The sudden death of my sister was a life-changing event for me. Her death is the primary reason I became a Probate Real Estate Agent. Or better stated, why I decided to focus on probate real estate.
April 2, 2019, marks the five (5) year anniversary of my sister’s death. She was 63 years old when she passed away.
I remember getting a call from my niece. When I picked up the phone she was crying hysterically saying, “Mom’s dead.”
To say that the news was shocking is an understatement.
It was my niece’s routine to call her mom every morning. While my sister did not drink coffee, that morning routine was what my niece called “coffee with mom”. She enjoyed her morning coffee as she discussed the plans for the day.
When my niece called her mom on the morning of April 2, 2014, my sister did not answer the phone. After repeated calls, she felt something was wrong. She called her Dad at work and told him she could not get a hold of her.
My brother-in-law left work to check on his wife. It was around 9:30 am. When he walked into the bedroom she was still in bed sleeping. As he kissed her on the forehead he sensed that she was cold. Within moments he realized she had passed away.
He called the police and then his daughter. The police arrived within minutes.
I understand that the police have a job to do. Among the jobs are to investigate. You may or may not know this, spouses are heavily investigated. What was the cause of my sister’s death? Was there foul play?
By the time my niece arrived, the police had taped off the house like it was a crime scene. My niece was not allowed into the home to see her mother.
It was at that point she called me. I do not recall a time when I felt so helpless in my life. She is in Nevada and I am in California. She was finally able to see her mom when the investigation was complete and the coroner arrived.
There are six children in my family. There are two boys and four girls. My deceased sister was the middle child. I was the sixth child.
My sister and I had what I refer to as a different relationship. We were close in certain ways and estranged in others. On her wedding day, I was her Maid of Honor. On my wedding day, she was my Matron of Honor.
Throughout our adult lives the relationship we shared as siblings living at home with our parents continued. The love was so strong at times. I felt so close to her. Other times, not so much.
In the end, she is still my sister. She always will be. That is the one constant in life and death that can never change.
We just cannot prepare for the loss of a family member or a close friend. This is especially true when a death is sudden.
People we love leave a footprint on our hearts. When they leave the earth the footprint turns into a hole. It is a void that can never be filled or replaced.
Those of us who remain on earth find a way to carry on without them. Some days, like anniversaries and birthdays, are more challenging to get through.
People ask me “Why do you do what you do?”
I’ve lost many friends and relatives over the years. My sister’s passing awakened something inside me. It was as though probate became my calling.
Probate real estate is not easy. I do what I do because I answered the call. Having answered the call I feel I am living my life with greater purpose.
Knowing what people go through when they lose a loved one, having experienced the loss of my sister, and a year later in April 2015, the loss of my mother, specializing in probate real estate choose me.
I’ve been accused of being a “vulture” preying on vulnerable people. I do not take these claims to heart. I know it comes from a place of grief, sadness, and anger. I know that because I’ve been there. The few people who have made those claims against me don’t know me. I know that most people need help. I also understand that not everyone who has lost a loved one needs to sell a home.
I’ve also been accused of being too nice. I just don’t believe that we can be too nice. The world needs more people that are kind and willing to help others. Do people sometimes take advantage? Of course, some people will. It does not change who I am or my heart’s desire to help.
I’ve witnessed families that were once united quickly divide after the death of a parent or other family member. The death of my sister changed me. The death of my mom changed me even more. I see life differently. I live life differently. My heart is vulnerable as I am willing to trust, care and love more deeply. Life is truly precious and short.
I understand the challenges people face administering an estate. I offer my specialized service IF people need to sell real estate. Real estate has been my full-time career since January 2003. It’s what I do. It is how I earn a living.
Probate real estate chose me. My clients are grateful that it did. Most people appreciate working with a trained and certified probate real estate specialist with a wealth of knowledge and experience. They also appreciate working with someone who understands what they are going through and has a compassionate heart.
I dedicate this post to my sister Joyce whose cause of death is unknown. Among all of my siblings, she was most proud of me when I transitioned from a career working in Corporate America to starting my own real estate business. Rest in Peace, Sis.