Sunday, August 2, 2009

another day, another update

I think the oddest moment occurred yesterday. I was thinking about my parent's situation now, and this thought blipped through my mind: "Thank God Lizzie's up there to look after them. Oh."

I talked to my cousin who has been closest to Mom and Dad, and she agrees that the right thing to do is to follow their wishes about waiting to go up. I called the folks today and got a woman who was cleaning Liz's house. She said Mom and Dad were handling things surprisingly well. I think coping with the immediate problems is an important part of how they're coping with this.

I don't envy anyone doing the cleanup. One of the many ways that Liz and I were opposites is she was a packrat. Her flea market was an excuse to indulge that. There are two large tents like quonset huts filled with the sorts of things you find at swap meets--"flea market" is not a euphemism for an antique business. A blunter name for Liz's business would be that she was a junk dealer, but to her, everything was useful, and it was just a matter of waiting until the right person came along for the right thing.

Whether Liz's business has negative value, I don't know, but a great deal of her collection will probably end up in a landfill now, because she won't have the thirty years she should've had to find the buyer for every unwanted thing she owned.

I don't think anyone's found a will yet. Lizzie lived with cats and dogs. She never married or had children. Alberta law says when people die intestate without spouses or children, everything goes to the parents, and fortunately, Mom and Dad are both able to handle finances, so I'm not worried about that. But I wonder if there's a will, simply because Liz would've had so much fun dividing her possessions.

If you don't have a will, find out what happens if you die intestate, then decide if you're comfortable with that.


  1. I'm so sorry this has happened. When my mom died suddenly 18 months ago I just had to get home and I was so glad once I was there to be surrounded by family. And it really helped that strangers and family members I barely knew came and helped and cleaned and made food. I think those kinds of things are so necessary. But everyone is different. When my best friend died 3 years ago, her daughter did not want anyone around. It was very difficult for us (and her family) not to be around her right after her mom died, so that we could make certain she was all right and just to be close to her because she was part of her mother. I do hope you're keeping in touch with people so that you're not alone during this time--unless being alone is what you need.

  2. Kim, it's tricky, but okay. I had dinner with friends last night, and I've been in touch with my brother and his family every day, and when I talked to Mom tonight, she sounded much, much better. They really do seem to have everything in a good place. We're making plans now to gather next week.

  3. Sometimes the most mundane tasks help us get through the grieving process because it enables us to stay on our feet. Staying on one's feet is a good place to be *smile*

    When my mom died, I made one of her favorite meals. It reminded me of her and the process kept me from thinking too much and withdrawing. It helps!