Devastated - Lost a family heirloom

(20 Posts)
doodlebug33 Tue 12-Jan-21 20:08:18

So I realised yesterday that I've accidentally thrown out a locket that belonged to my grandma - and her Mum before her.
It was in an envelope in a drawer and I think I must have assumed it was empty and thrown it out with the recycling a couple of months ago.
I'm absolutely devastated, like I've literally felt sick to my stomach since I realised what I'd done yesterday morning.
I know I can't get it back (although I've messaged the council to ask for details of recycling plant, just in case).
Just wondering if anyone has any ideas of how I can stop beating myself up? Or how to lessen the sadness I'm feeling? I've been in tears for nearly 24 hours and just feel dreadful.
Do you think I should buy a new locket and put pictures of my great grandparents in it or should I just accept it's gone?

OP’s posts: |
Sheleg Tue 12-Jan-21 20:09:39

Oh, OP. I know the feeling. I accidentally threw away a ceremonial wine cup that a family member passed down - it had been through the Holocaust. And I threw it away.

I have to actually visualise myself "letting go" of the guilt I feel. It's awful.

Musicaldilemma Tue 12-Jan-21 20:53:06

I would look on EBay for a similar locket and put photos of your grandparents in it.

EscapeTheCastle Tue 12-Jan-21 20:57:55

Replace with something special and thoughtful. It can be a new meaningful heirloom to pass down. Yes, put photos in like the last one had. Have it engraved maybe.

SomewhatBored Tue 12-Jan-21 20:58:27

I would try to think that, as it was something you had put away as an heirloom, rather than something you were wearing every day, it was out of sight, so you still have it as an out of sight memory. It's the memories associated with it - your mum and grandma - that are what matters. The locket is just a piece of metal that was a conduit for the memories - it has gone but your memories are yours forever.

whatshalliget Tue 12-Jan-21 22:48:57

I know how you feel.

I lost my mother’s ring. She died at 63 and my sister and I were (later) given her two main rings by my Dad. (He had given them to her).

The one I got was absolutely beautiful and she had worn it a lot. It was also valuable.

One day we were about to go and see my then dh’s family but before going he was checking a small drain on the outside of the house. He asked me to help so I took my Mum’s ring off and put it in my back jeans pocket. Definitely inside the pocket and it was not a loose pocket either.

When I went to put it back on it had gone sad.

I totally relate to your pain and devastation is all I can say OP. My now ex looked in the drain and I searched the area all around it (I would have seen it fall in the drain) and I then cried all the way to my in laws (exdh hardly noticing in fact he did not look at me or say anything to me the entire trip). The feeling of loss and regret was very intense and lasted for a long time. Annoyance with myself and also on behalf of my Dad. And other horrible feelings I can’t articulate now.

In the next few days I even spoke to a medium about where the ring might be !!

I searched in lots of places in the house, outside and also in the neighbour’s alleyway.

Years have gone by and while I still feel wistful about the ring, time has got rid of the other feelings.

It helped that at the time my Dad was very nice about it all.

MotheringShites Tue 12-Jan-21 22:51:34

Are you sure you threw it out OP? I feel like you would have easily noticed an envelope with a locket in it. I think it’s probably still in the house.

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whatshalliget Tue 12-Jan-21 22:54:10

Also - just thought - do you have a photo of either your Grandma wearing the locket @doodlebug33? By looking at this particular photo you might be able to hold on to the locket associations - the fact that it links you to your Grandma and her Mum? Though of course you are already and will always be connected to them 💛.

Whatwouldnanado Tue 12-Jan-21 23:03:20

I wore my great grandmother's wedding ring on my little finger for years. Returning to work after a bout of gastric flu I lost it either on the way or in the loo, probably as I had lost weight. There was a huge hunt but no luck. The fact it had slipped away on my watch after three generations ate away at me for ages but I have come to accept it was only a 'thing' after all, not the people associated with it who I still think of and speak if to my children. Don't beat yourself up.

doodlebug33 Wed 13-Jan-21 06:49:39

Thanks everyone, and I'm sorry so many of you know how I'm feeling. It's the guilt that's worst, knowing it's been cared for for over 100 years and I've lost it.
So I've decided I'm going to buy a new locket and put photos of the same people in it (my great grandparents and my great great grandma). And when lockdown is over, I'm going to drive to my great grandma's grave and give it a good clean and tidy up, by way of an apology. Then I'll go and leave flowers where we scattered my grandma's ashes. I'll wear the locket that day so that when I pass it down to my DD there will be a 'story' that goes with it.
I can't imagine ever not feeling sad about it but this is the best thing I can think of.
Thank you all so much, smile

OP’s posts: |
doodlebug33 Wed 13-Jan-21 06:53:24

whatshalliget

Also - just thought - do you have a photo of either your Grandma wearing the locket *@doodlebug33*? By looking at this particular photo you might be able to hold on to the locket associations - the fact that it links you to your Grandma and her Mum? Though of course you are already and will always be connected to them 💛.


