Being the executor of a will - the person responsible for carrying out the requests of the decedent - can be very challenging, especially if bearer of that task is intimately involved. Its more than enough to cope with your own emotions and begin the rites of grief when someone transitions, let alone permit others the same grace; its altogether another thing to dive into rapid decision-making and organization of a life celebration, then shift focus and muster the strength and stamina required to be an executor. This is the time when friendships and hugs matter most.
I'd received Leah in my office a day or two before she returned for a second session. With a recently deceased relative, there was a lot going on in her family. Leah also had the massive role of executor in addition to her responsibility as a caretaker, provider and superwoman.
The thing of is, Leah she wasn't particularly chummy and affectionate with the decedent. In life, they spent most of their relationship with a respectful tolerance of each other, rather than a strong bond motivated by what did bring them together: a common loved-one.
Leah's first session was healing and insightful. The decedent showed up immediately with a brand of moxie that I imagine could put some people off. I, for one, appreciated her candor; It made for clear communication. In that space the two of them could work some very important things out. Her reason for returning soon thereafter was also highly cooperative and practical.
You see, the decedent was an elderly woman, a notorious pack rat that had lived in the same 5,500+ sq. ft (510.+ sq. m) house for decades. The combination of those attributes has but one result: an overwhelming amount of stuff.
Whose job is it to clean, sort through, dispatch items and find critical documents in that veritable labyrinth? The lone stoic overworked and emotionally taxed will executor.
It was nice to see Leah so soon. She look more human, less pale and energetically lighter, She was alleviated during the fist session from many of life's situational stressors, though a burning question remained...
Understanding the house of the decedent was filled with stacks of papers, magazines, stuff - like a George Carlin routine - stuff! it was easy to feel along with the near Sisyphean task - Leah wanted to know where the legal documents were. Before the question left Leah's lips, the decedent was answering.
"It's in a Tupperware container," I said.
The decedent was showing me her kitchen and her Tupperware container and where the Tupperware container was placed in the kitchen. I said as much to Leah. "She's showing me the kitchen and an old Tupperware container....It's in a Tupperware container in the kitchen."
To state the obvious: the important legal documents needed to move forward with the descendant's last wishes were not in a safe-deposit box, a home safe, a lock-box, with a lawyer, in a file cabinet, in any filing system, not in a desk drawer, not tucked away in a Torah.... They were in the kitchen in an old (circa late 70's early 80's line) Tupperware container.
Leah later confirmed to me that she found the hugely critical documents in Tupperware in the kitchen exactly where I was told to tell her she'd find them.
During her sessions, Leah also made peace with the decedent. She gleaned insight from some of the personality conflicts between the two and cultivated understanding and appreciation for why she was asked/chosen to be the executor. It was healing, an incredible step in personal growth and helped bring closure to a significant era.
To her own understanding and admission, Leah could have easily spent months of precious time, energy and resources, time away from family, career/income-earning, and pursuit of her own goals, while looking for a needle in a haystack while trying to determine what to do when things weren't so clearly laid out.
Within only two valuable sessions, and consequently two great meetings with the decedent, Leah was alleviated with a tremendous sense of mutual compassion and appreciation, and she was renewed with support to move forward with great ease, clarity and confidence.