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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5401
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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MY husband died very suddenly last March and more or less just

Customer Question

MY husband died very suddenly last March and more or less just dropped without being sick~ an autopsy was done and he was full of cancer~ even though all his recent tests were good~that was shocking enough~I still feel very lonely and miss him so very much~ I sold our home and my son~ from a previous marriage~ came to help me close up our lovely home and sell it~ he went through things very carefully out in the garage and he found $ 12,000.00 in one hundred dollar bills in an old shoe box~ stacked in amongst other similar boxes~ my son was ready to throw them all out and then decided to look inside them first~he had old stamps in some and old dental cards in this one~ then he saw the money~ he was starting on his second ten thousand obviously~as he had an elastic around the first $10,000.00~ we had a very good Safe out there~plus he was not in need of money~ he was a millionaire~ can you possibly tell me what he did this for~ as if the garage burned or during our yard sale this could easily have gone missing~he also had Canadian Tire money a mile high in another place hidden~he showed NO signs of dementia and yet this sounds very bizarre behaviour and not very smart~I also am hurt that he did not tell me~ could you possibly have an explanation~
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

I am so sorry for the loss you suffered with your husband's passing. The grief from losing him so suddenly plus having to sell your home would be difficult. I hope you have all the support you need to help you work through the grief.

The reasons why someone would save money in a box in a garage varies a bit. If the person has no money or at least appears to have no money, they may hoard money so they feel safer. If your husband ever went through a time in his life that he had nothing, then that might explain why he saved this money. Once a person suffers through the fear of having nothing, they sometimes have a hard time feeling safe even when they have a lot of income so they save "just in case". It is just a way to reduce their anxiety.

Another possible reason could be that your husband didn't completely trust banks or other financial institutions. Even if he had most of his money in a bank, he still could have had issues with completely trusting that all was ok. So he saved money and hid it- putting it in a place where no one would guess it would be. He may have eventually forgotten about it.

He also could have saved the money from some special situation in his life. Sometimes people will associate gifts from others or money from someone who has passed on as a link to that person. So instead of considering the value of the money, he might have associated the money with the person, just as you might with a book someone special gives you with an inscription in it.

Finally, the money might have special meaning through the type of money it is. It could have collector value for some reason. Many people collect certain bills for the rarity of them or other similar reasons. You may want to have your bank or a collector take a look to see if the money has any particular meaning.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I really liked your versions and they made sense~BUT why would he risk putting it in such an unsafe place when he had a real good Safe~ they were all hundred bills and some were the newer style~ so he had been doing it right up to the end~ his money was well invested in Stock~ he seemed to never worry about where it was put~I was a banker and thus called everyday to check our balances and noted he took out $300.00 almost everyday he went to Town~ I asked him about why and he said groceries were expensive~I then suggested he take a bit more each time and then not have to go to the Banking machine so often~he still kept up the same habit~he did not need anything~ so it could not have been a Savings sort of thing~his Pensions were solid~although growing up he and his mother had it hard financially~ as she was divorced~so maybe that was the reason you suggested~BUT would he not feel that I should know in case something happened to him ~ which did~I was always a social person and now have become reclusive~ is that normal after a loss and a big move and so on~this is another question~ I just thought I would include it ~as you said you hoped I had a good support system~ which I do not~

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
There is no way to know for sure why he hoarded the money but from your description it could be that by doing the same routine every day he felt more in control of his situation. And if that is the reason, there could be three possibilities:

One, this was the beginning of dementia. People can seem just fine otherwise but then show a sign like the one your husband did which is behavior that makes no sense. What he might have had is the beginning of Vascular Dementia. It would have been very hard to diagnose.

Two, he could have had some symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive disorder. It could have not been that obvious and blended in to his life before but once he got older and experienced less control over his emotions, it showed itself in this way.

Three, the cancer could have spread to his brain, making cognitive functions very difficult. The autopsy should have shown that so checking with his doctor might help.

It is very normal to isolate yourself when you have suffered losses. You need time to heal and sometimes keeping to yourself is the way to get that time to think and experience your emotions without having to face the pressure to socialize and be polite to others.

If you find that you are not feeling better after 6 to 8 months, consider a visit to a therapist. You may need to talk out your feelings and get support to work through your depression. Also, if you feel ready, you can try to reach out on line or in person to others who have suffered losses like you. Here are some resources:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm

http://www.griefshare.org/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/complicated-grief/DS01023

Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5401
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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