My Father passed away at the beginning of the month. It has been an “interesting” time to say the least.
My brother took his own life nearly 10 years ago, and I was coincidentally at Mum and Dad’s when we got the call. I was getting ready for the crumbling of my parents but it just never came. Even months later they just went about their day to day life. There were few tears shed and I struggled with some issues over parental love.
Anyway, I digress, my parents had been married 53 years, and while we have never been an affectionate family, again, the low show of emotion has surprised me.
The past couple of weeks have been a blur of travelling 4 hours on the highway between my home and my parents. Firstly, to visit at the hospital Dad was in, then to do the various paperwork that is involved when someone dies.
Luckily, I found a helpful checklist on the Department of Human Services website. Basically, I have just been going through the list until it is all checked off.
The process has been surprisingly easier than I anticipated. I think when you turn up at a counter with a little old lady and say “Hello, my Father passed away on Friday” the immediate reaction is sympathy and great service because they think we might cry.
As Dad had been unwell for a while, they had been “getting their affairs in order”. Most accounts were in both names, so it has not been a huge issue to simply remove Dad’s name from the accounts. The most difficult accounts have been the utility bills that do not have retail shop fronts. It has been a case of ringing the relevant offices and trying to explain that Dad has passed and I have my Mother, who is hard of hearing, on speaker phone with me.
Of course when something like this happens you reflect on your own situation. Over the next few months I plan ofn simplifying our own household accounts and making sure as much as possible is in both names. My lovely husband is not terribly computer literate, so I have made a folder to help my own daughter work through things if need be.
I am sure my Mother will grieve in her own way and I know I am truly grateful of my circle of super supportive friends who have just listened when I have phoned from the car on the return journey down the highway.
Have you lost a parent? How did you cope?