Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
Items generally carried or worn on one's person, such as clothing, jewelry, keys, and a wallet or purse and privately owned articles consisting chiefly of clothing, diaries, personal hygiene products, for use by an individual are called "personal effects". All privately owned moveable, personal property of an individual may be considered as their personal effects including items made by an individual' -according to the free dictionary online. In the 21st century a personal computer, hard drives and USBs (flash drives) may also be considered as personal effects. Often going through these is done after the individual has passed away, bought the farm, kicked the bucket, crossed the threshold, bit the dust, gone to meet their maker...and all the other euphemisms for death.
It is a peculiar and at times a hair raising experience to be going through another human being's personal effects, especially if that person has been close to you. In some ways it feels like an invasion of their privacy or a search for more clues if the way they died was in question. It is also a truly sacred responsibility if there is no one else to sort through and be the caretaker for the last material possessions and creations of someone you loved or worked with, or were friends with while they were on this earth. In my long life I have had to do this many times in a number of different countries and circumstances. I have witnessed many types of death and been responsible for preparing, reporting on, going through the aftermaths of death including sorting through, boxing up, sending off, opening up...personal effects.
From the photo above you may be able to read the words "FRAGILE" on the few crates of my son's personal art effects. Certainly the glass frames and the hand painted canvases, sheets of drawings and watercolor paintings, charcoal renderings and original photographs could be damaged if they were not packaged properly for the journey overland from the west coast. Yet while they were being unloaded and as I run my hands over them, it is my heart and emotions which feel most fragile. This time going through "personal effects" is very tough for me.
There is no grave, no known site of death or burial for my son and his father. I have very few of his notebooks and articles of clothing. These four crates, in different sizes are the closest I have to a "memorial" for my son. I almost hug them when they are finally placed in my storage unit after being denied to me for over five years. Whenever I go there now it feels a little like approaching a tomb. His tomb. Denali, my son's tomb-which contains his body of work-not his physical body. This is so frustrating as well since these crates are sealed tightly with nails and metal fasteners. At present, I do not have tools with me to pry them open. I want to see my son's work again and take time to look at every stroke of his paint brushes, his charcoal blocks, his ink pens, his lens. But I will have to wait and hire someone else to open them. Right now I can only recreate his creations from memory, recalling the times when I was there to watch him paint or draw while he was so full of life, of talent, of skill and of hopes.
I uploaded just a few of his larger paintings and one of his photographs so you have a two dimensional view of some of his subjects and paintings, most of which will soon be auctioned off in Austin, Texas. They are too large to carry with me and unfortunately, it costs me money I do not have to store them. Also, no one sees them if they are packed away. Denali would want people to view, display, enjoy, discuss and reflect on his art - not have his art boxed up. It is painful for me to look at some of my son's art which depicts him in the mountains prophetically or with others struggling with strong emotions (as he described them to me after the expeditions with his father). Denali believed in destiny and also in God. He agreed with what I taught him about using the talents and capabilities we were born with, given and then developed, to help others...even if it ultimately meant you died because of it. Denali did die a noble death trying to help his father.
It is a strange destiny to be exposed to gruesome deaths from a young age and to continually be face to face with deaths of those close to me, whether because of blood ties, friendship and/or work.
Without going into numerous lurid descriptions, I will note some of the more unusual tasks surrounding death I have been part of which included: packing the body of a friend in ice after his sudden death and shoving cotton up his nostrils to keep the face looking less gruesome when his family saw him after his final plane flight home. A number of times I have been asked to say appropriate prayers and "final words" over a body before it was boxed, wrapped up or zipped up in a body bag, in situations where no priest, rabbi, preacher, imam, et al-was present. I have had to sort through personal effects of recent and not so recent deceased friends and colleagues, in official offices in foreign lands, as well as in their last domiciles.
