Saturday, October 30, 2010

Baby Steps toward Recovery

A week?   Is that all?  It seems like forever since my dad passed.  Forever ago, yet not.  I can still stop in that awful parking lot at Oahu Care, trek up to the 3rd floor, clean laundry in a bag over my right shoulder.  ... No, we're beyond that now.  

Dealt with the mortuary.  Cleared away his personal possessions from Oahu Care Facility.  Saw the trust attorney.  Received some cards.  Took one small box to the thrift shop.

Answered numerous questions about "When are services?" with "Still pending".

Still need to pick up the ashes.

On the home front, nothing has changed.  Those changes happened two years ago when he was moved into permanent care.  My mother has filled what for so many years was His Room with her overflow of boxes, books, notebooks, and papers, stuff.  It is the master bedroom, but no longer a bedroom.  Just a catch-all place.

Paper grocery bags are filled and marked.  Salvation Army.  Goodwill.  Thrift Shop.  Friends of the Library.    Then heaped in His Room, since there is more to go into each bag.  There is always more.    My frustration level rises.

I remember how hard it is to part with many things belonging to Ray.  Open closet.  Look.  Shed a tear.  Close closet.  Can't do this yet.  Open drawer.  Remove object.  Handle it, cherish it, remember. More tears.  Return it to its place.  Shut drawer.  Can't do this either.  I understand that heap of bags and boxes.

The time will come.   I have to believe.

My brother and I will talk later today about  a memorial for our father.  Our mother says that should be when we scatter the ashes.  She doesn't want to do anything that suggests having a party.  No food.

The Church makes this end of life so much easier, both physically and spiritually.  Call the office.  Talk with my priest.  Schedule a service.  Choose readings.  Add hymns as desired.   Draw comfort from the liturgy and the continuity assured us by our faith. Stand awe-struck by the number of friends who have come to share this time.  Know that the ladies of the church will be there to take care of everything connected with food, from set-up to clean-up.  It magically happens. At least it does in small towns.  For friends.

Closure. The numbness wears off eventually.   Recovery begins.

Give thanks for the memories.  They add color and vibrancy to our life.

Pray for the souls of those who have gone on.  Pray for those left behind.

Hug someone you love.

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