No one blinks an eye when a 75 year old man dies.  Why would they?  75 years is a long life.  Why would dropping dead from a heart attack be odd for a 75 year old man?  Albeit one who plays golf 3 times a week and has more energy than most 30 year olds.  Odd coincidence that it’s the very day he’s leaving to fly home from this vacation.  After all, he’s 75 years old and has battled his weight all his life.  Those 75 year olds drop dead; that’s just what they do.

I’ve been doing some research to find out exactly what really happened when my dad died.  I’m sure it’s all on the up-and-up, but something just sits funny with me regarding it all.  They can’t get their stories straight and being that my dad was on vacation 2,000 miles away from home, on a bizarre vacation with his ex-wife who screwed him over 100 ways from marriage and an oldest child who rarely even talked to him in his lifetime and most likely wasn’t even his blood child…

Nothing odd about that, 75 year olds drop dead.  That’s what they do.

Yet, when I talked to the Los Angeles detective, he was helpful but got quiet as I described my unease.   After listening, he said, those do seem odd coincidences, if it were my dad, I’d wonder too. Then he said, well, in 20 years with the Los Angeles police department, I can assure you of one thing, no one just “drops dead” on the street of Los Angeles…

My sister, who couldn’t wait to cremate him, who was obviously manipulative in her attempts to persuade me not to bother myself with the legalities during this tragically difficult time…this sister who hadn’t cared about me, my children, our lives, and had had nothing to say to me for 16 years, was suddenly so deeply concerned about my sensitivity and my love for my dad.  As was my mother, his ex-wife.  Suddenly so very caring to me after 16 years of total silence as I had struggled through handicaps, near-death, and overcoming an abusive relationship with my children’s father, while I raised two beautiful children all alone with only the help of my amazing dad.  Suddenly, they cared deeply about my sensitivity and how very hard this would be on me!

He should be cremated in Los Angeles!  You don’t want to see him this way….  You wouldn’t be able to handle it.  You  want to remember him lively and happy as he was in life. Trust me, you want him cremated in Los Angeles and then shipped home for burial. YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO SEE HIM THIS WAY!

No.  No, I’m sure I don’t want him cremated across the country before he’s sent home to be buried.  I need to see him before he’s buried. He was my daughter’s and my whole world. We need to see him.

No, no!  It’s going to be terrible for you!  You don’t want to see the father you loved so much this way, trust me.  It’ll be much better for your children and you to just cremate him here!

But, he never wanted to be cremated.  He wanted to be buried next to his mother in Kentucky!  He’s told me that all my life for as long as I can remember.  And I need to see him again.  He can’t just go on vacation then never ever come home again.  That doesn’t feel right. No.  We’ll need to see him before he’s cremated or buried.  And, he really didn’t want to be cremated at all…. He was very clear about that.

No! You’re distraught.  This will be too hard for you .  I promise you, it will be better for you and your daughters this way.

No. No, it won’t.  This doesn’t even come close to what he wanted or what sits well with me. No.

Okay… Well, oddly enough Dad was telling me just last night where his will is.  But you don’t have to go get it.  Mom will fly in straight from our vacation before even going home and go to his house for you to be there for you and your kids.  We don’t want you to have to go through that.  His will is pretty straightforward.  Split down the middle between you and I , his only children. The only thing is, he never signed it.

You two haven’t cared about or spoken to me at all me for 16 years….Really?  That’s so kind of you!  I think it would devastate my daughters and I to have to go to his home without him there now, but our dad is dead.   I’m sure you wouldn’t lie about his will.  How could money matter to anyone now?  He wasn’t rich and he’s dead now.

My mother and sister currently on vacation in California with my dead dad, who neither live with him or near us, nor care one whit about him except to use him to their advantage in screwing me over suddenly cared so much about my “sensitive” feelings and how hard this death would be on me and my children.

And, coincidentally, they also know every detail about his will, as “just last night” he told my sister where it was in Michigan.  Not only did he tell his cheating, lying ex-wife who lives in Ohio and his apathetic daughter who lives in Seattle where his will in Michigan was precisely located the night before he suddenly keeled over dead, he also just happened to mention literally just hours before dropping dead that it wasn’t signed!

I can hear the conversation now.  We’ve had a great 6 days of vacation here in California, but I’m 75 you know, and my youngest daughter and her kids are my entire life, I’m healthy and happy, but my will is in the second drawer down on my desk that sits on my porch in Michigan.  Oh and, I didn’t sign it. I went to all the trouble to make a will.  I spent $500 on will software to be sure it was perfectly done and absolutely to the letter of Michigan probate law, but I never bothered to sign it. It’s not signed.

I’m going to drop dead within 6 hours of telling you this.  I’ll never make it home to my daughter or her children, but you should know where that will is and that it’s not signed.   This is very important information for you to have, although I’m healthy and happy and have enjoyed a wonderland 6 days of vacation with you two.

Also, Darlene, my beloved ex-wife, although you screwed every man imaginable while we were married…although you led me on for 30 years after you left me that you’d leave the man you left me for, and we’d be together, so I never moved on from our marriage, I want you to know I’m sorry for all I did to hurt you.  I am sorry to you. 

And you both should know that my will is sitting unsigned  in a desk drawer in Michigan. I, an OCD riddled with precision and perfection no-stone-unturned type A personality, purchased very expensive will making software to make my will perfect and legal, but I did not sign it.

Then drops dead.

Nothing odd at all that my dad’s sister, when outraged at how long it was taking Los Angeles to deliver the body,  my mother said, I’m just so hurt that your aunt would think I actually did something to hurt your dad… or kill him… (sob, sob) Baby, I would NEVER do such a thing!

