My Honey's dad never threw anything out. This has been a blessing and a curse. Fortunately, he was far more organized than I ever gave him credit for, so we have (so far) been able to locate all the vital documents we've needed to locate, and in a timely manner. We found a will, we found bank statements, we found tax assessments on his two properties, we figured out who his insurance broker was, we (finally!) found the mail key...it's like a scavenger hunt with a partially complete list of items.
I can't help but draw comparisons between My Honey's experience in dealing with his dad's affairs and what mine will be like when the time comes for me and my brother to deal with my mom's. In the majority of ways, the experiences are completely opposite: she's already arranged and paid for her cremation; she has organized her finances down to the last minute detail; I know who her lawyer and accountant are; we don't have to dispose of any assets because her husband will continue to live in the house. By contrast, My Honey has to make some very important decisions about what to do with the two houses he now owns in a northern Ontario city several thousand kilometers from his current residence.
One thing these two people will have in common in death is that they will have touched the lives of countless people in ways one only learns about after their passing. Hearing the stories this week about My Honey's dad has been wonderful and insightful. You know a person usually only in one or two slices of their life--when they die you get the opportunity to connect with people from the other slices and see that person in a whole new way. This is what I look forward to when my mom has gone--hearing people's stories about her and knowing that she had an impact on so many people in such a diversity of ways.
My grieving process for my mom started 3 years ago; My Honey's started 7 days ago. In spite of this, his strength and desire to do what was right for his dad have humbled and impressed me. I am also impressed by his family and how they have deferred to him on nearly every decision and gave him the support he needed without hijacking the proceeding to pursue their own agendas or further the strife that has existed within the family for the last several years. Again, I didn't give enough credit.
My Honey has a monumental task ahead of him, and I hope and plan to be there for him every step of the way. I have the utmost confidence in him and his ability to make the right decisions for himself because he knows who he is and what he needs and wants to get out of this tragedy. He said to me the other day, "When you have a child the only certainty is that there will be one of two outcomes--either he will mourn you or you will mourn him." In some respects, I think My Honey has been preparing for this his whole life.