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03 December 2017 @ 05:43 pm
Thank You All.  
Hey all! I just wanted to drop in and let you know that I am doing okay. I appreciate - more than you can know - all the emails, texts, messages & comments you guys sent me after Mom passed. There was a point, about three days after she died, where sympathy cards had started arriving and you guys were sending me messages and the FB post about her passing was full up from people I knew, many I hadn’t heard from in 20 years, childhood friends popping in to say what fond memories they had of Mom - and boy, did I lose my shit and just started crying. In a good way though. So thank you.


It has been a strange few months. We keep feeling like we’ve forgotten something. My dad was gracious enough to pay to fly Canadian Brother and his kids in for the funeral. When they booked the flight, my sister said, “I guess I better call Mom and let her know when they are getting in.” And then we just stared at each other. Because before, CBro always let us know their travel plans and we would pass it on to our parents. So that was the norm. Except here we were passing on to Mom when they would arrive for her funeral? Things like that - getting ready to ship the Canadians’ Christmas presents and we thought we better call and see if Mom had anything to add to the box for shipping. There is this empty spot where I can’t find what I’m looking for.

There is also this - and this will sound so awful - never-ending ‘do things for Mom’ that hangs over us. The last two years of our lives have been taking care of Mom, since the heart attacks and broken shoulder. Everyday it was my job to call her at 3pm and see if she needed anything from Sis on her way home from work. Every day Sis would go to her house to check on her and Winston (when he wasn’t with us, ofc. And now he is, he’s our dog now until the end.) Running her errands, cleaning her house, helping her wash up, taking her to the doctors, handling her bills, handling her DHS care, handling her home help care, sitting with her all night in the ER. I had this idea that after the funeral, we might get our lives back. We might get back to normal - or a new normal, at least. Maybe after the memorial. No. After the burial? No. After we get her house cleaned out? No. After we cancel all her accounts? No. (and damn, the number of people who insist on seeing her death certificate and are rude af to us when our mom has just died!) It’s been two years of our lives for Mom - and we loved her, so of course we stepped up - but now she’s gone and our lives are still centering around her. It’s frustrating and keeps us stuck in this place of limbo where we can’t work past her death in any way.

She drove me nuts when she was around, but now I’d give anything for one more phone call from her asking me, “Who is that guy on my TV? I don’t know what channel. It’s a DVD. Who is he though?” As if I can see her TV through the phone!

At any rate, thank you all for your support. It’s still a long road to go - literally doing things for her and emotionally trying to work past this empty feeling. I know there will always be a spot that belongs to her, but hopefully I can full it with the best of memories.

This entry was originally posted at https://dodger-sister.dreamwidth.org/235755.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
 
 
 
Shireboundshirebound on December 3rd, 2017 11:42 pm (UTC)
never-ending ‘do things for Mom’ that hangs over us.

I understand completely. I moved my mom in with me three years ago, and the transition from daughter to caregiver is speeding up faster than I like to admit. I'm wrapping you and Sis in gentle arms and loving heart.

Filling that spot "with the best of memories" is utterly lovely. I hope you can do it, and I hope I can also when the times comes.
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on January 4th, 2018 10:26 pm (UTC)
I understand completely. I moved my mom in with me three years ago, and the transition from daughter to caregiver is speeding up faster than I like to admit. I'm wrapping you and Sis in gentle arms and loving heart.

Thank you. It's hard, isn't it? She's your mom but you often have to be the one to drop the hammer, tell her what she needs to do, do all the caregiving that a mother would do for a child. It's such a reverse. We walked a fine line between caring for her and overstepping our boundaries as her kids. And now, I just don't want people to hear me bitching about all the hassle wrapping up her estate is and think I'm being terrible, like she'd dead and I'm bitching about her. But it's not her, it's society's demands after someone has died!

Filling that spot "with the best of memories" is utterly lovely. I hope you can do it, and I hope I can also when the times comes.

