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Have any of you had to pack up your parents home ?


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I don't want to put this in the grief section if that's ok .

 

the back story ...

 

my mum had a mini stroke in february , 3 weeks later was diagnosed with renal and lymphoma cancer , she started a 6 course of chemotherapy , it was never going to be a cure but it was going to give her a few more years , as she is 84 that was the best news we could have hoped for . She had just finished her 6th chemo session and as a family we thought yay , get her back to full strength and carry on .

 

To be clear I don't live in the same city so I am not there all the time and have to wait until the school holidays (unless obviously I am called to get there quick)

 

so it was the 6 weeks holidays and me and ems where there with her when she had the last chemo , we where just about to get the coach back , when she had a massive stroke and went on to fit for hours ..we where all called in that night but she pulled through . She was left sat in a chair on 4 occasions and fell out , which has cut and bruised her so bad , she then got MRSA .

 

finally my mum has been moved into a nursing home , they have toyed with the idea that she now has dementia or the cancer has spread to her brain ...or it is the aftermath of the stroke and continual fitting . But I have lost my mum and I never quite realised how bad it is to see your mum suddenly not be your mum ...

 

next week I need to go back and pack up her bungalow ...and suddenly everything has some emotional value ...I lay awake at night thinking about the little ornaments , her pics on the wall, her little hankies in the drawer ..it is tearing me apart ..my mum is still with us and that helps in the grand scheme of things , but I never realised just how sad this is .

 

any advice ...experience ?

 

thankyou xx

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Hey there, dear, I am very sorry! Hang on there!

As for the experience - I lost a wonderful friend to cancer almost two years ago, and we also packed all his stuff, his wife kept some things for their little baby boy, so when he grows up he can have daddy's sweater and his carpenter pants. The most heart-breaking was to see that little boy, since when his dad died he was 2.5 years old, and his dad was sick for 9 months of these 2.5 years, so you can imagine how less of a memory he will have of him. I was crushed on his funeral, it was my first in life, and it was full on catholic funeral on a very cold November day. Gosh even thinking about it now... I was crying my eyes out for two weeks till I looked like a piece of meat.

 

He was so young, so positive about life, so energetic. I am so proud I knew him. He tough me a lot.

 

About your mums things... I think you should keep what is special for her/special for you, and try to let go to the rest as best as you can. I remember I had to pack away boxes and boxes of his photographs, that was the hardest for me personally. Seeing him alive and happy and young... with friends and family, on vacations, partying...

 

I wish you a lot of strength, and my hugs go to you too.

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BIG HUGS SS. My Mum went into a nursing home a couple of months ago. My sisters had to sell her home to pay for the nursing home and that was gut wrenching. I live 2 states away - a very long way - 3 hours by jet plane and just couldn't be there to help. My Mum has early dementia, and we know it's going to get worse. So sorry to hear that she has had such a bad time.

 

My father developed 2 brain tumors after recovering from lung cancer after surgery and chemo. At the time, when I first found out, I literally nearly fainted. We all thought he had beaten the cancer. Well you know, I never would have imagined, but the brain tumors turned out to be a blessing in disguise because my father had no pain due to the location of the tumors, and by the time he died, the cancer had spread throughout his body. He was only 58 and I still think of him every day of my life more than 15 years on.

 

I'm sorry if my post is depressing to you. It's a difficult thing to go through, but the best we can do is ease any pain or discomfort they have and be there for them. I haven't been able to bring myself to get things from my mother's place. My sisters asked me what I wanted, and the only thing I could think of was a doll her father had given her when she was a little girl.

 

My thoughts and prayers with you. XXXOOOXXX

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I am so sorry to hear about that Star. I know when my grandmother passed on my mom had a really hard time packing up her apartment. It seemed like she dropped and broke almost everything she picked up. What she had to do was sit and calm down for a few days and think about what she wanted to keep ,what her brother wanted etc. etc.

 

I understand it is such an agonizing process.

 

((( hugs))))

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When my Mum & her Sister had to pack up their Mums house I know it was very hard. I asked for a tea set my Grandfather bought her after he came back from the war & some of her cut glass. I treasure these things & smile when I look at them & think of her.

I'm sorry I can't be of much help. I am sorry you are going through this, and I send you strength & hugs !!!!!

