February 2, 2013

My father’s cousins have a peculiar way of expressing condolences.

When I lost a baby years ago, one of them wrote to me while on vacation saying something to the effect of, “So sorry, having a wonderful time, wish you were here.”

This time, with my dad’s death, I got a letter from her sister demanding I call to explain why she couldn’t talk my father on his birthday.  I knew my mother had already spoken to her about my dad’s death, so I called to try to clarify.  What I got was an earful about how I hadn’t done enough and how I should be doing for her sister, too.  She also thinks I’m currently teaching, which I haven’t been for years, and she addresses the envelope using an honorific that isn’t mine and a hyphenated last name that I’ve never used.  So there are other indications that she doesn’t have an accurate understanding of my life, one of the chief challenges of which is needing to be in two places hundreds of miles apart at the same time.

Which brings me to the explanatory portion of this post:  I’m off to NJ again this morning (having rearranged my schedule in light of the forecast), to bring my mom to get the will out of the safe deposit box, to start the probate process, to go through my father’s desk, etc., etc., etc.  And to spend some time with my mom (and her help).


2 Responses to “Condolences”

  1. Richard Says:

    Sorry to hear the news about your Dad. Hang in there.It’s an enlightening part of the journey, as you are seeing firsthand.

  2. Judah Himmelstein Says:

    May you and your family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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