I inherited $143.35 from my mother this week.  I’ve had a very hard time articulating how I feel about this, mostly because the way other people feel about this, or how they view it intellectually does not connect with my own reality.

Annalisa inherited $143.35 as well and you may recall that our ascendents are only off by one degree so this is a shared experience.  Tomorrow there is a new Moon in Pisces that is part  a stellium in the sign which lands in our 2nd house – money and self esteem.  I think this is quite a puzzle.

How would you feel if your mother died and you were sent a check for $143.25?



Inheritance — 81 Comments

  1. Sad. Very sad indeed. For me and for my mother who must have been under financial pressure in the end to leave so little.

    Luckily, though she had 2 great daughters so maybe I am making way too much out of this.

  2. Since I haven’t seen my mother since I was 5 y/o, this may be pure projection on my part; but I would feel that she accomplished very little in her life. I know there’s more to life than accumulating monetary wealth, but someone who doesn’t have it together financially often doesn’t have it very together in other important segments of their life; either. Sad.

  3. (((Elsa, Annalisa))

    Sad. However I’ve told my mom, don’t save anything for us..where good…but at the same time her psychological inheritance is huge, she owes us nothing more.

    My grandfather left my mother and her whole siblings with nothing, and gave his one daughter(mom’s halfsister) everything. In his case his inheritance should have covered his emotional unevolvement. Maybe I’m shallow , but money can fix things.

    At the same time, if it’s from a family member that has done you wrong…maybe it feels like blood money. I wasted my dad’s inheritance in 2 months …a much bigger amount…less value.

  4. My mother grew up poor, and is on disability and has not worked in years. Needless to say, I don’t expect to inherit any money from her. I guess a small check like that would just make me sort of chuckle, “Thanks, Mom.”

  5. Honestly? The $ amount would mean absolutely nothing to me (Saturn in 8th). However I wouldn’t like getting mail regarding a death, at all. I love getting mail, unless it is officious. I guess I view the cheque as officious.

    ((((Elsa and Annalisa))))

    • I feel similarly. I was named in the trust agreement of my father’s will (worth over 2 million dollars) – not only didn’t get a cent, but spent my own money trying to get closure on my father’s estate. What bothers me more than not getting my alleged inheritance was being excluded from everything including the burial and the court hearings, except for the one court hearing I initiated.

  6. I’m sorry to read this… One of my parents passed away years ago, leaving behind (oddly) around $140 in a checking account. I never withdrew the money. I can’t do it, it’s just been sitting there…

  7. (((Elsa &Annalisa)))

    I don’t know! Sad this is all that my mothers worth is broken down to. This is all that is left of her… Weird. I don’t know if I am wording my emotions clearly.

  8. One thing I’ll add: it’s wonderful that you guys have each other and can share this experience. Never had I felt so alone than when I went through the loss of a parent. I got through the hardest parts but I really didn’t think I could or would.

  9. :(((.

    To answer your question (but in no way to insinuate any form of judgement on my part), my mom’s capricorn and saturn heavy, and she’d do everything she could to leave everything to her children. I can’t imagine my mom [being able to] leave only x amount, you know?

    Anyway I hope you and Annalisa are alright. Maybe the new moon in the 2nd house after tomorrow will help you find clarity? (But then again, here I am giving an astrologer astrology advice – LOL :)).

  10. (You don’t have to answer this) – but would you feel differently if the children got different amounts? But I suppose that would be a very different issue (sibling rivalry, mother playing favourites, family skeletons in the closet, etc.).

  11. “…would you feel differently if the children got different amounts?”

    I don’t think so but my mother has no gene of that type so it’s impossible to serious consider.

    I would just like to be more normal. I can’t find any common ground with anyone and I don’t know why this is.

    People say, I think this or I feel that and it does not match anything inside me so I wind up sort of staring off into bewilderment.

    This, because other people make more sense than I do, however, I can’t get their feelings or thoughts to be mine.

  12. It is sad and complex at the same time. Sad that anyone’s value can be tied to a monetary sum; sad that some people would feel cheated even if they received ten times that much (how dare anyone feel such entitlement?)” and complex because all that you are and all that you received is completely unmeasurable. If you can be a good (enough) parent to your own child and see your own child blossom, then you really have been given the greatest gift!

  13. I say this because I know someone who has been horribly spoiled all her life, inherited much but her kids are a mess. The best you can get are right values and the self-esteem to go out and do good.

  14. (((Elsa and Annalisa)))

    It’s a really weird feeling, huh? I tried to spend mine in a way my mother would have liked/approved of.

