Life and Death with Depression: A friend's Last Will and Testament
Regardless of what is scheduled in on the calendar, sometimes life happens regardless. Regardless of what form of mental or physical illness one is contending with, sometimes life happens regardless.
Whether or not I have the emotional or physical ability, life continues to move forward. Try as I may to keep to a schedule or a routine, best laid plans do not always pan out as effectively as I may have accounted for.
There are a few notable quotes on this topic. I think it was John Lennon who said, "Life happens while you are making other plans." And then well-known Anonymous who said, "If you want to make God laugh, make a plan." These are the thoughts coming to mind right now.
Today it has come to my attention that I will now need to step-up as executor for my friend, Betty, who took her own life this past July. Regardless of any emotions or logistics or how messed up the situation has become, it is happening regardless.
I just read Betty's will for the first time via the computer sent from the previous executor. I had asked the previous executor if it was okay if I did not read the will until I was ready. Even though I was still not "ready," I needed to read the will in order for me to take over the provisions of the estate. Just seeing her initials and signature set me into tears.
Many people have been involved in this matter of Betty's will for the last two months. One has been straight-up and honest; the other three, not so much. Hence, my need/desire to be executor to accomplish what needs to be done. Yes, I know I do not have the time to take on such a task; the love of my friend calls me to the table.
Nothing has been done for the settlement of her estate, but this has not been due to any fault of the named executor. He was given erroneous information, and then I was given erroneous information as well (by two different lawyers, neither of which has been as forthright as one would hope in such a concern).
Anyway, I have thrown my hat in the ring to be executor to deal with the son from Betty's husband's first marriage who is currently choosing to ignore Betty's will and take profit for himself.
If nothing else, I am VERY clear that I have the capacity to stand up to a smooth-taking bully. In the last two years I have needed to hire two lawyers (and who ever would believe they would ever be in a position to hire one lawyer, never mind two at once?). Over the last two years I have learned that even with all the anxiety, resurgence of PTSD and physical injury due to a car accident I was in last January (a five car incident) I would be standing where I am now: ready to go trial and stand up for what is fair. I am not seeking any type of big payout or anything, just the basic medical and repair costs. To many, this would be a no-brainer. To the big companies I am up against, they appear to want to get away with not paying for what was damaged or the injuries incurred. Yes, overall, a shame regarding human nature, but also an indication (in my opinion) of greed and how "business as usual" is conducted.
So, to go down to Betty's home to confront this son and call the police if necessary, is barely hitting my radar screen of anxiety or fear. The son is trying to break the law, and I am ready and willing to stand up to him and stop him. This son treated my friend with malice and spite from the get-go. And now he wants all her money for himself. Not on my watch.
Even in death, I will have Betty's back. She was a wealthy woman--of wisdom, integrity and love as well as money. I am determined to see that her money will go to serve others in need (i.e., charity) and not to a mean-spirited individual. I am choosing to take the lesson's learned over the last two years and apply it to this particular situation. I am not a weakling who will accept someone else's garbage. If nothing else, Betty was a woman of integrity and I will do my best to do what is the right answer to this mess that has been created. Betty did not name me as executor due to the amount of time and accounting and legal matters; however, she knew that I am an organized, diligent and decent person. It's weird, but I know in my heart that she would want to see her affairs handled properly; if that means it is down to me, so be it. She did not wish this for me, but I am more prepared than I knew (or perhaps even she). It is simply what needs to be done. No more, no less. I may not be the most intelligent person, nor the most legal savvy, but I do have heart.
In the end, this is life. This is what happens in life. I was honored to know her. And although I have other plans and commitments, this will not trump my desire to see her wishes fulfilled. To be honest, I am having a difficult time emotionally...but for reasons of practicality and decency, I am very clear. Walking this line will not be easy and I know I am not superhuman or anything. I just wanted to share what is up as you have all been so supportive and kind. Simply knowing I have the capacity to undertake such matters is a major boon. I have grown tremendously, and my mental health issues will not hinder me from completing on something so important.
Thanks for listening.