Human Vultures

As I get older, it becomes increasingly clear that death, or the prospect thereof, turns humans into vultures. Now, not every person faced with the death of a loved one (or relative) turns into a money-grubbing, back-stabbing, hoarder and thief, but it seems to be a more common occurrence.

When my great grandmother was moved from her house to a nursing home, certain children swooped in on the empty house and began removing valuables without their siblings (or mother’s for that matter) consent or permission. Valuable things went missing, no one would admit that they were the ones who actually took it. Finger pointing and blame went all over and it just became ridiculous.

Even more ridiculous was trying to divide the property after my great grandmother’s death. Certain daughters believed they were entitled to more regardless of the constructs of the will.

Having heard and seen other families go through the same (or worse) inheritance struggles has only cemented into my mind the belief that death brings out the worst in people. What I find really amusing is when children start yelling at their parents for wasting away “their” (the kids’ not the parents’) money. How is it the children’s money when it is the parents’? Simply put, inheritance. As parents age, many children begin contemplating inheritance and what they can expect when their parents kick the proverbial bucket. It is disgusting.

But, I suppose the children who are straightforward and openly take stuff and start claiming their parents’ property is at least more honest than the underhand ones who sneak and steal. Recently, a neighbor’s wife was hospitalized with cancer. Her children don’t even visit her, but they go to her house and take her stuff. One child even steals money out of her purse. The father put his foot down and said they can’t take it, but what do they care? They come in and take it anyways. Besides, their dad is 85, he’ll be dead soon, too, so why does he need the stuff.

One son-in-law actually said that to his face. Unbelievable. As if having his wife of 50+ years in the hospital dying of cancer isn’t enough, he is faced with ignorance and greed from his children who should be giving their love and support.

Inheritance. Whatever. It is money for nothing. It doesn’t rightfully belong to anybody but the originators. I can understand getting back that which you have gifted to the deceased, but to go in willy-nilly and claim everything of value in sight is just plain, old-fashioned greed in any book.

My grandparents are doing their best to divide up the assets and to give back gifts before they die in order to help stop silly things like this from happening. But you never really know what will happen after you die and how the people around you will react.

Unfortunately, every family seems to have a vulture of some kind lurking in their midst, making an unhappy event even worse.

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2 thoughts on “Human Vultures

  1. we kinda had that problem when my great aunt died. only… in that case, it was that her sister inherited her house, and her kids (the sister's kids, that is) came in and gutted the place, thus throwing out *EVERYTHING*, never even so much as *pausing* to ask if anybody wanted anything. (thankfully my aunt had handed out a few things over the years; only those occasional trinkets that had been squirreled away were saved.) (and even *that* stuff was *asked to be returned* by the people who *threw out all the rest of the stuff*.) and, finally, to properly wrap up the whole situation, they have since hijacked and hidden away both my aunt's ashes and my uncle's ashes, and nobody knows where they are.

  2. I have heard a story that when one of my great aunts died there was a lot of bickering among my two aunts and my grandmother about who got what stuff, etc… and my mother was just so sick of all the greed and arguments she just left and stopped being involved in the whole thing, leading my grandmother to go to her and try to resolve the situation, which I guess eventually WAS resolved. But I commend my mother for not getting involved with the greed and just stepping aside and saying "forget it, this is stupid." Really good show of character.

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