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Having had to help pack up my grandmother's house and my father's house after they both passed, I can share a little bit with you: most importantly, get a team of friends or family to help you. Pay if you have to do so. The job is too big, both physically and emotionally, to carry the weight on your own.

 

I also recommend throwing things out in stages. Everything does have emotional value at the start of the process, but a person can't keep everything because it would take a house to store it. Filter what you keep. Then filter again and again at later dates.

 

It helped us to make rules surrounding what we could or couldn't keep. An item would have to meet those requirements to be kept. If it didn't someone would remind us and it would get tossed or donated. And give yourself the freedom to break the rules if the attachment too something is too strong, but set a limit on how many times you can save something. Think of it like The Voice or the X-Factor. Something has to leave if something else has to stay.

 

Two final tips: At a certain point, you also have to consider whether it is better to sell something for what you can get right then or better to hang onto for years trying to get the best price. You also want to save records of any kind until well after your mom has passed and probate closes.

 

Hope this helps. Sorry you are going through this. It is really difficult. People don't realize how difficult until they have to do it.

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Aside from what Seattle says about getting a team if you can... if you have power of attorney, please check your mother's papers for any bequests she might have made in her will. One of my friends, her mother has literally labelled everything with which sister gets what. Another one of my friends, when her mother moved into a home, her brother just took everything and dumped it off at the Salvation Army, including valuable items like her Wedgewood that my friend wanted. You wouldn't want to get rid of something that was earmarked for someone else accidentally.

 

Secondly, you can't keep everything, obviously, but you can keep photos of more things that you can things. Just because you have to get rid of something, it doesn't mean you can't photograph it and have that to remind you.

 

When my grandfather passed away, it took me over a year to clean out his house because it also needed some repairs and a good coat of paint everywhere (he hadn't done much of anything since my grandmother died a couple of decades previously). It took so long partly because there was just me to do the work, partly because I was working full time an hour's commute in the opposite direction so didn't have much free time and partly because it was just so darn hard to go through everything and deciding what to do with it all.

 

One thing I would advise against is getting a storage unit or buying a bunch of boxes to box it up for reviewing later -- you probably won't. I know there's stuff I put in boxes in my basement to sort through later and I still haven't done it. If it's something you're going to sort through later, it's probably not worth keeping. Look at it again and ask yourself if in 5 years' time you will still need it/it will still be important. As much as it hurts, you are going to have to be hard. This is another reason why having someone there could help you, they can be more objective about things like that than you may be. If it's something like documents, see if you can buy a document scanner or borrow one from a friend.

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Sorry to hear you have to do this --- but here is the general rule of thumb that works:

 

Make 3 piles:

 

1. Throw away (useless stuff, outdated, broken, paperwork more than 7 years old...unless a title or deed).

 

2. Give away to charity --- possibly dishes, appliances, wearable clothing, etc.

 

3. Sentimental value.

** this is the hardest, because it cannot be everything that is left. Not every picture, every hanky.

Something you will either use, and think of your mum ---- or something that she treasured, and having it will be special for you.

 

When we did my mothers house, there was much that we just said --- give it away. Whether it was a vase, or a knick nack --- they had no special meaning to her.

It gets easier, but I would say --- get a friend to help. Siblings can get bogged down in their own "baggage".

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THANKYOU so much to all of you for your posts , stories and advice , I have actually read it a few times and feel a heap load better . Sorry for all of your experiences and the things you have seen in your lifes. Silver I did remember as I was writing that we had similar stories kind of parallel right now .

 

What I did realise as I was reading is that was I thought was a downfall , now from what you all said will actually serve me better . You see the bungalow is housing association for the elderly , so I have already had to give 4 weeks notice and I myself can only be there for 11 days , adding to the mix that I don't drive so I know I wont be able to keep anything large for myself because I can't get it on the coach ..haha can you imagine me pitching up at the bus station , me and ems two suitcases and a welsh dresser hahahahaahah

 

So I have already been sorting out different avenues , like my niece would very much like her bedroom furniture so that is now arranged . My brother will take a day or two off work and come to do the personal stuff as he too lives away ... So I am at least seemingly doing it ok so far .

 

I appreciate the parts about the personal stuff ....thats the killer isn't it .. what you have all said is spot on and I need to remember this continually while I am doing it .

