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Is this just me?

(26 Posts)
Bluelady Tue 06-Feb-18 14:35:48

The year 2015 was horrific. Dad died in May and Mum (whose dementia mercifully prevented her from being aware he'd gone) in November.

Their house has been sold and most of their possessions either assimilated into our home or disposed of. It's taken me three or four passes to reduce the "stuff". There are still things I just can't part with. Stupid things like Dad's worn out scarf. Is this just me?

I kind of feel that after all this time I'm being ridiculous.

Kahlua4me Tue 06-Feb-18 16:14:39

My mum died suddenly in May 2015 and I still have lots of her things around my house that I can’t part with. Her jewellery box is sitting in our bedroom. I will never wear the earrings, think Pat Butcher, but they are her so I keep them.

I don’t see it as a problem really, only an issue if you have too much of your parents things filling up your house so you can’t move. Keeping your dads scarf is a lovely reminder of him, maybe get it made into a cushion?

There is no time line for grief and to lose both in one year is too hard to deal with.

Be kind to yourself and take small steps.

Lalalaleah Tue 06-Feb-18 16:16:38

Oh it's so hard. I have a lot of my mum's stuff in my loft. I can't throw it out.

Chopchopbusybusy Tue 06-Feb-18 17:20:50

I don’t think you are being ridiculous at all. Losing both parents within six months must have been very hard.
Do you any real life support? Siblings or other relatives?
My DH did his best when my Mum died but I found my aunt to be the best support for me.
There is no script that you have to follow. flowers

Timeforachange68 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:34:53

Not at all - I lost my mum last year & my dad still has everything and there's a chance he'll never deal with it so when he passes it will be up to us to deal with their belongings and I know I will find it hard to let go of stuff - I can't imagine throwing away things that were in our family home as we grew up

Bluelady Wed 07-Feb-18 09:40:45

Thank you all so much for your responses. There's just me, my brother was killed in a road accident when he was 21 - 40 years ago this year. I so wish he was here. My husband is getting irritated with my sentimentality and to be honest it's starting to get on my nerves too, hence my question.

Chathamhouserules Wed 07-Feb-18 09:43:59

No I've got loads of my mum's things. And over time I might reduce it but I'm in no rush. Your husband sounds a bit cold! But I suppose we're all different.

Timeforachange68 Wed 07-Feb-18 16:45:42

My only concern is space! My dad has a lifetime of stuff at his house & I know we won't be able to have everything I'd like to keep! I'm lucky that my dh is reasonably sympathetic & he's been part of our family for a long time too so hopefully he'll be gentle with me when the time comes!

HeyMicky Wed 07-Feb-18 17:08:58

It's not just you, it's very hard. My choices were simplified by the fact I had to ship anything I kept back to the UK.

I kept a few big important pieces - and armchair and a desk. I also kept a few decent piece of art that worked in our house.

There are lots of kitchen and dining stuff - I use them all regularly but not everyday and it brings me joy each time. The good crystal comes out for high days and special guests - I don't get to have those times with my father anymore so this is a way of sharing it with him. Ditto the Xmas decorations - they are special and celebratory.

He loved books and tea - I have many of his books and also his teapot.

Take your time, but as you choose, try to choose pieces that were meaningful to him and that you can build into your life, so they don't sit unused in a cupboard somewhere.

RefuseTheLies Wed 07-Feb-18 17:20:12

I had my mum’s clothes made in to a beautiful memory quilt for my daughter, so that helped in sorting through her wardrobe. But, yeah - I still have boxes and boxes and boxes of things like her coffee cups and her hair straighteners and ornaments that I still can’t bear to part with (my Mum died very suddenly almost two years ago).

lookingforthedroids Wed 07-Feb-18 17:33:37

Oh honey, it's quite normal to find it hard to let go of belongings. I've got things that belonged to my mum and she died 25 years ago. Dad died when I was a kid, so there's no family home to go back to any more - all I have left is their things.

Every couple of years I went through the stuff, and bit by bit I felt ready to let go of some of it. Just a few things left now, and I won't be parting with those.

Purpleprickles Wed 07-Feb-18 17:36:49

I'm so sorry for your losses op thanks I can't begin to imagine what you have been through. I still have my Nan's egg timer blush she died nearly 8 years ago and myself and my cousins couldn't bear to throw her things away so we kept silly bits that couldn't be given to the old cracked egg timer. My husband doesn't get it either.

latara23 Wed 07-Feb-18 17:54:26

I have my nan's favourite teddy (she died last April) & old books that my grandad wrote in as well as lots of other bits.

This week my beautiful cat was pts & I'm keeping her food bowls & collar. I know she was 'just' a pet but I live alone & I'm devastated really.

A friend's mum still can't clear out her mother's flat over 3 years after her death and she was almost in tears talking about it today.

ajandjjmum Wed 07-Feb-18 17:56:53

I have a suit and tie that belonged to Dad (who died 15 years ago) and the outfit that Mum wore to our wedding in my wardrobe still.

Mum died over a year ago. She lived in a 'granny flat' in our house, and I still haven't sorted it out. Various people are getting touchy with me but I'll do it in my own time.

Take care and don't push yourself.

