Kim’s dear brother died, and she was tasked with administering the estate, including taking care of his ashes after the cremation. Kim is a very kind person. Her nephew (her brother’s son) was having a very troubled time in his life, involving drugs and a lot of anger.
He and his dad’s wife started to cause problems. They fought release of the ashes to Kim, even though she was going to fulfill her brother’s wishes. In Kim and my discussions, we decided to split the ashes.
The son also created problems around the accounting, asking for every receipt and charge. Estates are rarely perfectly managed, and this put Kim through many hours of pretty useless work – the amounts were so small.
And then there were the yelling and blaming phone conversations, that Kim finally had to stop allowing.
Kim and I worked on how to communicate with him, mostly by emails. We talked about her love for him, in his core as a good person, and how helpful it would be for her peace of mind to forgive him, and release any further desire to change him.
This took some time, but Kim eventually came to more peace with the situation. She continued to love her nephew, and also create healthy separation so she would not be emotionally and mentally abused by him.
In doing this kind of inner work for ourselves, we can’t expect that others will always change. We hope for that, but this holistic approach is first and foremost about our finding our peace of mind, our strong center, and moving forward as effectively as we can from there.
Kim wrote the following to me, near the end of the process: “Duane, at times it has been difficult for me to maintain a balanced, loving stance in this situation rather than attempting to make things “right.” I feel a sense of peace to know that you are involved.”