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April 24, 2016: Forging New Relationships

There are some things about the death process (for lack of better words) that most left behind refuse to talk about. One is the process of forging new relationships after old ones are gone. I feel like my life has been going in slow motion because I have been sitting around so much. Maybe it’s been better this way.

I first spent time in the hospital setting – there were those nights I spent in that dog awful chair – then there was the time I spent in the assisted living setting – there were those days and nights I spent in that dog awful chair. Here, at El’s, the couch is actually quite

comfortable. Here, especially, I feel out of place. This is not my home. I am El’s guest. She’s made this clear to me many, many times.

Today she’s puttering around the house and yard. This morning we spent two hours or so attempting to fix the lock on her front door. We finally gave up on the old lock and went out and purchased a new lock and latches. In my mind, this was a great way to kill time.

This morning El worked on getting mother’s obituary out to two newspapers – the Oregonian and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. I was astounded to discover that it will cost $800.00 to run it in the Oregon newspaper for two days. I told El that this is media malpractice, to which she said that we’d pay for this with mother’s money. She has about this much left in her account.

I then suggested that she have Uncle Bob pay for this – she said no. I learned many years ago that in such instances to keep my mouth shut in dealing with sister/mother dealings – for getting in between the two of them – either literally or figuratively - -only causes trouble. So I backed off and went for another walk – this time to the hardware store in search of a garden hose.

All this got me to thinking about death in relation to defining relationships. El has always been a selfless individual who gives but does not take from others. And she rightly thinks that others should be the same way. Me, I’m just the opposite.

And so, our relationship will change in that she will no longer be able to ask me to do this or that for mother. This will happen after the celebration of life reception. For then, she may come to the realization that she can no longer in any way resent me. I’ll then be less of a harpy and more of a friend.

Then again, she may adhere to past memories and continue to see me for what she thinks I am – a self-absorbed bitch. It’s a toss-up. I suppose that most family members have to deal with this sort of thing. However, few acknowledge that after death, relationships change.

I am really trying hard not to say anything stupid or hurtful to Eleanor, in hopes that we will end up being friends. I have done a good job thus far in maintaining a steady status quo and do not want to negate all the good I’ve done during my stay here in Portland.

I would (if I had my druthers) like to see my sister and I become confidants and good friends. I don’t know if this is going to be possible. I am just going to have to take a wait and see attitude.

Next: 108. 12/21/16: From Darkness to Light

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