Friday, April 18, 2008

Leftover life to stow, Part II

I posted some time ago about the difficult but important task of shutting down a life. At that time, my Mom was still alive, newly in the nursing home, and I was taking the first few passes through her beloved condo. The best experiences then were giving away her plants, her craft supplies, and her books to people who were so excited to receive these bits of her life into theirs.

So now I'm down to the hard stuff, all the things that I'd look at and think ohnotnow, maybelater. Later is here. A wonderful friend joined me today, a woman long on organization and free of the emotional baggage that I bring to the task. Whenever I dithered and gave her the ohnotnow on a vase or a piece of art, she'd gently bring me to the ohyeahnow place.

So everything is sorted, stacked, and ready for transport. Some advertised on Craigslist, some ready for the art or natural history museum, a stack for me, a stack for my brother, one for charity, and one for the wonderful friend who spent the day holding my hand and honoring my Mom's leftover stuff.


JeanMac said...

What would we do with out friends like that - it's a very difficult thing to sort thru what represented Mom's life.
Thinking of you.

Laura in L.A. said...

Congratulations at accomplishing one of the hardest tasks there is! Bless your dear friend for being such a help.

One thing that helped me while I going through my beloved Grandma's things was knowing that she wanted everything to be USED by someone! She lived on very little, had few things and gave everything she could to charity. I used to give her nice expensive sheets and towels for holidays and her birthday, and she would promptly take them to the homeless shelter! I finally got smart and just gave her cash, so she could donate it all as she chose. She was one of the most giving and unselfish people I have ever known.

You did right by your wonderful Mom every step of the way, and I know she was grateful. Praying for you.

Love, Laura

"his-self" said...

This really is the hard stuff. I've had to go through this twice in the last couple of years. First when we moved my parents from their home of 30 years to an continuing care facility and then again after Mom died and we moved Dad into assisted living. It was hard both physically and mentally.

My continued sympathies.........

Ann of the Incredible Gift said...

You have my sympathy, it is difficult.

As the only child, it fell to me and my daughters to clean out my mother's house to sell. She was still alive at the time, but in assisted living, and had been insisting she would move back home, until ~~I~~ insisted she give me a date for that move. She glared at me, but allowed us to sell the house.

Parts of it were a grueling ordeal, because Mom liked to keep everything - like bank statements going back 32 years.

There were also parts that left me with glad memories. My dad had been a volunteer at the SPCA for many years, and he and mom had been very generous to their church.

I was able to donate the washer and dryer, still in excellent condition, to the SPCA only days after their old washer died.

Mother's piano I donated to the church for use in the new children's church room they were building.

Now I'm facing the equally difficult task of going through my daughter's room and bestowing her belongings where they will do the most good. A friend suggested I make a memorial quilt (or quilts, she has 3 surviving sisters) from her clothes. I am waiting for a response from those sisters before I go through her clothes.