Saturday, 19 March 2011


Possibly the sheer number of necessary things to do after a death keeps the adrenalin up, but eventually the adrenalin wears out, and exhaustion sets in. As do many other emotions.

I have been going through all Dr P's files to find all the documents which must be handed over to the executors. This has been a most laborious process. It was also something of a start-stop process, as eyes start standing out on stalks, and the tired mind starts bounding straight off the matter being dealt with, and confusion sets in. It was also essential to take copies of anything that might possibly affect me.

As things were cleared out and shelving spaces freed, I moved things around and rearranged books and other things. It has been exhausting work, and emotionally draining.

We had separate finances, so essentially his affairs were his business, and I neither interfered nor pried.
His records did not go back many years, as when he moved to this house he chucked out heaps of his documents and records. I saw him do so. I know that there are no records of some things.

On Thursday a courier came to take the files and documents away. There had been intimations from the other side that I was not being sufficiently expeditious. After all, it was almost three weeks since the funeral.  I have had other, doubtless far more trivial, things to attend to, such as replying to condolence letters and other correspondence, spending a couple of hours on the telephone to find out why my keyboard would not let me type anything, sorting out some of my own affairs, getting certified copies of the death certificate and sending them to whomsoever needed copies, returning the disabled parking sticker, and the panic button equipment, and even doing such frivolous and unnecessary things like going to choir and to classes, and talking to family and friends.

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages sends one copy of the death certificate, and does not bother enclosing a leaflet explaining how to get certified copies done. Why can't they just provide you with a few spares? I had to ring up and find out what to do, and go through one of these dreadful phone menu systems. I have yet to do anything about arranging for the placement of Dr P's ashes. They will keep, it seems.

My solicitor, my BIL, has given notice that a claim will be made against the estate, on the grounds that Dr P did not provide appropriately for me. It is inappropriate to go into the details and circumstances here, but according to a legal opinion provided last year there are good grounds for contesting the will.

Unsurprisingly, the notice given met with an immediate hostile, indeed a vicious, response. Having been told within two days of the funeral that the WSDs intended to sell the house as soon as possible, I was very upset, as I did not feel it was possible for me to decide on my future so quickly - where to live and in which city. The immediate response was to enquire whether I intended to pay a commercial rent if I stayed in the house in the interim?

After a response by my BIL, a further letter arrived, intimating I may have removed or discarded documents. This inference is grossly offensive as well as absolutely false, so a withdrawal and apology have been requested.

I would have thought that the past year had been sad and stressful enough, but evidently, and as expected, things can always get worse. If only I could be left to grieve, and to sort out my emotions, to recover physically, it would not be exactly easier, but it would not be as bad.

I know it will all take time, and that I am doing all the 'right' and sensible things, and that healing and recovery will be gradual. This knowledge does not take away the pain, the bereavement, the conflicting emotions, the stresses, and the feeling sick all day and night long. It will be a long haul.

Perhaps this is why, in fantasy land, people fall into magical sleeps for three hundred years or so? It does not sound all bad to me.


saffronlie said...

Just when you think the behaviour of the step-daughters couldn't get any worse...! Indeed what you need is time, and it is very callous of them to try to hurry you up.

Meggie said...

The WSDs obviously had little true love, or regard, for their father, if they can behave in such an indecent fashion.
So glad you have your BIL to fend for you.
Grief is a very wearing and painful emotion.

Isabelle said...

Oh, how terrible. You are having such a bad time; how incredible that they can be so horrible.

Of course you need time to grieve and decide what to do. Who on earth wouldn't understand that?