 

It has helped enormously

 

thankyou sooooooooooo much xx

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Big Hugs Les,

Well, my Mum is actually having some good days though it was a lot for her to go through emotionally. She does acknowledge that at the end of her time living in her own home, she had become like a prisoner to being at home because she had to wait for nurses to come twice a day, partly to give her medication so she didn't get to go out much at all except for when my sisters visited. She still has some days where she hardly wants to leave her room, but her health is actually picking up now. She know that she will remain in a nursing home until she passes, but it's a relief to know that if anything happens to her, somebody will always be there and she will get the care she needs and deserves. BIG HUGS.

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Star,

Oh hugs dear. I *still* have not packed away a lot of my mom's stuff from when she passed in January. I totally understand.

I would do anything I could for you, but besides well wishes and (((hugs))) there isn't much.

 

I am trying to sort through her stuff, what goes to who, what stays, etc. It is hard.

-nbr

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hugs, (((Star))) Sorry to hear about your mother.

 

I did this a few years ago for my dad, who lived 13 hours away. I had to take a bus, too, and luckily my sister met me there with a car, so we could haul things to donate or ship. We were able to connect with a friend in the area who helped move bigger things, although I can't remember what, where, or why. (It was all fine, I just wasn't part of the arrangement.) It's intense and exhausting, so plan in some fun breaks if you can. Lorem Ipsum makes a good point, there might be a way to find if your mom has willed anything to particular people.

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Big Hugs Les,

Well, my Mum is actually having some good days though it was a lot for her to go through emotionally. She does acknowledge that at the end of her time living in her own home, she had become like a prisoner to being at home because she had to wait for nurses to come twice a day, partly to give her medication so she didn't get to go out much at all except for when my sisters visited. She still has some days where she hardly wants to leave her room, but her health is actually picking up now. She know that she will remain in a nursing home until she passes, but it's a relief to know that if anything happens to her, somebody will always be there and she will get the care she needs and deserves. BIG HUGS.

 

 

oh it made me smile to think of your mum been looked after and never left alone ...you have a fantastic attitude darling ..I need to stop the self pitty here ...you only have to read this thread to see so many have been through the same ...this is a huge help xxxxx

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hugs, (((Star))) Sorry to hear about your mother.

 

I did this a few years ago for my dad, who lived 13 hours away. I had to take a bus, too, and luckily my sister met me there with a car, so we could haul things to donate or ship. We were able to connect with a friend in the area who helped move bigger things, although I can't remember what, where, or why. (It was all fine, I just wasn't part of the arrangement.) It's intense and exhausting, so plan in some fun breaks if you can. Lorem Ipsum makes a good point, there might be a way to find if your mom has willed anything to particular people.

 

ahh sorry you have been through this as well ... it is fuelling my strength because you have all had to do it ..you know it's true ....you never really know what this is like until you are faced with it , and without been too self indulgent I have seen a lot in my life , so I wil take this as something else that I will now be able to showe more empathy for .

 

the legal side of things will not be a problem ..there is only me and my brother and we love each other and respect each other ..infact if anything it is me who is been a bit bossy here ..I have been kind of telling him what will be happening , I think it is maybe that I need some control over something because I feel so out of control been so far away . None of us have got riches to speak of , very working class family and upbringing and I will be bringing back with me all her little personal bits , like a broach , a necklace ..that type of stuff ...and when the time comes when my mum is an angel , then I will just make sure all the grandchildren have something they can keep forever . thanks darling xxx

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Star,

Oh hugs dear. I *still* have not packed away a lot of my mom's stuff from when she passed in January. I totally understand.

I would do anything I could for you, but besides well wishes and (((hugs))) there isn't much.

 

I am trying to sort through her stuff, what goes to who, what stays, etc. It is hard.

-nbr

 

thanks nbr , I don't think I will ever forget your story , this time last year ( is it really a year) you went to lick the floor of hell yet here you are a year on dishing out the advice ..your a surivor and a strong man and thankyou for your lovely words x

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shooting star can you ask someone with the car to help you with the big stuff?

 

I am all sorted now that larl x

 

thankyou everyone for your input on here , I certainly feel better about it all ..sometimes you just gotta burst with it all and realise that so many go through this at some point. I have kept myself busy sorting things from here , ringing the charity we will donate it all too , and thats the hospice shop , and my dad passed in the hospice , they where pure angels who cared for him , so my mum will like her stuff to go there .. a lovely person I know said to me the other day I hope every memory you find you will remember it as a happy memory ..and that will be my mantra as I am packing it all up . thankyou everyone x

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