1. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    I don't know if other people can identify with this ........ but I've found that since dad died a couple of months or so ago, there's not only the huge amount of emotional stuff to cope with ......... but also an unbelievable amount of practical stuff.

    And it all comes at a time when I feel least able to deal with it. He'd gone into a nursing home about 4 months ago, so i'd already started clearing his house out (been there over 30 years and never thrown anything away :eek: ) and I'd got EPA so I was doing a lot of the financial stuff for him. But sorting out probate and getting the house on the market, and letting everyone know that he's died and cancelling stuff and paying outstanding bills and and and ..................

    ............. It feels a bit like it will never end. And the response of different institutions has been so variable. His bank (and to be fair, he'd probably banked with them for over 60 years) has been wonderful ........ caring, supportive, helpful. His water supplier has just threatened to take me to court for an unpaid water bill of £20ish ..... just because I was waiting for probate to come through so i could pay it out of dad's account rather than get my money muddled up with it :(

    I can just about believe that the day will come when it's all sorted and finished ..... and all I have to deal with is the emotions. But until then ..................
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Áine,
    You'll get there - one day at a time.
    Love Helen
  3. zan

    zan Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    HI Aine, It's now 10 months since Mum died and 6 months fo Dad and I'm still sorting things out! We are getting there and the house has just gone up for sale. I agree about how different organisations respond. We had a letter today , addressed to my Mum, from a solicitor who was trying to get my Mum to claim money for her Dad who had worked in the pits before his death. They pestered her when she was alive to fill in the forms and, when she died we explained that another member of the family had already sorted it out. todays letter said "following our recent conversation". I wish I'd had a recent conversation with my Mum - they must have worked a miracle! It makes me angry when yoe inform people of the death and they still write to Mum or Dad. I suppose anger stops you getting upset.

    Eventually it must all get sorted - I hope.
    Zan x
  4. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Hi Aine

    I think I mentioned this subject to you in a recent pm. My dad died nearly 2 years ago and it seemed to take forever to sort things out. Some things were amazingly simple, others were far more complicated than they should have been.

    I phoned the DWP very soon after he died, as I just needed to be 'doing' something and as there was a post mortem we could not start organising a funeral. I informed the DWP of his death and the next day received a girocheque payable to me, for the amount that was owing up to his death! I did have the same surname as him but I hadn't produced a death certificate or any other documents and nor had they asked me for anything!

    Then there was BT ... Where do I begin .....

    A bill arrived from BT soon after my dad's death. Although the house was empty we were visiting frequently and wanted to keep the phone line 'live'. I phoned BT to inform them of his death and ask for the phone line to be kept on. I must have been transferred to umpteen different departments because they couldn't work out who would deal with it. It seemed that if someone had died then the phone line had to be cut off or the bill had to be paid and transferred into someone else's name. I started the phone call fully intending to pay the bill but by the end of it I told them that the bill would not be paid until probate had been obtained. Several months after that (after the bill had been paid) the phone was cut off! When we phoned to ask why we were told that my dad had asked them to cut the line off! He had been dead for months and I think if he had planned a 'haunting' then he would have had something much more spectacular in mind!

    I do occasionally get phone calls in work from bereaved people (I work for a bank but dealing with these things isn't really part of my job). I do try to always be as sensitive as I can and if I do transfer them to another department I make sure that it is the right department. It doesn't take more than a little bit of thought to avoid upsetting someone more than they already are.
  5. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Yes, we're still sorting. Reading letters 70 years old! Wonder if we'll go on keeping our ration books, just in case.

    I thought it would be easier just to pay the outstanding bills, letting my brother and the solicitor know what I've paid.

    There seem to be quite a lot of neighbours who want to buy the house, or perhaps they are just being nosy.

  6. nicetotalk

    nicetotalk Registered User

    Sep 22, 2006
    Its been 6 months now since my mother passed away and my mums things are as they are. I still think my dad finds its to painful yet, to sort out clothes and that.
  7. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    When my father died my mother wanted his clothes etc. taken away the very same week which I thought was too soon. But she was definitely the boss then. No-one argued with her.

