Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Update on Stuff

I’m at the Denver International Airport right now. R is arriving on a plane in a few minutes to give me help and support in dealing with my father’s death, apartment, legal process, etc.

I’ve stayed with my friend, Nathan, for the last three nights which has been very helpful and he’s basically gone around with me to help as he can on things. I’m lucky to have such a friend.

I arrived at 2:30 PM Sunday, rented a car one way to Cheyenne (ouch!) and drove up to Fort Collins in the early evening, which is halfway between Denver and Seattle. I spent the night there and made calls to various officials, the funeral home that I’d spoken to and such. Monday, Nathan and I drove up to Cheyenne in my rental. We met with the funeral director and arranged for my dad’s cremation. While we were there, we still didn’t know when they were releasing his body or if there would be an autopsy. We got word by noon that they would not be doing an autopsy and I received his wallet, keys, and other small effects. I paid for his cremation on my card and we arranged, through a little rule bending and an extremely helpful mortician, to be able for Nathan, myself, and his friend Richard (also known as “Lama Richard”) to be able to view my father’s body alone for a while on Tuesday.

Nathan and I drove to the hotel on Monday afternoon. This is where Lou died. My dad was a packrat and was traveling back to his apartment in Denver. His car was full to bursting with stuff. Bags and bags of clothes, books on tape, cat supplies, a cooler with his food and, unfortunately, about four pounds of store bought Chicken which had been sitting on the cooler for a couple of days. The car reeked. We emptied out a lot of the garbage, through a bit of stuff away, and I found my dad’s traveling bag and a bunch of his papers. Between his wallet, the receipts in it, and these papers, I have a list of his five or so bank accounts and I have his credit cards.

We then got let into the room where he died by the Hindu motel owners. (On a side note, they refused to take any money from me for the room and were super nice to deal with. They aren’t going to even rent the room for two weeks because someone died there.) Nothing had been touched in the room. The TV was still running even. There wasn’t much there, just the clothes he was wearing and his pills. We collected things and did a Chenrezig practice there.

Nathan and I then went up to the Cheyenne airport, dropped off my own car, and waited over an hour and a half for a taxi to come back. Eventually, an Avis employee drove us down to the hotel. We collected my dad’s stink-mobile and drove it back to Fort Collins. The car has a lot of damage (like a missing headlight from the complete destruction of the front, right quarter of the car) from a couple of accidents. I decided that I wasn’t going to have time or ability to salvage it. Through a friend of Nathan’s family, who is a local mechanic, I was able to arrange to get the car junked (which doesn’t require title). We did that late yesterday.

On Tuesday (yesterday) morning, Lama Richard came up from Boulder and the three of us drove back to Cheyenne. Richard had done a full two hour phowa practice privately the night before but we needed to do it with my father’s body really. We were allowed to have a “viewing” and the funeral director left us alone (knowing we were doing a Buddhist ceremony). I was able to view my father’s remains and then we did the phowa practice under Richard’s direction. We left the appropriate talisman with the director to be cremated with my father. This was very auspicious as it is quite uncommon to find someone able to do phowa for a deceased person with the body in the appropriate time frame. I took everyone out for food and gave Richard a donation as thanks for his help.

My dad’s ashes are being sent to my grandfather for internment in May in Newcastle, WY, where much of our family is, next to my aunt’s ashes.

Today, I took a shuttle from Fort Collins to Denver’s airport (being now without a car). I’m going to meet R and we will get a car and drive into Denver to find my dad’s apartment and (hopefully) most of his papers. We hope to come back by Saturday. I will be calling lawyers today to arrange to get appointment executor of Lou’s estate because there is no sign of a will and I don’t think he’d gotten around to it since our talk at Thanksgiving.

My dad has three small houses (two two bedroom and one one bedroom) in a small town in Wyoming where my grandfather lives and a storefront with an apartment in back in another small town 400 miles from the first. I’m going to try to find rental agreements for his houses (he has renters in them, one just moved in) and see about having a local realty company that manages properties take care of them (my grandfather knows them). For the storefront, I have to arrange for the gas to stay on so it doesn’t freeze but then it can wait until Spring.

My dad also has a 91 Dodge Stealth, a panel truck, and a non-running pickup truck behind that storefront.

That’s it. I’m going to go find R soon.