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Old 06-23-2016, 02:52 PM
 
826 posts, read 961,161 times
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Just a brief history first. My mom passed away back in 2012 and my dad passed away November of last year. I'm 30 years old and living in the house I grew up in. I paid off the house 4 years ago while I was taken care of dad with his cancer among other health issues.

I have started going through the house getting things organized and I have found hundreds of photos that my mother kept of this farm from the '40s and '50s. Down to my grandparent's marriage certificate back from 1923. I look at these photos and can't help but wish I could have been there. I missed so much and now I'm the only one left. This place use to be so alive and was well known around the community. Now it's just me and the dog.

How do I move on? My manager gave me a great promotion opportunity in Raleigh and I turned it down because I feel like I need to continue to take care of this place. If not, no one else will. But at the same time this place just brings back so many memories, good memories. I feel like life has drastically changed so much over the past 5-6 years I don't even know who the hell I am anymore or what I'm supposed to do.

Has anyone else experienced this?
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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November of last year is fairly recent. Consider labeling and donating photos to the local historical society at some point. Being attached to structures is living like a barnacle. Give yourself time, but then let it go so you can grow.
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,481 posts, read 15,913,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
November of last year is fairly recent. Consider labeling and donating photos to the local historical society at some point. Being attached to structures is living like a barnacle. Give yourself time, but then let it go so you can grow.
I am sorry for your loss. I agree that last November is still very recent.

When you talk about photographs from the 1940s/1950s were these just of your parents or of your grandparents? Are there extended relatives, such as cousins, who may be interested in some of them?

BTW, you are only 30 so you are not really "the last one left". If you get married and/or have children they may love to see photographs of your parents & grandparents & the farm.

Regarding the house. My siblings and I kept our grandparents/parents house for well over a decade after our last parent passed away. Although, no one lived there, we used it when we visited the area to see friends and relatives. The neighbors kept the grass mowed so it never really looked vacant.

OTOH, if you will not be returning to the area selling the house, when you are ready, may be the best option.

Good luck to you.
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:44 PM
 
8,218 posts, read 8,498,682 times
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Have you sat down to think about other options? The most obvious question is, could you possibly rent the house out and take the promotion? You don't mention how far you are from Raleigh. If it's a big house, perhaps you could lock off one room for all the things you're keeping. If you don't take the promotion, make a point of telling your manager that right at the moment you're burdened with a great deal of family business and you need to stay, but that you hope he'll keep you in mind next time (if there is a next time).

It's only been a bit more than half a year since your father died, so naturally you're still grieving. At some point, you should sit down and cull the photos, choosing the ones that are most meaningful to you. Some people advocate uploading them onto your computer, but I think sometimes there's something nice about the originals. Perhaps there's a historical society or the equivalent that might like to have the photos that you weed out.
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:13 PM
 
3,963 posts, read 5,248,587 times
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It takes a long time to do things like this. Deciding what to do with the photos, all the relics of the past, takes months, in my experience. If you have an opportunity in your life, you should take it. The relics will wait in boxes until you have time to deal with them. See if you can figure out a way to put on hold all those tasks and move back into the world when you have a chance.
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,540 posts, read 3,006,146 times
Reputation: 9433
My son died in January. I am posting pictures of him and my granddaughter, who is now 18 & I haven't seen since she was 5.

It is so hard & if I could, I would put the pictures away for a year or two, but we are having his memorial next month, when most family members can be there, and I will be creating a memory board.

If it's possible for you to put the pictures away until you're ready, it may help. As for the house, I can't advise anything. Hopefully the advice you've been given here helps you.

Grief takes its own time. I guess at some time you and I will be able to smile at the memories. I am not there yet. Just let time and God heal you.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:39 PM
 
1,239 posts, read 612,315 times
Reputation: 1688
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebellious1 View Post
Just a brief history first. My mom passed away back in 2012 and my dad passed away November of last year. I'm 30 years old and living in the house I grew up in. I paid off the house 4 years ago while I was taken care of dad with his cancer among other health issues.

I have started going through the house getting things organized and I have found hundreds of photos that my mother kept of this farm from the '40s and '50s. Down to my grandparent's marriage certificate back from 1923. I look at these photos and can't help but wish I could have been there. I missed so much and now I'm the only one left. This place use to be so alive and was well known around the community. Now it's just me and the dog.

How do I move on? My manager gave me a great promotion opportunity in Raleigh and I turned it down because I feel like I need to continue to take care of this place. If not, no one else will. But at the same time this place just brings back so many memories, good memories. I feel like life has drastically changed so much over the past 5-6 years I don't even know who the hell I am anymore or what I'm supposed to do.

Has anyone else experienced this?
I would strongly advise not selling the house. I recently had to sell my mom's house (which was also the house I grew up in ) when she died, and I am heartbroken over it. It sold for a great price, but emotionally, I can't get past it and nowhere else feels like home.


I am so sorry for your loss - I feel losing the house would be another blow to you. Follow your heart. There was a reason you turned down the Raleigh job.


Rent if you want to, but I wouldn't sell.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,706 posts, read 21,750,727 times
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Start scanning the photos and documents. I wish someone had suggested this to me when my husband and mother died. I've gotten rid of as many as I could--duplicates, ten different shot of the same thing, people I didn't know, scenery, etc. Last week I opened an oversized shoe box which is full of photos from the forties and fifties. Here we go again. My brother and sister don't want them. My nephew would love to take them, but he moves rather often. My son only wants the ones which were taken when he was alive. He doesn't want the old things.

It took years of suggesting, asking and begging, but I got my mom to leave the house to her SO, Frank. I knew if she left it to me, I'd be left wondering what to do with 70 years worth of stuff. After she died, I had about 7 days over a three week period to remove all of her personal effects. Frank was in a nursing home and the house had to change hands.

It was very difficult. I donated clothing and some household goods, threw things out, and took what I could. I made mistakes. I kept things which I didn't really want, and got rid of things which I wish I hadn't. I was lucky. My cousin was visiting from another state, niece came from another part of the state, sister flew in from the other coast, and nephew was living with me for a few months while looking for a job in the area. Many hands make light work, and other people will throw out things which you won't.

In the end, they are just things. My mother was a skilled seamstress, calligrapher, and could knit anything. I look at the pieces which she framed and wear the sweaters she knit. If tomorrow a tornado picked up everything I own and scattered it all over the county, I'd be distraught and sad, but in the end, they are just things. I'd rather have those people.
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