    I'm wearing most of my mother's clothes. Before she died I hadn't known I'd want to, thought we'd just give them to charity shops.

    Of course if it were an emergency we could clear everything out quite quickly, after all they are only things.

    Books and photos, we could spend the rest of our lives sorting them out.

  8. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    We are still going through the dreary and stressful process of sorting her things. Of course we'd thought we'd have to do it in much more of a hurry, with her still around expressing her opinions.

    I don't know if charities will want the left-overs, and now the youngsters can get credit so easily, they don't want the second- or third-hand stuff their grandparents were grateful for. The concept work and save for a place of your own seems unknown to them.

    My brother isn't really in a fit state to make decisions, one moment hassling away wanting to sell the house immediately or sooner, then saying suddenly "do we have to sell it?" what else are we going to do with it, turn it into a mausoleum?

    During her last months my mother had thought I was going to stay in her house, or one of the neighbouring houses, after her death; she'd forgotten or didn't understand that I was only going back there because she was there.

  9. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    All the remaining furniture and stuff has been moved to my place now, her house is empty, it is so strange to think that I'll never be going back there, (after 53+ years), there are a few neighbours to keep in touch with but it'll turn into Christmas and birthday cards and then nothing ...
  10. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    hi lila

    found your post very moving:( just wanted to send you a big {{{hug}}}
    donna x
  11. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    #11 Lila13, Apr 13, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
    Thank you. It just feels so strange and blank. Of course if my mother had been the sort of person who kept buying new furniture it wouldn't have such a weight of associations.

    (My brother said he'd have to get a plumber to remove the washing machine, I reminded him we'd both signed a form saying we were leaving the washing machine there.)
  12. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    hi lila

    its funny how furniture or possesions can evoke some strong memories, not the same thing but ive just got rid of a chest ive had since a child some 40 odd years ago well i say got rid its sitting in the garden cant bring myself to throw it too far yet.:rolleyes:
    so i can imagine how you must feel having a whole housefull of memories to get rid of.
    something i suppose one day i will have to face
    take care
  13. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    #13 DeborahBlythe, Apr 13, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
    With each of the moves that my mum was forced to make last year, my brother wanted to get rid of more and more of my mum's stuff. I could see the logic because eg, her rooms were getting smaller, but it was quite hard to witness. One of my brothers who visits extremely infrequently turned up one winter's day just so that he could beetle off with some of my mum's furniture. She was in hospital at the time and he didn't have time to actually go up and visit her, just take the stuff from her room. My mum is still alive but there are lots of her clothes which she isn't going to wear again, like a big old winter coat. I have sequestered some of this stuff in a room at my house because I can't bear to think of giving them away. I know this isn't really a good idea, and I have been stronger with other items. I don't now feel too sentimental about her bowls outfits. I've kept , however a couple of wool rugs which my mum and dad made together, in the days before emails, PCs and even TV! I don't think I can part with a coffee table my dad made or a little pottery jug that my mum made when she used to go off to evening classes.. I think the clothes thing is the worst though because you can see the person wearing them. When you take them away it's as if you are losing a part of them.:(
  14. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    hi deborah

    i know when the time comes i'll be exactly the same i have boxes of things my boys made at school i just cant throw out :rolleyes:
    when my nan passed my mum couldnt face clearing her wardrobe so it was left to me ...one of the most heartbreaking things i have done, :(
    but these things do have to be done.

    on a funnier note my elderly neighbour who had just recently lost his wife took it upon his self to give me some of her clothes:rolleyes: she was 5 foot nothing and quite "round" i am 5.5 he used to watch me going out to see if i was wearing anything he gave me, most of it disappeared in charity bags but i was reluctant to get rid of anything for ages in case he asked me where they were:D

    take care
    donna x
  15. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    Clothes are hard...I'll agree with you on that one Deborah. After nan and gramps had died, and my aunt and uncle, sorting through the clothes was the most painful....so many memories. While we were quite rigorous and got rid of most things, we each kept some clothes that we couldn't bear to part with. I've only just managed to put one of my uncle's favourite shirts and gramps' jacket and tie away in my wardrobe. They were hanging on my bedroom door till the beginning of the week because I couldn't bear them being shut away in the wardrobe.
    I don't think I've ever cried so much when going through possessions as when we looked at the clothes.
    Letters and cards are another trigger...to see the handwriting and read the contents and remember that, when those letters were written, things were still well and "normal"...news of everyday events, of having been shopping, out for the day, this had happened and that, people had come to visit and other visits had been returned, many a joke and funny story. I still cry when I re-read the letters, but I often smile as well, remembering the good times.

