Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A small but important dilemna

I've known M for about 20 years - although not very well.  So that not having seen her for years was not unusual.  I can't remember how or why we met, or how we made any kind of connection: mutual acquaintances possibly, or  just random.
She was around my age group, and I knew that she was an adopted child of a family with some social prominence.
"I was cherished," she said.  "Cherished".   A wonderful childhood memory.
She was warm and chatty and artistic: 2 items together were 2 items together, she said:  but 3 created a whole different entity.  Puting 3 together, you needed to watch what you were creating.  She painted pleasant and skilled watercolours.
 I don't think she would have known anything of my background, because she liked to talk, not question,  and she liked to socialise in groups, (which I don't).   She visited me here, and was always welcome to visit me here: but that hadn't happened for a long time.
Her adult life, I gather, had not really been very happy.   Her husband was not simpatico, and she clung to the social group that she felt she belonged to - and why not? - altho her husband didn't fit in, and finances made this increasingly desperate in the decades since her husband's death.  This from others, not from her.
I asked a mutual friend about her a month or 2 ago, and she said that she had moved to some kind of seniors' centre.
Today, in the online newspaper, there is notice of her funeral. 
My particular dilemna is that I have a copy of Khalil Gibran that M lent me. 
It had been given to her by her beloved daughter, who committed suicide as a very young woman/girl.
What do I do with it?

7 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

It is indeed a dilemma. Do you know who is arranging her funeral and who the executor(s) of her estate is? While I suspect the answer would be that you are to keep it, it would be polite and probably 'correct' to ask the executor(s) what they would like done with it. And if they tell you to keep it, you can do so free of guilt.

Frances said...

The executors are such a good suggestion, EC.
There was no mention in the paper as to who was arranging the funeral, and that was what left me at a bit of a loss.
I really don't want to keep it: I didn't ask to borrow it: she was that kind of person.
She sometimes mentioned that she would call around to collect it, but, eventually didn't.
It would be nice to hand it back to the family, and I should be able to do that through the executors. Thanks.

The Elephant's Child said...

I hope I am not interfering but in a similar case I found the Funeral Directors very helpful in pointing me in the right direction. I hope it all goes well for you.

Frances said...

There were no FDs listed in the advert, EC: that is what had me stymied.
Thank you for your helpful suggestions.

persiflage said...

If you know the daughter's address perhaps you could write to her and ask whether she would like it as a memento.
I am still getting mail which I have to forward, so even if you wrote to the friend's address, c/o the Estate, it would probably be collected and forwarded.
Otherwise you might have to check the legal notices concerning the application for probate. That would be tedious as it can take some time for the notice to be inserted.
Otherwise I'd donate it somewhere - in Sydney the Volunteer FM classical music station has regular book and music sales, and Sydney University also has book sales.

Frances said...

Thankyou for your suggestions, Persiflage.
I will look out for the probate notices, knowing, as you say, that this can take some long and indeterminate time.
Thankyou for your helpful ideas.

Lynn said...

You cherish it, of course.