The 4' tall papier-mache parrot that hung outside, surveying the yard from its perch next to the porch (upside down until I managed to set it upright after Dennis died so he never got to see it) is gone. The apartment is bare, devoid of any and all personal effects. Not as clean as I'd have liked but I could not, by myself, get the tobacco stains off the ceilings, walls and floors. Could not reach the ceilings readily, did not have a tool to get properly into the angle of the corners where wall meets ceiling, did not have the right equipment to render adequate cleaning justice to the floors. Dennis' younger brother John said we would get someone in to do that, that I should leave it to him, which I did. But I didn't/haven't heard back from Doug, who has a good knack for cleaning, whose number I gave John.
Still, the entire place is bare of furnishings; largely bare of the accumulated grime it was wearing when I first arrived back in Victoria so I could care for Dennis, when I began trying in earnest to restore it to order so it could accommodate someone with a severe handicap, which person Dennis had become after the stroke he'd had at the beginning of April. The fridge is clean, the garbage has all been put out; paper, glass and metal are all gone to recycling.
More than one thrift store got a share of the cleaning-out, the wonderful Victoria Public Library has its books returned, our friends in Victoria all have a few mementos of him.
His younger brother John, who came to Victoria accompanied by two nephews and a son-in-law, took all Dennis' photos. Nephew Trevor took the collection of Vancouver memorabilia I had sorted out of the piles and piles of paper Dennis had squirreled away; he will deliver them to UBC Library's archivist. John promised to guard the souvenir scrapbook, full of Dennis's life, that I put together for the memorial John and elder brother Blake promised we'll have, at which time we will give his ashes to the sea, as he would have wished.
As he would have wished.
When, exactly, the memorial gathering will happen, I do not know. John said he will let me know. Trevor took note of my mailing address and phone number.
As for the material summary: John says the Province will appoint a Public Trustee as executor. Dennis had money in the bank and a pension fund he wanted me to have, but he died intestate and - convinced until the very moment of his death that I would be bringing him home and that we needed to guard his money to meet our needs as a couple - I neither filled out the blank check Dennis left me nor did I secure his signature on the form the union's pension fund administrator sent us that had to be returned to him in order to designate me as Dennis' beneficiary.
I know what Dennis wanted; whether his wishes will be respected and carried out by the Trustee, I do not know.
I'm on foot so I'm traveling fairly light when I give the keys to our neighbors next door. I have with me:
My red Mountain Equipment backpack with clothes for the next leg of my journey. My purple cloth Swiss Army briefcase to sling on my shoulder with its assortment of notebooks, books, papers and writing tools. A market bag with a few 'iron rations' - food for the way. The clever leather handbag I found a few years ago in a second-hand store in upstate NY, with a number of separate compartments to simplify fishing for one's agenda, one's wallet, camera, cell phone, one's flash drives, one's this and that.
My this and that.
There is no evidence whatsoever to demonstrate that an Arcology - whatever one of those actually might be - can, has or ever will obviate grief, or lessen - much less put an end to - human suffering.
Which, in and of itself, doesn't make the idea of one any less valuable.
But my preoccupation with it makes me wonder if, perhaps, it could/may change how we go about trying to build one, or even how we go about trying to promote the idea of building one.