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Life, Death, and Everything Stuck Between

by Bruce Curle ` 7 months ago in humanity
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The Death Toll Rises

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short piece called, “Life, Death, and Everything in Between. The Fallout of a Parent’s Death.”

A week after my mother’s death, I was coming to grips with the realities of her life, struggles, and death as I navigated myself through the hours of paperwork associated with death. I discovered that insurance companies would require more than fifteen years old documents, and I would also discover her birth nation will require documents. The Canadian Federal Government can keep you on hold for nearly four hours, listening to awful, looped music.

Listening to Looped Music for over three hours. Photo by Warren Curle 2021

I did not expect to learn my father died in Royal Columbian Hospital about seven days after my mother. I knew he was in the hospital, expected to recover; I had spoken to him twice since my mother’s death. Yes, he was Ninety-One years old but still a surprise. Now you might wonder why I would say about seven days after my mother. This is a good and fair question. I learned on Friday late afternoon from someone who knew my father. She went to the hospital to give him a bus ticket to get home, and the hospital told her he had died.

A few minutes ago, I looked in a room with a table covered in documents, identification, a lady’s wallet, and trinkets of her life. Also on the table is a nice gift bag with a black box inside containing the remains of Dorothy Margaret Curle. My mind races as I remember my father told me he had the remains of my brother John, Michael Curle, who died in July of this year. Suddenly, the strangest thought came to mind; I might need another table.

Photo by Warren Curle 2021

They claim there are seven steps to grieving, but no one ever suggested that everyone should drop dead in a short period of time to make life more interesting. In my previous article, I made the horrid mistake of asking Death to leave my family alone for a while. I am no bible scholar, far from it, but suddenly I remembered Mathew 4:7, where it mentions, “Never tempt the Lord your God.” I did not know telling Death to piss off for a while basically could bring me to this verse of the Christian Bible.

After learning about my father’s death, the following day, I read at the Memorial Service for a saintly lady that was my mentor. Den mother, friend, and so much more to me. Her children were and are to me close as blood siblings. Despite severe headaches and feeling dizzy, I read an article I wrote called “The Typewriter” and made it through the day with help from family, friends, and Tylenol.

Photo 2021 St Cuthbert's Anglican Church Delta B.C.

I did not sleep well last night and now sit here trying to put everything together; I need to locate the Executor of my Father’s estate. I am hoping to discover photos of my childhood, as I only have very few. At times my concussion has been a blessing and other times a curse. It seems powerful memories of the past seem to flood my mind like the present day. Front lobe problems make organization and judgment more difficult and create many new challenges.

In saying this, please do not wack yourself in the front of the head to find out. It truly sucks to have a concussion and ask my family and a few friends who still communicate with me.

I try to look back at the last several months and find some things hazy, but I do know since June 2021, five members of my immediate or extended family have died. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise for me as I may never have strong negative memories of these events as time moves forward. (Positive cup have filled type thinking, I hope)

Photo by Warren Curle 2021

As the morning wore on, I started to look through a few of the things that belonged to my mother. This is a tough process and is often revealing, and you learn many things you may have suspected but did not know to be the truth. In my mother’s case, I saw a woman often used by male doctors in the medical community, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. I confirmed she feared both my older brother and my father, especially since both were capable of physical violence. Yes, as a small child, I watched my father come into our apartment and strike my mother more than once and hold a rifle to me, and these memories burst into my thoughts as I went through some of her things.

Someday once I have completed the affairs of my immediate family, I will sit down and redo my will and last testament. I do not want my children to have to discover hidden truths about me, and I would rather they could know their father for who he really was, both the good, the bad, and sometimes the bizarre. Yes, they already know I wear Gorilla Costumes, a man dress and played in a Punk Band in my youth.

HELLO, your family will discover your true financial history and other things you hid from them. Did you go bankrupt, how many times did you go bankrupt and such things? Instead of an insurance company informing them, it is better to know in advance to prepare and get the documentation ready. Also, allowing your children to know your work history is always a good idea. After leaving this life, they do not need to be informed you had several pensions you could have used but choose to ignore. This discovery will help them recall the number of times they financially supported you when it need not have happened.

Being someone that has always enjoyed a challenge, I will survive this process, but if my dear mother had become a Canadian Citizen, life would have been much easier. The time I have spent trying to inform Immigration Canada of my mother's death so they can cancel her 1948 Landed Immigrant Card could have easily been spent mourning your loss. . Oh, yes, I just discovered the Canadian Government would not allow my local MP to assist in this process and require me to spend many more hours of frustration on this, The strange phone call and the requirement to send her death Certificate to the British Government would have been nice to avoid.

Now I will try to connect once more with the Executor of my father’s estate, do some more paperwork on my mother’s estate, and pray my headache goes away. Later, I will try to open her last remaining boxes and tackle what to do with all these Teddy Bears, scarves, textbooks, and more.

Thank you for reading and be good to those that have to look after your estates.

Exhausted at the end of the day. Photo by Warren Curle 2021


About the author

Bruce Curle `

A Fifty something male that enjoys writing short stories, scripts and poetry. I have had many different types of work over my lifetime and consider myself fairly open minded and able to speak on many topics.

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