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what things we leave behind

Everyone who has ever lived and eventually died has left things behind.  It’s almost impossible to imagine the billions of words and ideas left unexpressed, along with an equal amount of projects/deeds unfinished.  And that’s not even taking into consideration all the physical possessions they leave behind.  It’s huge.  I didn’t really think about this when my father died because taking care of his end of life ‘wrap up’ (for lack of a better phrase) wasn’t something I had to be concerned with.  This time, however is different, because I’m older and my mother left the task to me.

After she died there were so many things to do.  There were calls to be made, letters written, her memorial service planned and the disposition of her remains.  There seemed like an endless amount of things to be done and as I slowly made my way through them I found myself dreading eventually reaching the end.  All things end, even a list has to stop somewhere.

I think I felt that way because when that list ends she’s really gone.  There’ll be nothing left but a few mementos and memories.  And as precious as those things are, they don’t seem to be enough.  Maybe she knew I’d feel this way, maybe that’s why taking care of my nephew was last on the list.  Its a lifetime job with a list all its own.

And I wonder what things I’ll leave behind for my nephew.


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