When I decided to become a REALTOR®, I foolishly thought that every transaction would be about helping people see their dreams come true and celebrate every closing. For the most part that is the majority of my business but there’s another side that many don’t think about and no wonder, who wants to talk about, much less think about what we’ll do when a parent passes away?
Last year I got a call from a friend I’ve literally known my entire life. He and his wife are the best friends of my older sister and I was born into that relationship. Hearing your friend’s parent has passed is heartbreaking but when the conversation evolves to them asking you if you can help sell that parent’s home, you’re immediately humbled and all the usual excited chatter of “what to do next” is silenced by the grief of the conversation.
I will forever be thankful that Mike and his brothers, Rick and Pat trusted me to handle their mother’s estate. In the sadness there was healing, there was closure and they allowed me to participate in that journey. I spent more time with them than I had in years and being there for them as their “go to girl” fed my soul as so often when one passes, we want to help but don’t know how. Taking on the responsibilities of an overwhelming task of “where do we start?”, coordinating projects and guiding them through the process gave me a different sort of purpose and I hope that allowed them the space they needed to deal with their own grief and loss.
To say it was easy would be trite. It wasn’t. There are different emotions, though all home sales are fraught with emotions, this one was different. There wasn’t a new home purchase to look forward too for the sellers. That’s usually the angle we remind our clients to focus on when they’re having a hard time saying goodbye to a home. It’s definitely more somber and more final. Being invited into that private world of another human being is humbling. I became a better person for it. I witnessed family members come and go, each with a story, each with a loss. I watched 3 brothers come together and I even witnessed a few smiles along the way. In the end, the home sold and a new family will make it their own and create memories there. The cycle of life of a home.
There was no popping the cork on champagne or celebrating. There were hugs, there were ‘thank you’s’. There was closure. There was a silent understanding that everyone did what needed to be done and that life would go on. And it does. One day at a time.