There will always be a sadness for sure, but I'll aim for a bittersweet sadness, I think. I do carry around a lot of baggage from growing up with two mentally ill parents. My older siblings mostly have baggage about Dad, while my little brother and I have so much to unpack on our mother. And it's strange to remember those bad days and be angry & then realize, "Wait, I'm angry at a woman who has passed away."

But this holiday season there was so much, "Remember this tradition Mom used to have at Christmas?" and "Remember that Christmas when such-n-such happened?" between us siblings, lots of laughs & smiles in remembering her, even with the sadness that underlays it. Hopefully someday the sadness will go and it will just be laughs and smiles.
lindahoyland: Gingerboyslindahoyland on December 4th, 2017 03:05 am (UTC)
Big hugs.
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on January 4th, 2018 10:27 pm (UTC)
/hugs back/ Thank you. <3
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on January 12th, 2018 05:34 am (UTC)
Hugs.

And there's so much to go through and do after they have died. I saw my mom and her sibs go through all that after their parents died, and my dad after his father died.

There's apparently stuff you can do before that death point to make things easier too! Like my mom's mother, and my dad's stepfather both had lawyers, and had the lawyer 'prep' things, so when they died, all we needed was the copy of the death certificate (which the lawyer provided) to pass around.

Instead of all the fuss my dad and his step-niblings had to go through to liquidate my grandfather's estate.

Plus most of my grands had arranged their funerals beforehand, bought the plot/ space in the crypt, so all that was needed was to pay for the opening of said plot or crypt. I had no idea you could even arrange the hearse /limo route for the funeral procession.

Like my grandma, if she died in the hospital, she wanted the procession to go by the house and stop a minute. So that's what they did. It was also interesting how her dogs/cats looked up at the hearse when the cars stopped. (She also wanted a couple limos, that the grandkids and great grandkids were to ride in behind the hearse.)

Way easier. I need to think about funeral plan for myself....


You will get your life back, but it will probably be a few months. Also don't be surprised if someone contacts you months later.


Edited at 2018-01-12 05:35 am (UTC)
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on January 13th, 2018 10:45 pm (UTC)
There's apparently stuff you can do before that death point to make things easier too! Like my mom's mother, and my dad's stepfather both had lawyers, and had the lawyer 'prep' things, so when they died, all we needed was the copy of the death certificate (which the lawyer provided) to pass around.

Yes, we did that about 5 years ago. Sis & I were doing it for me, so that I could get her life insurance, through a trust my little brother would manage, if Sis were to die, without it affecting my government healthcare benefits. And so she would be assured I was taken care of for a while, until I could figure out what to do financially without her.

While we were doing that, Sis paid for my mom to also see the lawyer and set things up. Though mostly it was for my sister to be Mom's proxy if she were unable to make medical decisions - which she was throughout the whole last month of her life, so it was good we had it set up. As for belongings, my mom had nothing of value. Only the house & that was in my sister's name, so the government couldn't take it after Mom was gone and so Mom couldn't do anything stupid like refinance, because Mom had a lot of mania about money. So there wasn't anything there to deal with except sorting her things out & selling the house, which is the last thing we have to do and then we are done, and we are so *close* to signing the papers that we can taste it - freedom.

Plus most of my grands had arranged their funerals beforehand, bought the plot/ space in the crypt, so all that was needed was to pay for the opening of said plot or crypt. I had no idea you could even arrange the hearse /limo route for the funeral procession.

My mother had told us what she wanted - cremation, a catholic mass and then a luncheon. But in order to have it all arranged by a funeral home, you have to pay for it upfront and my mom had no money, she lived hand to mouth on disability benefits and only managed to have the house she lived in bc my dad (her ex-husband) graciously cashed out a life insurance policy he still had on her from when they were married and gave her the money.

Way easier. I need to think about funeral plan for myself....

The same goes for me as went for my mom - I have talked with my sister, told her what I want and all, but with no money to pay for it upfront and no insurance policy willing to cover me even for funeral insurance as I am "high risk", my sister will be left to handle all of the planning and paying herself. Though I have written down a bunch of instructions, accounts to close out, passwords, my social worker & drs contact infos - to make it easier for her than if she had to rummage through my file cabinet to find everything she needed.