My Mother passed away on Sept 28th 2010. I'm still finding it hard to believe she is really gone! It seems like a very bad dream and I'll be able to wake up tomorrow and drive to her little apartment to pick her up to go shopping or whatever we would like to do. We had to pack up her entire apartment and now are left with all of my Mom's personal belongings in our house. This past week I thought I would try to go through some of the boxes with her personal belongings and try to figure out what to keep, what to give to relatives or donate.  Each time I've tried to start the process of going through these boxes, I break down and get nothing accomplished.  I start with one box and end up sitting and crying while I have the contents of the box scattered all over the floor in front of me trying to figure out what to do with each item. I end up putting everything back in the box it came from and leaving the room in tears. Over and over again. There are so many things that meant so much to her. What do I do with them? The hardest thing is to see things she used everyday. Silly things like the container that held all her favorite pens and pencils that she used everyday. This cute container that held her pens used to sit next to her while she sat in her favorite chair and I can still see her reach for a pen to write something down. She always was writing something and had to have her pens next to her. I used to tease her all the time..."Mom why do you need so many pens?" She had every color and every make of pen in that darn container. She used to laugh about it and tell me she used every single pen. For some reason...just seeing the container sitting in a box...like its just sitting there waiting for her to use... breaks my heart. Why is this so hard? Its just a container holding pens and a couple pairs of scissors and her little magnifying glass. Is this crazy??? I was going to put it on my desk but somehow it doesn't feel right. I keep wondering if I'm going nuts or what is wrong with me. How can I let a container holding pens cause me such heartache?  I picked up her favorite pen couldn't stop crying. So there the container sits...in the box...waiting to be taken out but I can't for some reason. How can seeing these darn pens hurt so much? I miss her so much and its overwhelming to know I have a bedroom full or boxes with my Mom's "life" sitting there waiting for me to go through them. Right now I don't feel like I can do it. Those boxes may be there for a very long time. I can't even open the ones with pictures in them. No way...not right now. I know I should wait until I'm ready but every other day I think I'm ready, just get it done and over with I guess is my theory. I have to do it at some point. Move forward!  But I'm frozen! Has anyone else ever experienced this before?  I'm so sad and missing her so much! Has anyone else ever had to do this? Go through all their loved ones possessions? How do you do it?  

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Hi Missing my Mom! I know excatly how you feel ! My beloved Mom passed in early September and it still is unbelivable! I too have hard hard time with parting with her personal belongings. Clothes especially! Some of her clothes like the ones she wore recently still have her "smell' on them. It is heart-wrenching to me! I just have to keep maybe some of them and gradually give some others away! She would have wanted them to go to good use anyway.

I try to tell myself her personal things are just "stuff" and do not represent the essence of my Mom's earthly life. I know-- easer said than how it does really feel. I hope my thoughts helped!


Frank.
I am confused as to what the big hurry is for people to pack up a loved one's belongings? My mother passed away on February 20, and I can't even open her closet! I know it will smell like her, and that is still too painful. Someday I know it will bring some comfort, but I am not there yet.

My Dad is adjusting to living alone, and going home is not only very difficult without her there (I keep expecting her to walk out into the kitchen), but strangely comforting. She kept such a beautiful home and there are so many of her personal touches in every room. My sister thinks we should begin dispersing her personal things, but my Dad is nowhere near ready! I think that for us, we will wait until the one year anniversary to even talk about it again. My Dad is missing her desperately, and I just don't see the point of moving too quickly. People talk about moving on...moving on to what? Pretending that the person never lived? Trying to remove any reminders of their life? I am angered by this attitude that we have to MOVE ON and act as if nothing happened!

It is devastating to lose a parent, and I think honoring your grief and the healing process is a way to honor the person you love. Wading through the pain of loss is different for every one and every family. I believe you shold do what feels right to YOU, and stand up for your right to confront these rituals of loss at your own pace...I believe it is the only chance we have for any peace. My sympathies to all who come here to find comfort and solace.
It must be very difficult to pack up everything that belonged to someone under those circumstances...I understand that we don't always have the luxury of waiting. I agree that even though they are just earthly possessions, there are memories attached, and for now, it probably feels really painful to see them. Leaving them packed away for now might be best....they will be there when you are ready. I am so sorry for all you have lost...my you have the strength to make it through this lonely time.
Francis...Thank you for the kind words. I do understand what you mean about personal possessions just being "stuff." My logical brain tells me everything in the boxes are just that...stuff. But the emotional part of my brain tells me that every single little item that I pull out of a box has a special memory for me of Mom. It is gut wrenching to say the lest but I am trying really hard to make my heart understand my Mother would NEVER want me to be sad about her or about any of her "stuff." She would want me to donate the things I can't use to her favorite thrift store so someone else could use it. That was the way she was. She was a very positive person and I know for a fact she would tell me to not be sad about going through all her stuff. I have boxes of clothing I will need to donate and some favorite things I will keep I'm sure. Like your Mom, my Mother's clothes still have her smell. The first time I noticed it, I couldn't stop crying... but today it comforted me. Who knows how I will feel tomorrow but I do know that she would want some other little ole lady (as she would say) to get some use out of her "stuff." Thanks for your thoughts!


