Well, we got my mom's apartment all cleaned out in the past week. My sister's boyfriend had the right suggestion when he told us to stop treating the apartment like someone lives there. Before that we were looking at stuff by kind of putting it back. After that we really got going on sorting stuff. While it was hard, it was also easy. Both my sisters and I brought our partners so there were six of us in my mom's little bachelor suite but we managed to mostly stay out of each others way. Well, I think so anyway. We left some of her larger items like the TV, chair and new davenport for someone else. While talking to one of the maids we learned that some families just drop off their family members with only clothes. So at least the items we left will go to good use.
Talking to the maid we also learned that my mom seemed chatty and generally cheery. It was a shock for them to discover my mom killed herself and that she was sad and lonely for a very long time. The maid told me that one gay man wandered into the rental office bawling his eyes out over my mom's death. My mom never mentioned this man, having talked to him, or having built any kind of friendship with him. I must remember for the rest of my life that no matter how crappy I feel there is someone out there I've had a positive impact on, whether I know it or not.
Now everything is at a kind of standstill. I called everyone that needs calling. I've canceled her accounts. The rental office said the policy is to give 30 days notice to leave so we may not be reimbursed for December's rent. Hm. I would like to argue that death doesn't give notice and if the suite can be rented by the middle of the month then we should get a rebate. But that seems very much like a hassle. I can't do anything else with her estate until I receive a bunch of documents. I'll need T4s for taxes and forms for life insurance. Those will be in the mail soonish.
The biggest problem is that my mom didn't name an executor for her estate. While my sisters and I are still talking to each other at the moment, it does cause a fair bit of tension when decisions need to be made that we don't all agree on. So far I've been the one taking care of most things. Both my sisters seemed more shaken by my mom's death than I felt I was and it would have been in bad form to just dump the stuff on them. So I did most of it. Luckily her estate really isn't too complicated as she didn't have assets, investments or property to divide up. I don't know why my mom didn't name an executor, but the only thing I can think of is that she was well aware of our personalities and how we clash sometimes. She used to drive wedges between us while she was alive and when we caught on we started informing each other of communication with my mom. That way she couldn't control us or manipulate us as easily. I see this executor thing as her final wedge between us. Thanks mom.
My mom was cremated and my older sister took her ashes. Again, we are fortunate not to have any arguments over that. I've heard some horror stories about that. Mom's wishes were to have her body donated to the university's Department of Anatomy but they wouldn't take her because she was obese. She weighed 336 lbs and was 5'2". I will do my damndest to not end up like that. Her second plan was to be cremated so that's what we did. My sister plans to put her ashes in her flower garden of her new house which I think is wonderful as my mom enjoyed gardening.
I went back to work yesterday after being off for five days and it actually felt good. I felt useful and productive and needed. More people gave me hugs than I expected and all were shocked about the cause of death. Some didn't really know how to react so I just told them that she was so deeply sad and lonely, especially since my dad died, and mentally ill as well. That helped them I think. Many people were happy to see me again just because I do my job very well and that was very evident when I wasn't there. The person that took over was badly organized and it affected nearly everyone negatively. So I had co-workers looking conflicted - they were happy to see me but sad for my mom dying so suddenly. It also felt good to get back into my normal routine a bit.
I was doing my food shopping and errands today and the malls and stores were crowded. Whenever a large, short, older woman was near I thought "mom? why are you here?" and then saw it wasn't her and remembered she died. I imagine that will happen for a while.