Cleaning up the birdshit

It will have been one month this weekend since my mother’s passing. We’ve kept busy and we’ve tried to keep our emotions at bay for the most part, allowing ourselves only spurts of grieving. I still hope that maybe if I keep busy for long enough, I might let the passage of time dull grief.

But really, if not for my very supportive and loving wife and my darling baby boy, I don’t know how I’d have been able to hold it together. For Naomi and I, our Annus Horribilis began last November with the sudden death of her brother in Shanghai. Since then, it seems to have been one shocking piece of news after another.

And watching Japan reel from the earthquake is just… I don’t know.

My sister’s friends who’ve been similarly bereaved because of their parents’ sudden demise tell her that ‘the first few weeks is usually spent looking for things’.

My sister, brother and I have been doing just that – keys, passwords, safe combination numbers, bank statements – some have been found, and some haven’t. There have been moments of levity though, with the discovery of some of my mother’s handwritten memos – to her staff and to herself, some of which are about the most bizarre matters.

In one memo she talks about contemplating buying a parrot for my father because she thinks keeping one would provide him company and conversation. (Papa is homebound because of Parkinson’s).

The memo ends with this: “Kenny (my younger brother) says birds are dirty and you have to clean up all the birdshit. So, KIV”.

Mobile roaming

Some of my late mother’s friends, on hearing of her passing, took to texting her on her mobile with tributes and messages of how shocked they were and how much they would miss her.

I kept her mobile, an Phone4, for a few days before I passed it to my sister, who’ll be keeping it and its number for sentimental reasons. It hasn’t been all sombre or pleasant, as there has been more than one telemarketer trying to close a sale even when he’s been told that the person who used to own the phone has recently passed away, like a fortnight ago, hello, if my mother was alive she’d have chewed you up and spat you out good and proper.

I’m still checking her work email too, so that urgent business matters can be attended to, ¬†although it could have been said that Kate Spade sales were urgent business matters too. Goodness, she got/gets a lot of spam.