When my dad died, I was named “executor” of his estate. I didnt even know what executor meant and I thought an “estate” was those big houses that belonged to billionaires.
Despite my ignorance, on June 24, 2009, I was quickly tossed into a whirlwind of insurance, lawyers, police reports, coroners, autopsies, taxes, credit unions, foreclosures, repossessions, credit bureaus, mortgage companies, funeral homes, and just overall craziness. From the mailman who stopped delivering mail in order “to protect the mail” (WHAT?!), to me hiring an estate lawyer based on nothing but the fact that he walked past me while I was in the courthouse, to my dad’s ex-girlfriend’s family expressing their condolences then threatening to take me to court, to me sitting on the phone for two hours with Sprint trying to get my phone number back after they cancelled my dad’s account (and my phone!), to dodging the car repo man, to the realtor in charge of selling my dad’s house unexpectedly passing away, to family members being mad about me granting my father’s wishes by not having a funeral, everything that could happen happened.
[Looking back now, it’s not funny at all how not a single, complaining family member on my dad’s side lifted a finger to help me nor dropped a quarter of spare change to help with any costs surrounding burying him yet they wanted me to go through the hassle and costs of planning a funeral. Ha! My dad helped everyone in his family in some way. I wish I could tell him that not a single one of them helped me in any way at all. He wouldn’t be surprised. They are sorry. But I digress. ]
Besides random, unexpected crying spells, the involuntary pang of sadness that comes from seeing a father with his daughter, and the mixture of sadness and anger that I feel when I think about my father not being around for these big moments in my life (my first real job, my engagement, my upcoming wedding, and many more big moments in the future), for the most part I have not allowed myself to be sad.
I didn’t have time to be sad. I had a house to empty, an apartment to find, a job to secure, a lawsuit to fend off, a crapload of bills to pay, an estate to figure out and a life to plan. No time for tears. This was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that I had things to take my mind off of the devastating situation. A curse because I think my demeanor was off-putting to a lot of people. I hate sad situations and besides I knew my newfound issues and problems were not going to solve themselves as I moped around.
The day my father died, I was in Georgia visiting my mom so I had to fly back into town immediately. A friend of mine picked me up from the airport and dropped me off at my house – the house I lived in, the house I grew up in, and the house he died in. Family and neighbors were already at the house when we pulled up. I remember drawing in my breath and bracing myself as I got out of his car. I didn’t know what to expect but I did know I wasn’t ready for what ever it was. Fast-forward to today, as I walked out of the estate lawyer’s office, I feel like I finally let that breath out.
I sent my mom a text to tell her: “Dad’s estate is finally closed.” She responded: “I know you are relieved of a burden. You did such a great job, he would be proud of you.”
I did it. God helped me tremendously through it. I am a completely different person than I was when this started. I’m more aware of the world, stronger, more independent, smarter, more confident that God is my source…and more okay with my overwhelming desire to just sit and cry about this whole thing.
And today, I cried.