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Parents leaving childhood home


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I'm helping my parents pack up my childhood home.  I am getting really emotional!  This is the only home I've really known.  We moved in when I was 3 and I'm in my late 30s.  I guess I'm just grieving the fact that this is probably the last time I will be in this home.  The place I look forward to coming back to.  I'm the first of my friends to go through this process and kinda feeling alone in my grief.

 

How did any of you cope with this and how long will this last.  TIA

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I lived in my childhood home from birth to age 28.  My mother has lived in my childhood home since 1966.  It's an apartment.  I assume she will move if she needs assisted living (she is in her late 80s, doing great and a total social butterfly, much loved in my old neighborhood).  I think I will feel fine.  I moved out at 28, left my home city 15 years later.  I think it depends in general how attached you are to a particular space, the memories there, etc.  My son and I will go there next month -first time since early 2020 -and stay in one of the two bedrooms.  It's fun to have him there, show him some of the old stuff although my mom purged a lot.  But no I don't think I feel particularly emotional about it. 

Where are your parents moving? Why not keep a few things that remind you of where you grew up and put them in your apartment or place?

I'm sorry this is hard for you.  

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Is there anything in particular that you miss? The home will be occupied and loved by its new owners. There's some satisfaction in knowing that or believing in that.

Why don't you all get together and enjoy some time together, reminiscing about the old memories? If anything it can be good laughs and good times walking down memory lane or sharing that with each other before you leave.

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We moved from my childhood house to the burbs when I was 15.  I didnt really want to go, as it was all I knew.  But it was all fine.  You make new friends, discover a new area etc.  It's not that big off a deal in the end.  You should look forward to change!

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I lived in my childhood home from birth to age 28.  My mother has lived in my childhood home since 1966.  It's an apartment.  I assume she will move if she needs assisted living (she is in her late 80s, doing great and a total social butterfly, much loved in my old neighborhood).  I think I will feel fine.  I moved out at 28, left my home city 15 years later.  I think it depends in general how attached you are to a particular space, the memories there, etc.  My son and I will go there next month -first time since early 2020 -and stay in one of the two bedrooms.  It's fun to have him there, show him some of the old stuff although my mom purged a lot.  But no I don't think I feel particularly emotional about it. 

Where are your parents moving? Why not keep a few things that remind you of where you grew up and put them in your apartment or place?

I'm sorry this is hard for you.  

My parents will still be in the area.  I moved out when I was 23 but I always knew that I could return.  It's been a refuge from the crazy world. 

 

Things at work are unstable now and I guess that's part of the reason I feel grief at this moment.

I'm also single with no kids and I work long hours and am hardly ever at my place so that doesn't feel like home.

Edited by RelaxByWater84
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2 hours ago, RelaxByWater84 said:

How did any of you cope with this and how long will this last.

I'm sorry you're losing such a large part of your life & memories 😕 .. In the last 5 yrs, we lost my grandparents home & had to move out of our own (to downsize) and it was especially hard on my younger 2 boys.  As one , his only memory was that place _ was there since 6 mos old... so yeah, it was hard on him.  Took him at least a year to work on 'accepting'.

What we did with that was take a little piece of it with us .. like a plant from flowerbed and our nice bench outside and of course all the pictures 😉 ... we moved to an apt so could not take on too much.

As for my grandparents place.. I took the boys with me, we did a good walk around the 'piece of heaven', I called it, growing up ❤️ .. and took pictures. They all got copies of that. Plus, all of us grandkids got artwork my grandparents made. gramps was artistic with wood ( tables, benches etc and grams painted a lot).  But, in the end, we again, had to work on accepting it was no longer ours 😕 .

Yeah, is like a 'loss'. So, you work on seeing it as a forever memory and know that you have things you can take with you. Pics etc... and give it time to accept & work through your emotions.

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I haven't been through it myself, at your age though I lost my last surviving parent. My mom always said, and it's kinda cheesy but it's true, home is where your heart is. It makes total sense to me why you may grieve for this place if that's where your heart returns to.. even with your own home, if it doesn't really feel like home all the way. 

Maybe it's a transition time, where you release a bit more and grow more too into your own place as a home for yourself and others?  Single and no kids, you still mean the world to others in your life and can make your house/place a nexus like your childhood home was for you growing up. 

My partners grandmother is 100 and just announced she will be selling her home. His 80plus year old mom expressed some sadness about it, so it can happen regardless of age. 

 

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1 hour ago, RelaxByWater84 said:

My parents will still be in the area.  I moved out when I was 23 but I always knew that I could return.  It's been a refuge from the crazy world. 

 

Things at work are unstable now and I guess that's part of the reason I feel grief at this moment.

I'm also single with no kids and I work long hours and am hardly ever at my place so that doesn't feel like home.

