December 28th? What did I write about older sibling? Oh.
DS's older brother has died.
Alone in the family home. DS called the police on Monday after a longer than usual silence from his brother. Last contact was November 1st. Then no response to phone calls, e mails or a letter.
A lock company broke a window at the house and the police went into a place full of mail and rubbish. And found a man.
Now DS has gone to the family home area to talk with police, arrange a funeral and close a person's life.
Really, we are still in shock. Something that we'd joked about - black jokes, we are that those kind of people - but the reality is a shock. At the age of 60, probably from serious diabetes. Alone. Maybe in November or December?
In this blog this man has always been characterized by me as Useless Older Brother. Useless in relation to Okaasan. No care for her. No interest. No help.
But he was a real person. And he has died.
So. I'll put the criticism aside for now and just record the fact.
Of course, we hope to NOT tell Okaasan. Probably fairly easy. There was so little contact between them. He never telephoned or visited. She never talks about him. The trip we did in November 2015 to visit the family was almost certainly the last family visit. Okaasan's brother, who was the focus of that trip, has since died. And now her eldest son.
Of course, there is the house. Japan is funny about inheritance. Most families don't have wills. It all just trickles down. The house still belongs to Okaasan. For DS to make decisions about the future of the house he will probably need Okaasan's participation. But that may be just a matter of using her seal on documents. Hopefully she won't have to attend in person - because THAT would be a whole confusing experience. She isn't mentally up to that, but she would think she was in charge. Maybe easier to actually wait until she has died? Just leave the house empty? Then it will legally belong to DS and he can act easily.
Anyway. All of that is to come.
For this week there is a funeral of a man who died. Of course, I am staying here in Sapporo with Okaasan. Life goes on as normal.
Be careful what you write...