10 weeks have gone by since my wife passed away. The other day though was an unexpected zinger.
My Mother-in-law asked that I return furniture that she gave us over the past 34 years. Startled, I asked why and she said because she wants to "keep it in the family". Am I not family I asked and she said "well thats different". She lives 500 miles away, the furniture is nothing out of the ordinary, and I don't plan on hiring a mover. Any thoughts, SMH?
Your post has rendered me almost speechless! My first thought was what would your wife want to do if she was able to voice an opinion. Do you have any children who might want (or need) the furniture? You mentioned it was nothing out of the ordinary so I'm assuming it didn't belong to your wife's grandparents or was hand-crafted by someone to make it a memorable piece.
What would I do in a similar situation? First, ask m-i-l if there is a special piece she would like (since furniture is expensive to ship). Maybe she'd like to come down and pick something out that might have meaning to her. When you know exactly what she wants, get an estimate for shipping and send her the estimate. If your relationship with her isn't the best, suggest she mail a check in advance to pay for the shipment.
I guess until I had more details, I'd want to tread carefully since it is her daughter who died and she is grieving too. But, at the face of it, she appears to be insensitive. It makes me wonder about the back story. Not that you need to share any of that with us. Good luck...
Sorry for my frankness....but I'm a senior and speak without the political correctness of recent and popular vintage. Your MIL has made an odd request so I would humor myself and tell her if she wants it to ~ come and get it...since you are ( in her opinion) not in the family you have no obligation to deliver [email protected] The truth is...most of us have "family" of some sort and most of them do not want our cast off old stuff anyway. I would not take offense with her comment....she thinks selfishly and wrongly about her furniture gifts to you and your spouse. Do not accommodate her one iota! Let her have it freely but do not help her to relocate it... Listen, old people get weird- bossy and scared. She is that and more. You take care of you while you are grieving and please remember her strangeness has some grief and wrong thinking behind it--not for you to worry about and certainly not something to upset you because of some weird thinking on your MIL's part. 10 wks is so fresh for grieving... Stay calm when you tell her it's hers to take back but she needs to arrange for pick up and delivery-period. Don't get angry...it's your wife's mother. Be specific and firm but calm. Think of the surprise she'll be faced with if she follows through and finds no one wants your furniture---which of course in reality is already " in the family!" hugs laurajay
I didn't read everyone else's response but LJ is a wise soul for sure!!!
I was going to say what she said, only she said it much better and also, she's a lot nicer than I am. SO, what LauraJay said!
You can only imagine the thoughts that have gone through my head about my MIL's request. If the furniture was passed down through generations, I guess I could understand the request. But it's not. Just a simple table and chairs, dresser and a piano with two middle C's, LOL.
Financially, we have helped my MIL over the years. We have helped physically with the upkeep of her properties. Heck, I even gave her a car a few years ago. Our family has given nothing but unconditional love and support.
What would my wife done with this request? She would have lectured her mother about the values of having and being a part of a family...no matter what.
I hurts me to have such a dialog. I will ignore the request for now. If I ask for the car back, maybe she will see her poor thought process.
Oh by the way, this is the same person I wrote about in my post about Emotions.
Thanks for your feedback everyone. It has helped!
just realized your MIL was the same person who told you not to cry. She obviously is troubled and sad and not going to be much support to you right now. Letting it go for now good idea. Pain affects body and mind. Take care of you! lj
yeah, ask for the car back. Tell her you want to keep it in YOUR family. SMH too!!