So my boyfriend’s family home burned down. Just like that without warning or a calendar alert, without a day off before or after. Sometimes shit happens.
I learned that people come to your house when it burns down – not just the police, fire department, ambulance, and casual observers. About maybe 15 seconds after the house finished burning down people started showing up and trying to sell us things. Some apparently bill through the insurance, others do not, but they want us to one way or another pay them to board up the house, etc. I had no idea this was something you had to deal with. Who comes up to you while you are still trying to remember where you put your frontal lobe and what insurance do you have and tries to sell you stuff?? I have no idea to the merit of these people. I am not positive of what they do or how they bill you or anything. I attempted googling but “who the fuck are these people trying to sell me shit while my house is still smoking” did not turn up anything productive.
We had about twelve people come to the house and one message me on my private Facebook all saying the same things. My ability to be polite and courteous with these people quickly drained. One man walked up and tapped on my window. I rolled it down, smiled sweetly, and proceeded to tell him that if he did not get back into his car right now I would get out and EAT HIM. These people had me in such a bad mood that I nearly drove off the Red Cross woman thinking she was one of them.
I found out that as a loving human being that cares for the family who have just lost everything you have to step up and do a lot. I talked with Red Cross; I talked with the non emergency police line, and posted everyones cloths sizes so we could get them something to wear; I set up a GoFundMe so we could get donations so everyone could get back on their feet; I planned drop off locations for clothes. There is a lot of calling you have to do after a fire.
The best thing I learned is that communities can do really astounding things! We had church members at our house with plywood boarding everything up before the day was done; I was completely overwhelmed from the amount of donations – both money and clothes – that came pouring in. We had neighbors start a watch to find the two cats that got out but needed brought home.
I feel like I learn over and over that if you put your trust in the right people they will never let you down.