Going through our late Dad’s (and Mom’s) belongings is very interesting. For instance, what was formerly merely an item, an object, or a thing, is now an artifact, and has therefore gained a value it did not have before.
Even things they owned — and did not use — are precious. The glasses that were only for company. The handkerchiefs neatly folded in the sachet. How can I just give these things away when they meant so much to our parents that they kept them, unused, for years?
Someday soon I will realize that grasping these objects is not going to bring back my parents, not even for a moment. But not now. Now I will put the items into boxes and store them. The irony of this is not lost on me.
But there is a lesson here for me. If I don’t use something I will give it away. It has to be that way. There is no sense in moving into a smaller, simpler home if I don’t adopt a smaller, simpler life. Dragging all my belongings with me like some great carapace is not going to protect me or nurture me.
As a side issue, we found a file with all the important papers in it carefully locked in the strong-box my parents kept. There was even a list of things to be done when they died (we followed it to the letter). But there was no will for my father. Oh, there was a copy of the will. But no original. The copy had the name of the lawyer who had drawn it up. He moved away many years ago. I googled his name and found his ex-partner in the law practice. He had a number of an office where the original lawyer worked. Or at least where he used to work. But they gave me his cell number and eventually I was able to leave a message.
There were two things that made this “not a big deal”. One was that everything was in my sister’s and my names. So we could move ahead with things that had to be done. The other was that when we showed up at the government offices and told the nice clerk our father had passed away, she said she was sorry, and then asked if we wanted to perform a will search. So apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence.
We’ve heard from the lawyer who has the will and he will send it to me. But I will a) update my will, and b) organize my papers to make sure I can find everything when I need it.
This method looks like it could work for me, as I am an unrepentant “piler”. And I will go paperless as much as I can.