And I, in my stupid innocence, said, OH MY GOD, WHAT? No one thinks that, Mom!  She just doesn’t understand why it’s taking so long to ship his body home from California. No one is saying you hurt him!  That’s silly!  Don’t cry!  No one would ever think such a thing!

They each tell different stories to different people about where he suddenly dropped dead.  Well gosh, that’s understandable! It must be very difficult to remember the precise place where you stood with your dad when he dropped dead.

My mother brags throughout the funeral about how it’s her “60 years total married  anniversary” and brings her first husband and current husband to her second husband’s funeral.  And laughs the entire time about the bandaged scrapes over her eye which she’d somehow gotten while helping him when he dropped dead.  Mother thought it was just adorable to tell everyone at the funeral, John made sure he got the last punch in (giggle, giggle)!

I’m still waiting for the EMS incident report with the exact details of this dropping instantly and suddenly dead, but I’ve since learned that EMS services were already there caring for him when he dropped dead.  (Some how this was never mentioned in any way to me when telling me how he died) The EMS team were there caring for my dad when he dropped, but somehow, he took my mother down with him, not one of the EMS technicians helping him, which strangely enough, doesn’t match their tale whatsoever.

My sister very specifically told me he had gotten suddenly dizzy after they were leaving from having a “nice lunch”, had had to sit down for a minute, then said he felt fine, stood up, and “keeled over dead before he even got all the way up”, taking mother (who’d been sitting with him to help) down with him as he’d tried to stand back up.  Her story directly implied that there was no cause or time to call 911 between feeling dizzy and dropping dead.  Yet, now I find out from the hospital report, that the EMT technicians were already there when he died.  They witnessed the death, but no word to me about having called 911 at all.  It was simply, he was dizzy one second and then just immediately dropped dead right there, that second

So apparently, if their story of my mother’s injuries at my dad’s death is true, rather than the EMS technicians helping him stand up after feeling ill enough to call 911 for help, it was my tiny mother who helped him to his feet while the technicians just watched her help him and both dropping as he dropped dead.  Watching him take her down with him and get her face scratched and scraped from the fall as he died…

In addition, neither of them accompanied my dad to the hospital.  I understand he was already dead at that point, but if you love someone enough to take a week’s vacation with them and they suddenly drop dead, wouldn’t you go to the hospital with them?

Nah, why go to the hospital with his body? Makes more sense to just immediately start researching Michigan probate law so you can wait 6 more hours to call his other daughter to even tell her he’s dead, but have yourself fully informed of Michigan law before you inform her he’s dead and then specifically misinform her of the very state laws you researched surrounding his will, rather than having wasted your time going with the body to the hospital, right?

My sister started lying and manipulating me from the first phone call to tell me he’d died and her lies didn’t stop until after the funeral when I refused to grant her sole executor of his estate, at which time she immediately went back to not speaking to me at all, just like mother.  Her lies didn’t stop until she stopped talking to me at all.

She even lied about his military records.  My dad’s time in the Air Force was so important and meaningful to him.  He deserved a veteran’s burial. I knew how important this would have been to him.  He’d proudly earned that privilege. Yet, she told me, she’d contacted the Air Force for his records to secure a veteran’s burial for him and the Air Force could find no record of his service.  He’d been receiving veteran’s medical care since his retirement, but they had no record of his service?  I thought it strange that he was receiving veteran’s medical benefits for 10 years without the Air Force having any records that he’d served, but I didn’t bother to check myself because it never occurred to me my sister would ever feel the need to lie about such a thing.  Strangely enough, as I was sorting through his files yesterday, I discovered an envelope labeled “Air Force Info Discharge Papers” clearly written in my sister’s very unique handwriting.  Yet, she specifically had told me no one could find any record of his military service, not even the Air Force itself!?  And here were the very records of his service, labeled in her own handwriting?


They waited 6 hours after his death to inform me he’d died because they “didn’t want to upset me at work”. So even though I was out of work at 5 PM, they waited till  9 PM to let me know.  In the interim of waiting to inform me, they researched the various legalities of Michigan probate law. Then for some unknown reason, promptly and intentionally lied to me about those Michigan probate laws when they called at 9 PM to tell me he was dead.

My sister after begging (literally pleading) with me for an entire week not to go to the probate lawyer’s office with her; to leave all that legal stuff to her because it would just be too hard on me to go through all that, was busted out on her lie about Michigan probate laws within the first 5 minutes with the attorney.  I looked directly at her when the attorney busted her direct lie wide open, she stared straight ahead at the lawyer, refusing to look me in the eye.  When I stopped the lawyer’s talking to say, wait a minutebut Dawn, you said….  Dawn, never meeting my eyes, still starting straight at the attorney, simply said, Oh, I guess I got it confused.

Yeah, I suppose when you’re busy researching probate laws and local crematories for your dad’s sudden and instantaneous death, before his body is even cold and hours before informing your sister he’s dead at all,  it must be easy to get those laws totally twisted and confused… the exact probate laws you felt were so important to immediately know before telling anyone he was dead.  The exact law you told your sister you’d researched so you’d have the important information to give her when informing her he was dead.

So easy to see how confused you might get during such a difficult time. So confused and twisted that you actually mistake the law for its literal opposite when informing your sister, Dad dropped dead….but I know where his unsigned will is and oh, by the way, Michigan probate law says…

Oops.  Did I accidentally get that all directly flipped around?  See, I told you a million times you didn’t need to bother yourself with talking to the probate attorney.  You should have just left all of this to me like I’ve insistently begged you to for the entire week we were burying him and you were trying to comfort your devastated children…

Now here you are still sobbing uncontrollably about your dead dad with me in the lawyer’s office with  and all I want to know is, WHEN DO I GET MY GODDAMNED MONEY?