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We’ve heard this story before.

Two people you’ve never seen show up to your house with eviction papers.

They tell you they’ll wait while you gather your things.

You are then forced to numbly go through your home and clear out. While two strangers wait for you outside.

Where will you go?

What will you do with all your stuff once you manage to get it outside?

What will become of your home?

It doesn’t feel real.

You’ve known for months this could happen.

You hoped it wouldn’t.

You didn’t really believe that it could.

And then it does.

And here you are.

Moving through the rooms in your home for the last time.

What happens next is important

Many people have had to endure this moment.

Bob and I did not. We were determined to avoid this situation and did everything in our power to find new buyers (other than the bank) for our house. And we did… at the very last second. We sold our house in a short sale and were able to avoid this eviction scenario.

You can only imagine though, how many times this scenario has played out across our foreclosure-plagued country.

If you’re lucky, family will take you in. Ours did. Again, we were lucky.

But if you deny the possibility of this moment, if you ignore it. If you pretend it can’t possibly happen… until it does… you likely have nowhere to go.

I can’t imagine what that must be like.

How unimaginably difficult.

How gut-wrenchingly painful.

Tear your heart out and hold it beating in your hands kind of pain.

Most people find a way to go on. They dig deep within. They finally accept the offers of help. They finally let people in and allow them to help. They go on. I don’t know how, but they do.

Most.

Some don’t.

Some opt out of life at this point.

Like this small business owner in Charleston, West Virginia.

We will never know why, truly why, he did what he did.

Maybe he had nowhere to go after the eviction.

Maybe he was just too heartsick from the reality of losing everything.

We’ll never know why.

We only this:

Approximately thirty minutes after two men from the Sherriff”s showed up at his house with eviction papers, Mr. Joe Timmons took his own life. He did this while the process servers waited for him outside his home. They showed up, handed him the eviction notice, told him to pack up his things while they waited.

They asked him how it was going.

He said he needed another minute.

Then they heard the shot.

The sound of him tapping out for good.

The foreclosure crisis continues to cause crisis whether we acknowledge it or not.

This still happens.

I happened upon this story today and it broke my heart to realize this still happens.

I guess I just thought that because foreclosure is more common now and the stigma is dramatically lessened, that foreclosure-related suicides weren’t happening anymore.

The article tells us nothing about this man.

Maybe he suffered from depression.

Maybe this was the tipping point.

Maybe it had nothing to do with losing his house.

I don’t know.

What I believe is this:

In the case of foreclosures and losing your home and all assets, it doesn’t have to come to this.

You can help!

This is a reminder.

There are still people out there suffering in silence.

They are struggling.

Did this man’s friends/colleagues/family even know he was fighting foreclosure?

Maybe not. And that’s a hard situation. Because…

How do we help those in need when we don’t even know they’re in need?

This is why if you are someone just hanging on, I implore you to share with the people in your life. Let them in.

Don’t fight foreclosure alone.

If someone in your life is struggling, reach out to them.

I get why you don’t want to.

It’s awkward.

No one wants to talk about money. No one wants to talk about other people’s money problems.

What on earth would you say?

  • You say, “I’m here for you.”
  • You say, “I don’t have it all figured out either. But right now, things are good for us and we can help.”

What do you do?

There are so many things you can do that would make a difference.

You could:

  • Give them a gift certificate to a grocery store
  • Make them a casserole
  • Invite them over
  • Go for a walk and just talk
  • Share positive outcome stories with them.
  • Be kind.

I know making someone a casserole seems like a small thing, but it’s not. In our case, our friend Jami made us a lasagna and we ate that lasagna for weeks. It saved us so much money when we needed that kind of help the most.

I know it’s awkward, but GET OVER IT.

You could save a life.

You never know where people are at mentally and emotionally when they are going through something like this.

The smallest gesture can make the difference.

If this is you

If you have been served with a foreclosure notice…

If you are hiding this information from the people in your lives…

If you’re paralyzed and feel incapable of going on…

Please please please don’t let it come to this.

It doesn’t have to.

My husband and I lost everything and we found a way to turn that crisis into a defining moment in our lives. It wasn’t easy.

Where there moments where we thought we couldn’t go on? Yes.

You’re not alone.

But it doesn’t have to come to this.

This could be your “crisistunity.” (Crisistunity = Homer Simpson word that combines crisis and opportunity. Thanks to David Dower for reminding me of this perfect word smash.)

I don’t want to sound trite. I know the pain you’re experiencing.

Just know this:

IT GETS BETTER

I promise.

One more thing you could do for yourself or someone you know who is struggling right now… you could give them this book…. you might have heard about it. It’s called, LOVE IN THE TIME OF FORECLOSURE.

It’s about triumph over present day crises affecting tens of millions over at least the last six years – foreclosure, bankruptcy, job loss, marital struggle – losing everything.
A real life couple’s raw and revealing account as it happens. How they conquer it all together through love and partnership.  A vulnerable confession of private situations and conversations anyone can appreciate.
All laid out in an entertaining and enlightening way in this few hour read.
It’s an eBook. It’s available on Amazon, Google Books, or Barnes & Noble’s website.
I promise it’s uplifting.
And it’s much easier to read than scrolling back through the archives here.
Keep on being good to each other.
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