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Old 07-24-2018, 10:51 AM
 
871 posts, read 255,900 times
Reputation: 1147

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So my parents have both passed, my Mom in April, and my Dad two weeks ago.
So not only am I a wreck because of my parents passing, the house that I grew up in, have much of my childhood memories in, and that my parents lived in since 1978 has to be sold. The house feels really empty now because my parents are gone. This is the place that they chose, bought, raised us in, paid off, and lived out their retirement.

This house was basically my home base until recently. Most of the holidays were spent there throughout my lifetime. It wasnt until my Dad passed that I realized this is going away permanently. I wont have any reason to go back to my hometown anymore. Its either my house, my older brothers house in North jersey or my Uncles family in Virginia.

Not to mention my own house feels empty, because my Dad and I found it together, and it was supposed to be his home away from home, he was a big part of helping me with my house, and my neighbors love him. But because of my Moms growing dementia he couldnt come down as often as he wanted to, and couldnt stay over. I feel really lost now.

I know I have to get over this eventually, but am I way off base? Should I just rely on pictures? Will I be able to cope with letting the house go in the future? The reality is I cant keep it the way it is, its not sensible.

I just wanted to know if there was anyone else that had to part with a longtime home base? Everyone I talk to moved around alot so they didnt get attached to any place they grew up.

Has anyone else had to deal with such a situation?
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,428 posts, read 15,834,769 times
Reputation: 38591
I am sorry for your loss.

I know what you are feeling. I grew up on a farm that has now been in the family for over 100 years. I took my siblings and me several years to downsize the house and barns on the farm (as we all lived far away).

However, it is now almost 20 years later and while all of us have many happy memories, the farm is not really home any more. None of our grandchildren even remember our parents, and some of our children barely remember them.

We still own part of the farm, and still have relatives in the area, but our trips "home" are becoming fewer and fewer. We still hold a huge family/friends/neighbors reunion on the farm every 5 to 8 years, but even that probably will end when my siblings start to pass away.

I do have one caution. If you do have some time to spare before selling the house do not rush it. My late MIL and her sister completely emptied, and sold, their childhood home within a month after their last parent died. Even 40 years later she regretted that they gave away or threw away almost everything from their parents and their childhood (as she and her sister lived out of state and could only carry a few items home on the plane). She told people, that even if you just wait just a few weeks or a month or two, or longer, if possible, you will be a lot more "clear headed" about everything and can make better decisions about downsizing.

Again, I am sorry for your loss. It must be very difficult losing both parents so close together. Please lean on your family for support.

Last edited by germaine2626; 07-24-2018 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
16,659 posts, read 3,443,933 times
Reputation: 22343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Hemi View Post
So my parents have both passed, my Mom in April, and my Dad two weeks ago.
So not only am I a wreck because of my parents passing, the house that I grew up in, have much of my childhood memories in, and that my parents lived in since 1978 has to be sold. The house feels really empty now because my parents are gone. This is the place that they chose, bought, raised us in, paid off, and lived out their retirement.

This house was basically my home base until recently. Most of the holidays were spent there throughout my lifetime. It wasnt until my Dad passed that I realized this is going away permanently. I wont have any reason to go back to my hometown anymore. Its either my house, my older brothers house in North jersey or my Uncles family in Virginia.

Not to mention my own house feels empty, because my Dad and I found it together, and it was supposed to be his home away from home, he was a big part of helping me with my house, and my neighbors love him. But because of my Moms growing dementia he couldnt come down as often as he wanted to, and couldnt stay over. I feel really lost now.

I know I have to get over this eventually, but am I way off base? Should I just rely on pictures? Will I be able to cope with letting the house go in the future? The reality is I cant keep it the way it is, its not sensible.

I just wanted to know if there was anyone else that had to part with a longtime home base? Everyone I talk to moved around alot so they didnt get attached to any place they grew up.

Has anyone else had to deal with such a situation?


There are many, many of us that have gone through the death of last parent and need to sell their home and belongings.

Remember feeling like I was an untethered balloon after the last parent died. No home base is right. And I was 40 yrs. old...

You do get through it but slowly. Not only are you dealing with parent deaths but also the need to close out their estate in a timely matter. Spend some time in the house remembering good and pleasant times, cry a bit then pick yourself up and do what you must...

You might have other family and friends that can help become a supportive base for you. But IMHO, it's never the same. Just something else you must learn to accept in life.

I promise it gets easier...over time. Go at your own pace
and best wishes.
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:24 PM
 
871 posts, read 255,900 times
Reputation: 1147
Thank you both. Untethered balloon is right. I do have great support with family and friends though.

I have been gathering all the keepsakes I can to remind me of my parents. The house is only an hour away from mine, so I can keep all I want. We arent rushing to sell the house. But it looks like even in time as I make new memories in my house, the memories and yearning for the home base will eventually fade. Thats how the brain works I guess.
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
16,659 posts, read 3,443,933 times
Reputation: 22343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Hemi View Post
Thank you both. Untethered balloon is right. I do have great support with family and friends though.

I have been gathering all the keepsakes I can to remind me of my parents. The house is only an hour away from mine, so I can keep all I want. We arent rushing to sell the house. But it looks like even in time as I make new memories in my house, the memories and yearning for the home base will eventually fade. Thats how the brain works I guess.
Yes...you have a good grasp of everything now.

Don't do what I did though....try to keep a deluge of items etc. I felt at the time that things would help me not forget, or rather to remember...but found I had saved too much...

and that all the reminders you need are already packed away in memories.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,599 posts, read 21,651,849 times
Reputation: 27578
At two weeks, I was still forgetting to eat.

