My Condolences

imageOne of the hardest parts of  being a nurse is comforting and supporting the bereaved family at the time of death.  Normally, family members are heartbroken, grieving at the death.  On a few occasions, I witnessed something different.  Mr. Jones, an elderly patient owned a successful insurance agency. Every morning, he donned freshly laundered silk pajamas.  When discharged,  He wore a fine finest suit, shirt, shoes, and hat and took great pride in being noticed.  He bragged of buying a new Cadillac every year, dining at the most prestigious restaurants, and enjoying a membership at The Country Club.

His son, Junior Jones was in his late fifties and had always worked for Daddy.  It appeared Mr. Jones was none to generous nor kind to Junior.  Junior dressed in cheap clothes and drove an ancient compact car.  It must have been miserable since he was so tall he had to fold up like a jackknife to fit in it.  When Junior came to the hospital to consult with Daddy about the business, Daddy was condescending, snide, and critical, never showing Junior the least respect.

One the morning Daddy died, we’d called to notify Junior his father’s death appeared imminent.  Junior came streaking into his father’s room just moments before Mr. Jones’ death.  I offered my condolences.  Junior ignored me, opened the drawer of the bedside table, dug out the keys to his father’s Cadillac, his father’s checkbook and left the room without speaking.  A nursing assistant who was a friend of the family walked him out to the parking garage.  He handed her the keys to his small car and drove off in his father’s big, black Cadillac.  That was different!  I guess he’d had enough.

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38 thoughts on “My Condolences

    • At that time, in Louisiana, half the estate went to wife and the other half was divided among children. That son would have gotten a child’s portion. At that time, property division was mandated. Now a person can leave property as they choose except in case of child will disability. Disabled child get a child’s portion, no matter what will specifies.

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  1. Always a shame when you see those closest to the patient being mistreated, when daddy died Junior took over and his first executive decision was to take what was rightfully his. There’s a moral here, treat others disrespectfully and they’ll dance on your grave. What goes around comes around in the end. As a nurse you must have seen all kinds of grief when a loved one dies, as well as joy at the end from those left behind when an abusive parent/spouse dies.

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