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Life Interrupted by Death

life and death

My uncle died last week.

Next week we will lay him to rest next to his beloved wife. Everything goes on hold and gets rearranged when a loved one dies. Life interrupted by death. And yet, life must still go on. We go to work, take the kids to school, wash the dishes, do the laundry. Depending on how overwhelming the grief is, even life may slow down. 

My mom was hyper-organized.

Before she died she filled a notebook with step by step instructions for what to do. She was on hospice and I was home with her when she passed, so it was just a matter of calling the mortuary and following the list in her notebook. When my uncle died, a neighbor discovered his body and called the police. Eventually, they called us. Dad and I met up with other relatives at my deceased uncle’s house where the police informed us that there was no foul play and so we needed to call the mortuary. 

We found uncle’s cell phone with my cousin’s number and called him. Uncle had mentioned to me several times in recent months that this cousin was to take care of his affairs. We had no idea if he had completed the paperwork to change his trustee from my dad to my cousin. Luckily, however, we found the paperwork after a few days. He had.

But, the details of death can be unmerciful.

Funeral and burial arrangements. Costs that are not in the budget but have to be paid even before there is any consideration of whether there is any money to pay for them. Like the mortuary. The casket. And the cemetery. The priest. The chapel. The musicians. The flowers. 

Pity the one who gets saddled with the bulk of the details. Even when the deceased has had the foresight to make a will, a living trust, dispose of most of their stuff while alive, and prearrange a burial site, there is always a mountain of stuff to do. Sort through belongings and paperwork. Pay the bills until the house can be sold. Distribute and let family members choose mementos to keep. Disposition of the remaining earthly goods. So much work. 

Sometimes family members can get very upset over the actions of the trustee/executor. Even when they are doing what is specified in the will or trust. The very thing the deceased may have been trying to avoid. Perhaps it is all part of the grieving process. To want your loved one’s affairs to be handled a certain way. 

Life interrupted by death.

Blessed be those who just let it go. The loved one is gone. Let it be. Stuff is not important. Memories and love are. Love the living. Be at peace.

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