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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?

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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'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 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!!


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