On The Day I Sold My Mother’s Home

Vested Partners A Multi-Family Office Blog

Robyn and Shelby

What I was and was not prepared for at the end of my mother’s life

Rarely does a career choice perfectly prepare you for the final illness and death of a parent.  As an elder law attorney, I was armed with the knowledge and experience I needed to help my mother as she neared the end of her life.  When my mother was diagnosed with a degenerative disease, I was well versed in how to manage her finances, choose medical providers, navigate Medicare issues, hire caregivers, and make health decisions.  And so many other things I have helped others do many times.  As an attorney, I had it under control.

As the youngest daughter of a wonderful and warm and loving mother, I was not prepared to watch my vibrant mother decline.  The woman who at age 80 still walked 10,000 steps per day could no longer take a single step unassisted.  I was not prepared for her to no longer be alive.  My brain is still processing that I watched her breathe her last breath.

Now that she is gone, as an attorney, I know how to manage her final financial affairs like I have done for others so many times.

What is different is the pain I feel at each step. Clearing her house of her possessions has been the most difficult.  The box of Christmas ornaments I have been putting on her tree since the 1970’s, and her Christmas stocking!  The old, worn pajamas I remember her wearing as I sat on her lap as a child.  The knit hat that still has a few stray hairs from the last times she wore it.  The beautiful grandmother of the bride dress still hanging in her closet.

In the past I have met with grieving family members on many occasions.  I was mindful of their grief, and represented them with kindness and sympathy.  Now I will forever understand the profound grief of losing a wonderful mother.

And so today, the day I signed all of the paperwork to sell my mother’s home, the home that she designed and built to all of her tastes, I am grieving.  When I thought there were no more tears, I am again mourning the beautiful person who was my mother.  I will carry this feeling in my heart, knowing that some of my clients will be in mourning of the beautiful people in their lives.


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