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Katie Beth and Alice sharing Alice's Easter basket on Easter, three days before she died.

This has been the year of death in my family.

I lost three family members in quick succession last fall, two of them to suicide. Then, police woke us up Tuesday to tell us that Sandy’s aunt had died. She was elderly and unwell and died at home on Cape Cod.

Sandy is the executor. It will be the third estate she has managed (the first two being her parents). 

I’ve decided this is just the death phase of life. First all my friends were getting married, and then we had the babies phase – and the divorces phase. Now my friends’ parents and other older relatives are dying. And my relatives as well. It seems I talk with family more after a death than any other reason now.

And it's all technical stuff - who to hire to handle the estate sale, whether to gather friends for a Dumpster cleanout or pay a cleaning company, where an elderly aunt might have put her will. We'll be searching her house for it Friday.

Every night we've been working until midnight, making calls, searching for records, planning out what to do. Our friends have answered our questions when they can and offered support when they have no idea what else to do.

At least we're all in it together - all of us enduring this phase of life, trying to help each other. I spent a weekend helping a friend empty his deceased father's storage building into a Dumpster, and while that is not as fun as taking a friends trip to Disney, it was a bonding experience that left us all feeling like a family, pulling together when our friend is the only one left.

Still, I hope the next phase of life is better.

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on


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