Day 6 The Ups and Downs
When I lost my dad last March I knew it would be hard. I just didn’t know how hard. When Mom died 18 months prior, much of my attention and time went into helping out Dad. There were things we had to put into Dad’s name, but the paperwork was relatively small. Not so when Dad died. Besides dealing with the grief of losing him in a global pandemic, and delayed grief from losing Mom, I had to deal with the estate. It is hard enough to lose a person, but then you also have to do hours of paperwork, all the while reminded that your loved one is gone. I used up a lot of tissues.
Since Dad died in March, we have to file regular taxes for 2020 as well as estate taxes. Although my sister and I hired an estate attorney, they suggested his regular preparer complete the taxes. (The tax preparer is a lot more cost effective so we agreed to go that direction.) Both my sister and I had to make multiple calls/emails to get all the stuff we needed sent to me. When I emailed the accountant he told me of one more document he needed. So yesterday I started hunting for it.
I have 3 bankers boxes filled with different types of paperwork. Some are Mom’s files, but most are Dad’s. I took over paying the bills for Dad, so I should know where everything is. Well, I can picture where everything was in his assisted-living apartment, but since I was not allowed to pack his things up, I sometimes really have to hunt. (A slice for another day, perhaps…)
I looked in boxes one and two quickly, but thought they weren’t the right box. I couldn’t remember where I put box three. To be honest, I couldn’t remember that there WAS a box three, not at that point. Back I went to box one, and decided to pull it into better light. I picked it up, turned to the left, started to walk and was thrown to my knees.
I forgot I had stepped over a weed-eater to get to that part of the basement, and didn’t see it at ankle height. As I thudded to my knees, I somehow managed to plop the box on top of a rubber container so it didn’t throw papers everywhere.
What a great visual of my year (the last few, honestly). I keep landing hard, sore, breathless and startled. But holding the box.
I hurt for you in many ways while reading this slice. I can’t imagine not being able to pack up your father’s things. My siblings and I had to do that THE DAY our dad passed away. He was in a nursing home and we were warned not to leave his room before everything was packed or we may never see it again. My husband and I handled the estates of both of my parents and it does make the grief linger. Just when you are ready to move on there’s another form to fill out or a death certificate to mail. You do eventually put all of this behind you and find peace.
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I knew that day would come – it does for everyone in some way. I am looking forward to the finding peace part… Some days are good and some just so hard. Thanks for your kind words!
I’m sorry you had to deal with that, too, in such a strange way.
Linda – this: “I keep landing hard, sore, breathless and startled. But holding the box.”
That’s amazing – amazing to be able to name it too.
I might need some lessons about the landing.
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I hear you. I have been dropping the boxes (“balls in the air”) where I need to, and only holding on to those that are necessary. It’s tricky!
It’s a hard path to travel especially when parents seem to leave back-to-back. We’ve barely begun to learn to breathe from the without one, and there’s our breath being snatched away again. I’m an only child, it all fell on me; I understand that hunt.
Your last paragraph says it all, about the situation and about you. You’re going to grieve, and eventually you’re going to be okay.
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Although I have my sister to help, she is on the other coast. So some stuff just has to be done by me.
I will be okay. Eventually. Thanks for the reminder.
You capture your emotions during this unthinkable time so well. Your ending is my favorite line. Your detail of Bankers Boxes took me back to my mother-in-laws passing and my sisiter-in-law trying to keep all the important papers in order in those boxes. I’m glad you captured this moment. I do find comfort thorugh writing and I how you are finding a little bit too. Thanks for sharing.