In our line of work, my husband John and I deal with grief in a lot of different forms. Some people are sad, some angry, some even relieved. I’ve learned that there’s no right or wrong way to go about the process, because it’s different for everyone. However, the one emotion that all of our clients involved in an estate sale have in common is the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Recently we met with a lovely couple who were trying to clear the contents of the husband’s parent’s estate. He was an only child and was having a very difficult time with the process.
He asked that we deal mostly with his wife as it was all very hard for him. He didn’t like going over to the home, because it was just too overwhelming. Every phone call and decision was made by or through the wife leading up to the sale.
John and I began work in the home on a Monday and worked feverishly the first two days. As our procedure, anything found that is even remotely personal is placed in a bathroom and the family looks at the items to decide if they will keep or sell them.
I phoned the wife and told her photos and papers were piling up and she may want to come over to go through them. She said she’d take care of it so her husband didn’t have to be in the home. A day later, she texted me explaining she had gone over and retrieved the items. She said we were making great strides and she was very pleased with the progress.
The next day as we continued to work in the home, the front door opened slowly and the husband walked in. He hesitantly asked if he could walk around, explaining that his wife was so pleased with the progress that she felt he should see it for himself.
He walked from room to room commenting on not only how different it looked, but about the items he hadn’t seen in years. I could see the sense of relief on his face.
He stopped me at one point and said, “Amanda, I cannot thank you enough. You have no idea the weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders. I wish I could take a picture and show it to my parents, they would really love the way everything looks.”
To me, this moment was so much more than the work we do as estate planning professionals. It wasn’t about our ability to sort housewares or books, or our knowledge of furniture placement. No, this moment was about honoring a life that once was. It allowed a son to move forward with peace.
The physical relief I saw on this man’s face is why we do what we do. It’s why we get up every day and why we sort through mountains of trash, closets of clothes, cabinets of dishes and attics of mouse poop.
I’m proud to serve our clients and honored by the lives we touch. I’m grateful to those who come to us for estate service assistance, as well as those who shop our sales. Without each of you, our work would not be possible. I can, without question, say that I’m right where life trained me to be and doing what God had planned for me all along.