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Friday, 2 April 2010

Mediation and Mental Health...



Portrait at the white rat by Anne-Julie Aubry - Beauty and the Ratty Beast...

Our solicitor, a professional litigator as it turned out, was petite, professional yet ditzy, and comfortably feisty and reassuring.

She clicked into action, examining the will and my late father's wishes.

I wept in her office. I wept there a lot.

She could have charged me water rates.

She probably did...

We went through what would happen, what could happen, what might happen, what had happened historically (viz Dombey and Son!), what was her experience of legal cases such as this... Did he have any other properties? A villa abroad. A caravan in Skegness...

My dad's wishes, as I knew them from his words to me from his sick-bed, the first time he fell ill, were for his partner to remain in their home if he pre-deceased her. But the house and his small remaining estate (his trinkets and treasures) were to be mine, my son's and my husband's.
I would then continue to pay for the upkeep of the house, while she remained there. The solicitor thought some of this to be a little odd...

So did my family given, they opined, she had property of her own.

But such were his wishes...

And I would honour them...

I began to deal with the bills that remained to be paid... I did so much while I returned to work, and then my solicitor took over. She stepped into the breach as his partner began to try to pass off utility and other bills that were really hers, not his...

...She tried to convince my dad's bank that she was his wife, his widow. She was ringing the bank the day that I went in with his details and his certificate of death in order to have the accounts frozen, as we must do... 'What right had I to be asking them for information?'

She opened a new account in the same bank there and then, while still having another account, her own, with another bank... This would make things easier, she said...

And they began to be very difficult with me...

Then, the afternoon that we were sitting in my dad's home, discussing the service to come with the, oh-so-patient, retired vicar, she started to go through the falsehood of searching for their 'mislaid' marriage certificate to give to him. It had never existed, of course...

I understand this, but found it all very trying... Exhausting...

To be called a liar, deemed troublesome, having to prove all the time that my steps were legal, and that I was executing what were my father's last wishes...

I got hold of the briefcase, in fact, one grey, distraught and distressing afternoon... I looked around the cluttered room at things that were his and I thought, maybe I'll never see those things again - I wanted to touch the last thing he touched, to handle his little black leather coin purse, to hold the silver keyring I'd given him from Christmas, where I told him with its engraving, just how much he meant to all of us...

...She went on to ring pension companies and the state, often at the same time as me. She said that she was owed his pension. 'Where was her share?' I tried to explain to her, while I was still speaking to her, and working in the government machinery myself -- She already had one widow's pension from the state after the loss of her 'first husband'.

She would not be entitled to any second pension from my father's estate. That would be illegal, unlawful... She told me I didn't know what I was talking about and that the pension department had said she was getting some of his pension... That was because she had misrepresented herself to them... I couldn't tell her thus.

She began to scream at my solicitor down the 'phone... Things became increasingly difficult for me to deal with. And it all became too much for me to bear at some stage and, at his request, I passed all the dealing with her, and her family, on to GJ, for his broad shoulders to bear...

In time, I returned to work. She would ring me on my mobile at work while I was in meetings, frantically shouting and just generally being awful... I began not to answer any of my 'phones that showed her telephone number, my old home number, on the screen...

It got to the point, where I became increasingly phobic about answering the 'phone at home...

Today, four years on, if you ring my home number, I might not even answer.

Please bear with me if that happens...

And please forgive me for going on and on, but these words and your comments are the glue that is keeping parts of me together as a whole at the moment... I love you. I hope you're having a nice break this Easter holiday... I send you all my best wishes - Mwah! x

11 comments:

Gigi said...

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with all this! It's never easy but to have to deal with these kinds of things just makes it that much harder....

ALeks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ALeks said...

Dear Fhina,I wrote a few loving comments about your hardship in these times and at the end removed them, I did not like them, but i wish you all the luck and strength to deal with what you need to deal with and loads of good love,warm hugs and peace!
Aleksandra

Fab, feisty and fifty... said...

oh Fhina, the glue that binds us indeed....my frineds have kept me bound togther the last month indeed yesterday when l needed wrapping up and assurance...family at a distance caring and loving...

Your posts are very poignant and remind me to keep perspective...nothing is forever and that l kow life can change on a ring of a doorbell, a phonecall one sentence and it can unravel in moments...

looking forward to 19th...unless l drop a needle and l lose some stitches..

Chairman Bill said...

Some people can be hideous. Lies will always out in the end.

slommler said...

All I can say is I am so sorry that this is occurring in your life. Brilliant of you to put Gj in charge! And not answering your phone is another good thing. I have found that ugly things can happen after a death has occurred.
Hugging you dearest one
SueAnn

Derrick said...

Happy Easter to you Fhina! Enjoy the weekend in the warmth of your family and blot out all else.

French Fancy said...

You are putting things down in one line - very quick to actually type and for us to read but the months of anguish that lie behind each line is very hard to read about let alone know that you, someone I care about, had to go through them.

What a lying and conniving woman she is(was) - I hope there is a happy ending to this sorry tale, Fhina.

thinking of you and wondering what is to cme

xx
Julie

Derrick said...

Me again, Fhina,

Just came across the poem that you may find a connection with. I think it's lovely.

http://kathrynstriplingbyer.blogspot.com/2010/04/poet-of-day-felicia-mitchell.html

Suldog said...

I handled my father's estate - such as it was - without aid of lawyers. It was an ongoing pain for three years, and had I known then what I know now, I would have engaged someone to save me the hassles. I can not imagine how complicated and dreadful something like that must be when there is another involved with whom you are at odds.

May God bless you for your good work, and may your Easter be happy and healthy.

The Spiv said...

There are so many things I would like to say, but cannnot get the feelings behind them to look "right" when they are written down. Suffice to say that I have some idea of what you are going through and sincerely hope that, (in future readings) we find out that things work out in the end! Keep these words flowing, as the end result should be quite a cathartic process. *Hugs*

Something I wrote earlier...

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