So as family we can now start to move on. M's Mum's estate is finally settled and we can stop having to think about solicitors and wondering how soon we should phone them to, yet again, chase them up, stop wondering when the next form will arrive that they forgot to tell us we needed to complete, stop working out how all four siblings will get to sign it because the cracks in relationships are now so deep they are beyond repair? We can have movement. But so far the movement for me is a deeper sense of loss - not so much for me personally - but for M and J. We now have 1 parent between us and J has one grandparent - I think coming to terms with losing both parents must be so strange. Even now M says that he makes mental notes to tell his Mum this and that, and is bought up short that the person who, probably, know him best for longest is gone.
It makes me think about my relationship with J and my relationship with my Mum - which is complicated at times by the fact we live in the same house and quite often manage to piss each other off. But M's loss has made me appreciate the fact she's still around, and fit and strong, a lot more. I actually admire the fact that at weeks away from 70 she has so much vigour, strength and independence. We may not always see eye to eye - but I'm glad she is still a part of our lives.
I watched 'A Short Stay in Switzerland' last night - it made me cry, it made me think and it made me question my ideas and thoughts about illness and death (lovely jolly post this - isn't it?). I was deeply moved by the issues and by Julie Waters portrayal of this women and her decision. I am still thinking about it now. The three parents that we've lost between us all died differently - all unpleasantly in their own ways - all really without a conscious chance to tie up loose ends and say goodbye. I know people see funerals as 'goodbye' but I don't, funerals are a balm to the living and I can't abide them (just personal opinion). What moved me and gave me such food for thought was the chance to express parental/familial love - I believe that 'our' grief would have been easier to bear had that opportunity fallen to us at least once. As an atheist I don't believe in any sort of after life so the comfort of loved ones waiting across the great divide isn't mine. I know there is no point in wishing for the impossible and that lots of people experience loss without leave taking, but I still feel surprise that when watching last night I felt a sense of envy within my sadness of her story.