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.