So, my dear and long-time friend, who is experienced in estate matters, came over to Dad’s house to help me assess how to clean out everything.
As gently as she could, she told me that there was very little there of any intrinsic value. Maybe the silver. The rest would essentially cost money to remove.
Of course it was true. But it was hard to hear. My parents’ possessions are just like the detritus of any other people’s lives, and often laid bare in garage sales.
But these were not any people. These were my parents.
And these were not just any possessions. They cluttered a home and carry all of the appurtenant emotional value — and baggage — of more than 50 years.
And some, like PanAm playing cards from our 1969 family trip to Europe, are — to us — priceless.
Other than masterpieces of art (which themselves gain and lose value according to prevailing tastes), I guess things only have the value you give them.
And, when you are gone, they are only as valuable as the good memories they evoke.