I received a “Final Receipt and Release” Form from the attorney handling my father’s estate.
Probate. Sale and closure of the house. Dissolution of the Estate.
Finished. Essentially, no more Dad. Or Mom, for that matter.
Instead of relief, there is sadness, an emptiness, a longing.
Another “on this date in history” event at the same time – one year ago yesterday, I had the TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) that changed my career’s course. Following a mini-stroke, 5% of the people have a full stroke event within 2 days, 10% within 7 days, 15% within 90 days, and up to 21% within the first year (Cleveland Clinic).
I’ve been lucky – no residual damage, no further stroke event. Or should I say blessed?
Another part of the package – today, I turn 60 years old. It’s official – I have now lived longer than Mom, who died at 59 (Remembrance). And I have an even better understanding of just how young Mom was when she died, and how much more living she had to do. How much more advice she could have given. How much more influence she could have had on those around her, and on the the world. How much more wisdom she could have imparted to her 2 daughters, her 3 grandsons, and her (now) 5 great-grandchildren.
So Mom and Dad are gone, with the “Final Receipt and Release” of their Estate. I sign the form, affix the stamp, seal the envelope, and return it to the attorney to be officially recorded. How impersonal is that? (Who Will Remember?)
Is this an ending or a beginning?
Is the light beckoning at the end of the dark tunnel a Near Death Experience or a birth?
Do these tears signify a departure or an arrival?
All I really know is that, along with gratitude for their lives, it hurts to have them gone.
I love you, Mom and Dad. I love you.
And like I said – this getting older and losing you both hurts.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Love – Gratitude
The agony is so great…
and yet I will stand it.
Had I not loved so very much
I would not hurt so much.
But goodness knows I would not
want to diminish that precious love
by one fraction of an ounce.
I will hurt,
and I will be grateful to the hurt
for it bares witness to
the depth of our meanings,
and for that I will be
by Shirley Holzer Jeffrey
Death: The Final Stage of Growth
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1975)