Grief And Loss

The Practical Side Of Death

No one told me that aside from the tears and low moments, that I would have to deal with the drudgery of handling my mom’s personal affairs. I had to come out my shell a week after the funeral to field the calls and make many of my own.

Calling her cell phone carrier took the cake. Placing a call to some developing nation’s call center yielded one woman’s epic statement, “My condolences, so is your mom dead?” Whaa…?! Then the bank lady telling me that not having a beneficiary on one’s account meant going to court would be the only recourse. Good thing I knew her PIN number and had her account info. Frustrating.

Having my dad go to social security not once, not twice, but three times with a marriage certificate we had to send for from Haiti (apparently the copies and notarized ones weren’t good enough) was painful for me to have him endure. I can only imagine having a 70 year old be reduced to producing what’s now the physical remnants of forty years of marriage. Sad.

Calling the mortgage company. Next on my list. Getting widowers exemption. Somewhere on my list. Adding my name to the deed. On my list too. Finalizing her tomb marker, emailing photos of the funeral to family in Haiti, paying for my dad’s burial arrangements, contemplating refinancing my parents home–all now on my to do list. Let’s not forget the father in law who expects me to do the same for him. That’s for another blog, another day.

Learning lessons along the way that they don’t teach you when you suddenly become the bonafide “adult” in a Haitian household. My dad did warn me one day years ago in a vulnerable season in his life, “I’m now your son, you are now my mother.”

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