    What was her favorite thing? Maybe you could honor the spirit of her gift by doing something she loved to do…

  15. @Elsa, well, maybe you’re just an enigma so much that you look around you and see so little common ground with ‘normalites.’


    Your upbringing and life experiences make you anything but normal. Not to take away from what you are [legitimately] feeling, but being normal is safe, being normal is boring. Your being un-normal is probably the reason for your running such a successful site!

  16. I don’t expect any money from my mom. I do have some nice objects though from her family though. And I really can’t deny that she gave us kids some valuable traits.

    She was big on keeping her aunts’ stuff in the family. She herself got a few inhertitances in her life and never had to work. None of us have had that experience but we’re also a lot stronger and more self-sufficient.

    It would be strange to get a check because I’d feel sort of responsible for doing something meaningful with it. Even $136 dollars. The amount wouldn’t matter to me. I would want to use it for something that distilled her essence in some way. Id feel sort of a guardian of it for me and my son.

    I wouldn’t look at it as the value of her life being small- that would feel mean and wrong to me. It wouldn’t feel like “that number” is her true worth. Or even symbolic of her worth. It is just a random amount I have to work with to remember her by and pass on.

  17. My mom had to go bankrupt in the late 1990’s because of complicated health problems, and she signed over her house to my younger brother in order to “keep it in the family.” The thing is, I and my youngest brother, although we’re the ones taking care of her, will never see a penny and neither will our mother. My younger brother figures that since he rents the house out, she owes him for “property management.” My mom agreed, not realizing that this brother essentially paid himself by refinancing the house so he could expand his successful auto repair business. There’s no way my mother could fix the situation now even if she understood it. So if she left me almost $144, I would be pretty shocked because my mom has neither money nor property to speak of, and I would be rather grateful that she tried to leave me something even if it was a small amount.

  18. I am thinking of the film: Babett’s Feast where she spent her inheritance on the most lovely meal that she prepared for those she lived with.
    It would befit those times that you had no food growing up.

    No money here from my Dad passing and I anticipate my Mom who is failing a bit every day and again, there isn’t anything that I would expect and so what? It really isn’t about the stuff..

  19. Elsa,

    The subject of inheritance, as mixed up as it is with the death of the parent and the sense of how we feel loved (or unloved), is very complex so I wouldn’t expect to feel like anyone else simply because no one else has had the same experiences or family you’ve had. Your sister, Annalisa, might understand your feelings more than we do, or she might not. It really depends on how close you are in age and how much you shared as children in terms of experience, personality, and temperament.

    I also grew up feeling different and somewhat alienated from other people, partly because my family is so odd–and believe me, they took all the fun out of dysfunctional!–and because even in my own family I’m something of a strange bird. In that respect, I think I understand your feeling of not being the way everyone else is. Being different is not a bad thing; it can be a lonely thing, though.


    • Thanks, Meridith, and welcome. I did try to talk to my sister but I was unsuccessful in my attempt to communicate. I did settle this with my son, though and I think he did understand me. Of course he’s here in person and that means a lot.

      So really, I should amend this post. My son does have this story from my perspective…and I told him that it was his story to tell some day as well, so not to forget it!

      That last was a projection! I am the one with the bad memory! Anyway, I told him and I told him to be sure to record the happenings of his life somewhere in his mind because they’d be crazy valuable later.

  20. I would be ecstatic with the opportunity to make something out of whatever amount – its not a debt and it can go towards something great! I would start a really special fund with it, or I would think of the perfect way to reinvest it creatively to carry her spirit on in the world.

  21. I don’t know how I would feel. My parents are on a fixed income and don’t have a whole lot, so I doubt that I’ll see any monetary inheritance and I never really thought about it.

    I think it would only bother me ‘if’ my parents had a shit ton of money and then only left me a minimal token amount… especially if they left their cat a big chunk or something like that.

  22. I would look at the money as if it were stained with the memory of my mother’s death. Money is something I am willing to toss to the side if it was gained through something deeply disturbing.

  23. thank you! I like gaining money as much as anyone else, but personally I don’t think would not be able to accept a check gained through the death of my mother. I would have to give it to my older sister or her daughter instead. I guess I’m just a person of extremes sometimes.

    • @teDAREka – I don’t know why you are going into moderation but it’s not personal. I will figure it out but not tonight, because I’m morning person and can’t think at this hour.

