself as you come to terms with this.

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ComfyChairPose · 26/06/2022 13:38

Wow.

I wouldnt let that happen to my siblings. I hope they do the right thing.

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cottagegardenflower · 26/06/2022 13:41

Maybe your family will do the right thing, even if she didn't? If not fuck the lot of them, mother included.

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Wavesandsmilesencore · 26/06/2022 14:28

Thank you all for your messages. My two older children, in a heartbeat, said they wanted to vary their share so it’s equally split between them and their siblings. I’m so proud of them. My sister has been more difficult and said things like “it’s disrespectful to the wishes of the dead to vary a will”. She may change to give me something but even the words she has said to me have rather sunk the knife in deeper.

knowing my mum, she would have felt ashamed to go back to the lawyer (she thought lawyers were second to god!) and change things back. And that hurts a lot too, that her pride mattered more than me. It’s not about the money, I had assumed she’d love to her late 80s like her parents by which there wouldn’t be any money left. It’s truly about the message, and this is something my sister is reinforcing.

I do need to seek some form of counselling for sure, I cannot risk letting this consume me because my children need me at my best. And strangely when I think back to 2013 I was actively posting here, and having tremendous support. And a clear message was that my mum was toxic and I should not have contact with her. Sadly I guess that advice was correct.

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Words · 27/06/2022 18:01

Hello waves I remember you from years ago. Funnily enough I was thinking only the other day that I hadn't seen you post for a long time.

What a truly rubbish situation. I agree counselling would seem to be the way to go. I hope everything else is ok. FlowersFlowersFlowers

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Wavesandsmilesencore · 27/06/2022 19:36

Oh @Words I remember you too! I am doing pretty well all things considered and finally ended up living a lot of the advice offered to me back then. I moved away (to Europe) and have a lovely place, me and my kids, with a professional career made easier by state childcare. Little Acrobat turns 9 this year and is the kindest soul. I just wish I didn’t have to wake up each day realising how broken my mum/our relationship truly was. All I can do is keep trying to be a more loving mum than what I experienced from my own.

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makinganavalon · 27/06/2022 19:46

All I can do is keep trying to be a more loving mum than what I experienced from my own.

thats a beautiful gift you can give your children.
I'm so sorry you are going through this, it must really hurt.
I definitely think grief counseling would help, and you deserve support to help you through this.

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butterflied · 27/06/2022 19:50

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, and that your sister is rubbing salt in the wound.

I hope therapy will help you. But I can't imagine how devastating this must be.

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Wavesandsmilesencore · 28/06/2022 08:13

Actually the word devastating is the right one, and I feel the normal bereavement process has been derailed as I’m not grieving anymore the person I thought I was. And I keep replaying the moment in the lawyers office. She had a first will two years earlier which was read also, that referred to her two daughters, and was an equal split. Then the 2013 will
completely removed every reference to me, even appointing my sister and her husband as executors (instead of her brothers as before), my sister and her husband of trustees of my elder children’s share etc. and the clause on a small share to grandchildren generally replaced to specifically name only the older two. And I was about 33 weeks pregnant at the time… so it was very much calculated to send a devastating message.


I want to believe that she somehow couldn’t face updating it, that she really did love us all, and my sisters comments since are the salt in the wound.

At least I’m getting a lot of support from mums brothers, and my dad’s brother and family. They are angry with my mum, but nothing can or will ever change what’s happened. And I worked so hard to give my mum a beautiful funeral, I even read the eulogy, and spent thousands getting me and my children back on a specific date at my sisters request. Definitely something I have to get some counselling for I think as I can’t imagine moving past this.

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getupstandupsitdown · 28/06/2022 08:21

This happened to my Dad. He was an only child and his Mum wrote out the will (£400k). She had mental health issues all her life, including a couple of suicide attempts in The 1950s. She wasn't treated and was in fact terrified of the men in white coats who she said would cart her off - probably rightly so, given what mental health treatment was in those days. She became very toxic and bitter despite my Dads best efforts to try and help her. She lost her own mum when she was 8 and had a step mother she hated and I think it can probably all be traced back to that. I don't have good memories of her, but can't help feel sorry for her too.

