(Literal meaning: It is especially painful to raise an ungrateful child.)
Shakespeare really understood human nature, tragic as it can be sometimes. From his King Lear in 1605, he writes about the pain of a thankless child.
Here’s my hair-raising story:
In an estate I was handling, I was privy to a situation that made my stomach turn. It still blows my mind! After all these years, certain situations still get to me … because I care.
Before an elderly parent died, knowing what her children were like, she assigned a trusted friend to be the executor. The children were estranged, yet greedy. I cannot comprehend how a child can be estranged, yet still feel they are entitled to an inheritance. As I have often written in my books, we are entitled to nothing unless it is given to us. But that’s just my opinion. It seemed this parent left nothing to the children, save the personal property. And the hunger games began … literally.
Among the siblings, it became an epic battle of name calling, expert manipulation, grabbing possessions just to spite the other, take as much as they could to sell for cash, and even physical assault. Besides shaking my head in disbelief, a pitiful thought enters my mind: These behaviors in no way honored the decedent. Self-centered, disrespectful, discourteous, greedy, bratty …
I wouldn’t want to be around when the karma train pays them a visit.
This parent exited life knowing her children were like that. Even in death, they pathetically displayed every behavior that shouldn’t be allowed. This parent lived and died with disappointment and sadness, knowing the kids were like this. She did what she could from a planning perspective and put someone else in charge of the estate; this was a smart move. Was this a good parent? Who knows? There are two sides to every story, but the kids should at least be respectful in death.
All of these children are middle age which means they are old enough to know better. They were angry that the parent had the last laugh, so to speak, and hit her in the wallet where it hurt. This was not a case of loving and missing a parent so much that they wanted select items for sentimental reasons.
I watched as they stripped this once beautiful home like a school of piranhas would strip a cow bone. The only emotion was anger.
Lessons I’ve learned from my work:
- Do your best to always be genuine, kind, respectful, and loving.
- Turn your cheek and bite your tongue often.
- Bad behavior can invade your soul, so don’t allow it.
- Bad behavior is contagious, so don’t allow it.
- Honor those who go before you, and then one day, you’ll be honored too.
- Bring as much “light” as you can to the situation. People can get lost in the dark during estate settlement situations.
©2013 The Estate Lady®
One thought on “Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth is a Thankless Child”
An excellent article Julie. Thank you.
Judy Robinson owner of senior moves serving eastern Ontario since 1996 author of “the Best of the Rest Downsizing for Boomers and Seniors” http://www.seniormoves.ca (613) 832 0053