After my father-in-law died, the house had to be sold as soon as possible. When mom died, it was pretty much the same. I asked her to leave her home to her SO, and she did, but it was my responsibility to get rid of the personal effects, paperwork, and useless junk that she'd been keeping for years.

It was hard. I no longer had a mom and dad home.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:35 AM
 
727 posts, read 65,698 times
Reputation: 325
Unhappy  

Im so sorry........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Hemi
Thank you both. Untethered balloon is right. I do have great support with family and friends though.
Im so sorry Harry... Ill say a prayer things will work out good for you
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,571 posts, read 4,761,033 times
Reputation: 16465
It was my parents home for 47 years. I grew up there. After I emptied out their stuff it wasn't the same. It didn't seem like their house any longer. It was just empty rooms. I spent every major holiday there for 47 years but without them and their stuff it was just a house. Jumping ahead 12 years, I don't really have any feelings for it now. Couldn't care less what happens to it or who lives there. People make the home.

Give it time.
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:34 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,122 posts, read 6,301,171 times
Reputation: 12644
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Hemi View Post
So my parents have both passed, my Mom in April, and my Dad two weeks ago.
So not only am I a wreck because of my parents passing, the house that I grew up in, have much of my childhood memories in, and that my parents lived in since 1978 has to be sold. The house feels really empty now because my parents are gone. This is the place that they chose, bought, raised us in, paid off, and lived out their retirement.

This house was basically my home base until recently. Most of the holidays were spent there throughout my lifetime. It wasnt until my Dad passed that I realized this is going away permanently. I wont have any reason to go back to my hometown anymore. Its either my house, my older brothers house in North jersey or my Uncles family in Virginia.

Not to mention my own house feels empty, because my Dad and I found it together, and it was supposed to be his home away from home, he was a big part of helping me with my house, and my neighbors love him. But because of my Moms growing dementia he couldnt come down as often as he wanted to, and couldnt stay over. I feel really lost now.

I know I have to get over this eventually, but am I way off base? Should I just rely on pictures? Will I be able to cope with letting the house go in the future? The reality is I cant keep it the way it is, its not sensible.

I just wanted to know if there was anyone else that had to part with a longtime home base? Everyone I talk to moved around alot so they didnt get attached to any place they grew up.

Has anyone else had to deal with such a situation?
I'm sorry for your loss. Being as lost as you describe is understandable, IMO, given that it's only been a few months since you lost both your parents. I think that, and facing the loss of your childhood home with all its memories, has to make you feel somehow more vulnerable besides the grief from those losses.

It's been quite a few years, but your situation sounds somewhat similar to what my husband went through when his parents died a little less than three weeks apart. His mother had been ill, even still, her death (at age 64) was unexpected and the cause could probably have been prevented but she had lost the will to live, I always thought (long story I won't go into here).

His dad's death was totally unexpected and sudden, he was planning to come and visit us for a while, spend some time getting to know his new granddaughter, and do the traveling to see his brothers (he had seven of them!) he'd been unable to do when his wife was alive. We got word of his collapse and death one afternoon just as ae we were getting home from work. He had been returning some books to a used bookstore, and the owner asked about his wife. As he responded telling the owner of her death, he collapsed, and died on the way to the hospital. Apparently he had had a massive heart attack (broken heart?) although he had no prior history of cardiac disease (though he was diabetic) so no one expected this.

My poor husband was understandably beside himself with grief, he was their only child and they had been close. He'd shared with me the memories of his growing up, his parents who hadn't had much in the way of money or possessions but lots of love and determination to make a good life for him. And they were proud of him and the man he had become.

The throught of two funerals so close together (19 days apart) was heartbreaking, fortunately my husband had the support and help from several beloved cousins who had grown up with him. And of course, I'd have gone to the end of the world for him and hope I was able to provide the support and love he needed to get through his grief especially the first year. And get through it to where he/we were able to find comfort and solace in the good memories and love shared with his parents (I loved them too, and they had always been wonderful to me) we did.

My husband also had the task of deciding what to do with the house where his parents lived, they had bought it new when he was three years old so he grew up in that house too. I know he had considered that house an "anchor" of sorts, though he had had no desire to return to that location (Long Island, NY) to live, and we were happy with our lives in Florida. But he considered at one point, returning there to live in his parents' house, at least he mentioned it. I hoped and prayed this thought was just in passing to avoid having to sell it, as the house was very small, needed a lot of work, and I really didn't want to live in the area. I knew he didn't either, IMO that was the grief talking.

He really wasn't himself for an entire year after his parents' deaths, he was absentminded and made a lot of mistakes, would spend a lot of his free time sitting alone in a dark room, listening to classical music and drinking- he's not a drinker. I grieved for him too, let him be in the solace I think he needed, picked up after his mistakes as I could, and let him know I loved him and was there. Gradually it got better.

As for the house, he came to his senses about moving there and looked for the right buyer. The property was very much in demand so we got lots of phone calls, letters from realtors and buyers with offers to buy the house. My husband decided to sell it to a young couple with two children who he said reminded him of us as a couple-they even had the same first names as we do. They fell in love with the house and area, and my husband figured they'd love the house as his parents and he had, would take care of it, and have a good life there as he had. Turns out that's pretty much been the case.

That's our story, kind of a life goes on scenario, I guess.

In any case, my condolences to you and your family for your losses, and I pray that in the days to come, you'll see the path that's the best for you to continue on with your own lives, and, take solace in the memories and love you shared with your parents.
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:41 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,406 posts, read 42,557,582 times
Reputation: 56937
So sorry, Harry. I know how you feel. When my last parent died I was in my 40s, but I still felt like an orphan. I was married with my own family, but I just felt like my safety net was gone.

Could you or a sibling buy the house? Can you leave it be for a few months until you grieve a bit?
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