PositivelyPERF Wed 07-Feb-18 18:06:03

I kept all my husband’s shirts and intend to make them into a quilt. I have photos of him with my youngest and have had the shirts that he wore in the photos, used to make a bear, along with a wee photo album with comments on what they were doing at the time. She adores it and gives my husband a hug every night. I still have all his ties, but haven’t decided what I’ll do with them yet.

I know it’s not the same as losing your dad, but when I lost my wee dog, I made a picture box, with his wee jumper, collar, and Wendy (he came to us as an adult, with his blanket, nick named Wanky Blanky, so I thought Wendy was a little better 😬).
You could make a picture box, with his scarf and a photo of him. That way it’s not going to get damaged or be lying about.

PositivelyPERF Wed 07-Feb-18 18:07:09

Sorry. Posted too soon. I’m sorry you’ve had such sad loses in such a short time. 🌹

Namethecat Wed 07-Feb-18 18:13:43

I was having a sort out the other day ( wardrobe ) for charity shop or bin. My mother died 5 years ago this year, and I have kept a few things. Came across my childhood dogs collar and lead ( no idea why I'd kept them in the wardrobe !!My mum had kept them so in turn it was something I kept. The dog had died in 1977 !! I had a few moments of memories and it went in the Chuck pile. You will know when ( or even if ) the time is right.

GoodStuffAnnie Wed 07-Feb-18 18:23:13

My Dad died suddenly in 2014 and my mum last year in April. We are half way through sorting their house out. I wrote and read the eulogy at my mums funeral. The reason I am saying this is that much harder than them dying and reading the eulogy has been sorting the house.

We (2 sibs) have done it so far in three visits. I have found the shorter the better. After the first sort I cried solidly for one week. I have been through my fair share of shit in life and this has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

I thought about putting the whole house in boxes and storing it all, but just more pain down the line.

We all use my Dads slippers at home.

I have no advice, but you are definitely not weird to be so effected.

GoodStuffAnnie Wed 07-Feb-18 18:25:36

Also, I am using nearly daily at the moment a horrible old egg drainer thing from the 80's, a stained cheese grater box and a meat cutting board. They are all part of my childhood, so I am doomed/destined now to have them forever.

The thing I have found also is that I seem to be the only one of my friends to have been through this. I think I'm quite young for it to happen.

echt Thu 08-Feb-18 07:59:20

OP, I still have my dad's red woollen scarf, and he died in '92. My house has the bits and bobs from my parents, a 100 year-old oak stool, some kitchen scales used by my mum from my childhood. They are precious beyond words.

My DH died in 2016 and he had all his mum and dad's stuff. We still use his parents' lovely antique dining chairs, much admired by the upholsterer who repaired one of them.He was a real keeper of memorabilia himself and I am so grateful for it, though sifting through it is a bugger. I have and am happy to do it because DD is an only child and we have all her history on her dad's side here.

You are not being silly, but if you're getting annoyed with yourself, then maybe let some things go.

On the other hand, your DH's irritation should be ignored. Your feelings are paramount.

Icouldbeknitting Thu 08-Feb-18 09:35:17

My father died in 2002 and mum has given away his suit and his big wool coat. That's all. My husband died three months ago and I've packed up his shoes and trousers but I can't touch the shirts. Different things have different emotions attached to them and it is a different experience for everyone.

You will do things in your own time and that's ok, no-one gets to tell you how you "should" be feeling.

GOODCAT Thu 08-Feb-18 09:46:02

I still have some stuff from my dad who died a long time ago. I did move on some stuff eventually when I was ready. Fortunately I have a sister who will happily take anything of his so I can offer it to her and often she will take it. If she doesn't I feel less bad about getting rid of it. She has got stuck with the larger stuff which we agreed to share between us. I am quite happy with this.

You have had a tough time. Just deal with the stuff as and when you feel ready.

Bluelady Thu 08-Feb-18 19:59:08

Thank you all for making me feel so much better. We did the final big stuff on Sunday and it was dreadful. I tried really, really hard to find a home for a Parker Knoll sofa and matching chairs, all immaculate but dated. Nobody would take them because they didn't have current fire labels and I had to let them go to the tip. The waste appalled me and I try not to think what my dad would have said.

Timeforachange68 Fri 09-Feb-18 09:09:24

Don't beat yourself up over it - I'm sure it must happen a lot, there's no way we'll be able to keep all my parents furniture & I'd imagine some of that will end up at the tip - it's very sad & I'm not looking forward to the day we have to deal with it

Roomba Fri 09-Feb-18 09:45:39

It's very normal to feel this way. My grandmother died in 1997 and my mum still has lots of her stuff that she couldn't bear to part with. It mostly lived in the loft for a long time, as it also upset her to see it even though she couldn't part with things. It's been lovely as we set up our own homes though to have stuff passed down to us. My living room lamp was my grandma's, my sister has a beautiful bedspread that was hers too and my grandad's tools and the bits of furniture he made get used every day by one of us or another. She did have to be a bit brutal and get rid of some stuff when they moved house, but she took photos of things so she could see them still, which helped.

My mum keeps saying recently that she is going to have a huge clear out of her house and 'go minimalist' (as if she ever would!) as she can't bear the thought of us having to sort all her stuff out after she's gone. She knows how hard it is to let go of the little things.

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