It’s not ‘goodbye’, it’s just ‘so long’. If only that were always the case. The hard truth is that some ‘goodbyes’ come with an overwhelming knowledge that ‘so long’ just ain’t gonna cut it. When you get to be fifty-plus and if you’re lucky enough to have one or both parents still around, you are probably keenly aware that there is a big goodbye looming, one that no one wants to say or hear.

As hard as that is, it’s the cleaning up of what’s left behind with its attendant memories that can be the proverbial salt in the freshly cut bereavement wound. Everyone leaves an estate behind. For some, it is a massive legacy of real estate holdings, a chunky stock portfolio, vintage cars, and fine jewels. For others, it is a pair of chewed-up flip flops and a pipe. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle; Goldilocks would have a field day. Whatever yours is, it’s seldom too soon and often too late to think about all you’ve got and to whom or to what your wealth will be distributed. It is unfortunate that most of us leave a few loose ends and that their tying up is left in the hands of grieving children even if they are capable adults.

The distribution of one’s estate is quite literally the ‘going out of business sale’ for one’s life. You’re that little bricks and mortar store that popped up on the corner. You grew and grew. You ‘franchised’ yourself. Stores just like you popped up all over the place. Business boomed. You expanded. And then came the eventual decline. Tenuous analogies notwithstanding, we generally do, as we live, acquire and amass. At the end of it all, we have a collection of…well…stuff. The question is what to do with all that stuff.

At Goshenite Senior Services they know that the key to a successful estate plan and sale is one that is as stress-free for the family as possible. To that end, Goshenite recognizes that compassion is paramount, and that it comes through patience and professionalism. 

Let’s be clear. Most of the items involved in an estate are the actual and substantial ones—the jewels, the flip flops. These, obviously, come with a price tag. And then there are the pieces that may be of little value to most but of immense sentimental significance to family members. These are the photos, the diaries, and the letters. And finally, there are the intangibles—the memories that are private and unique, monetizable only when those little chips that are coming finally get implanted in our heads. But that’s for another article.

So, when a loved one passes and there is an estate of any size to deal with, take a moment to assess the situation including what the deceased wanted and the impact dealing with their worldly possessions will have on you and the others tasked with the job of dispersing them. For some, the responsibility is overwhelming. There is accounting and economics involved. And mathematics is not for the heartbroken. If you feel that the assignment is beyond your means, there is help.

Hart and Kaufman wrote a play in 1936 called You Can’t Take It With You. It played for 838 performances on Broadway. A decent run. Fittingly, like everything else does, it came to an end. The final curtain closes on all of us. When it does, sometimes the supporting cast need a hand tearing down the set.