Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My sister has been dealing with settling the estate of her son who died suddenly and unexpectedly this year. In her latest email message to me talked about moving the last of Collin's possessions from his home. My sister's message caused me to think about how our mother handled the death of our brother over 40 years ago.

My brother was 21 years old when he died in an automobile crash the night of his bachelor's party. He was not drunk according to the autopsy report. He suffered a heart attack and died of a cerebral hemorrhage when his car entering a freeway plunged off of the on-ramp.

My mother's reaction to the death of her second child was to discard everything that belonged to him. My father discovered this and retrieved some of the items that she discarded. He kept some of them for himself and hid them from her. At that time, I was the only one of their children living away from home. My father gave me a sculpture that my brother had created.

Of some of the items that our father retrieve, he was able to convince our mother to keep a few of our brother's belongings. My brother was an artist. She kept another sculpture and some paintings. After my father passed away, one sister and I sent the paintings to our brother in New Jersey and this sister took the funny square, yellow clay pot.

Shari's message to me about the handling of her son's belongings made me think about the upside-down carrot that my brother made and what will happen to it when I pass on. My children have grown up with this sculpture in their home. I don't recall ever telling my children about this piece and its history. I guess that they don't see the importance of that piece and only view it as another piece of art that is in the house.

I took pictures of that carrot and labelled it as Brother Craig's Carrot Sculpture view 1 et al.

How many things in your home that have a special meaning to you may not have that same connection to your children?

Think about it!

1 comment:

  1. I, too, have a few things of my brother's; he died in 1995 at the age of 30 years. These things are items from his childhood and youth, a ceramic dish, a plate that he drew on that was later baked to preserve, Y Indian Guides items, and the like. He did not have any children and was going through a divorce at the time; his "widow" remarried shortly afterwards and moved on with her life. My children were toddlers when he died, so they don't remember him at all. I, too, wonder what will happen to these things when I am gone.