As someone who firmly believes in respecting believers of all religions, I just had a really hard time buying into this one. Maybe it was the numerological foundation in his prediction, maybe it was Camping's less-than-stellar track record on predicting the Rapture before, or maybe it was that I simply envisioned the end of days being a little different.
Schmitt had lived a tough life, struggling with alcoholism and losing her two children to drug addictions before dying alone at 78 on May 2, 2010 in her small home in Queens. Eileen Heuwetter was surprised to find out that her aunt, left the majority of her estate to Family Radio. Eileen and her sister were each left $25,000 from their aunt's estate. The rest is going to Family Radio.
Heuwetter, the executor of the will, knew how much her aunt loved and listened to the radio station and admired Camping, who is viewed as a prophet of sorts by many of his followers. While other family members insisted it was crazy to let her aunt give all that money to a radio station, Heuwetter didn't initially have a problem with what her Aunt's wishes were. Heuwetter knew little about the Christian radio station, but knew her aunt found comfort and direction in it.
But later, she said in an interview that she first realized this was the same group when she saw buses driving around New York City the weekend before the supposed end of the world, spreading the doomsday message. "I'm looking at these brand new buses drive around with Family Radio's name on them, saying 'Doomsday is May 21', and I said, 'This is who my aunt gave all of her money to," Heuwetter said. "I didn't know he was so crazy, and at this point I was incensed that this man was going to get everything my aunt had left."
Many times I am contacted by family members who want to know their rights regarding their mother's / father's / etc. assets (while they are still alive). It is rough to hear that, since so long as another person is living, they have complete and exclusive control over their assets, but it is hard to disagree with Heuwetter when she said, "It was a good amount of money that would have helped a lot of people live better today -- but now it's not helping anyone."
I am the first one to tell clients that they can do whatever they want to do with their money. The standing joke I tell all my clients is that they will always have control over their assets, and that they can even go to Vegas and "bet the whole estate on black" if they like. Although some would say gambling away one's own estate is a personal decision, and more power to whoever desires to pursue that, more would probably agree that gambling it all away on a religion or idea that brings them comfort and peace maybe even a little better. I'm just happy that dear old Doris didn't live to see the 21st, as she would have to share the crushing disappointment that many of Camping's followers are experiencing. But I'm sure now she has all the answers.
So considering the peace her decision provided her, maybe it wasn't a bad decision after all.