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The practicality of death.....


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I'm overwhelmed by the practical side of all of this. When my Dad died, I had my mother....she made decisions, she followed up on everything...this time it's me and I'm finding it all so overwhelming.

Mom had moved out of her house and in to a condo last November. We've had the house for sale since then......we accepted an offer three days before she died. That means now I'm having to deal with closing out that house, deciding what to do with the condo and just plain dealing with the "stuff". It's all so emotional right now that it tears me up to throw away a grocery list because it's in her handwriting and I'll never see that again.

How do you make sure everything is done?

Social security, utilities, insurance, medical bills, trusts, wills, estates and of course, the ugly family issues that spring up out of all of it.....it's just too much....please tell me it gets better.

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First of all, the time is coming when seeing your mother's handwriting will make you smile and not cry. I came across a Valentine Becky gave me years ago today as I was cleaning, and I just smiled. And my heart melted for her all over again. But it was not the acute pain it would have been months ago. The stuff has to be done, but it stinks. No question about it. And it is worse when the second parent dies. In the first case, decisions and paperwork is much easier since usually everything reverts to the spouse and that is that. There is no reason to sell the home, no estate tax returns to deal with, and so forth. So it is actually harder this time around, not just an illusion.

But the main thing I want to tell you is that I will get better. Probably not tomorrow, but someday. Keep battling.


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I understand what you're going through. I had to do this with my dad's things, too. He didn't have much, so I didn't have to open an estate, but there were lots of things to cancel, bills to pay, people to call, a trailer, huge garage and shed to clean out. Even now, 2 months later, things still keep dribbling in. He had a $3,000 credit card debt (his only debt) and he didn't have enough money left when he died to pay it. Now, the company is trying to get it from me. My boss (an attorney) wrote them a letter, so they should go away.

I found two $50 savings bonds that were in my mom and dad's name (my mom has been gone for 5 1/2 years). I think dad must have forgot he had them because he was careful to get everything put in his name and mine several years ago. Those two little bonds have caused me more work and headache than everything else. I told the lady at the bank that we could just throw them away and I'll just give my brother and sisters $25 each out of my pocket and forget it. Well, she was very kind and COMPLETELY took over getting those bonds cashed for us.

I only had one experience compared to your grocery list experience. I had made my dad a bunch of brightly colored folders and written out a simple chart for him to follow to pay his bills after mom died. He was SOOOO excited. He loved it and he was diligent to take care of everything just the way I set it up for 5 years. I had those folders at my house for 6 months before he died and was paying all his bills for him, but shortly after his death, I looked at those folders and remembered how thrilled he was to have them, and I just lost it!

I know it seems overwhelming now, Paige, but you WILL get through it. It's really hard to stay motivated to take care of those things. You will have days where you will be a tiger and you will have days where you just can't bear the thought of trying to do any of it. We did not have ANY family problems to deal with. I guess I'm kind of grateful my dad was poor because my brother and sisters are all still best friends. LOL!

Have a good night's rest, Paige. It WILL get better.



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All will be done, little by little,

it will get easier with time,

you could get a short list of what to do

each day and try to finish it, to start

another one the next day, till all is done.

that is what I did and when all the paper work

was over and all cleared........

I could hardly understand how I could have

done it.


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