Presidents are sometimes evaluated on their performance in the first one hundred days in office… Today, I look back and realize it’s been 100 days since my father’s death.
I knew losing a parent would be difficult, but I never imagined just how much burden would come with it. Let’s review, shall we?
Dad had several houses that he rented out to paying tenants, or temporarily provided to family members who were having a difficult time and needed help. Upon his death, it became my job to get all of those people out of the houses and sell them, then invest the proceeds, to ensure an income stream for my dad’s widow. I’ve posted previously about these situations — terminally ill squatters, blind old people, long-time tenants, etc. — but one by one I was the heartless landlord who forced them out of their homes. Awful, but necessary.
As of today, I’ve sold three houses and a fourth is scheduled to close tomorrow. I sold the house my dad lived in after the divorce, which I called home for many months. I sold the first home I ever bought, which I eventually abandoned and signed over to my father. I sold the house my dad and his widow lived in for many years, and tomorrow, I sell the house that he died in. One by one, these houses, full of memories with my dad, have been turned over to strangers.
Then there’s the relocating of my dad’s widow. Before Dad died, he and his widow agreed that she would move to one of the houses after his death (and after the tenant who was living there was evicted). It required a professional cleaning crew on the new house — the previous tenant had left it absolutely disgusting with garbage and dog droppings everywhere — and a professional cleaning crew on the house she was vacating. And it required two visits, a month apart, from movers to get everything out of the old house and into the new house. But she’s there now, and has plenty of time to go through all the boxes and deal with her stuff.
Then there’s all of the neverending mess with legal, financial, and ongoing logistical stuff that comes with someone dying, and someone left behind who needs a lot of things taken care of. There are utilities to move, and life insurance, and cars to purchase, and fiascos with auto insurance, and homeowners insurance to cancel and/or move, and taxes to file, and the occasional stolen vehicle to report to the police… It never ends. I don’t think a single week has gone by, in more than three months, without some sort of new semi-crisis to deal with.
And of course, in the midst of all of this, a guy’s still gotta work.
The biggest challenge by far, though, has been dealing with my own grieving process. But, frankly, that warrants its own post. Stay tuned for more on that subject 😜