A death in a family is difficult for everyone.  Yes.  I know.  Wonderful statement of the obvious…   The loss, the  grieving, all of it creates a situation where one can either choose to learn, to grow and to maintain humanity or to allow baser emotions to rise to the surface.  By the time you reach middle age, you will have seen it.  And been, more than likely, sickened by it.  Forced to admit that people you thought of as family, people you thought you knew as well as you know yourself, are not what they seem to be.  They have hidden a secret and nasty nature.  A grasping, wanting, material greed part of their personalities. You’ll look back over your interactions with these people and suddenly be forced to admit, that the signs had been there all along but in your naivete or in your need to believe in the best of people, especially those you love, you chose to ignore the signs.

Then there is a death in the family, the time comes to liquidate an estate and the vultures start to circle.  They all have the same method.  I’ve seen it time and time again; I can recognize it a mile away at this point.

They start their circling – a large circle formation at first…watching, looking…Then the circle begins to lower itself – touching objects, comments meant to show how much the departed meant to them and how this object or that one certainly reminds them of the loved one.

These vultures have the innate ability to pick off the person they perceive as the most vulnerable of the immediate family and start their operation.   More often than not, it is a spouse of a relative although not always.  Sometimes it can be blood that thins with the onslaught of greed, of want, of the material.

A head’s up, dear readers.  Sometimes the cold, hard realization that someone, you love or is a part of your family, has hidden a vulture personality can be one of the most difficult emotions with which to deal on top of your grief.  The disgust can be overwhelming as can the compulsion to smack them upside the head…hard…  You could call them on it, I guess but usually when you are immersed in grief, either you can’t really be bothered or your judgment can be cloudy.  In my experience, it is best to say nothing and simply do your best to protect the vulnerable around you.  Following the loss of a family member is not the time for a war.  There is enough going on, enough sadness, enough anger, that an argument over the material simply adds salt to the wounds everyone is suffering.

Difficult though it may be; chock it up to one of life’s less than pleasant lessons.  And know that the majority of families who have sustained a passing of a loved one have seen this, have done it and know your emotions well.  Never forget what you see and hear, allow yourself to learn that people can hide their flaws masterfully.  Take the higher road but don’t allow the vultures to feed off the weak, protect them as best you can.

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