Connor Cummiskey.JPG

Connor Cummiskey

Death appears to be stalking my wife and my family this year after her father died recently.

I was recently in Wisconsin for a week dealing with my father-in-law’s death. This is the third person to pass this year — two of my wife’s family and my uncle.

To be frank, this has put me in an awkward situation. I was never close to my wife Carly’s father, having met him only a few times when we visited Madison, Wisconsin.

While I’ve been doing my best to support her family, being surrounded by mourning people while I don’t have the same connection has me feeling out of place and a little guilty.

That guilt may come partially from me being more torn up about losing my dog than my father-in-law. So while everyone else was crying, I spent most of the week brokering the peace among family.

My father-in-law’s name was Peter, and he was found in his Madison condo by my brother-in-law, Hans.

Obviously it was a shock to Hans, though he seemed to be handling it relatively well. Which may be because Peter was old and not in the best shape, so most of the family seems to have braced for his passing. Though Hans did refuse to enter the condo when we first went back to look for a will.

Of course, because things can never go smoothly, we couldn’t find an up-to-date will, which means Peter’s complicated estate will probably haunt us for at least another year while it goes through probate court. He was apparently a complicated man, even in death.

It may be off color, but I know one practical question my wife has raised since her father’s death is staying afloat.

Peter supported her through some monetary gifts, but he also helped us significantly with a down payment for our house and my current car.

For all of that I will remain forever grateful for his support and he will be a safety net we will miss.

Carly had a complicated relationship with her father and she’s, well, she’s processing it as best as she can.

She loved him, clearly. Carly sobbed after the reality of his death hit her when we got to Madison.

But she has held it together as we’ve dealt with the practical details of Peter’s funeral arrangements.

Still, while Peter’s death will overshadow us well into the future, hopefully when we bury 2019 it will be the last thing we have to bury for a while.

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