  24. I’d feel sad over mom dying, happy to have something in the end because I do not expect anything from her – in fact I feel a financial obligation to them that pushes me. But I wouldn’t feel sad over the money or see it as a reflection of her value. She’s a bit of a practical hippy and lived her life and her chart. I value more her art and I think this pleases her to no end. And I value the freedom she has given me in her love.

  25. *shrugs*
    Hard to articulate. Better that my situation with my dad, who left a large debt. Glad I don’t live in a society where I can be held responsible for his debts.

    I’d probably cash it, go out for nice dinner and not think about it much anymore.

  26. It’s hard for me to imagine. I haven’t given my mother’s death much thought even though she’s getting close to 70 and is not all that healthy. I don’t expect any inheritance and if she did have any money, I’d encourage her to spend it on herself. I just would feel uneasy getting a check in the mail after her death. I wouldn’t feel sad for her or me, but I’d probably feel a bittersweet sadness.. It would symbolize Or be another reminder of a chapter closing to me, and that always makes me feel very nostalgic.

  27. I think I would find it poignant and alienating at the same time and take it to mean the “inheritance” comes in another kind of currency, which in your case was probably already clear in lots of ways . . . Love to you both.

  28. (((hugs))) Elsa. I’m sorry this time is so painful for you and Annalisa.

    With all due respect to your personal feelings, I think I would respond differently, but that’s just because family dynamics have such a huge range, of course.

    I personally would probably laugh. I don’t expect any money from either of my parents when they pass on. We grew up reasonably poor and that’s how I still think of them, even though they are both solvent now. My mom even owns a house now. But I would be shocked to receive an inheritance. If I got $143 and change after my mother passed, I would probably buy a case of beer, sit with my brothers and sisters, and we’d drink and laugh our asses off, telling stories about how low-brow our family is and always has been lol It’s never been a source of pain for me personally.

    I’ve got Neptune in Sag in the 2H so money is like a mist passing in the wind for me, I guess. There’s no connection for me between money, true success or personal relationships, I suppose…but I can sympathize how for some people, this might feel like a kick in the teeth 🙁

  29. Blech. I don’t know. I’d probably go all over the place mentally and emotionally. Meanwhile, the cheque would either end up in a forgotten pile or tossed into the general bit-of-money pile. Maybe I’d buy a lamp. Maybe I’d burn the cheque. I might wonder how she even managed to send 143.25 my way.

    Anyway, doesn’t much matter what I’d do.

    Hugs to you and Annalisa.

    PS. On second thought. I think I’d be oddly disconsolate. I’d rather get nothing. At least I’d understand that in a weird way.

  30. (((Elsa and Annalisa)))

    Honestly, nothing. It would mean nothing although I’d be pleasantly surprised. I don’t come from money.

    My mother has been ill and we’ve been going through her house. The old photos and mementos have meant more to me than anything.

    I work in estate planning and my husband’s family has more money. My upbringing was different. I’d use the money the way my mother would want me to. I’d go to Disneyland (she loves it there) or Tennessee or Oklahoma (where her parents were from).

  31. Twin soldiers. I would feel a sense of confirmation that my path of self-reliance was the right way and would feel even closer to my fellow sister in arms. Also, injustice. However, the sum of the numbers totals 7. And while not proficient in numerology I believe that is indicative of one who seeks The Truth (caps intentional). And I think it’s ruled by Neptune so given our new moon, the message could be construed as a message of altruistic love from mama that you and your sister seek The Truth.

  32. it’s another loose end getting wrapped up. not sure how i’d think about it, though. there’s so much more to a legacy than money. there’s family members i might inherit from, someday, and others i don’t expect to. it’s a reflection of how they live their life, and that’s a complex thing, and i’m not sure i’d come even close to a willingness to judge that.

  33. Elsa, it’s possible that at the time your mother bequeathed you this money, it was worth a whole lot more than it is today.

    Money has devalued so much.

    I have decided that, at my death, everything of value is to be sold and each of my children will receive exactly the same. I want to foster their loving, harmonious sibling relationship and not cause any jealousy.

    (((ELSA))) + (((ANNALISA)))

  34. There would be conflicting feelings about for sure, but then because it has to do with the passing of someone and the continuation of their soul’s journey, it would kind of negate any sense of importance surrounding money or their financial abundance or lack of it in life. The fact she still sent money however little seems to say ‘What little i have, is yours,’ which kind of encapsulates the spirit of motherhood itself?

  35. I see the whole thing of inheritance very differently to most people that I know.

    In that .. I don’t want material possessions or money. The legacy that is most important to me is what lessons I learned in life through knowing them.

    I think dying and leaving lots of money but never touching or bettering another persons life.. is far worse than leaving almost nothing of monetary value and having made a mark.

