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It just feels so wrong....

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
47
So mum has been in the care home six weeks, and it’s been confirmed that it’s permanent. She is a tiny bit more settled so I should be feeling a little better myself...however...her house. It belongs to the housing association so we have given notice. She has been there 53 years, I grew up there. So now I am clearing out, packing up, selling, giving to charity, giving away....all her things. It feels horrible. I feel horrible. She is still alive and I am erasing her existence. The home have been great and said some of her things can go in her room....but not 53 years worth. Things she worked hard for, memories, things she loved. I’m an only child so I knew one day I would be doing this but somehow it would seem okay if she had passed away. I feel bad saying that.
And then, when the day comes that she does leave this earth....her life will take an hour to pack up from her room at the care home...a couple of bin bags. It’s just not sitting right. I feel like I am deceiving her as she will have no thoughts that the house needs clearing out and the huge task that it is. It would break her heart to watch. It’s breaking mine. is it just me??
 

DaveCr1968

Registered User
Jul 5, 2020
46
Hi Sarah

Huge sympathy with what you are going through. I'm also an only child. My mum passed away a few days ago and dad will need to go into a care home because of his dementia. I can't bring myself to even look at mum's stuff at the moment so will focus on getting dad settled first and sorting out a cremation, probate, etc.

Take care

Dave
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,858
North West
So mum has been in the care home six weeks, and it’s been confirmed that it’s permanent. She is a tiny bit more settled so I should be feeling a little better myself...however...her house. It belongs to the housing association so we have given notice. She has been there 53 years, I grew up there. So now I am clearing out, packing up, selling, giving to charity, giving away....all her things. It feels horrible. I feel horrible. She is still alive and I am erasing her existence. The home have been great and said some of her things can go in her room....but not 53 years worth. Things she worked hard for, memories, things she loved. I’m an only child so I knew one day I would be doing this but somehow it would seem okay if she had passed away. I feel bad saying that.
And then, when the day comes that she does leave this earth....her life will take an hour to pack up from her room at the care home...a couple of bin bags. It’s just not sitting right. I feel like I am deceiving her as she will have no thoughts that the house needs clearing out and the huge task that it is. It would break her heart to watch. It’s breaking mine. is it just me??
I have just gone through the same thing packing up mums house, and your right it does feel so wrong when they are still here albeit in a care home. I had left mums room as she left it the day I took her to the care home which was in November last year. Finally I had to clear the house to sell. I cleared her personal items most of which has gone into storage, but I couldn't complete the task and had to get someone in to move out or break up her bedroom furniture -a horrible day, but a task that had to be done. It all seems and feels so final. My mums room is the same in the CH, it wouldn't take much longer than hour to clear what items she has left and it feels so very sad thinking about. I try to tell myself mum would have sorted things anyway had she been able to, but it doesn't make me feel any better.

The task is done now and her home virtually empty, almost as if she was never here. I have left her last cross stitch in the living room and her hat perched on one of the coat pegs in the hallway, that is all that remains other than memories.

No it isn't just you
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,337
South East
No it isn’t just you , lots of us all felt the same . It is very hard and I think it would of been easier if my mum had already gone when I had to do it , but needs must . I try to think how I would feel if it was my children in that situation , and I would want them to do what they had to to make it a little easier for them, I’m sure your mum would understand and wouldn’t want you to feel so bad .
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
374
I sympathise. Apart from his piano, dad took very little from his home to move into independent living, and as a result lost everything he had hoarded, almost all the furniture he had inherited, and every photo and memento of his family. I am sort of relieved as going through the house and storage would have been mental torture for me, but just cleaning out his flat was bad enough. I too would have felt horrible. I was helped by having a lot of pressure as he was to be evicted so decisions had to be made quickly, and it's only now I regret the photos and things of sentiment which have been lost.
I know it's only 'stuff' but I am like my dad and can be rather sentimental.
You are doing what is necessary, a great service. It is downsizing when she is unable to take the action herself. Please give yourself credit and be kind to yourself.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
513
Your emotions are totally normal, I am going through exactly the same getting Mums house ready for rental. She also moved into a care home recently and at the Best Interest meeting on Thursday, the social worker agreed with us that mum could not go back home safely.

