Friday, March 16, 2018

My Mother

This weekend I am traveling to the other side of the world to visit the "home country", though it's not the country I grew up in.

Just over three weeks ago my mother died. She had dementia for several years. When I visited in December, things didn't look good, but she went through a few more cycles of getting a little better and then worse again. Still when the news came it was a shock, though it was so long expected. Maybe partly just finally hearing the bad news. I had decided beforehand not to rush to the other side of the world, right away. The custom there is to hold the funeral on the same day if possible. So, I would miss the funeral or hold everyone up. It seemed better to try to go on with life somewhat normally for a little while than inconvenience everyone here to sit on a plane and in airports on my own for two days each way. Now I am going for the ceremony when the gravestone is "set".

I am also going to work with my brother on sorting all the legal and financial stuff out. Things are actually quite well organized, especially as my brother and I managed all my mother's finance and care etc in the last few years, but there are still some uncertainties. My brother will have to handle most of the organizational details. The main  thing I have been involved with so far is paying the termination payment for the care worker who looked after my mother in the last 7 years. Her devoted work meant that my mother could continue to live at home and did not move to a nursing home or hospital. My brother and I shared in making the payment, which includes paying out her nominal superannuation savings - there aren't real accounts for foreign workers superannuation it seems. We transferred the money to her daughter in her home country. My mother's bank accounts are all frozen now until the probate is sorted out, so we have to take care of all these expenses. Luckily we have the means to handle this kind of thing - my share of this payment was equivalent to a few months salary for me - easily.

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