Between everything else, we are trying to pack and move house, and of course, this means getting rid of some of the stuff we have been needlessly collecting. My wife and I have been pretty good over the last few years however, so there isn't too much excess - other than baby toys and clothes, as well as some old shoes and clothes of our own.
We aren't really trinket people.
However, I was in a meeting with a client and we were talking about the things we collect. He was telling how his father collects old oil lanterns and has over a thousand of them and once his father passes, he doesn't know what he will do with them. While a labor of love for his father, there is very little value for my client.
It is interesting to think about these kinds of collections that are so important during life, so useless after if other people weren't part of the process. Comic book collections worth thousands, sold or given away for nothing, camera equipment, tools, stamps, train sets and all kinds of other stuff that for one reason or another, people find important during life to collect and develop.
After death, those left behind do not have the same connection - but I am sure that they would want the monetary value if they could claim it. A wad of cash sitting in the basement wouldn't be discarded, but the same monetary amount held in comics might be sold at a fraction of the value - no one takes 10,000 dollars cash to a shop and sells it for 1000.
Most people aren't interested in the hobbies of others or the value of them enough while the person is alive to really understand. For example, if I was to die today, I wonder if my wife would ever get around to learning how to trade crypto - so far, she hasn't. She understands that there is value here, but this is my hobby and it keeps me out of trouble - she hasn't really delved into what it all means.
While I don't have a great deal of crypto holdings, even selling now would make a significant difference in the advent of my death for my family - and what that could be if held for a few years might be quite significant - or zero.
Essentially, what I collect I am passionate about, I work hard for and spend a lot of time learning and developing - but for my wife - the only real value it has is the monetary side of it, the same way that if I collected stamps, she wouldn't care about that either. This is likely the same for many people who are collectors, where their families aren't interested in what they collect.
Is it sad to think that all of this hard work could amount to nothing past the end of my life, or is it just the natural order of the world? I think that when it comes to money, people see it as an inheritance of merit, as it is easy to visualize due to the generalized nature of it and very easy to convert into something that is valued. A house might be similar - as there is a common understanding that it holds value past sentiment.
But when it comes to hobbies, a lot of it is sentiment based and it doesn't matter whether collecting Bitcoin or Barbies, other people who have similar interests will affect value based on their own sentiments.
Would my wife sell my holdings immediately regardless of the price or, has she learned enough through my ramblings that the future value could be significantly higher, and if she doesn't need it right now, hodl. It is hard to say precisely what she would do, but she has got a list of people she can contact who can help her find out.
At the end of the day, past my death isn't really my problem, but while alive, I would like to think that what I have worked for won't be flitted away frivolously - that it will make a difference to the world of my family. The challenge is communicating it all across when the areas I play and collect are outside of the normal - outliers of society and not yet part of the common understanding in the collective narrative that they hold real value.
Hopefully, I can change the narrative in at least my family, before my collection is lost forever.
[ an original ]