One incredibly bizarre event my children witnessed with me was at a funeral in the Aboriginal community in rural New South Wales. One of my friend's husband (he was only in his thirties when he died) was buried in a coffin the funeral home had brought and the family had paid for. When the body was being lowered into the freshly dug grave in the earth, her husband's arm shot upward, punching through the coffin lid causing everyone to gasp. They had to raise the coffin up again and check on the body. It was evident they had used cheap wood (as thin as balsa) and shoddy construction. Then everyone waited in the heat of the day while the funeral service company went to get a more sturdy coffin. We moved closer and wept together as his coffin was lowered into the ground a second time.
In addition to going through material things as personal effects, I have been given videos to watch, photographs taken or recordings done as part of 'messaging' used during and after the killing of some close friends and colleagues who were brought down by violent extremist groups, gangs, government agencies and/or criminals hired by them. Watching these kinds of videos and searching through photos or online sites which might provide more clues as to the perpetrators of horrific acts, is one of the most emotionally and mentally demanding tasks in sifting through "personal effects". Those who have to perform in this field of work every day in mortuary services, autopsy rooms, hospitals and those who are forensic experts- have a Herculean type labor. It is wrenching enough to have to do it only once in a while. People who have to do it on a daily basis must have a stronger constitution than the majority of human beings.
Yet, those who are left behind need for them to do their jobs well. There is agony and relentless anguish for loved ones who "don't know" what happened, how their loved ones were killed, how they died, where they died and if it is/was a criminal actor-who (singular or plural) was responsible for their death - from the planning to the execution.
One of the most vile, base and irreverent actions anyone can do is steal from the personal effects of someone who has just died and deny their true family and loved ones the last material, personal vestiges of their existence. Grave robbers , "body snatchers" have been described and denounced for as long as humanity has chronicled these types of crimes and criminals. I, too, have had this happen to me with my son's personal effects. His father's second wife went to Pakistan and illegally claimed the right to procure my son, Denali's passport, credit and bank cards before I knew they were missing. This woman was never my children's step mother but married their father after they both had left home, only a few years before their father's death.
Nevertheless, she not only took my son's ID and cards, but used them after his death to buy clothes and get cash for herself. Then she tried to justify this by saying his father "owed her". She left the country so she could not be prosecuted. She has more than one nationality and passport.
Worse still, she stole the little money and material possessions left to his only remaining living child, our daughter. This woman misrepresented herself to a USA bank (Wells Fargo) and got away with "cleaning out" all the accounts and the gear he compiled over decades for his company we started together in 1987/1988: MSIG. Against his wishes and the stipulations he had written legally in his Last Will & Testament, our daughter received nothing. When the bank-Wells Fargo-was sued, we were told my daughter would have to go after this woman-who by now was hiding out in other countries. The bank would not take any responsibility for doling out money from his accounts to the wrong person after his death. They had a legion of well paid, ruthless lawyers to fight and stall. My daughter did not. She lost the initial case and the appeal.
I closed my account with Wells Fargo and hope you will close yours, too. There is progress in terms of introducing legislation to protect against banks releasing funds, material possessions and personal effects to those who are not authorized to receive them and to do due diligence in all cases to find the appropriate "heirs". These new laws for banks should tighten up the loopholes criminally minded people use to deprive, steal and strip away from the dead and their grieving loved ones, what is rightfully theirs. We will have to wait and see. Most likely the new laws will not be retroactive.
To close, here is a music video of the song "The Things You Left Behind" by a band called The Nails from their album entitled: Dangerous Dreams. They have a dead pan wit which I think Denali would have smiled at and music you can tap your foot to...hope you do upon viewing. www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSKyejgSKcQ I decided to write about a more personal situation this week after a reader commented that all the information in my other posts was fascinating but 'depressing' and she wished sometimes she was not "red pilled" and she understood why people believed "Ignorance is Bliss". You may have gathered that I do not share that position but appreciate the feedback. Out of consideration I decided to write about a more personal subject this Tuesday. Next week I plan on writing about ECHELON in it's myriad forms. Stay tuned and alert.
As always, your comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read these missives. Signing off from the great state of Texas.