  36. I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I mean, do you cash it? And then the money gets spent and, in a way, just disappears? Do you keep it? In a way, I would feel like I have something I wasn’t supposed to have. I don’t know. It’s an odd thing to get mail from someone who has died. I would be pretty confused for awhile, I think.

    (((Elsa & Annalisa))) <3

  37. I Think Your Mom Educated to Great Persons so i just want to sent You A Big Hug for You Elsa P. and Annalisa !!!

    Blessings !!!

  38. Elsa and Annalisa I give you both hugs. You’re mother left what she had for you financially. It is sad that after living on this earth for so many years that was what she was able to leave fiscally. The intangible qualities of character that she left you two will carry on.

  39. If that is all the money your mother had, then she gave you all she could, which means a lot.

    When my grandmother got sick, my aunt was slobbering with the knowledge that she’d be inheriting soon. Her greed knew no bounds. My grandmother died first, then my aunt took care of my grandfather, telling him to “die already” so she could get her hands on all the money. She tried to talk my grandmother before she died into cutting my mother (her only sibling) out of the will.

    There was a lot of money. It pissed me off to find that out – why? Because they accumulated a lot of money, but denied themselves many things. They wanted to travel, but never did. My grandmother was in pain the last year of her life, and wouldn’t buy herself a comfortable mattress or a scooter to get around.

    They saved all that money so that my aunt and mother could piss it away. I don’t even know how much was inherited because they both are tight-lipped and don’t want anyone to know how much money they got.

    My grandparents should have spent the money on making themselves comfortable and taking us on family vacations like they wanted to so we could have all those memories. Instead, it sat in the bank and went to a selfish harpy and a whining hoarder.

    Sore subject for me.

  40. I’m not sure how I would feel. Any inheritance is a complex business.

    We have an odd story in our family. My grandfather had bought a property with his brothers back in the ’20s-’30s which was recently sold. There were about 30+ beneficiaries, but many of them have passed on and now their children will inherit. In one case the line has dies out altogether. One of my mother’s cousins died the day after receiving his share and another relative died a couple of days ago.
    My mother was supposed to receive a share but nothing yet and frankly it feels kind of tainted (goodness knows why, maybe because there’s been quite a bit of greed & even a court case over it) to the extent I suggested it might be better to give as much as possible away to charities.

  41. I think it would upset and derail me even if I knew all of her financial details intimately and expected the money (whatever the sum). It comes with a lot of history and memory, just would need to process, I guess. I have a funny relationship with money anyway – it’s not permanent, just a means…

  42. I’m not sure how I’d feel about the amount, and I’m pretty sure I’d still be in a daze.

    Being what it is, I think I would spend it quickly on something that my mother would want me to have, like food or a pair of shoes, or something else for my family. Something practical and mothering.

  43. Sad, then release the feeling back into the Universe (taking advantage of the current Piscean energy)and ask for peace to replace the void. My thoughts are with you.

  44. The divying of remaining assets is so very final. It increases the surrealness of the departed no longer being on the planet. It is weird, sad, and empty.

    On the practical side, it is indeed always good not to have to pay in for the deceased’s remaining expenses.

    I never can move on until I have eulogized the person and with someone like a parent, it can take years. My mom was easy to eulogize because I spent so much one on one with her the last years. (Although I do re-write that one every once and awhile.) My dad’s gone almost 6 years and I am first coming to grips with who my natal pluto on the midheaven 10th father was to me.

  45. “How would you feel if your mother died and you were sent a check for $143.25?”

    If she left a million to some other person, I’d feel really bad. If that was all she had to give, I would not begrudge her for it. Nor would I feel bad for myself. When I read the part that Annalisa got the same amount, I thought – well that’s good, you both were treated the same. I think bad feelings come into play when there is favoritism at play.

  46. Sad, I guess.But not about the money, it never really is in my book. My mum died and left enough to cover her funeral. She left me a ring I had bought for her and promptly gave to my daughter..she never had much at all, and she gave me more than money through her life.

    I guess if she’d been wealthy I might have had some separate kind of expectation, but she wasn’t.

    My Aquarian Dad has all his affairs in order and a fixed amount invested for each of his kids, a funeral plan bought and paid for, every detail addressed, me as power of attorney, and no mysteries there. We all know the financial details, and are enjoying that he is living his life very fully and happily and healthily right now at 86.

    How would I feel about that cheque? It would depend on the circumstances, uniquely personal to the individual.
    If my mum had left me a fortune,or if I’d got that cheque, I’d still be left contemplative about what that big slice of my life, and her entirety was all about.