Missing my Mom said:
Francis...Thank you for the kind words. I do understand what you mean about personal possessions just being "stuff." My logical brain tells me everything in the boxes are just that...stuff. But the emotional part of my brain tells me that every single little item that I pull out of a box has a special memory for me of Mom. It is gut wrenching to say the lest but I am trying really hard to make my heart understand my Mother would NEVER want me to be sad about her or about any of her "stuff." She would want me to donate the things I can't use to her favorite thrift store so someone else could use it. That was the way she was. She was a very positive person and I know for a fact she would tell me to not be sad about going through all her stuff. I have boxes of clothing I will need to donate and some favorite things I will keep I'm sure. Like your Mom, my Mother's clothes still have her smell. The first time I noticed it, I couldn't stop crying... but today it comforted me. Who knows how I will feel tomorrow but I do know that she would want some other little ole lady (as she would say) to get some use out of her "stuff." Thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Missing my Mom! I just saw the e-mail!--- I suggest like me just to keep some of the personal items of our Moms that mean the most to us! I am donating some of the clothes----I do agree some of my mom's clothes that she wore rather recently---there was a blue blouse I loved to see her in----I cannot maybe ever give away or dispose of! It is very personal of course what items we want to keep! But I actually am comfortable with parting with much of her items. What can I say? It is tough indeed!

I hope you have lots of photographs of your mom! Like I do! Sometimes a great picture of her is all I need to get through the day!

