When Do The Logistics End So The Mourning Can Begin?


When Do The Logistics End So The Mourning Can Begin?

I am still dealing with paperwork.

Over two months since Mom died and I am still dealing with paperwork. Signing forms, filling out this and that. Trying to close up things.

I haven't even started sorting through her clothes, the odds and ends in her room and everything of hers in the basement.

I also haven't had time to mourn. To grieve. All I do is go to work, run errands to tie up loose ends, and try to get things in order to bury her.

The internment of her ashes is Wednesday. In Maine. So I will be driving out there. Two days on the road since I don't feel up to driving 11 and a half hours straight. Dealing with trying to get all the paperwork for the cemetery. Trying to find a priest to do the graveside blessing from 800 miles away.

And then there is my boss who is not at all happy that I am taking 6 days - by his count - off to handle all this. Never mind that one of those days is a holiday. Nevermind that I have the vacation time to take. Doesn't matter. If I am not there I can't make him money. It is an inconvenience. My mother's death is an inconvenience.

Trying to find a support group or counseling here in town. No luck. Sure the insurance covers mental health but the co-pay is $100 per session. The GriefShare group at church meets at 2:30 in the afternoon during the week. How are working people who are suffering supposed to attend these things? It's like that everywhere here, with everything. Apparently, grief is only for the retired.

I'm not too sure how I am going to handle the drive to Maine. I had decided not to go the high cost toll road 80/90 and instead take the more quirky Lincoln Highway. Mom would have enjoyed that route. I plan to blog my way along it, to take lots of pictures of interesting things.

Maybe then when I get back I can actually find some peace and grieve.

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Kathy Koenig

Cat, \r\nYour message hits many important points including the timelines others have for us getting back to our lives (or their lives). But, their needs can take a back seat to yours. As a hospice volunteer I make bereavement calls to families about 4-6 weeks after their family members has died. Invariably, they are tied up with all of the paperwork and we talk about how that may infiltrate the grieving process. Just today the hospice hired a bereavement coordinator with loads of experience and I am hopeful we will be able to start offering groups again for individuals and families. There's no time stamp on this experience. I hope that your trip to Maine went safely and well. I'm willing to bet there are others who need grief support at times other than mid-afternoon. Perhaps this can be suggested. I will be hoping for the best. In the meantime, you can keep checking in with the caregiver chats for support as well. There's always someone here to listen.\r\n\r\nKathy Koenig


Cat, I felt every sentence. Maybe you could start a grief support group in the early evening. You hit home with the comments_mysql about the hours of groups seeming to be for the retired. I am retired and I often forget that I use to work during the day and not have the luxury of available groups. I was thinking your blogging and photographs would make an awesome scrapbook of your final journey with your mom. My heart goes out to you and rides with you along the road less traveled. You are an amazing daughter. Your boss will live. They always do live. I love you.


Oh Goodness. That’s a lot to handle. I have still so much to learn. I haven’t dealt with the death of the caree so I had no idea about the paperwork stuff. Best wishes on your journey to Maine. It sure is beautiful there this time of year.


Cat, It is not an easy time and you are in my thoughts. The paperwork feels endless but it will slow down and it will end. I remember being so angry at the paperwork when my husband died. It felt like who he was was reduced down to a death certificate and endless forms. I don't know now if the paperwork helped me to delay the overwhelming grief until I could deal with it or inhibited me from dealing with it. Time does help. It doesn't make the grief go away, but time does help to make it different. Will be thinking of you this next week as you lay your mom's ashes to rest and praying for healing, peace, and comfort.


Hoping you have a safe trip as you honor your mother in this way. Looking forward to your pictures and blog posts.