What every organization or department wants from me is a pound of flesh or two. Doesn’t matter what country.

Of course it all began with a death. My “father” died in Germany. But he’s an American. It got pretty confusing but I was determined to do this myself. Hubris? Perhaps. But one shouldn’t need a lawyer to make it through ordinary life events.

It taught me patience, a character thingie I was lacking. Most requests for yet another piece of paper were met by me taking a deep breath and rolling with it. Even Stephen suggested at times to get a lawyer. NO! This was now a challenge. I was the dog with the bone who couldn’t let go.

After 9 months plus I’m almost at the end. Sounds like a pregnancy, except pregnancy was much more predictable and enjoyable.

I thought I submitted the last documents to the bank, including an Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung; yes that is a word. But the reply should have been predictable: one more piece of paper. No problem, by now I had every paper imaginable and off it went.

On Friday I get another notice for one more piece of information. Again, no problem since I already had sent it to them. And then today happened.

I need more papers. I screamed. Perhaps there is life after death and Jack is having a good time somewhere taunting me. This is what he would do if he could. And why else are there so many absurd requests?

Here is the latest. I was born to a young single mom. My name at birth was Marianne Rohlederer. She then married and at 14 I was adopted by her husband Jack Iames. Now my last name was Iames. When I married Stephen I changed my last name to Greenberg.

The email from the bank I received this morning asks for my mother’s death certificate that I can’t find and might not even have since no one ever asked. But I have a document that names her as deceased. Fingers crossed.

Get this though: “One more question for you, was your maiden or married name Rosenberg? We see a Marianna Rosenberg mentioned in the Will and wanted to make sure it was you. If so, could we also please have a copy document such as a marriage or divorce decree showing the name change? “

Is this a case of Greenberg, Goldberg, Rosenberg, what is the difference? Or are they serious? And now I’m doubting their legitimacy. What if they want all this information to rip me off? Or someone at the bank? They have just about every document needed to take over my identity. (I just called to make sure this is all legit. So far it seems to be.)

The latest documents are on their way. What could go wrong? Everything!

I’ll keep you posted.