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How to pack up and move on?
mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2022 7:31 AM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 973

Mom passed on 12/20/22.  I know it’s early but Ive got to think about this. So far I’m just living in moms house with her cat. There’s no real hurry, fortunately, because we own the house she lived in these last 2.5 yrs, but all her stuff?!  When we moved mom so I could care for her, we basically picked her household of 60 yrs up and placed it here. It was in an effort to have familiarity for her.  I noticed that we didn’t need to be so diligent on making it exactly like her home early on but it was already done.  We did get rid of a lot before the move but it’s still A LOT and it’s “her”. I have no idea where to begin. Estate Sale? ,how do I do that? A Dumpster?, that seems even harder to do, especially since we did that one already. All the stuff here is what we decided to keep. ugh. This is a three bedroom house filled with my mom. Any advice on where/how to begin would be greatly appreciated.
Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2022 10:57 AM
Joined: 2/16/2017
Posts: 1886

Dear M&M

Like you said there is no need to hurry. You were an amazing caregiver for your mom. It's time for you to take care of you. Just sit back and enjoy the surroundings and hold the kitty so it feels the love you have. 

It will take some time to decided what you want to do with your mother's belongings. Maybe donate some things to her favorite charity. Give things to family members and or friends. Take your time like you said there is no hurry. Hugs Zetta 

Jo C.
Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 5:11 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13687

It has been such a short time since your mother's death and on top of a holiday that carries much emotion and a lot of work if one has extended family.

You have been an amazingly loving and caring daughter; I have been greatly impressed following you over time.  Your mother was truly blessed to have you by her side in support. 

Zetta is wise. This is not something that needs to be done right away.  Stop and breathe and give yourself a bit of time.  I would imagine you are used to being busy, busy, busy most of the day being the caregiver; this has changed abruptly in quick stop with your mother's death but the busy working feeling may still present as well as the need to finish getting life in order again.

You might want to let yourself be for just a bit.  If there is clutter annoying you, simply slide it to the side or stash it in a closet and breathe.

When it came time to clear out my mother's house, it was strange and also such a feeling of loss as well as looking at all her "stuff" and thinking, "Is this really the final sum total of a person's life?"  For me, it felt surreal.  My out of state sibling did not want anything from the house.

What I did was to keep two small furniture pieces that meant something.  First I went through her clothing.   Some items were tossed.  I invited a  dear care aide we had used for a long time to join me if she wished.  As items were removed from the closet, the aide kept some good pieces for her family; the other items were packed in boxes or bags and were left to donate.  I also gave her Mom's china which she was delighted to have.  I have my own and did not want to sell the china.

I went through the kitchen and packed up dishes, glassware, pans, etc.  I decided against having a sale of goods and furniture as I just could not cope with that at the time. However; there are groups that will come in and get everything organized and then run an "estate" sale or "house goods" sale. They set up and run everything and then take a percentage of the sales amount. However, I just did not want to deal with that.

So; I decided to donate everything to the Salvation Army.  They come with their truck and they come fast; in our instance, they were there with their big truck in 24 hours.  They took all of the clothing and most all of the furniture, (they did not accept patio furniture),  including lamps and bedding and were efficient and swift.

Then came the time when all was gone that I stood in the pretty much empty, quiet house and it was stunning to realize with absoluteness of clarity that nothing would ever be the same again.

It will all be sorted out soon. I do not know where you are for what the weather is like. If in the big storm area, it may be best to wait for better weather for getting an organization to help empty things out for you.

Keep in touch as you feel up to it, you are always part of this big extended electronic family and you have much experience and wisdom to share with others.

I wish you the very best as you move forward,


Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 11:01 AM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 2479

Dear M&M, Just want you to know I'm thinking about you. Please try to get some rest. Stage 8 is very hard.
mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Monday, January 2, 2023 2:30 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 973

Thanks to you all.  This club is positioned deeply in my heart. 

Today is a hard one for me it seems.  With the holidays and family (grandkids etc…) it’s been busy. Also the initial business things related to moms death; working with my brother to get some things done. We’ve got a lot to do still, of course, regarding financial issues. Thank goodness he and I are still working together.  We also miss each other a lot.  He did not come during moms transition and death.  Im so ok with that as he was with me by phone and he was with us by camera which he could also talk to us through. His presence was well known to me. My husband canceled a business trip just as I was needing him to be here.  Mom worked it out for all of us.  

 I do wonder with “the chain of events” that lead to her passing, if I might have some sort of PTSD.  The abandonment I felt by the service we paid well, palliative care and hospice, my begging to get help from someone, it’s very traumatic for me to think about along with the actual caring for mom around the clock while trying to recover myself.  The thread I posted in my panicked state is still very much part of what I’m dealing with.  The loss of mom, for now, seems like the “natural order of things” so I think I’m going to be ok with being sad and missing her forever.  When someone asks how I’m doing, I immediately think of the 2 weeks of trauma, “the chain of events”… that’s really affecting me.  It’s too long of a story to share with someone that asks how I am.  Very strange feelings for me.  

I’m finally feeling physically stronger, not 100% but I can see I will get better.  Today is the first day I’ve not had a responsibility to anyone else.  Feels empty and sad cause now I can really sit with the loss of my mom.  I did get most of the DME on Craigslist and a wonderful family picked up the bed and alternating air mattress, a wheelchair, walker and bed table yesterday. I’m so happy they can use it for their aging father.   But…the bed isn’t in the living room anymore and it’s quite bare.  I’m still living in the house with her cat.  My family may be wondering what I’ll do next as far as living in my own house.  I actually don’t know yet.  My husband is amazing that’s all I can say. I’ve been getting some shredding done, going through papers.  Still haven’t taken Christmas down, that’s probably next. Then, her clothes/coats.   Makes me tear up just thinking about it. All her stuff…it’s just all of her.  Exactly as you say, Jo.C. 

I’m thinking about all of you too.   abc… I wish you are feeling some peace while finding yourself.  I hope your dad has some understanding of what you need.  Make it known, take care of you.  You deserve life. 

Thank you!