Saturday, March 14, 2009

The State of the Estate

In just a couple of weeks it will be four months since Mom died.


We've been working on the dis-assembly of the house almost every Saturday since the first of the year save one when I couldn't face it, one when it snowed too much, one when Sis had a funeral to go to, and this one. When we don't work on a Saturday we try to make up for it during the week, as we will this coming Tuesday evening.

You'd think we'd be done by now. And we are much closer than when we first began. But done?

Get real.

About a month ago, the doctor that took care of Mom lost his mother-in-law. His wife and her sisters had the house completely done in two weeks.


Somehow that seems obscene to me. To take the belongings of a lifetime and go through them while savoring memories, crying a little, missing a lot, and being both fearful of it ending and wishing it was over at the same time...that is in its own way honoring the one you loved in life and still love in death.

At least in my opinion. If, of course, you have the luxury of time.

However, there are times when that isn't possible. When my cousin lost her teenage son, she had to pack up his belongings quickly so that his brother, with whom he shared a room, could be in that room without any "ghosts" around. On the opposite end of the spectrum, others have told me of not being able to pack up anything belonging to a loved one a year or more after they're gone because they just aren't ready.

All of us go through this differently, in our own time. And ours just happens to be a bit slow.

We decided it would be a good idea for us to give away a good part of what was left to someone who really needed it. Today someone who had been through a rehabilitation program came and picked up enough furniture and household goods to get a fresh start in life. Granted, it wasn't top-of-the-line stuff, but it helped. And I think Mom would have approved.

The thing is, the house is getting emptier and emptier. We're taking it slowly on purpose. Deliberately. One reason is because we enjoy the time we spend together. No one else shares the memories we do. Another is that the more gradual it is, the less it seems to hurt. And we don't want to see it end...but we want to see it end.

The next big decision we need to make is whether or not to use an auction house to sell the contents and the house. We won't have enough for just an auction of the contents. However, if we use an auction company, we will have to let them take both a percentage of the sale of the contents and pay them an additional fee to auction the house. If the house doesn't sell for what we believe the minimum price should be, we're out the additional fee. The other choice would be to run our own estate sale, then list the house with a realtor.

But this is all something to think about tomorrow...or the next day....or the next....


Theresa said...

I'm first time reader. So sorry about your loss. I love your blog design.

You are so right about grieving....everyone does it different. I tend to go all out and get into it at first, letting myself get really depressed for a short time, then letting it go of it all.

Linds said...

You take as long as you need to take Chris. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your sister to spend time together and remember too. Your way. You will get there. Speed somehow seems like amputation, doesn't it. That would not be my way either. Heaven knows it has not been so far.