Having a bad day today

lasershowOctober 30, 2004

I was at my mother's nearly all day, cleaning, purging, packing. This is my life every weekend, and I'm starting to fear I'm not going to get it all done by the end of November, when I must be out of there. I'm so exhausted, so grief-stricken, and missing my mother so much. I'm finding thousands of pictures that I just want to sit down and look at, but once I do I get distracted and there goes another hour. I'm in physical pain, too, from the lifting and carrying and standing. I've had burst of crying all day long. I know it's normal, but I just miss her so much. Yesterday would have been my parents' 44th wedding anniversary. I took comfort in the fact that they were at last together, but being left without parents, at any age, is an awful and strange feeling.

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Hi Lasershow,
Sorry you were having such a bad day yesterday, and the task of cleaning out a house is not an easy one, either emotionally or physically. Do you have someone that could help you? If it were me, I'd be the same way, as I am easily distracted, and I know it would be a real challenge to be out of there in just a few weeks. You said it well in your last line, that "being left without parents at any age is awful". I lost my mother 5 and a half years ago, and something I was thinking of last night made me think of her, and I was getting all weepy-eyed again. I am very sorry for your loss and hope you are able to muster the cleaning of the house. It's a tough one all around.
Emma in PA

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 7:02AM
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hi lasershow
just to let you know, you are not alone I too are having to do exactly the same. I am clearing out my fathers flat he and my mother shared for the last 17 yrs. My mother died june 2003 and my son recently died this sept 17th, my father 23rd oct I only have 2 weeks to clear out the home they shared. I am an only child and because of limited space having to practically give away the furnishings they had, breaks my heart my dads funeral is this tuesday 2nd nov, and I have to hand back the keys the following monday. I have lots of special memories and I try to think of these when I am sorting through. I have come across boxes of old b/day christmas/ anniversary cards from years ago my mother never seemed to throw anything away. those I will be treasuring. like you mention knowing they are altogether gives me some comfort but it still hurts like mad.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 8:17AM
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GET HELP! Ask any of your friends to work with you on part of a Saturday.

As for the clean/purge/pack work, I found it easiest to physically clear out an area, making ONLY ONE decision at a time as I did. If you try to decide "trash, keep, donate" with every item, it's less effective than if you make one decision at a time.

Trash or not trash? That means you will be making other decisions on less stuff.

Then, I went through what was left and did a second decision:

Donate to charity or keep? Everything for charity went into one area, and I called them regularly to get it out of the way,

Then I carefully packed up the "keepers" and worried about sorting them out later.

Save the cleaning for the very last ... if you leave the place dirty, so what? It's far easier to clean when a place is totally emptied.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 10:01AM
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I'm so sorry. I know this must be so hard. Well, I know it is. I still haven't gone through my daughter's things and it's been 6 1/2 years. I still need to go through my mom's things. I don't look forward to that at all. My dad still lives in the house so there's no rush there. It must make it extra hard when you have a deadline to meet. I've had offers to help me go through Christin's things, but it is such a personal thing and unless you have someone there to help you lift and carry out and clean, really all the decisions have to be yours and yours alone.
Being that it was their anniversary probably is what made it extra hard for you. Try to keep remembering that they are together and you'll be with them again too. Really, as precious as all of these things are to us, they are just that...... things. Our memories really are the most important treasures of all. I wish I could help you. Don't forget to take pictures of the things that you are going to part with (even clothes) and that way, you can still hold on the to memory and not have to store the "thing".

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 3:13PM
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Thanks everyone. I did have help yesterday and today -- my uncle and a friend were there yesterday, and a cousin and another friend were there today. My cousin has cleaned out 3 houses so far, and really knows how to go about it. She kept me on track and focused, and we got more done in 3-4 hours than I've done on my own at any one given stretch. Having someone there with me helps me to detach somewhat, otherwise I'd be saving every half-worn towel and every odd glass.

Taking pictures is a good idea and I hadn't thought of that -- thanks, Lu.

Right now I'm so stiff and my knees are so swollen, I can barely move. I'm going to crawl into a hot shower. I just had another good cry. Sometimes I feel like I can't get home fast enough so I can cry. I read somewhere on this board that one person scheduled time for grief, much like scheduling time for any other activity. Maybe that's what I should do.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 6:59PM
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(((Laser)))) Derry

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 6:49PM
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My Mom passed in June 03 and my Dad just this past Feb 04. There house is next to mine. I remember putting the house up for sale and how sad that was. I have 1 brother in AZ but after my Dads funeral he went home. So we sold the house and now I had to face it, clean it out,keep or throw,donate blah blah blah. I did keep pretty much and had to rent a locker. It's so hard to get rid of their thing's and you want to hold on to everything they had. But in real life people have different tastes and we don't have room for 2 houses worth of stuff.

So I kept what I would use and memory thing's. What I did learn is not to make rash decsions and just throw away something you might regret later. When it comes down to it, it's all memory stuff because they had it. I have not looked at much I kept since I put thing's away but I will soon as I will never use all the thing's I kept.

You need to take care of you as well. I know it's hard but relax when you get the chance. Trust me we had a dead line as well and I didn't think we would make it but we did.

I will not tell you it gets eaiser but it does get different. There is not a half day that goes by I don't miss and think of my parents. I miss them so much and I still cry when I have to. Grief is just another word for love...:) I hope you have better days to come..


    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 5:49PM
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Marie, you're so right. Now that I'm getting help, I find myself overwhelmed because it's almost *too* much, if you know what I mean. People pressuring me to throw it out, make a decision, etc. In all reality, I can't do this alone -- certainly not in the time I have -- and I am grateful for the help. I just want not to be in this situation, period. We all must face it at some point, but it's so painful. I think putting stuff in storage for now is a good idea. Of course, some stuff I'm going to pitch is obvious -- broken bureau, old worn-out furniture that I never really cared for, etc. But all the brick-a-brack stuff, everything has memories. Maybe I just need to put it aside for now, and then can dispose of it later.

I feel for you, having lost two parents within a year. That must be so difficult. Sending you hugs.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 10:00PM
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Mary -
Unless it is clearly trash (discard), or the common household stuff like toaster ovens (charity) .... box it up securely and sort it out later.

Just tell the helpers that you don't want to make permanent decisions with a brain made of mush and you'll deal with it later.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2004 at 7:27AM
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With my mom and dad, it was pretty hard because we had an entire house of their things along with the furniture. My brother and I both had our own homes and could use very little of the furniture so most of the furniture and big appliances we sold. that was real tough seeing people carry my parents stuff out the door. im sorry, this is really tough to go thru this. you may find you come across many things that give you wonderful memories as you sort through things.
kind thoughts sent to you.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 12:49PM
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