    Lila, can understand the strange feeling of emptiness after clearing out a house too...sending you a smile :)

    Hugs, Tina
  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    When my mother died I`m afraid I was ruthless, and took one weeks leave of absence from work, to clear her house.

    I made some mistakes, in getting rid of too much too soon, but was pleased with a couple of decisions;

    Her furniture went to a Women`s Refuge. They were delighted, as so much furniture gets wrecked very quickly and they have a hard time replacing it.

    Her very dressy evening wear, and fur coats and hats :eek: , went to an amateur dramatic society, together with some of her `war years` bits and pieces.

    The rest of her better condition clothes, and ornaments went to Age Concern.
  17. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    Hi Sylvia,
    we gave a lot away to different charities as well, and it was hugely comforting to see that all the things we parted with helped others and made some people very happy. I think that was well in keeping with what nan and gramps and my aunt and uncle would have wanted too. So a double bonus, really.
  18. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    I've got a whole wardrobe and drawers full of my Mum's clothes and bedlinen, but I don't like to part with anything as she is still in the Nursing Home. She is unlikely to wear all her coats again, as she doesn't go out, but I couldn't bear to use them, even for dog walking as I'd feel guilty. I don't understand why everyone in the NH has identical duvet covers. It would be so nice if we could use Mum's own pretty duvet covers and sheets.
    We had to give away Mum's furniture in order to let her house out and we kept her dining room things for my study, where I keep the computer. It is really strange seeing a young family living in Mum's house, but they are paying rent to help with her fees and they have a family sized house, which they may not have been able to afford to buy themselves.
    I suppose the world has to move on, even if it is sad for us to think about our happy memories from the past. When we cleared the house, it did seem as if I was losing a bit more of my Dad, who died in 2000. As somebody said, these are only things, but they can be very special things to the family.
    It took nine months to finally settle my mother-in-law's affairs after she died last year. She had some lovely, nearly new furniture, but it was hard to sell or give away, because it was teak, instead of the more fashionable light oak. It does seem ridiculous that some people would rather buy cheap, fashionable furniture or get themselves into debt, rather than have good quality, but less fashionable furniture.
    I now have a house full of things which need to be sorted out sometime!
  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    When my first husband died, our minister offered to help me dispose of his clothes, etc, to appropriate charities.

    I was grateful for his help, and gladly handed over piles of clothes.

    A couple of months later I called at the manse to speak to him, to find him wearing an Aran sweater I had knitted for John!

    The poor man was so embarrassed, and disappeared quickly to change. I wasn't upset at all, I was glad that it had gone to such a good home. But I bet he never wore it again!

    Áine, so sorry you're having to go through all this again so soon. Your emotions will be all over the place for a while. Take your time over the sorting, and give yourself some spoiling.

    You'll come through it, but give yourself time.

  20. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I do think there are two personality types when it comes to disposing of clothes: the "get it all out of here as quickly as possible" and the "keep hold of it until it rots". Strangely my mother is the former, and I am the latter. The balanced way is probably somewhere in the middle, but I struggle with that. I'm currently trying to get my head around the "what do I do with all my Mother's stuff" now that she's moved permanently to a nursing home. There's the sentimental aspect and the "this is worth a lot of money but I'll get peanuts for it" aspect. Books, for some reason, I have real difficulty with. I got a quote to move it a large part of it to the US, but it's ridiculous really: I have no need of it, I have no where to put it, and it's damn expensive. I have thought of moving the books and china to a storage facility and then just bring some back over each time I visit, but that seems not only silly, but also spreading out the distress.


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.