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October 25, 2016
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Après Moi, Le Déluge

After a lot of tsuris which I'm certain Mom never meant to visit upon us, her remains were laid to rest on Friday the 13th, and for what it's worth, since we've been far from traditional about it the week of shivah, the deepest mourning, has been observed.


The dluge of tears has been mainly my sister's: while I miss my mother, I was not living with her on a daily basis, and the effects of her passing on my daily life have yet to be manifested. They will come, I know that. Between now and then, though, is the dluge of work. On the one hand, my sister and I need to go through Mom's belongings and household goods to decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw out. I also need to do the same with the stuff I still have in Queens. And on top of that, I need to clean and clear a lot of things from the apartment The Other Half and I share, since without a financial miracle, my sister will not be able to keep up the apartment she and Mom shared, and she will need to stay with us.


The financial side of things has not been far from my mind; in fact, it's only due to the intervention of a Jewish free-burial society that we were able to bury our mother, since her government-based life insurance takes approximately two months to process from either the report of death or the receipt of a death certificate (which, in most cases, requires that the body already be buried, cremated, or entombed). Besides reimbursing the burial society for the grave, the life insurance will need to cover at least one month of my sister's living expenses in Queens, plus the cost of her moving in with us. Meanwhile, in the January slow period, my current working hours have been reduced, and the costs of going back and forth to Queens have caused us to fall back even further on our rent and utilities.


None of this is getting me the packing materials I need to gather the things I wish to move (from either apartment) nor the money needed to move back and forth between the two. Some of the stuff in the New Jersey apartment is heavy enough that I need The Other Half to move (or help me move), which can be a task in itself. While we've secured additional storage space, it's beginning to look like most of it will be needed to store furniture, china, and other of our mother's things things that my sister does not want to abandon or sell, as opposed to the stuff we need to move out of the New Jersey apartment, or condense out from other rented storage space (which we cannot do without a U-Haul van and lots of help). All of which is leaving me in a funk of not wanting to do any of this. It's snowballing, as I knew it would, and I'm handling it as poorly as I feared, rather than as well as I need to.


The recent snowfall didn't help any, either but at least it wasn't summer flooding.


Aprs moi, le dluge an expression usually interpreted as "I don't care what happens after I'm dead". Literally, it's more like "the Flood will follow in my wake". And in the wake of my mother's passing, we are inundated with work. Which leads me to corrupt another French saying:


C'est la vie; c'est la mort. As opposed to "l'amour". For the love of life, it's time to get on with the chores of staying alive.

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