A few weeks ago, mum was looking up the address details for the wife of a relative who’s recently passed away when I saw their names listed side by side. I was curious, how long do you have to wait before you can delete someone from your address book? Mum gave a very vague answer basically alluding that she had no idea. A few hours later I was still thinking about this. In reply to a related comment mum said, very sensibly that it wasn’t like she was going to mark a date on the calendar to erase his name. More likely, she would be looking for someone else’s number in a few months time and by then she would know whether it was an appropriate time to make the amendment.
For no particular reason it seems wrong to remove someone from your listing, like you’re deleting a part of their soul, erasing their legacy, letting go of a memory. But then again, it’s not like you’re going to be needing their details anymore. I remember renaming a friend’s phone number to his dad’s name in my mobile. I think it was before the funeral. I did what was seemed logical rather than what felt right. I want to know what the acceptable time is.
Another thought that came up, in the paper it says, “in loving memory of jane, daughter jill (deceased), …etc…” I was wondering how long a child would have to live to get a mention. For example, I had no idea if someone would mention a child that only lived to the age of 2. I’m told they do, mum makes sense of it saying that the child was still loved and still loved in return. What about an infant who died only a few weeks old? Apparently it is normal to give them a mention. Mum says still births don’t normally get a mention, but sometimes they do. Sometimes during birth notices all of the still births that have come before are honoured. So what about babies that have died during labour? I don’t have any of these experiences but looking at people who’ve had to deal with still births, you can see the massive impact that it has on them. It must be devastating on a totally different level.
I don’t know why I want to know. I don’t understand these social rules and I’m just trying to work it out. but I guess it doesn’t really matter. Mum says that when the time comes up, people just know what the right thing to do is.