We all have them. Some of them are small and insignificant, and others are whoppers. But whatever one is in your closet, remember one very important thing: One day, we too will perish, and we don’t want our loved ones pained further by any skeletons they may find in our closets. What’s the solution? Deal with them, get rid of them if they are physical items, talk openly about them so no one is shocked or hurt. Just get that monkey off your back and let it go.
It’s always amazing what we find in estates. Some families try to clean them out, but soon lose steam and call us in to handle it. Some families don’t even want to tackle the job to begin with and hire us from the start. We find evidence of alternate lifestyles, illegitimate children from decades ago, infidelity, disorders, reasons for a suicide, pornography addiction, etc.
These are incredibly personal issues that belong to the individuals. They have to be handled with grace and compassion, but often the shock they bring leaves families in a downward spiral. For whatever reason, through their own choices or fate, these skeletons were left behind, and I have seen some of these skeletons bring about much pain for survivors.
Each of us has a life to live however we choose. But take a good look at your home and your life and do a clean sweep to make sure there is nothing left behind that could be potentially harmful or hurtful.
When we find sensitive “skeletons,” depending on what they are, some just need to find their way to the garbage, and demand discretion. Some need never be talked about and taken to the grave. This issue is among the many gray areas we deal with in handling estates. One thing is clear: all of these that we mentioned here require kindness, compassion, and potentially, discretion. Remember, we can’t judge until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes; it’s how we handle them that makes or breaks the situation, or us.
© 2012 Julie Hall