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MrJi · 28/06/2022 08:37

So painful to read this op. I remember you too I think - are you in Scandinavia?
You might need some counselling to work through this. Your sister is behaving terribly, and adding to your grief. There are many strands here, your grief at losing your parents, the pain of your Mum’s mental health problems, the shock of her will and the spiteful action of hers from almost a decade ago coming back to hurt you now.
I think she sounds someone very damaged and hurt herself, she did this spiteful thing, and then I imagine as time went on and you continued your relationship, and she got to know the baby you were carrying, she just couldn’t face going back to change the will. She may well have intended to do it but kept putting it off, as many of us do with difficult things that we don’t want to think about. I find the action of your sister very hard to understand.
Please take comfort in the fact that you are a loving mum to your own children. That in itself is also healing the scars of the past, your mother’s as well as your own. Her grandchildren are loved and cared for even though she wasn’t a very good Mum . That is a forgiveness of sorts for her and shows that you have become a loving and kind person in spite of your Mum’s problems and destructive, cruel ways of dealing with her own pain.
My own mother did some very hurtful things at a point in our relationship, they were spiteful and actually out of character. In my case I was lucky enough to have time to resolve this, to understand the reason ( the beginnings of vascular dementia) and to put it in the past. My Mum didn’t apologise ever, but we did move on from it. I can imagine the pain I would still feel if she had died at that point, and I really feel for you.
Grieving the loss of a difficult or cruel parent can be extremely hard, because there are so many layers. Never being able to resolve things is really, really difficult. All you can do is get emotional support if and when you need it, and live your own life well. Breaking patterns takes huge emotional strength, you are stronger and more capable in every way than your Mum was, and that is her sadness and loss.
This isn’t about you not being lovable. It is about your Mum being a damaged person who found it hard to be a loving parent.
I am so sorry you have lost her with so much unresolved.

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Sswhinesthebest · 28/06/2022 09:03

Your mum was damaged. You know she adored the younger gc too, so her actions in that respect, trump her behaviour from years ago.

Its all very hard to bear, but I think what you need to remember is that she couldn’t act rationally due to her own mental health issues. That’s no reflection on you. It’s all on her. The same for her pride not letting her change the will/ not getting round to doing it. Difficult for the rational mind to understand, but she couldn’t behave rationally due to her issues. Feel sorry for her and feel sorry for yourself on the receiving end of her inadequacies, but do not take it too personally. It’s a reflection on her, and not you.

Good luck with untangling it all in counselling.

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Words · 28/06/2022 11:47

What a wonderful and compassionate post @MrJi .

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Summer1912 · 28/06/2022 12:05

Sounds like your sister would be happy it wasnt changed back

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LaJoconde · 13/07/2022 11:14

I remember you posting also @Wavesandsmilesencore

your sister is trying to receive some parenting from your mother also... she’s equating the money to the love she feels she wasn’t given.

in a way, you’re in a much better place as you have moved on, and have a fantastic relationship with your children. That’s love money can’t buy.

the wounds you speak of are there to remind you how far you’ve come, and your sister is still a slave to your mum.

maybe your mum wanted to cause even more drama by writing her will this way - maybe she thought she could still control the narrative by favouring one over the other.

just remember, you’re free, and your sister is still a slave. The money buys her.

you’ve come a long way.. in ways this will doesn’t change anything, just shows how far you’ve come, and the wealth you have in your life isn’t worth whatever crumbs your sister is grasping.

very often when there is an unequal division or benefit the person who ‘gets’ all the money loses it in some way.. they buy a house which floods, or buy a car which they crash, or they get sick.
they know it’s not right they get it all, and something always goes wrong with it.

im very sorry for your loss.
please look at what you gained also.

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vroom321 · 13/07/2022 11:20

My uncle left his home to myself and siblings. We sold it and shared the money. My sister was also left around £100,000 in total. She said she needs it incase she splits with her husband and needs to buy him out. I'm not sure what I'd do in that position but I wouldn't have kept it all.

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DFOD · 14/07/2022 09:16

Wavesandsmilesencore · 28/06/2022 08:13

Actually the word devastating is the right one, and I feel the normal bereavement process has been derailed as I’m not grieving anymore the person I thought I was. And I keep replaying the moment in the lawyers office. She had a first will two years earlier which was read also, that referred to her two daughters, and was an equal split. Then the 2013 will
completely removed every reference to me, even appointing my sister and her husband as executors (instead of her brothers as before), my sister and her husband of trustees of my elder children’s share etc. and the clause on a small share to grandchildren generally replaced to specifically name only the older two. And I was about 33 weeks pregnant at the time… so it was very much calculated to send a devastating message.


I want to believe that she somehow couldn’t face updating it, that she really did love us all, and my sisters comments since are the salt in the wound.

At least I’m getting a lot of support from mums brothers, and my dad’s brother and family. They are angry with my mum, but nothing can or will ever change what’s happened. And I worked so hard to give my mum a beautiful funeral, I even read the eulogy, and spent thousands getting me and my children back on a specific date at my sisters request. Definitely something I have to get some counselling for I think as I can’t imagine moving past this.

