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Old 11-20-2017, 05:39 PM
 
Location: California
29,614 posts, read 31,942,975 times
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My mom is already in declutter mode and gives me stuff every time I visit. She doesn't know or care what I do with it but she can't bring herself to toss out or donate "good stuff" as she calls it. It's an ongoing process I'm happy to help with since she feel good about passing her things on and I feel good knowing it's that much less I'll have to deal with when the time comes. Not that there will be a lack of that, she's also labeling things so we don't accidently get rid of something of value. What that value is might not mean much once she's gone but that's not her concern right now.


The things I have of my people who have passed are not thing that make me sad, they are mostly practical and remind me of them in positive ways. My grandmas sewing box, a doily my grandpa crocheted, my friends favorite coffee mug, a doorstop a relative had sitting on the floor forever, and photos of people. I'm not into keeping things just for the sake of it, that can be overwhelming. A friend couldn't part with any furniture and crystal stemware and other things the people on her side of the family had, lot's of antiques for sure, but it made her house uncomfortably cluttered and she was not a happy being surrounded by it all.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:19 PM
 
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Agreed, Ceece. There is a point where one can have too much "stuff," but I imagine that is different for everyone.

My mom also did frequent "clean outs," and would actually say "I want to make it easier on you kids when you have to come in and do this." It was actually a good thing. When she moved to a senior living facility, she cleared out a lot, giving things to us or to charities. When she moved to assisted living, we had to do most of this, although she could give some input, but her furniture and such had already been significantly reduced. So when she went to a nursing home after a major stroke, we distributed almost all the rest, and very little went with her. At the end, 3 months later, there was almost nothing to deal with. I am grateful that we didn't have to deal with a whole house full of stuff after her death. As it is, many people have things they value because she gave away things thoughtfully in the beginning, and we tried to do the same when we were more involved. The items I have, both from my mom and grandma, help make anyplace I live a home rather than a house.

When I moved after the death of my husband, I had a terrible time getting rid of his stereo cabinets. This was a hard process for me, as I remembered how hard my husband worked to find just the right ones. I remember going to purchase them while pushing my son's stroller (he is now 31) and how my husband kept the wood oiled and polished, and everything so organized. So they were very high quality and in perfect condition, but were much pretty obsolete, as music systems in homes are so different now. They didn't work in my new home, either. I tried to sell them, but of course, no one wanted them. I finally compromised by giving them to a guy who was setting up a recording studio. I kept one low one to use as a printer stand, which is good, as there are so many good memories associated with it. So I had to compromise, but that's life. I think my husband would have agreed that I couldn't keep it all.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:26 PM
 
5,713 posts, read 12,830,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayulita View Post
I think this statement does a disservice to everyone. Everyone grieves differently. Maybe you needed a counselor to help you through it, but not everybody does. in fact, I'd imagine very few need it. People have been dealing with grief for tens of thousands of years without the help of a specialized grief counselor. In fact, they didn't even exist until maybe the last 25 years.

I have lost family and friends over the years and have coped in my own way without the need for professional intervention. Loss of a loved one is part of nearly everyone's life experience and doesn't usually need specialized intervention.
I went to a Grief Counseling Group after the loss of my husband. I found it dragged me further into a depression. Most of the people there had been grieving for several years and are unable to move on. I decided it wasn't helpful to me. I realize everyone grieves differently and as far as time that too is a variable but IMO the counselor was providing sympathy and understanding but not encouraging them to do things like cleaning out personal possessions or going to a senior center, etc. IMO the counselor was enabling them to remain grieving.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
I went to a Grief Counseling Group after the loss of my husband. I found it dragged me further into a depression. Most of the people there had been grieving for several years and are unable to move on. I decided it wasn't helpful to me. I realize everyone grieves differently and as far as time that too is a variable but IMO the counselor was providing sympathy and understanding but not encouraging them to do things like cleaning out personal possessions or going to a senior center, etc. IMO the counselor was enabling them to remain grieving.
You may be right that THIS group was not functional and was enabling dysfunction. But not all grief support is like that. The one I went to included people my age who had lost spouses within the last year. It was entirely appropriate and very helpful. I also made a very good friend from that group. I respect the fact that you had a bad experience and acknowledge that there are groups that are not helpful. But that doesn't mean ALL are unhelpful. Some are really crucial for making it back to positive living.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:05 PM
 
