Except it just doesn’t work that way.

Part of life is death, the inevitable, no one has made it out alive. Humans believe there are certain orders of dying…. grandma, mom, kids – in age order, grand kids and so on and so forth.

Except it just doesn’t work that way.

My brother Paul died when I was 12.  45 years ago.  When I was at the cabin last year I found a box – Paul’s belongings. Medals from the Marines, certificates of achievement, a few small trinkets and pictures. It was emotional to find that box, I enjoyed looking through it and thinking of my brother. Melancholy would be the right word mixed in with a small twinge of sadness for a life not yet completely lived, he was 19.

My sister, Arleen, died on December 1, 2013. Her husband, Aldo, died November 13, 2013.

Yesterday, I picked up my sister Janet at PDX and we drove to Arleen and Aldo’s house. We were meeting with an estate sales company and hoping to get out of there. Except it just doesn’t work that way. We still had to go through the house, do an inventory, ship their daughter’s room to her new home. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. Going through two lives not completely lived, and another life, forever changed.

I dropped off Janet at the airport around 4:00 for her flight home. I drove straight back to the coast, well, almost straight back, I did stop at Dairy Queen and got a medium chocolate shake with whipped cream. The minute I got home, I got into bed and slept 4 hours.

This has been one of the most moving experiences of my life, a roller coaster of emotions, a walk through a life you did not live, you expect it to be a list of tasks, except it just doesn’t work that way.



5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jamie on January 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Wow, that would be hard to lose them so close together. Perhaps your niece could come help clean her parents house.. never hurts to ask.
    You are in my prayers!


  2. Well said my Friend!


  3. Ah, Cathy – many years ago I heard a saying that totally aligns with what you experienced: “Life is what happens when you’re planning something else.” Instead of the “to do” lists by which we seem to live our lives, maybe it’s more important and infinitely more pleasurable to be present in the moment. For some reason, dogs seem to understand this better than we humans do. A life lived as a series of precious moments is a life well lived…this is what I wish for you, my friend.


  4. Posted by floatinggourmet on January 24, 2014 at 9:01 am



  5. Posted by Debbie Slovinsky on January 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    WOW Cathy is all I have to say and it is very hard on all of u guys….Keeping the whole family in prayers honey..


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