Saturday, 17 September 2005

hide and seek

We spend yesterday phoning people. Family in Australia and random guest houses on small Greek islands.

To answer both of Cheryl's questions in the comments of the last post - Kate and Vic are uncontactable. They have been travelling independently and we have no idea where they are. B and I went round to their house yesterday and rifled through Kate's email to see if we could find any information. We found one hotel and a bed and breakfast that they had booked for the first four nights of their stay, nearly three weeks ago. And a flight number.

I've phoned both the hotel and the B & B. They didn't leave any clues about where they were going on to. So all I have been able to do is leave messages at each place, in case they directly reverse their journey, and a message with Easyjet (who I have to say were very helpful) that will pop up when they book in for their flight home on Wednesday evening, to ask that they phone us urgently. This means that at least we won't need to spend Wednesday night kipping on their sofa to be there when they get home at 3am.

We haven't done anything else - I suppose we could contact consulates and raise the wind - but because it was a 'sudden death' there is going to be an inquest. So there is no rush for them to come home and sort through Aunt Kate's papers and find wills and funeral instructions - all of that kind of thing is at their house, as she was living with them.

Also, it is a mute point whether they would WANT to be contacted. I have to admit I am having some difficulty with this. When Kate's mother died three years ago, two days before she and Vic were due to go on holiday for three weeks, she posponed the funeral for a month until she'd come back. It was horrible, we were all in limbo while they were away. But it has made me a bit less frantic to get hold of them, as there is a precedent.

In the meantime, the family split Cheryl also referred to looks like it is done and dusted. It was pretty much between Aunt Kate and her daughter-in-law and in it's process, her son and grandchildren and great grandchildren all got dragged in. However, Aunt Kate's son, Harry, has stepped up to the plate and is organising funeral directors and things - as is his privelige and, really, his responsibility.

So, perhaps, on one hand, Aunt Kate going like this, while Vic and Kate are away, has meant that he has HAD to do this for her and given him the chance to both do the right thing and to make amends, if only in a 'better late than never' kind of way. If Vic and Kate were here, I suspect it would have been left to them.

My final conversation with her:

Aunt Kate: "Well, at least there's a nice veranda I can sit on outside the home and watch the world go by."
Me: "Yes? That'll be nice."
Aunt Kate: "Yes. Except it's on the main road and people might think that I'm for sale."
[pause]
"I won't make much. I've got no chest."

She will be missed.

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