Dear Crabby, Who Gets the Grandfather Clock?

Dear Crabby,

My mom recently passed away and the pain of losing her is still fresh. But that hasn’t stopped people from asking for something personal of hers or asking if we’re gonna sell this or that. Is there any etiquette for this sort of thing?

Miranda Moneypenny

Dear Miranda Moneypenny,

First, let me say I’m sorry for your loss. Losing someone you love never gets easier—especially when it comes to our parents. Secondly, the etiquette in this situation is for others to keep their traps firmly shut! Seriously. My granddaddy Crabby had a boat. Nothing fancy, but a nice, respectable fishing boat he bought when he retired so he could catch salmon. After he passed away my dad and his DearCrabbybrothers decided instead of trying to figure out who would keep it, store it, and all that nonsense, they would just sell it. So they did. Next thing you know a cousin finds out and starts an argument at a family reunion because they didn’t offer him the boat! Now mind you this cousin never went fishing and never said he was interested in the boat. In fact, he couldn’t even swim! I don’t know what it is about death that makes otherwise sane people lose all sense of right and wrong. The way I look at it is the ‘stuff’ belongs to your immediate family. If it belonged to the ‘Smiths,’ then it stays with the ‘Smiths.’ Simple as that. Whether you sell it all and split the money, or decide to bestow others with treasured mementos, or even if you decide to keep it all, that’s your prerogative. Instead of thinking they’re owed something, people ought to actually spend time with each other before they’re no longer around and create memories. I have a hammer that was my dad’s. It’s great for fixin’ things and squashing the occasional bug. But you know what the best feature of that hammer is? It reminds me of all the times I spent building things with my dad. At the risk of sounding sappy, those memories are worth more than any material possession.

So stand your ground and don’t take crap from anyone. And if that doesn’t work, put police ‘do not cross’ tape around everything… and maybe a few booby traps, too!

Hope that helps!
Dear Crabby

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