Friday, January 2, 2015

Wealthy Woman Discovers That Even Money Cannot Buy Sons' Attention

Dear Tazi:

I have two ingrates for children!  I did not raise them this way, but they are just like their father.  They put work before everything and everyone else.  Is it any wonder that they are both married to a couple of golddiggers who only want them for their earning potential?   

I am in my early 60’s and widowed; my workaholic husband died far too young of a stress induced heart attack, leaving me wealthy but lonely.  We lived far from family and his work schedule never allowed for socializing with friends.  I have kept busy since his passing, but am essentially on my own.  Our two sons are always too busy too visit with me, even on the holidays.

Quite recently, I was diagnosed with a terminal cancer that will most likely take my life within the next few months.  Although the news was grave, I am accepting of it.  I have felt fatigued for some time now, and thought it was just stress.  My illness is too far along for treatment to make much of a difference, so I have refused it in order to spend my remaining days peacefully enjoying what time I have left.

When I informed my sons of my decision not to seek treatment for my cancer, they were very upset and encouraged me to try, even going so far as to say that their father would be disappointed in my decision.  When I explained to them that treatment would leave me debilitated and in need of around-the-clock care they offered to hire a private nurse to take care of me.  When I explained to my boys that I would prefer not to receive such intimate care from strangers uneasy looks came over their faces.  The slightest hint that I would like them to step-up and assist me with my end-of-life care was enough to make them change the subject!  They told me that the decision to refuse treatment was my choice and that they would respect it, in spite of their disappointment! 

Tazi, I am still going to need some sort of assistance as my time grows near, and have decided that since I cannot depend upon my sons I will be leaving them nothing to depend upon in my will.  My attorney cannot believe that I would write my sons out of my will, but he is willing to go along with my wishes and is making my will so airtight a [gaseous emission] couldn't squeak out of it!

My question is, Tazi, do you think I am being unreasonable and petty?  Do you think my late husband will be upset with me when I see him again in Heaven?

At Peace…Almost

Dear At Peace…Almost:

Do I think you are being unreasonable and petty?  No.  I think you are responding from a place of anger.  Are you certain that this is how you wish to be remembered?  Do I think your late husband will be upset with you over disowning your sons?  That is a question only you can answer.

You have my deepest sympathies for your troubles.  You say that you are accepting of your illness, but it sounds to me that there are still some issues that you need to address – the estrangement of your sons being the biggest issue.  Although their reaction to the possibility of assisting you with your care is reprehensible, it is not uncommon for children to react this way when put on the spot.  Your sons are still trying to process the idea of losing their mother only a few years after their father’s sudden passing; the thought of having a front-row seat to their mother’s suffering was probably more than they could take at that very moment.

Rather than write your sons out of your will, I suggest that you talk to them first.  Explain to them how hurt you are that they cannot make the time to assist you as needed in order to make your passing a peaceful one.  It is possible that your sons fear they are not up to the challenge of caring for you, and fear failing you during this crucial time.  A combination of at-home nursing assistance for intimate care (bathing, medications) and family-care for more standard assistance (a ride to doctor’s appointments, meal preparation) could work well for all involved as well as give your sons and daughters-in-law the opportunity to be close to you during your final months.  I think this will also allow you to get past your anger and sadness and find the peace you have almost found.


P.S.  If you have no one else to leave a bequest, I gladly accept donations!  Mommie's student loan payments are cutting into my snack budget!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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