    I think we all need a little time and space after such an event to “stop and stare”.. without being asked “are you okay?”..

    (ps my husband and I have a code for when we are with others it’s 143 = I love you).. so that number made me sit up a little.
    Thoughts with you and the family x

  47. Thank you, but I was and am fine with it. I guess if there is a point, it is that there is no point to it. They’re just numbers on a balance sheet unless there is punitive intent.

  48. I just think you should feel grateful. She left this money for you, as an act of love. Appreciate it. And use it, according to what she would have wanted you to use it for… And I am sure you know, somehow. All (most…) daughters do.
    I do not really understand the fuss about this. It is a common, normal thing here where I live, in Holland, to leave money for your children if you can(whom all get to share equally, by law, mind you) Whether it is a lot, or just little- does not matter.
    But it is considered…an inheritance!!!!… meaning: it includes the obligation to the receiver to leave the same amount ( or more, if possible) to the next generation.
    What could posssibly be wrong, or sad, or confusing about this?

  49. Elsa, How do you feel about your mother? Was your mother proud of you and your sister? Did she wish she could have been more like you.

  50. I agree with Daisy:
    “I would be getting $143 more than I expected. I would be thinking more of the legacy I inherited.”

    I’d be grateful, and unsure what to do with it, then probably blow it on something beautiful and non-functional. The only thing I really want when my mother dies is her/our antique secretary (desk, for those who don’t use that terminology) — I’ve been polishing that thing since I was a child and it holds most of my good memories of her within it. *smiles*

    If I received (rounding) $150 from my father, though, I’d feel as if I’d been slapped in the face!

  51. Hi Elsa,
    WoW on the check, & all the replys.. I feel sad from it all & hope it is not the same for long for you, if at all.. best,

  52. I suppose how you feel depends on your relationship to money and to your mother.

    I think no matter how much or how little money my mother left me, it would be eclipsed by the fact that she really gave me a lot in life. I recognise that she has always done her best to care for me and that in enabling my education and helping me raise my children she has done me incredible service.

    However, if my relationship with my mother was more complex than it is I’d feel all kinds of things about being left things from her. I might feel sad for her passing and for the relationship we never had. I might feel odd about receiving this money and not being sure whether to frame it or burn it or spend it or give it away. It’s a powerful symbol, but some people are more pragmatic than others and better at taking power back from symbols, or at rewriting the story.

    A friend of mine had a father who neglected her her whole life, but made her his sole heir and she inherited a small but significant sum of money after he died in a housefire. She felt all kinds of conflicting things about that, including termendous guilt – a few of us suggested that since this man had been unable to care for her during his life perhaps this was a gesture of care that he felt so she should use the money to make her life better/easier.

    $143 will not stretch far, but is there any way that you can spend that money that would give you pleasure?

    You are not from a normal family, so it is normal to not feel ‘normal’ things whatever they are. Each person’s response matches that person’s experience.

  53. This reminds me of a conversation I had more than a few times with my Dad, who passed on 18 months ago. He and my Mom helped me out financially so many times that out of guilt, I’d tell him not to leave me anything… he’d say, “Don’t worry… We’re leaving you nine dollars and ninety-nice cents.” Now that he is gone, I know with certainty that he and my Mom really accumulated just enough to retire on, and not a penny more. But no one expected interest rates to be so low for so long, so my Mom is really short on assets (and like many seniors, very healthy, and expects to live a lot longer). Truly a reminder to cherish the moments and experiences. Last night my 26 year old told me he never expects to retire, given the state of the economy – smaller real wages, higher health care/education costs, longer lives.

  54. I would keep it (in cash) in a special place. I know that sounds dumb but I am a sentimental sort. I believe at first I might think, “Is this all there is to show for a lifetime?” But that question would give rise to the realization that there are other considerations far more valuable. The modest amount would serve to remind me that money isn’t that important and that the relationship we shared was the real treasure. It would definitely serve to put money in its place.

  55. There was $286 left and it was split. She had little to leave but what she had is yours. As I recall, your contract with her was neglect and hunger this life? Perhaps spend it on lots of lovely food and drinks and have friends over for a slap-up meal.

  56. I would feel loved. My G-MA(who raised me) was a cruel woman who suddenly refused to speak to me left her home,money,etc to the ‘friend’ she replaced me with. She threw out all family papers and pics. Sold off everything. And didn’t even bother to tell our family. A I found out six months after she.died because a family member saw a.for sale sign on the lawn

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