So this afternoon I posted about how annoying a certain estranged relative is currently being. Thanks for all the kindnesses extended, as usual, because you guys are all part of my kick-ass support network.
As a follow-up, the meeting wasn't that bad. The EU (not European Union) was defensive as usual. I somehow made nice-ish and didn't start a screaming fit inside Panera. I had my spreadsheet ready and tackled things by checking off names like it was a list.
As I thought I would, I had to actually show him the guest book to prove that no one had left an address. I blamed this on not leaving my own, and as I hoped, the topic was finished. I marked out the names he'd be sending notes to, and encouraged him to try to get cards from the funeral home, since I bought my own. 150 cards for under $25 is pretty damn good for pre-printed cards from Target. They also match my stationary tastes, being a black and white filigree & floral print.
We talked over the cemetery a bit, talked about changing the path and how the main office needs to be approached and the guidelines the cemetery has for landscaping (and how they've changed in the 15 years since my mother died), and what needs to be done before we can do anything.
There was only one bad part, and he saved it for as we were leaving, and probably only had the balls to do it because The Nerdy Mr, anticipating a speedier getaway, had started the car while he waylaid us in the parking lot. After a lot of awkward half-formed questions about who was the last person who saw Dan, he basically said:
So we're all agreed that this happened because of the girl, right?
The girl, meaning my brother's girlfriend. Oh, hell to the motherfucking no fucking way on this good green Earth is anyone in my whole damn family in agreement with him there. My sister and I were pretty blunt, though I wish I had been a little less angry so I could have defended her more valiantly. My sister pointed out that when she'd spoken to Dan earlier that week he didn't sound quite right. EU said something about maybe the breakup was long and I wanted to punch him. You might as well blame it on the economy or global warming or any other modern, seemingly insurmountable problem. You could just as easily, perhaps more easily, blame it on the fact that EU never turned my brother's mutual fund over to him. These are not productive ways to think about it, though. Having someone to blame doesn't raise the dead.
There are issues at play that need to be discussed, and I'll be doing that in a longer standalone post that I hinted at earlier. Like the euology, it will be a standalone post, not tagged as a Grief Entry, because they both are meant to surpasses my singular experience and if it will help someone to read it, I want people to feel free to share it.