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Old 09-21-2012, 05:47 PM
 
Location: California / Maryland / Cape May
1,548 posts, read 2,422,772 times
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I wasn't sure where to put this since it falls into so many categories, but I'm giving it a try here.

What are your thoughts on what to do with inherited items when a loved one passes?

In particular, I inherited, among other things, a fur coat. This perplexes me because, unlike other things I've inherited, I have no need for it since I'll soon be living in CA again, and wouldn't buy it since I haven't even eaten meat in 24 years, but it has sentimental value because it belonged to the most important person in my life and it reminds me of my childhood seeing her wear it. I realize it's only a material thing and won't bring her back, but I'm having a hard time with the idea of parting with it, yet to move it cross country to CA seems a bit crazy, too (especially since I've got everything I own down to one suitcase - to take a second for a coat I'll never wear seems silly for someone as practical as I am).

If you've been in a similar situation with inherited items, how did you handle the situation? Did you have a hard time parting with something or did you decide to keep it just for the memories even though you had no use for it? Though I've had a great deal of loss in my life recently, this particular situation is a first for me. I'm curious to what others decided to do, and if they regret it either way.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
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Sunny, my sister has hauled around my mother's robe for the last 38 years! Strangely enough, it still smells faintly of Estee Lauder, which was all mom ever wore. My sister is twice as big as my mom, which isn't saying much - but she simply cannot part with it.

I know what you mean, though - we have items from my spouse's mom that are just funky and we don't have the heart to throw them out. We managed to give a few things to (unsuspecting) relatives, but we just feel evil if we try to get rid of them...I mean, they meant something to her, enough to have left them to us, but they are useless to us.

Do you happen to have a niece or good friend's daughter whom you would feel comfortable giving the coat to, maybe to make a vest out of? I am in touch with your moral dilemma, though - if you decide to keep it, would you be comfortable making big throw pillows or something out of it? Maybe not - and that's understandable too, I'm just trying to find a way for you to keep the memory in a more abstract or purposeful way.

I just figure if my MIL's stuff can be used by someone somewhere for good purpose, then she lives on. But I will grant you, it is really, really hard to hang onto something that's not practical, especially if you are.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:14 PM
 
Location: East Coast
2,877 posts, read 4,389,285 times
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Here are two things you could do with your inherited fur coat:

Have it made into an Heirloom Teddy Bear: Fur teddy bears and heirloom fur teddy bears. Artist teddy bears from fur coats. Fox, raccoon, beaver, mink fur and more.

Donate it to help orphaned wildlife:

Quote:
How Do the Furs Help Wildlife?

Fur can provide warmth and comfort to orphaned and injured wild animals. Wildlife rehabilitators will usually cut the fur into an appropriate size for the animal, whether it be a bobcat, fox, raccoon, squirrel, or rabbit, and place it inside the animal's enclosure. The furry blanket becomes a surrogate mother to orphaned animals, reducing stress and giving comfort.



One rehabilitator related a story about a restless orphaned river otter who chirped constantly. Once she was given a fur blanket, she settled right down. Turning the sleeve of a fur coat inside out, a rehabilitator can also create a warm nest for a burrowing animal such as an opossum. Some animals adopt a piece of fur as a playmate, jumping on it and wrestling with it.
What to do with Unwanted Fur? Donate It to Help Orphaned Wildlife : The Humane Society of the United States
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:53 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,253,264 times
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I was going to suggest - make it into a few pillows that you keep in your bedroom and can snuggle up with. Love the teddy bear idea!

I would definitely repurpose it and figure out a way to have it - only in a different form where you could actually enjoy it.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:18 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
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I love the idea of the Teddy Bear. I still have my mom's fur coat, and she died in 1989. Plus, now I live in Southern Arizona, so not much use for fur here, but I just can't part with it because it's such a part of her, and I have tons of wonderful memories of her wearing it. But, it takes up space and hides away in a back closet and I visit it there for a hug and to bury my face in, just like when I was little. The Teddy Bear will make the coat accessible all the time; I can hug it and hold it. Now, I'm really excited to follow up on this! Thanks LibraGirl!

P.S. My mom was a Libra -- October 7th.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:25 AM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,078,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyTXsmile View Post
.... I'm curious to what others decided to do, and if they regret it either way.
I held onto a number of inherited items. But then as I got older I faced the fact that they had really lost their meaning very quickly and just become things. At that point I gave them to other family members who professed an interest in having them.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:55 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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My mother use to sew, she made many of her own clothes. Many I would never wear, but could not see just donating them, as they reminded me of my mom. I made a quilt out of several of her outfits.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:25 AM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,078,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SocalPitgal View Post
My mother use to sew, she made many of her own clothes. Many I would never wear, but could not see just donating them, as they reminded me of my mom. I made a quilt out of several of her outfits.
Now that sounds like a great idea!
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:19 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,702 posts, read 21,750,727 times
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I have a difficult time getting rid of inherited items. In the past year I've sold some of them, given things to friends and donated others.

You're right; it's just a thing, an object. Either have a pillow or two made from the coat or donate.

Can't you almost see a beautiful young woman considering it a very lucky day when she finds this beautiful coat in a consignment or thrift shop?

Over the years, I've purchased some lovely things at thrift shops and consignment stores. I really, really like the stuff that I've bought. I've wondered where these things lived before I brought them to my house.

I think that you should put on the coat, have someone take your picture, save the photo and then send it (the coat) on to some lucky recipient. Someone will love it.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:03 AM
 
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I've had to clean out so many relatives homes including my mom's house. With so much "stuff" I made up my mind, if I was going to store it, or leave it in a closet, it wasn't that important, so I would dispose of it. Unless I was going to use it, or display it, it had to go.

I've told my children, when we are gone, to take anything that they wanted and have someone come in and buy the rest. Just because I liked something doesn't mean they are attached to it. I have made it clear there are few things that I am "married" to, and those couple of things are family heirlooms. What they do with them after I'm gone is their decision.
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