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Questions Without Answers

August 15, 2012

I’m sitting here on the sofa and I took a look around and thought…where do I start? This house is filled with my mother, and I don’t know what to do or where to begin. Yeah, I know where to take her clothes, and I can find a home for all her books, and she told me what to do with important things like her jewelry and certain family heirlooms, but…what about the rest of it?

What about the blue vases in the cabinet in the dining room? Should I get rid of those and put my cows in there? Or maybe my music box collection? Do I keep the porcelain cat which is by the stove because I bought it for her one year for Mother’s Day? Should I leave the copper molds hanging in the kitchen? Or find something to replace them with? 

Do I take down the antique mirror over the fireplace and put up an original piece of art of my own I’ve had for years? Can I replace the sheets for her bed? Her duvet covers? What about the opera glasses she bought herself after giving me my own pair for my 16th birthday, should I give them away? What do I do with her high school yearbooks? Her DVDs?  

What do I do with all her genealogy books? Her half-finished needlepoint canvases? Her purses? What about her christmas ornaments? What should I do about the fabric sample hanging over the kitchen sink that she put there 3 years ago to “live with” before she made a valance out of it? 

We had the same coloring and often bought the same makeup. Is it okay if I use hers? Or should I just toss it all? Can I wash the makeup brushes and use them? What about the carpet in the living room? The silver eyeglass case on her bedside table? The dresser in the entryway? Do I keep her dishes because they’re better than mine, even though I’m not crazy about the pattern? What do I do with the antique doilies she bought to make into pillows? The shawl I knit her which she never wore because it was too big? 

Do I keep these things? Do I give them away? To whom? Do I take them to Goodwill or The Salvation Army? Do I sell them on E-bay or take them to a consignment shop? Do I put all these things in one room and have family and friends come and take stuff?

Do I try and do a little each day? or try and cut swathes through this all in large chunks? Should I try and do some on my own? Should I call my friends or her friends and have them come help? 

How will I know what to keep and what to let go of? What to change and what to leave?

How do I get rid of all her things and not feel like I’m getting rid of her?

And how do I do it all without missing her so much it hurts to breathe?

Lynda the Guppy
aka A Grieving Guppy
aka A Fish With Sticks

• Posted in Blog • Tags: | 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Questions Without Answers

  1. I know it sounds dumb, but one day at a time. If you don’t know yet, then you’re not ready. When you’re ready to give something away, or keep something… you’ll know. And you’ll never not miss her, but it will get a little easier to breathe day by day.

  2. Little bits! Do it in little bits. And yes, use the stuff of hers that you want and give away the stuff you don’t. Again, in little bits! But I wouldn’t necessarily give to the all-in-one charities without checking more specific recipients first.

    For example, the genealogy books might very well be useful to your local genealogy society. And if it seems too much work to find that all out and deal with it, I’ve got a Gma in law who would adore taking that on.

    Delegate! Yeah! … In litte bits. Always in little bits and no beating yourself up over anything that’s not done.

    Lots of love and hugs!

  3. Hi Lynda, this is my first visit to your blog. I just read your comment at Mason-Dixon and loved your name – Lynda the Guppy. My condolences on your loss. I haven’t experienced what you have, the closeness with your mom and her loss. I can only say (about your post) what I thought as I read it – if you feel you should ‘do something’ you can alway box up whatever and hold on to it until you feel ready to do something. I think definitely get help, maybe just a little, if her friends want, they may need to, to say goodbye and maybe let them take a favorite thing if they ask and it doesn’t mean much to you or they mean more. And take time, time for you. After 2 and a half years as her caregiver, it’s okay to think of you. And if you choose to do it otherwise, who am I but a total stranger? Even if the advise is from a loved one, please do what your heart tells you. God bless.

  4. I’m so sorry about your mom. I haven’t been online much and didn’t see the post until today. Thinking about you and sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

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