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Old 02-10-10, 04:33 PM   #1
bluevelo
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So sad today

Death grief, mostly. I'm executor for my mother's estate - and the only heir - and now that death certificates have been issued, the estate is in probate and I now need to work on getting the house cleaned out and working with estate sales folks, etc. to get house sold and the contents that I don't want sold (there are a lot of antiques).

I'm just very sad. I've written about this on Foo before... Both of my parents loved each other very much and died within six months of each other. Neither had what I would call a good death... but it wasn't horrible either. My Dad had heart problems for > 30 years and died about a week after suffering a hemorragic stroke. I got there the day before he died, he could still recognize people but his voice box and swallowing reflexes were gone (and no guarantee they'd come back). He didn't want to suffer too long if he was going to be handicapped, and we made the decision to not do the breathing machine or feeding tube - he would've hated that. So he died on his own terms, in his sleep, peacefully, in the hospital room.

Mom was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer that had spread to her back two weeks later... she'd had back problems for years, but ignored the increasing pain she was feeling to take care of Dad. She did radiation and chemo but her immune system collapsed Thanksgiving Week. At that point, she opted for hospice after spending 3 weeks in the hospital. I scheduled a visit for shortly after Christmas, she started bleeding out, but lasted long enough for me to see her in what is now my home the day before she died of pneumonia in her sleep, in a hospital bed in her own living room, peacefully, with her family and friends there.

This is real hard. I know many of you on BF have problems that are much worse than this. I don't have any siblings, and with my children in CT and my job here its just very, very hard right now.
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Old 02-10-10, 04:47 PM   #2
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I'm so sorry for the pain you are feeling right now. I can't imagine losing my parents, I hope you get through this ok. Take care of yourself.
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Old 02-10-10, 04:48 PM   #3
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Old 02-10-10, 05:24 PM   #4
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Blue your loss is no less than anyone else and your grief is real. All I can say is give it time, lots of time. Remind yourself of all your blessings, take hold of good memories and let the bad ones fail away but... and this is a BIG but... keep living. Don't get caught up in what was, what could be, what should have been and all the material posessions. Have you watched the show "Hoarders"? Those people live in the past and can't bring themselves into the Now.

Just hang there. Focus on the task and get it done. Once it's finished, the sense of completion will help you with your grief. Take care.

BTW surround yourself with friends. Let them help you sort through things. We tend to seek privacy in such times but company helps us focus. Trust me, been there, done that... it helps.

edited to add: Right now on the iPod is Sunshine On My Shoulders by John Denver. Play lovely music as you work (NO HEAVY METAL OR ACID ROCK). Helps put you in the right frame of mind. Think of the better place your mom and dad now are - constant sunshine on their shoulders, no pain, no discomfort...
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Old 02-10-10, 05:29 PM   #5
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i don't know if i can say anything that can make you feel better so i'll just hope your pain goes away soon and you'll be able to remember the good memories without the raw sadness.
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Old 02-10-10, 08:46 PM   #6
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I'm sorry for your loss, blueVelo. I'm sure it was a comfort to your parents to have you there right before they passed.
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Old 02-10-10, 10:18 PM   #7
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Thanks folks. I am fortunate that I have a good estate attorney back there and good friends (I trust them FAR more than the relatives) that are keeping an eye on the house and the car that are there. I've got buyers for the car already - its a 2003 Impala with very low mileage and in excellent mechanical condition - and I got a postcard from an estate sales specialist today (they must watch the public notices of who the estate executors are once they're published) that buys houses as is. Hopefully I won't take a bath on the place, but, its paid for and its going to cost me 10K a year in taxes, insurance and utilities to keep it, so I don't plan on keeping it long. So the estate part of it really isn't going to be that difficult; the biggest PITA will be cleaning out the house, which I figure I can do in one butt busting week. A lot of the clothes and things will go to charity. Some of the furniture I will keep and ship out here (or maybe put it in storage in Des Moines until I decide where I want it shipped, because I'm having very mixed feelings about staying here in California. But I really don't want to live in the NE in CT or near it either - horrendously expensive compared to Sacramento, and *cold* most of the year.
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Old 02-10-10, 10:34 PM   #8
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My heart goes out to you. My father died suddenly in October, and I am not sure I have come to terms with it yet, let alone finished dealing... Make sure when you do the 'cleaning' you give yourself time to just sit in the house. I am not an emotional person by nature, but you will find that some things just stop you in your tracks.
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Old 02-10-10, 10:45 PM   #9
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My heart goes out to you. My father died suddenly in October, and I am not sure I have come to terms with it yet, let alone finished dealing... Make sure when you do the 'cleaning' you give yourself time to just sit in the house. I am not an emotional person by nature, but you will find that some things just stop you in your tracks.
I basically grew up in the place; we moved into it in Fall 1966, when I was 5. I don't remember the earlier house that much. It helps that I've been gone from Des Moines since 1987 so the emotionally attachment isn't so much there anymore. If I got suddenly magically transferred to our office in Ames - which is about a half hour drive north - I'd probably keep it and remodel it, then put it on the market (I wouldn't want to continue commuting to Ames for years). Of course, all of my Iowa friends think I'm absolutely nuts for wanting to leave California weather, but this place is such an anarchic, over taxed, over regulated mess and the talk of "California Diversity" is just that. Every group pretty hates every other group. This could also be the tackiness of society in general, though too. Things have changed so much in the last 20 years.