So, a skip has been booked for next weekend! I am lucky in that I have two siblings to share the work with and we have already removed all the paperwork, some ornaments and personal possessions so it's just a case of getting rid of everything else. We have a garage to empty of 63 years of junk before a specialist company can demolish it - made of aspestos! There is also the old coal hole, sealed up about 20 years ago, which contains my dads beer and wine making equipment - including some full bottles of wine which has been there since my dad dies almost 30 years ago! The wine was pretty awful then so goodness knows what it is like now!
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
47
Thank you all, I guess I knew I wasn’t alone but then my head is all over at the moment. It’s so much worse having no one to share the memories with...my husband has been great with lifting and carrying but to him they are just physical things. I always longed for a sibling as a child and would love one right now. Just can’t yet imagine when the events of the last six months will not consume me. Mum going in the home is still the first and last thing I think about every day. And if I do go a while without thinking of her I feel so guilty. First counselling session on Tuesday. Never thought that would be me but i need to try it.
 

Bikerbeth

Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
1,425
Bedford
No it is not just you. It does indeed feel really strange and sad as I am trying to sort Mum’s house to either sell or rent.
in my case I would prefer not to have a sibling. As it has to be done I just want to get on and do it and get it finished. Sibling won't give me a date to come to the house so he can also decide what he/we should keep.
so I just have cupboards for charity, cupboards for skip and cupboards for keeping until he can look through them. All needs to be hidden so house still looks lived in.
I hope the counselling session on Tuesday goes well for you
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,337
South East
No it isn’t just you , lots of us all felt the same . It is very hard and I think it would of been easier if my mum had already gone when I had to do it , but needs must . I try to think how I would feel if it was my children in that situation , and I would want them to do what they had to to make it a little easier for them, I’m sure your mum would understand and wouldn’t want you to feel so bad .
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,972
South coast
I have a brother, but he didnt give me any help at all in clearing mums home.
A friend of mums helped me clear it, but even so I have boxes and boxes piled up in the small bedroom and I still cant bear to go through them
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
1,952
It's horrible @Sarah1208 Dad died in February and I have had to empty his house of all of his treasures. It feels disrespectful packing all of his bits up for charity shops etc A relative of my SIL needed some furniture so I said they could help themselves (and they did) even the cutlery out of the drawers went and mugs from the cupboards which surprised me. I suppose I should be glad as they saved me a job but it still feels like dads things have just been got rid of.

There are still things to go and the council are going to take his bed, mattress and the two remaining chairs later this week. I have hung onto his chair up to now because it was so him, if you know what I mean. Losing that chair will be hard but I can't keep it and nobody else will want it.

I have so much of dads stuff in my house now and I don't know what to do with most of it but I cannot just throw it as they were important things to him.

I think slowly, slowly is best if at all possible.

I also think we beat ourselves up about these things much more than we should. We do the best we can and we still feel awful when we really shouldn't.
 

blueorchid

Registered User
Feb 18, 2016
42
We're going through the same. I had the same thoughts too about when Mum dies there will be very little to clear from the Care Home. I'm doing it bit by bit. But it does feel disloyal and wrong.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,956
Dorset
Sorry you have had to join the clan. I have done this twice, 21 years ago for my Dad and last year for The Banjoman, both in rental properties which puts real pressure on you. I still have items from both of them stashed away throughout my house and garage. It is hard emotionally and physically.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
422
It's a horrible thing to have to do. I felt like a traitor doing it all behind mum's back. When I started to clear it out, I met someone who's father was moving into the flat opposite. He said how nice mum's flat looked and, when I explained, bought almost everything. I gave him the small things, even down to tea towels and cutlery. It saved me and the man's son a lot of hassle but felt terribly wrong! Fortunately, mum doesn't seem to remember anything of that period of her life.