Best wishes

Frank.
Chasity...your thoughts are much appreciated. I know exactly what you mean about thinking of your Mom all the time. You are not alone with those feelings! I think about my Mom constantly and I don't think I'm crazy and neither are you. I think we just miss our Moms so much that we are having a difficult time understanding the concept that its forever. Everyday I have to remember I can't call her or drive over to pick her up or just talk on the phone at all different times of the day like we did before. Its just feels surreal and I still can't believe it! Last night I found her cosmetic bag in the trunk of my car along with the blanket she had been using at the nursing home. Inside the bag was her little special bottles of perfume we got at the Mall, her makeup, tweezers and things she used daily etc. I couldn't stop crying...just holding her little bottle of perfume... that smell put me over the edge. The point I'm making is you are not alone with these feelings. I do know my Mother would never want me to be sad though. She would want me to be happy and go on with my life but right now it just feels like I'm too sad to think about the future without her. I think about when my Grandmother who lived to be 92 passed away and I know I will get through this just like my Mom did... somehow. But I just miss her...darn it! It hurts! I want our life back the way it was! We were so close and I loved her so very much. I don't know how I will live without her in my life. I miss her more everyday it seems but I don't think we are crazy. I think we just miss our Moms! Somehow we will get through this. Take care,
My thoughts are with you....
Angie... Thank you also for your thoughts. You are right. We should all handle our grief in the way that is best for each one of us. I have decided I will take each day as it is and figure out what I'm going to do with my Mother's possessions on that day I guess. Although at some point I will have to get things organized as her entire apartment is now in our house. My husband is very understanding but I do feel the need to get my house organized. When we realized my Mother was not going to ever be able to return to her apartment we had to move everything and of course it came to our house. So although I don't like to think I need to hurry up and get it done, the reality is I have to decide soon what to do with it all as our house & garage is very full right now. Believe me there is alot of "stuff" that needs to be taken care of and I feel pretty much overwhelmed with it because there is so much. Besides the emotional part of my Mom's stuff, there is the need to get my house organized for my own sanity. But I do understand what you mean. I guess I feel like I don't have the opportunity to keep everything boxed up until I feel ready because everything is taking up so much space in my house. I do know my Mom and what she would have said. She would have told me...sooner the better...get it done. But I am having such a hard time doing that. Maybe next week I'll get some of it done but this weekend I still can't open a box. Way too many memories in each box today, but I know its waiting for me. Life is difficult right now but I accept I have to deal with it at some point. I do appreciate your comforting words though, I believe we all need those right now. Take care....
I freaked out about a piece of paper my mom wrote on before she passed away that my husband thought was trash he picked it up to throw it away and I just freaked out and started crying it is the smallest things that mean so much! I lost my mom on the 26th of Sept 2010 to cancer I cry at least once a day it is so hard. Just wondering when or if it will get better
Can anyone tell me if they have done something like this? I'm beginning to think I'm crazy. My Mother left a voicemail on my phone about a month before she died that I forgot was there. After realizing I had this voicemail recently, I have been listening to it occasionally and its wonderful to hear her voice. Somehow it comforts me to hear her...sometimes. But other times when I listen to the voicemail it just breaks my heart to hear her and the pain starts allover again just like the day I lost her in Sept. I had a friend tell me this was morbid (to listen to her voice) and I should get rid of the voicemail if it makes me sad. It doesn't always make me sad. I am not deleting her voicemail yet as I'm not ready to but I know it won't be there forever. Has anyone else done this? Listened to a message left by a loved one after they've passed away. I am glad its there and don't think of it as morbid but maybe I am nuts. Any thoughts?
Danyale....I am feeling the same as you. I was looking through my Mom's address book yesterday and found a bunch of little scraps of paper she wrote on with friends phones numbers etc. I showed my husband my Mom's beautiful handwriting and couldn't stop crying for some reason. It just makes me so sad to see her personal things right now that I know she will never touch again. There was a cute little purple paper clip she used to hold some items together in the address book that I kept touching. Its like I'm touching what she touched last. She put that paper clip on those little scraps of paper and I couldn't take it off. There is so much of her personal items I have with me that I can't sort through yet. One minute it makes me happy to see her things...next minute I'm crying my heart out. I lost her Sept 28th, 2010 and tomorrow is a month already. I'm still trying to figure out how it can be 30 days already I've lived without her. Just know you aren't alone. I feel your pain. Hugs to you....
My Mom passed on December 20, 2009. My dad asked my sister and I to go through the house and remove her things just 2 weeks later. I was fortunate to have someone to do it with, and glad dad gave us a deadline. He went away for 3 days and we stayed there and went through room by room, ending in her bedroom. We laughed and cried a whole lot those days. It didn't make it easier to let go of her things, though. My mother collected reading glasses and hats like yours did pens. It was a joke with everyone who knew her. So we gave the pens to her friends and some of our other relatives who always wore them and left a few in her usual spots. Everyone enjoys having a pair of her glasses and I think Dad finds comfort in the few pairs we left for him. Her hats we put in a big hefty bag and when we had our first "family girls weekend" that she was not at in 40 years, we let each of the women pick one to wear so we were all wearing them on the beach. It was bittersweet and funny and sad and I think that's just the way it always is now. She was only 61 and I have a 2 1/2 year old and everything new he does is something she isn't here for. It's hard....and it's been over 10 months. My dad and I can talk about her for about 30 seconds and then we both look away to shed our private tears. All I can say to you is something a childhood friend said to me (her Mom passed 6 years ago)....it doesn't get any easier....you just learn to live with it. I think it's true. I still cry almost every day. I still pick up the phone to call her. I still can't believe she is gone. It's surreal.

Give yourself a break. It's a hard thing to do to let go of "posessions." I didn't do a very good job of it. I have a whole room full of clothing in my house that is 2 sizes too big for me! I wear them sometimes...it makes me feel closer to her. Most of them are still in baskets and bags and I can't seem to organize them in my house. Again...it's been almost 10 months since I moved them out of her house!!! But who cares? No one says they need to be put away or given away at any given time. Do it as you can.

I am so sorry for your loss....remember that we all eventually have to deal with this, so you are not alone.
I think that is one of the best things that I have heard..
"it doesn't get any easier....you just learn to live with it."
I was told it will get easier with time.

My daddy passed September 3rd 2010. We haven't gone through his closet yet. I don't think I can, not yet. A week after my dad passed I went in his closet and grabbed one of his favorite shirts and just smelled it. I cried and cried. I miss him sooo much. I remember the last time I washed his clothes he asked me to make sure I do whatever I did last time because his clothes smelled so good after. I started crying at the laundry mat when I remembered that. When I saw wafer cookies @ the market on sale I automatically thought " oh I need to get these for dad he's gonna need them for his banana pudding " then it hit me that my daddy's not here and I started bawling when I noticed the recipe on the box . I couldn't watch a baseball game without crying.. that was my dad's and my thing.
I literally feel that my heart is broken. ='(
My daddy's birthday is next month and my birthday is in dec. He used to tell me that we were 2 of a kind born near special occasions.. He was the turkey and i was the elf.

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