208 posts, read 232,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shades_of_idaho View Post
My life is not over yet. I choose to continue
Shades_of_Idaho, you're amazing. I love your mosaics!! Beautiful work. I'm also a cat (and dog) mom. My big fear is my furry babies ending up in a shelter. Before any trip, I leave papers in plain site with instructions of who to give my animals to.
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Midvale, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaduced View Post
Shades_of_Idaho, you're amazing. I love your mosaics!! Beautiful work. I'm also a cat (and dog) mom. My big fear is my furry babies ending up in a shelter. Before any trip, I leave papers in plain site with instructions of who to give my animals to.
Thank you Seduced. My animals are in my trust. Everything goes to Best Friends Animal rescue in Utah. In exchange they are to take my animals for the rest of their lives. It is a no kill shelter. It is all written up. I have no one to leave it too. This ensures the animals are cared for. The executor has instructions. I have been on one vacation in over 10 years at home except the nights I spent in the hospital with my husband. A friend took me for a week to the coast with another widow friend. We are in a small caretaker group of ten people. Only two spouses are left. It was so healing for me to get away and rest. I was exhausted. Scary to leave the animals in some one else's hands but I did it and had a good time.

Enjoy your vacation. HA now back to my mosaics. Doing a second glass on glass window to match the one in one of my latest photos. Hanging out side in the dog yard. On the dog house. Hahaha I am running out of walls to do inside the house.
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:48 PM
 
279 posts, read 308,760 times
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Mid-50s here, and after a life changing illness 2 years ago, I suddenly realized that stuff is just STUFF and that life experiences and time spent with loved ones and my pets are the real treasures.

I've sold/donated tons of stuff already -- just to simplify. Tired of cleaning it, moving it, thinking about where to put it, store it, etc., so got rid of it! I feel free!

Its been hard to part with things that were my parents... so I've kept a few cherished pieces of a few boxes of mementos.

My currents pets and future pets are all covered in my will... with money set aside for them.

If I outlive my husband, I'm not at all worried about who will come and "clean out" the stuff. It will be my step daughter and I'm sure she is capable of calling Junk King. She would not want anything from me unless it was cash.

So my mission is to embrace all the fun experiences NOW and enjoy as many as possible with my husband and friends! So one day hopefully I won't have regrets of woulda should coulda.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:41 PM
 
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Since we knew my husband would die a few years before he did, we had time to talk about pretty much everything. One thing we agreed upon was that I would not "memorialize" material things after his death. We have a tendency to think "He used that pillow; I can't get rid of it," or "this was his favorite _____." But we decided that I would keep things that had particular meaning, or value in passing down to family, but that lots of things could go without guilt. That was a helpful conversation, as far as letting "stuff" go. Some things did pull at my heart as they went out the door, but I did let them go out the door.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:26 AM
 
Location: I live in Bellevue, Wa, in Crossroads
964 posts, read 251,965 times
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Me mid 50's too, came to same conclusion. I LOVE my daughter and my pussycat. My time with them is priceless.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:38 AM
 
Location: northern New England
1,744 posts, read 706,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Since we knew my husband would die a few years before he did, we had time to talk about pretty much everything. One thing we agreed upon was that I would not "memorialize" material things after his death. We have a tendency to think "He used that pillow; I can't get rid of it," or "this was his favorite _____." But we decided that I would keep things that had particular meaning, or value in passing down to family, but that lots of things could go without guilt. That was a helpful conversation, as far as letting "stuff" go. Some things did pull at my heart as they went out the door, but I did let them go out the door.
After my DH passed, I got rid of most of his things soon. I did keep his pillow, for a while. Finally I decided I had to get rid of it --put it in the trash and went for a walk when I knew it would be picked up by the time I got back.

I kept his bathrobe, which is now MY robe, a sweatshirt that I couldn't donate because of a stain, so I wear it, and a knit hat he used to wear. That I can't seem to get rid of.

We were living in furnished condos when he passed so there wasn't a lot besides clothes. I have the utmost sympathy for people who have to go through a whole house full of stuff.
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