As PP have said there are many layers to this - past and present - emotion, deception, manipulation, etc.

Pay attention to the emotional shock you are experiencing right now - it was months ago that the will was read and you are only voicing this on MN now - what has happened in between? Maybe paralysing shock?

Agree that therapy would help you process the damage of such a DM and restore the emotional capacity to be a better more focused mother yourself rather than still being inadvertently drained, hurt and preoccupied (understandably) with your appalling DM. There is a need to resolve / heal the damage she has done - I would pursue the money just so I could pay for therapy.

I would ask one / all of the other recipients who are on your side to start the ball rolling on a variation and shame your DSis out of it. Let them do it above board in a transparent way - via solicitor / on email.

I am sorry that you had a dreadful DM in life and death. Try to focus on a quick resolution (to the will) so that this doesn’t eat you up further and then focus on repairing the emotional damage - that’s your revenge and your superpower.

You have come a long way - I suspect your DM was jealous of the success you made and the distance you put in.

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DFOD · 14/07/2022 09:20

but nothing can or will ever change what’s happened.

Yes if you are referring to the initial shock of the deliberate emotional wound she inflicted on you (and the many many more before that).

But you have shown your resilience in the past and you can choose now (post shock) with professional emotional support to reverse this damage and not let it have the deep debilitating long term impact she intended.

I would see getting a variation as the first step in taking back your power. Don’t be derailed by your sister or pussyfoot around her - get all of the rest of the family onside to force her hand.

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Porcupineintherough · 16/07/2022 20:44

I am sorry you are so hurt. It is hurtful and your sister's words doubly so.

I was looking through my father's will the other day (he's not dead but has quite advanced dementia and I'm his poa). His will has 6 codicils and the amounts left to myself, my sister and brother vary hugely from codicil to codicil- we were all exuded at some time or other, depending on who was pissing him off at the time. It a says so much more about him than it does about us.

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Wavesandsmilesencore · 17/07/2022 08:26

Thank you for all the messages and advice. It’s taken a while to reply due to end of term “busy times” and a gastro bug working it’s way through the family (acrobat, for those who remember my posts from way back, ended up in hospital on IV fluids for dehydration so it’s been quite challenging).

It took me a while to post as an immediate reaction was absolute shame, I felt pretty embarrassed that this happened to me, and also that all the work I put into mums funeral was a fraud. I felt embarrassed for the words and wrote I said for the eulogy in particular. But I also spent some time looking at other inheritance related threads here and saw several themes around “don’t ever expect to get anything”, and I didn’t want to have my situation perceived as me being money grabbing. Finally I had to take a gamble and post about the whole thing, as it’s become hard to see a way to leave all this in the past.

I had to take a trip back to clear mums house and bring some of my own things, and sentimental things, back to mine. And since then the silly thought that captured me is that every single pencil (probably over 60) in her house was perfectly sharpened. And she chose to spend time sharpening pencils rather than update her will. And that was something she’d told one of my aunts she was doing, she’d the papers already. But I don’t know what she’d have updated it to, other than that she’d told my aunt she wanted to include all her grandchildren.

So, in terms of variation, my older two are varying their share to include all their siblings and I have to sign on behalf of the second oldest. Then the property is also partly in their names to a complex and expensive sale process, and from that they will legally gift equal shares to their siblings.

Regarding my sister, she’s simply showing her true self and I’m disappointed that this is who she really is. Her words have been very very hurtful and show how deeply subscribed she is and has been to my mums narrative. She’s suggesting she may vary part of the personalty but on strict conditions; it’s just more of the same control. My uncles and aunts have made their feelings very clear to her but my sister is a bit of an emotional void and I don’t think she cares, or knows how to care. That’s been her way of coping since mum first became ill when we were younger. Anyway, I have really tried to speak to her and she just won’t communicate.

In terms of where my thoughts are settling, it’s that I don’t feel that my grief was a fraud. I really did love my mum even if she could be shocking at times. And I do miss her - I miss her as the grandma to my children. I’m sad that I have not really known a “typical” maternal love for myself but that has created for me, ever since I became a mum, a strong instinct to be a mum who truly loves, without conditions or expectations.

I imagine that over the next few weeks or months the situation regarding my sister will become more clear.

For the moment, I’m so relieved that those giving support and advice realise that for me the upset isn’t the actual money, it is the message, the history, and my sister’s reaction and words. And sort of realising that I don’t have a sister anymore either.

On a huge positive, I have the most wonderful children and they are worth more than any money. They absolutely fill my life with happiness and purpose (and sometimes frustration 😂), and I am and always have been, able to provide for them. So, whatever my mum hoped to do, she can’t take that away.

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