We buried my Aunt today. It was a very fine service that had fewer glitches than the last Catholic mass I attended. Her viewing on Friday was sparsely attended, the storm that brought a lot of snow to Long Island on Friday kept a lot of people away.
It's getting tiresome only seeing family at funerals, so we have to so something about that. I am putting a moratorium out there right now.
Nobody I know dies for two years. Got it?
I spent a good part of Thursday in her apartment. Gathering pictures for the photo board at her wake. There were hundreds of pictures to assess, so many people I did not know, so many family members I do not recognize - and now there does not seem to be anyone left who can identify them.
This is very sad to me. I cannot take charge of all the pictures and I do not know who will want them. As a cataloger it makes me cringe. I did find a lot of cool pictures for the board, and for my own research. It was unsettling being in her empty home, knowing she was not coming back. My Brother is in charge of her estate and I can't travel back and forth to help clear her possessions out. His work is cut out for him on so many levels. He did a fine job in arranging her services.
What I did find in her apartment was rather remarkable. My Great Uncle's wallet that he had when he was killed in WW2, along with a stack of letters he wrote to my Grandfather. I have not even begun to process these yet and have no idea what to expect. I am also in possession of his Purple Heart, which I had never seen until today. She saved so many things from her life and career. It got so overwhelming I had to get out and walk around the upper west side for an hour or so. Ok, I stopped in a cool Irish bar that had a bartender with a splendid brogue and one hand.
At the end of the day I had a bag of framed pictures in one arm and my satchel full of pictures, paperwork and a binder of family genealogy she had done twenty years ago. There is so much to organize.
It was good to meet a lot of my Aunt's friends. Been hearing about them for years but never met them until this sad day. She was loved, admired and held in high esteem by those close to her. She did live a full life, but the last years, too darn cruel.