I called my mother last night during the Indians-Red Sox play-off game (Go Tribe!) to talk about the Heir and she informed me that she is sending me some family mementos.
One is my great-grandfather Abraham's pocket watch, which had belonged to my grandfather and now my grandmother has. Apparently she said she wanted me to have it now.
The other are some dreidels from my Aunt Ellen's collection. Ellen, who was my favorite aunt, died last spring after a prolonged illness. Apparently the family split them up and all the grandkids are getting a few.
I am having all sorts of mixed feelings about all of this. I've been coping with my aunt's death largely by ignoring it as much as possible. I suppose having some physical reminders of her around the apartment will make finally have to deal with it emotionally.
But getting the pocket watch is really getting to me emotionally. I never knew my great-grandfather. He died before I was born and I'm named after him. And while I have always loved pocket watches and have owned several over the years and would love to have this one, I can't shake the feeling that Grandma is starting to split up her stuff ahead of dying.
Now she's 98 years old and it is perfectly logical for her to have death on her mind and making preparations for it. I just don't think I'm ready to do deal with her mortality. I always react poorly to the death of close relatives and I don't want to think about Grandma dying until it actually happens. This may not be the most mature thing but I'm sufficiently self-aware to know it is true.