When we see signs for estate sales, the excitement level goes up! Well, that is until this past weekend. We stumbled upon an estate sale in a prestigious neighborhood. The street was lined with cars, the house was a mansion! I couldn’t wait to get inside and see what was for sale!
I had already spent some time scoping out the place and was amazed at the quality of merchandise! As I walked into the master bedroom, I spotted an enormous table of designer bags (Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi are a few of the big labels that jumped out at me). The prices were low for such high quality bags and I was seriously considering a purse and matching wallet (calculating in my head what type of profit I could make on eBay) when I overheard the following conversation.
Shopper: What is the deal with this estate sale? This house and the stuff is top quality! Why on earth would they be selling everything?
Estate Worker: The family has to sell everything, they are a younger couple and the husband just died unexpectedly. They have small children, too.
Shopper: Oh my goodness, that is absolutely tragic. I am so sorry to hear.
Me: Well, that definitely puts a damper on things. (I was thinking to myself why on earth would you even ask that question).
I felt a huge lump form in my throat. At that very moment, it went from being a random estate sale where I was hoping to snag a few bargains to a place of pure sadness. I started picturing a young family spending time together in their beautiful home. I imagined the laughter and squeals of delight as daddy walked through the door after a long day at work. I imagined their perfectly decorated Christmas tree and the amazing holiday meal they probably shared with their extended families in their gorgeous dining room.
Based on the clothing hanging in the closets, there were three little ones ranging from an infant to around age 5. My heart hurt for those little children. Their little world had been torn upside down. None of the material things mattered one bit, in an instant life as they knew it changed. I couldn’t help but think about the heartache and confusion they must be going through and I was beyond depressed. I felt guilty shopping in their home, so I left without buying anything. I know the goal of the sale is to sell everything so the family can move on (how on earth do you move on from something like this), but I knew that if I purchased something then my heart would hurt every single time I looked at the item.
I never really gave estate sales much thought before that day, I mean usually I can tell immediately that the home belonged to an elderly person and assumed they probably passed on or just needed to downsize. But that has all changed! I won’t stop going to estate sales, but I hope my mind can stop wondering what the story is behind the sale!