Posted by: chlost | March 10, 2010

I’m Going back

Tomorrow I am going back to see my mother and my brother-in-law and nephew.  It has been almost exactly a month since my sister’s death.  I want to give my mom some support, and to help out my brother-in-law with the inevitable chores that come with a death.

My b-i-l called last night.  I am not sure that he had a reason to call, maybe just to have someone to talk to about what is happening.  The though also came to mind that maybe he talks to me because my voice and my sister’s voice were so similar.  In any event, he has done a lot already.  Why does is seem so odd to me that he has already cleaned out her underwear and socks from the dresser?  And that he told me about it?  I know that he is clearing things away very quickly.  Is that normal?  What is normal? She had a lot of music—sheet music, books, and photocopies of music.  She was a singer and a music teacher.  He had her singer friends come to go through the music and decide if they wanted it or whether there was some other way to handle it.  She has a lot of clothing.  He is ready to get it out of the house.  My other sister and I are planning to go through her clothes and decide about donating it, or seeing if there are others who would like the clothes. 

They had a small house, especially for the three of them.  They are very tall, and large people, and there is a lot of “stuff” in the house.  He has been on a throwing things away binge.  Do you think he will regret throwing some of it away?  Perhaps he is not at all sentimental about things.  I tend to be too sentimental.  What about my nephew?  Should there be things kept for him?

My b-i-l is a former Navy guy.  I am getting the feeling that he just wants the place clean and spare in the military way.  My sister was very creative, her decorating of the house was very important to her. She was a potter, and there is pottery that she made in every room.  She was a seamstress and made a lot of her own clothing. There is a room full of her craft supplies, including a lot of fabric. 

This is going to be very hard.  But my sister and I have decided that we would like to do it together, to be sure that things are not thrown away that we think should be saved.  Is that too controlling? 

If there is one thing that I have learned through all of this is that you really lose control of the family decisions when there is a spouse involved.  My husband and I recently had that revelation as to our married son.  If there was ever a serious accident, or other emergency, we realized that it will be our daughter-in-law who will be in charge of the decisions, not us.  That is hard to accept, after being the go-to people for our children all of these years. My sister’s funeral, the way that everything was handled, was all done by my b-i-l, and we had no say.  That was also very hard.  I know that it was hard for my mother, as well.

So, my travels through the tunnel of grief continue.  The weekend will likely be long and hard.  I hope we get through it okay.  Going back there may be going back to the trauma of being there a month ago.  I don’t want to go back to that.


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