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Six Months

Today is six months since Mom died on January 25. A lot has happened since then.

On a practical level, we managed to get through many of the estate issues. Early on in the process, we had to lay out money to pay for the funeral and other incidental expenses associated with Mom's death. Thanks to Mom's perspicaciousness, we had a little money from her with which to eventually cover all those expenses. We emptied out the house and arranged to have everything either moved into storage, given away, or thrown out. We put the house on the market and managed to sell it, allowing us to pay off the immense debts that Mom had accumulated in her last years.

On an emotional level, when Mom died I was asked to handle funeral arrangements, which I managed, with much thanks to Nomi, who helped keep me together. I had a cathartic shiva, during which I reminisced a lot about Mom and what she meant to the family. I took on the task of family archivist, making sure to keep family documents together and safe to the best of my ability. I found myself becoming closer with my younger brother, as the two of us continue to stay in touch by email and phone, talking about what Mom meant to the two of us.

On a mundane level, I managed to get myself back to work and to be a part of a major project that we completed just a few weeks ago.

I'd like to think that Mom and Dad raised us to be prepared to deal with the facts of their deaths. I think they'd be proud of the way I handled myself in this time, but part of me wishes I could run this all by her, and just make sure that she feels we're handling everything the way she would like us to.

Tomorrow is my parents' wedding anniversary. In 1964, 43 years ago, they started a marriage that lasted 26 years, only ending due to the death of my father. But those 26 years were wonderful years, and I am grateful to have been part of this family.
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This is such a hard time for you. All of my thoughts and prayers are with you. Six months is not very long, yet, for someone who was so important to you.
This is not easy for you, I know, and my thoughts are with you. You've put into words some of what I'm living with now almost seven months later - thank you for that.
There are some books I can recommend if you're interested. Some of what I've been reading has definitely helped with my process.
Yes, thank you. I would be interested in finding out which books have helped you and seeing if they helped me too.
There are two books that helped me recently, both with the title of The Orphaned Adult. For you, I'd recommend the one by Alexander Levy. I'd also recommend When Parents Die by Edward Myers.
Thank you. I'll look for them in Brookline Booksmith tomorrow. I hope that they're there, but if not, I've got other stores to check (I don't like buying books without looking through them first).

I'd ask why the Alexander Levy book and not the other, but you've met me, you 've spent time with me, and thus you have a good basis for recommending your books, so OK. I trust you.
It sounds like it's been such a powerful six months for you, and it must be hard, having that come right at the same time as your parents' anniversary. I'm so glad that you and your brother have become closer through this, and that the struggle of dealing with the estate is almost over. But it sounds like being the keeper of the family history has been really meaningful for you. I'm glad of that.

Much, much hugs.
I hope that you continue to find comfort in your family, friends, and activities.
Nice, amigo. I'm sure she'd be very proud of the way you've handled everything.
"I am grateful to have been part of this family."
You still are, and always will be. So is your mom and your father. Family is forever.

I can't begin to imagine what this feels like. I suppose I'll find out eventually.
It will take however long it takes. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Having family and friends close helps a lot; it's what families are all about, as you obviously learned well from your parents. Lean on one another -- it's ok, really.

From the way you write about her, and from what you write about her, I have no doubt that she approves strongly of what all of you are doing. When my dad died, he gave my mother special instructions about his arrangements. Her answer was "I'll do the best I can, and I will honor what I can, but I can promise no more than to do what is best for me at the time." She was right. And her telling me that made it just a little bit easier for me when she died. She lived in another state, I had to be away from home for 4 months, I have no siblings, and my husband had to travel for work. I did the best I could, and I know she was behind me all the way. I'm sure your mother is, too.

I buried three family members that same year. I learned an important lesson that year. They don't die, as long as we keep telling their stories. Stories are powerful; both the hearing and the telling empower us and enliven them. Being the archivist will give you a leg up on that.

You are in my thoughts.

I'm sorry to hear about your mom, but glad to hear that you're holding it together, deepening your relationship with your family and helping to archive your family history.

Wishing you the best :)

Big Hugs :)
It sounds like you've handled this difficult situation well. I think your parents would be proud of you.

December 2016

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