Can't you visit them at their new place? I lived on my own for 15 years and also worked very long hours.  I guess I didn't need a place to feel "like home" - but I moved 9 miles from my parents' apartment after finishing grad school to the middle of our city -area teeming with singles and awesome culture, events, etc - for me feelings of comfort came in a variety of ways other than physical space -can you sort of expand your horizons in this way?

For example I loved my routine of power walking to work or in the neighborhood or in a park with headphones on or a good book and comfy blankets/linens at home or a long phone call with a good friend.  This also was during 9-11 so yes, crazy world.  I get it - just maybe consider other ways to get that "refuge" feeling.

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I totally understand you. When my parents sold the family home five years ago I was heart broken. It was the place my son was a baby, the only house I called home , my heart was there. 
 

It is ok to feel this way. 

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I have a feeling wherever your parents live will be home for you because it wasn't the building that gave you comfort from this crazy world, it was your parents and the safe feeling they provide even in our adult years.

Hold onto the great memories but look forward to the new ones at your parents new place.

  Lost

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I'm sorry you're experiencing this.  Even though my mother still owns her original suburban house and even if she were to sell her house or if I did someday, while it would feel sad to sell it, eventually I would detach myself from it.  Some other family will build new memories and enjoy it as much as we did. 

You'll always cherish good times and precious memories which will never go away.  Your relationship with your parents is what is most important of all.  As long as it's peaceful, sound and healthy, it's all that matters and you will learn to let go of the property. 

It's time for a new beginning for your parents and you so look at this new stage in their lives as part of your adventure, too.  Try to think positively. 

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On 5/26/2022 at 4:22 PM, RelaxByWater84 said:

I'm also single with no kids and I work long hours and am hardly ever at my place so that doesn't feel like home.

Have your parents already sold the home, or might buying it or renting it from them bean option for you? Maybe if you also rented to roommates?

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On 5/26/2022 at 3:23 PM, RelaxByWater84 said:

I'm in my late 30s. 

That's ok. It's the end of an era/chapter for you in the cycle of life. Are they retired/retiring? Downsizing? Do you live near them? Will they be moving away or just somewhere smaller/more affordable?

With middle aged kids they must be getting older and a house is a huge expense and burden for them. Remember it fondly. Take pictures and help them along in their golden years, if you can.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I left my childhood home many years ago in another country. I think leaving anything that has memories attached during those very formative years will be sad. There were mango trees and bouganvillas, also a lot of plants that my mother cultivated (she was a greenthumb). Most of all I think it's the memories that I miss of my parents and the way we played as kids on the street and ran around like maniacs. I miss the people that I knew in that home and the life that was there. These are all childhood memories and not transferrable in adulthood. I wouldn't consider moving back there. 

I like the earlier comment about making new memories. Save these for smiles and thinking back to a certain time. If you still have the people around you that made those memories with you in your childhood home, hug them and cherish them. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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7 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Have your parents already sold the home, or might buying it or renting it from them bean option for you? Maybe if you also rented to roommates?

I can't rent it as my dad's employer provided it in addition to his salary.

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I just guess I didn't think the emotions would hit me this hard.  It's been a place full of life and it is next door to my dad's soon to be former employer as he's retiring.  It was where I got to come home and see everyone I knew and catch up with them.  I live several hours away and a lot of people my dad worked with don't have social media and it was always nice seeing them.

The new place my parents got is more conducive to their lifestyle and where they are in life.  I'm actually glad they won't have to climb stairs and all.  And they have good neighbors there.

The end of this era just felt so final and unexpected.  I did help to work on their new place and I think that will help with the next time I go back and have to go to another place.

Thanks for all the replies and help!!

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I agree, no stairs are better.  My house is single story and I love it.  There are no stairs to contend with.

My MIL (mother-in-law) resides in a very large two story house and while it was great when everyone was young and spry, stairs are a hassle for the arthritic elderly. 

You'll always have precious memories of your childhood home.  Think of your parents' new home as the beginning of their new chapter in life. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, RelaxByWater84 said:

It was where I got to come home and see everyone I knew and catch up with them.

Maybe when you visit parents you can set up visits with the folks you'll miss? Also, take down their mailing address and do it the old fashioned way, send cards, letters, postcards and pics.

You'll learn over time how much you value them if you keep in touch this way--or not.

Hang in there. I do understand, and my heart goes out to you.

Edited by catfeeder
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I understand more of what you mean because of the neighborhood and how it was tied to his job in this unique and personal way.  The end of an era.  I like Catfeeder's suggestions and I wish you the best.

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I went through the same thing.  Having moved alot until I was 10, we moved into a home and when I was about 20 my parents abruptly announced they bought a townhome.  I had to move with them or fly the nest for the first time.  It was jarring. I went back alone and said a tearful goodbye to that home after the movers left.

Fast forward, post divorce I sold the family home that I dearly loved.  I cried then too.  Not just for myself but for my kids that I so much wanted them to have what I didn't have -  That one home they grew up in and memories that came with it.

 

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