A few months ago I was taking a train to Chicago. I had requested lower level seating because I hurt my knee.

While I was enjoying the lower level view, a lovely lady boarded and sat across from me in the same aisle.

Other than having a wonderful visit with a new train buddy, I learned much about the reason for her travel.

My Chicago friend had been selected by her great aunt to be the executor of the aunt's will. It had been two years since the aunt had passed.

We had a several hours to talk about wills, attorneys, trusts, special needs' trusts, etc. I learned much but I remember most, her counsel.

She stated, “It can't be said, it must be read” and “Grief becomes greed shortly after death.”

Before she departed the train, I asked her how it was going with her aunt's estate.

She looked back, at me, and smiled. “Two sisters sued me because I was taking too long to settle the estate.”

I believe the aunt counted on the siblings' behavior.

What happens to family when a loved one passes?

(I need to interject. This did not occur with my family during my father's recent passing.)

I have heard many stories from friends where their siblings turned into covetous, selfish relations.

An older friend mentioned that her sister became very contentious after her parents died. She went so far as to have a stone mason engrave her name under her mom and dad's names on their cemetery tombstone.

Oh my.

I enjoyed the comments by a pastor at a recent lunch. He acknowledged that he had never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul.

As adults we should know; we can't take it with us.

This makes me sad. What happens to family members at a time when we should be compassionate and loving?

I read a great article several years ago. I'd like to share a small portion with you.

The article, “Funerals - A Time for Reverence” is written by Boyd K. Packer.

“We are close, very close, to the spirit world at the time of death. There are tender feelings, spiritual communications really, which may easily be lost if there is not a spirit of reverence.

“At times of sorrow and parting one may experience that “peace … which passeth all understanding” (Philip. 4:7) which the scriptures promise. That is a very private experience. Many have come to marvel in their hearts that such a feeling of peace, even exaltation, can come at the time of such grief and uncertainty.

“Testimonies are strengthened by such inspiration, and we come to know, personally know, what is meant when the Lord said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18.).”

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.