I’m not sure how I was designated “the” person responsible for end of life arrangements: releasing the body from the medical examiner, signing for the disposition of Dad’s remains, coordinating the mass in his honor, and keeping the family informed. It’s too much and not enough all at the same time.
I keep plugging away, doing the tasks at hand as best I am able, delegating what I can, then answering to why the task was delegated. And for those who want to help but aren’t able to take on the things I have the foresight to think of, I am left trying to make them feel better.
Meanwhile, my own needs are set aside.
When I finally decided that I needed to put my needs in front of all of the responsibility that I have inherited, the world blew up in protest. As soon as I parked in front of the entrance to the park, my phone rang. It was my dad’s significant other conveying the urgent need for my drivers license and the letters from me and my siblings to be faxed to the medical examiner.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Before I’d hung up from her, another call arrived. By the time I hung up, three text messages arrived. In an attempt to ward off rebellion, I did my best to attend to these as quickly as I could. Then, I declared that I needed an hour of “me time.”