Many of us are lucky enough to be close with some members of our family. We share a history, and that can be a validating thing, to have someone who validates the “crazy” that exists in most families.
At the same time, we can feel guilty when we don’t feel the love others feel for their family, their parents, or their siblings. It can feel very alienating during holidays and events. The almost invisible fissures can blossom into destructive cyclones when the stress level increases. Families who have been tolerant and civil can erupt unexpectedly when a dynamic changes, such as a serious illness or death. In the United States, money issues can cause lots of resentment and jealousy, especially when siblings are treated unequally after a death. Childhood jealousy probably once had an adaptive quality. It made the smaller chicks squawk more loudly and ensure survival. Some of those instincts follow us into adulthood, and we can act just like children not getting enough attention. Some siblings swoop in and grab the most goodies the quickest – and nothing can sever a relationship like that kind of petty grabbing can. A lifetime relationship can quickly come to an end.
Someone I know moved from another state and took care of her elderly parents until they both passed, a sacrifice in her life for sure. She had a very hard time packing up and selling their house afterwards. In comes her brother from another state, demanding she be out in 90 days, as the executor. She had to pack up and leave before she felt ready. It was more traumatic to her and certainly not fair.
In past times, parents never discussed money or their wills with their children. This kind of thing can create more suspicion and paranoia, and I admire the adults who discuss aspects of their wills with their children before they die, or even provide copies to their children. I think this can help prevent lots of the destruction than can occur later. A death is ripe for explosion, here are people dealing with one of the hardest situations of their lives, and then there comes additional injuries and surprises when things don’t seem “fair” in the will. As far as being one of the “children” it will help if their relationships are good before the death occurs, and it will help to remember the importance of connection with each other, instead of focusing on “goods”, and if families can meet together to divide and take turns selecting items that might have special meaning to them, that can prevent alot of mistrust and destruction later.