I need to scan these properly - these are shots of photos I took with my camera when I was at home after Mom died - I brought the pictures back with me... the first is the best photo I've ever seen of my folks as seniors and it was taken in '07... my father so rarely smiled in pics, this was a big surprise - Mom had propecia for years so that's a wig... and the second picture was taken about two weeks before she died with a couple of my cousins...



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Old 02-10-10, 10:48 PM   #10
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Sorry about all that blue. Very tough. It's hard to know what to say. But riding always helps me.
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Old 02-10-10, 10:56 PM   #11
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Sorry about all that blue. Very tough. It's hard to know what to say. But riding always helps me.
Thank you.

I've been running lately... I've been a slacker on the bike this winter because I've been fighting sciatica in my left back and riding is bothering me a lot more than running these days, but yeah, just going for a long casual ride by myself sounds good right now. Might do that this weekend. The trail will be be packed as its supposed to go up into the mid 60s...
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Old 02-10-10, 10:57 PM   #12
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Blue, I have never lost a parent, let alone both of them in a few short months, so I am not going to pretend to even comprehend what you are feeling right now. I do know that in time the pain will pass and the memories of all the great things that your parents passed onto you will remain, translated into the better language which is your life and legacy.

All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne
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Old 02-11-10, 12:03 AM   #13
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Like jsharr, I haven't lost either of my parents, so I can't fully relate to what you're going through. I do wish you the best, though, and things will get easier with time - even if it may not seem that way now. Keep busy, but not so busy that you don't take time to restore yourself both physically and emotionally. Hang in there.
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Old 02-11-10, 12:37 AM   #14
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bluevelo, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I also lost both my parents (years apart) and made two different decisions about what to do with the real estate portions of the estates.

Have you considered renting the house? That's what I did with one of the properties, which was paid off like yours. It more than pays for its taxes, and can be sold later when the real estate market recovers. The other property was a condo, which in retrospect I wish we had hung onto given the market movement after the fact, but you never know how that's going to go.

One think I do know, the pain of the loss does start to ease with time. In the beginning, it's hard to make good decisions. If you can give yourself some time to deal with your emotions before you deal with the stuff, it might make the stuff part a little easier and give you a better outcome.

Take care of yourself.
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Old 02-11-10, 12:38 AM   #15
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I'm sorry to hear this Blue. Take care of your health as you go through the process. You'll be reminded of some very special things in the weeks to come.
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Old 02-11-10, 12:54 AM   #16
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I'd bring you a pan of lasagna if I could, just like I did for my neighbor that's going through the same thing.

You'd be happy, but fatter.
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Old 02-11-10, 01:07 AM   #17
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Sorry blue.
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Old 02-11-10, 09:25 AM   #18
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I've been there. It (the pain) gets easier (less frequent) in the coming years.
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Old 02-11-10, 10:44 AM   #19
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Thank you.

I've been running lately... I've been a slacker on the bike this winter because I've been fighting sciatica in my left back and riding is bothering me a lot more than running these days, but yeah, just going for a long casual ride by myself sounds good right now. Might do that this weekend. The trail will be be packed as its supposed to go up into the mid 60s...


Time heals everything.

Also Recumbents are awesome for bad backs
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Old 02-11-10, 11:00 AM   #20
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Sorry man...I've been there. Cleaning out your parents house is never easy. All the memorys start coming back...Take care of yourself. F.C.
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Old 02-11-10, 02:55 PM   #21
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Old 02-11-10, 03:25 PM   #22
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Thank you.

I've been running lately... I've been a slacker on the bike this winter because I've been fighting sciatica in my left back and riding is bothering me a lot more than running these days, but yeah, just going for a long casual ride by myself sounds good right now. Might do that this weekend. The trail will be be packed as its supposed to go up into the mid 60s...
I will mention you in my prayers. That list is getting long these days. Hang in there blue.

Hey look, I don't know if the prayers work, but I have come to the conclusion that I need God more than He needs me.
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Old 02-11-10, 03:25 PM   #23
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I will mention you in my prayers. That list is getting long these days. Hang in there blue.

Hey look, I don't know if the prayers work, but I have come to the conclusion that I need God more than He needs me.
Oops, more than She needs me.

Sorry Ma'am.
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Old 02-11-10, 03:34 PM   #24
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Thanks again everyone. I'm feeling a little better today.
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Old 02-11-10, 04:00 PM   #25
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Sorry to hear Blue. I'm leading a ride on Sunday with a few folks. If you'd like to get out and do some miles, you're more than welcome to come along. Pace will be light. It's posted in the NorCal forum.

EDIT TO ADD: Here's a link to the ride post: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Valentines-Day
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