That's a lovely idea, thank you. Grandma wore it on her wedding day so I do have photos of her with it on (it's small to see but I know it's there!)

OP’s posts: |
doodlebug33 Wed 13-Jan-21 06:56:01

MotheringShites

Are you sure you threw it out OP? I feel like you would have easily noticed an envelope with a locket in it. I think it’s probably still in the house.


Yes, I'm sure it's gone. I put it in an A5 window envelope, ironically to keep it safe. But it will have slipped down past the window and the envelope will have looked empty so I'll have binned it. There's nowhere else I would have put it. And I know for sure I haven't seen it since I put it in the drawer sad

OP’s posts: |
Newyearohdear Wed 13-Jan-21 07:14:18

I have also done this with something that mattered greatly to me- I was aghast for months. The feeling did pass eventually- try to think of happy memories of this person- they are never really gone if they live on in your memory.

doodlebug33 Wed 13-Jan-21 10:45:02

Newyearohdear

I have also done this with something that mattered greatly to me- I was aghast for months. The feeling did pass eventually- try to think of happy memories of this person- they are never really gone if they live on in your memory.


It's a horrible feeling isn't it? I've felt sick to my stomach since I realised what I've done.
I'm sorry you've been through it too but happy to read that the sadness does eventually pass.
I'm just so angry with myself but bizarrely it actually helps reading about other people who have done the same thing.
Thank you 😊

OP’s posts: |
Ariela Wed 13-Jan-21 10:58:43

If you took photos of the locket and could describe it well, you could find a talented jeweller to make to the same design. I had one make some cufflinks for DH's wedding present, they're unique and personalised, I imagine will be handed down.

SunshineCake Wed 13-Jan-21 11:07:56

I'd try and buy a copy. Our child broke our wedding gift cake knife and I was so upset. Dh lost an eBay bid to buy the same one and bought another which was the same other than the handle pattern. I'm still sad but I know it doesn't really matter.

Be kind to yourself. You didn't do it on purpose. You are doing all you can to get it back. Use social media etc. Allow yourself to forgive yourself.

Nonamesavail Wed 13-Jan-21 11:10:08

Sheleg

Oh, OP. I know the feeling. I accidentally threw away a ceremonial wine cup that a family member passed down - it had been through the Holocaust. And I threw it away.

I have to actually visualise myself "letting go" of the guilt I feel. It's awful.

I had similar. I left ir at a train station in my bag when I was moving across the country. I feel sick thinking about it now and it was 12 years ago...the pain has got easier but its a huge regret of mine. My dad still doesn't know I've lost it sad

TeddyUrsa Wed 13-Jan-21 11:23:36

I wouldn't try and buy a copy - what's the point? It isn't the one you've lost so it's time to move on and buy something which starts a new chapter if you think that'll help

I do sympathise though. I managed to lose a diamond and sapphire ring that belonged to my grandma back when I was about 19. I was drunk and in my parents living room with some fella late one evening. I dramatically flung my hands about and the ring flew off. I remember laughing and thinking I'd retrieve it the next day. Never found it again. Ugh.

doodlebug33 Wed 13-Jan-21 11:33:13

I agree. The original locket was gold so I thought I might buy a silver one instead.
I do like the idea of a locket though, as it can hold photos of relatives. I can't replicate the ones that were in there but I do have other photos of them that I can use.
Sorry about your ring - can't believe you never found it!

OP’s posts: |
samandpoppysmummy Wed 13-Jan-21 11:48:11

When I had my bathroom replaced in May last year I accidentally threw away the diamond earrings my DH bought me for our wedding day. He had them specially made by a Hatton Garden jeweller and they were beautiful. DH passed away in December 2019 so they were extra precious.

I had forgotten they were loose on the shelf in the old bathroom cabinet, and it ended up in the builders skip. I didn't realise until months later when I opened the box to wear them and then remembered taking them out late at night and putting them on the shelf, as I was too sleepy and lazy to go and put them back in the box in my bedroom.

Like you, it's too late to do anything about it but I do sympathise with you. I am still so cross and upset with myself. I wanted to pass them onto my daughter.

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