Not long ago, I bought my fourth new car in 25 years. There were a few quivery moments when I wondered, “Am I getting the best deal?” “Should I wait another year?” But all in all, the process had become almost ordinary. Except for the two-foot long contract, I could have been buying a washing machine.
The older you get and the more experiences you have, the more the path to the final outcome feels familiar. Like driving around a city a few years after you’ve moved there, recognizing a street corner and thinking, “Oh yeah, I was lost here once,” and then confidently pulling away, knowing exactly the way home now.
Except when parents enter the final phases of their lives, nothing is familiar. Because no matter how long you’ve lived, you’ve never lived without them.
Whether you’re dealing with their memory or dealing with all their stuff—financial, tangible and emotional—you’re at an unfamiliar street corner, in a state you’ve never visited, with few signposts and no GPS. You’ll think you should be able to find the route home faster. But why, when it’s so different?
Wouldn’t it be great to have some information in advance, or at least, in the nick of time?
That’s the purpose of this blog, to share what I’ve learned about estate sales and insurance policies and just clearing through stuff when you live a thousand miles away. I also discuss my experience of grief, and how the process thumbed its nose at Psych 101’s neat timelines, as well as the hope and new sense of purpose that can emerge on the other side.
Because most of us will have to do this. It would be nice to have a map.
© 2012 The Responsible One