I’ve had my mother’s tax papers ready to go for a while, but the final piece I needed was some information from the estate lawyer.  The accountant said I needed letters of administration / letters testamentary (?) so that they would know how to handle the refund check.  I just heard back from the estate lawyer today that the letters are still pending, so I need to get the paperwork in for the accountants to start the filing process.  I’m not sure how long everything is still going to be “pending,” but I need to set the wheels in motion.

I also got in touch with the medical organization where my mother made her anatomical donation and found out some more about that group memorial service.  It’s going to be taking place one evening next week, and I can’t decide if it’s going to be really weird or really REALLY weird.

The guy on the phone kept repeating things like, “this service helps to provide closure for the family members, and it also helps to provide closure for the medical students.”  And now I’m thinking about what the service will be like — I mean, it will be a bunch of us family members in a room with a bunch of medical students?  So … nobody will know who … studied whom?  I mean, I’m guessing we’re not going to have a situation where a medical student walks up to a family member and says, “Hey, where did your dad get that cool tattoo?”  Because that would be kind of awkward.

I dunno.  All I know is that there’s going to be a ceremony of some kind, that the family members are invited to bring a photograph of their loved one who made the donation, that we’ll have the opportunity to speak for several minutes on our family member’s decision to be an anatomical donor, and that we will each be presented with the ashes of our departed.  Oh, and that there will be a reception afterwards.  Not quite sure if I’m going to want to schmooze with a glass of wine while I’m holding my mother’s ashes, but I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Like I said, this will definitely be somewhere on the weirdness scale, but I’m not sure where.

BTW, thank you to the Dear Readers who have told me here, by email, and in person about their own experiences with the ashes of family members.  The only plan I have so far is that I won’t tell my brother about next week’s service.  I’ll take the ashes home and then ask him if he’d like to keep half of them or if he’d like to help me scatter them somewhere.  Bringing them out of the country doesn’t seem feasible, but I’m thinking of a few of her favorite places in and around New York that could work.