People can you make sure you have your affairs in order before you die please? Go and get your will and your funeral plans and the name of your solicitor and put it in a big bright envelope with HERE I AM, LOOK AT ME written on the front then put it in the top drawer of your kitchen or your office drawer or a filing cabinet or somewhere someone can find it.
Especially if you’re going to turn out to be a hoarder.
Because we’ve discovered that Daz’s recently departed father Errol was a hoarder. We had suspicions because over the last couple of years he wouldn’t let any of the kids visit him at home. He’d never let anyone in the house and when Daz went to see him last year and said he’d stay there the night Errol said no they’d stay in a Motel.
But we had no idea of the scale of it. What a terrible mental illness. I must admit I am a fan of the tv show Hoarders so I wasn’t too shocked but Daz just can’t get his head around the whole concept. The policewoman who broke down the door and found his body doesn’t know how he was even getting in and out of the house to get to his room. Immediately inside the front door the 8ft high piles of boxes and bags began and they had to climb over them to find him. Daz has been working there cleaning for two days now and he said his legs are so sore it feels as if he’s spent the weekend mountain climbing.
There’s no rubbish in there it’s all mainly clothes and alcohol and shoes, belts, socks, undies. All still with the tags on and in packets. It’s like he went to the shops and thought – football jerseys. Why not get ten football jerseys. All different teams. Then I’ll just take them home and throw the bag on the floor and never look at them again. And then I’ll go back and do it again next week. And the week after that, and that, and that. These things cost over $100 each. And shirts. You’ve never seen so many shirts. A dozen of the same, all with tags on, in the bags, on the floor. And scotch and bourbon. Boxes and boxes of it. Light bulbs. Daz tells me that no one in the family will ever have to buy a light globe again.
And then when the house is so full that you can’t get into it anymore, start filling up the cars that are sitting on the front lawn.
Funny though, yesterday Daz was outside sorting clothes and shoes out of one of the cars and the old chinese lady who lives across the road came over and stood there for about half an hour watching. Then she asked if she could have a pair of shoes for her son and Daz said – go for it. So she took a pair and toddled off home then turned up five minutes later because she’d locked herself out of the house and Daz had to go over and break into a window and let her in. Then about an hour later she turned up again and said – and when you’ve finished taking all those things out, I can put my things in. And Daz said – No man, nothing is going in there. And she said – I haven’t got room for all my clothes so I’ll put them in there. lol. Anyway he’d had to get the NRMA around to break into the car so it couldn’t be locked again and he just rang and told me that when he turned up at the house this morning the clothes were all out on the lawn and someone had taken the battery out of the car and I said – it was probably the chinese lady. And he said – she’s here right now watching me again.
Anyway the reason he was looking through the car is because they’re looking for paperwork. And it’s going to be bloody hard to find amongst all that stuff. Errol told one of the girls that he’d organised his funeral but no one knows where and there’s no big handy LOOK AT ME envelope sitting around on a table. We have no idea who his solicitor is. But he does appear to have kept every single piece of paperwork and mail he ever received over the past twenty years so hopefully it’s in there somewhere. It’s just a matter of finding it. So the kids can’t really just get in there and toss stuff out, they have to look through every single envelope. We found $1,400.00 in an envelope on Friday. That’ll go towards cleaners and getting cars towed. There’s also been about $1000 in old paper notes so far lying around as well. And we think his mothers rosary beads which was a nice find. They are just lovely and will be something special for one of the girls.
Oh and there was a gun. Daz found a gun and bullets in there. He spoke to the policewoman and she said to drop it into a station. She said – but put it in a bag, just don’t walk in there with it in your bloody hand or you’re likely to get shot. So he was stuck in traffic on the way there and talking to me on his phone and I said imagine if you get pulled over for talking on the phone and they find the gun in your car. Bloody hell, we’d see him on the late news, cuffed and on the ground. Which would be kind of funny. He said he remembers Errol buying the gun over thirty years ago. Anyway apparently there’s another one in the house somewhere. His ex rang and told them to keep an eye out for it.
It’s such a strange illness. It must be terribly confusing for the people who have it. And it makes his whole death seem even sadder and lonelier. And it’s pretty awful for his kids because he has no wife or partner so it’s up to them to sort through this whole mess.
So get things in order. And if you have this illness get some help.
Now I’m off to search for a wrecker to come and take these cars away before the chinese woman moves into one of them.