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stuff to sort out

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Kayla said:
I 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.
Kayla
I'm sure you could use your mum's own bed linen. The danger would be that it would get lost in the NH and end up on someone else's bed!

Brenda
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Tina said:
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.
Hugs, Tina
My mum is still alive, but her dementia is very advanced. I worked away from home a lot when I was younger and I came across one of my mum's letters the other day. It felt very strange to read it, knowing that she can no longer even sign her own name.

My son is in his first year at uni but I have never wrote him a letter. I have sent him lots of texts and quite a few emails, but no letters. It is a dying art, I think!

Brenda
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
I have got quite a few letters and cards from my mum which she sent to me at University or in various stages of my life. She was more of a traveller than I have been and managed to fit in a few good trips before she began to get the dementia ( including one to Canada to see that old school friend and another to the States. ) Sifting through boxes in the garage I came across a birthday card she sent me donkeys years ago, crammed with love and kisses. Made me cry like a baby when I read it. She doesn't know anyone's birthdays now, including her own.
Donna that was funny about your elderly neighbour checking you over to see if you were wearing those clothes. Must have been a strain for you to keep it up! Tina , so sorry you had a lot of clothes sorting to do, I can quite see how upsetting that must have been for you. You were being very thoughtful to help your relatives with that.
Jennifer, your dilemmas must seem even worse than ours trying to work out the practical and emotional logistics of your mum's possessions. I'm really sorry. In my case I think the hardest part is getting rid of things whilst my mum is alive because it seems to be saying: well you are not going to recover enough to wear this or that again and your life is ending so I'll dispose of this/that and so on. It's fine to be logical and say this is only sensible, to acknowledge the passing of time, but emotionally, if you are a bit of a coward, as I am, it's very hard to do.
Hazel you must have been quite proud to see the Minister wearing the jumper you knitted! I hope you offered to knit him a matching scarf!:)

Kayla, I agree with Brenda, I can't see why your mum couldn't have her own bedlinen. The home is supposed to be a home, not an institution. As long as your mum's name is on them somewhere I can't see what the problem is. Oh, by the way, there are two spare rooms now next to my mum's room. Both have very nice views and your mum could have her own linen... Do you think you could contemplate moving her? It's not that far...
Lila , so sorry to hear about your 'sorting out ' problems. They sound much worse than mine. Sending kind regards.


Aine, thank you for starting this thread, so many things to say and feelings to share. I hope you are feeling less adrift. Love Deborah
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
The clothes aren't so difficult, at least at this point. It's the books really: literally yards and yards of 19th century poetry and novels, quite a few actually from the 19th century. Now personally, I don't much care for 19th cenury poetry, but this was very important to my mother, so for me, this really represents an end. Like drawing a line under a life, yet she's not actually gone. We got rid of most of the emotive furniture when she moved last time, but these books are driving me to distraction.

Jennifer
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,425
66
Toronto, Canada
Keep the books

Jennifer, I know it's insane but I have about 4,000. Mostly paperbacks but I actually do have a couple of first editions. I too am completely batty about books. I have a favourite secondhand bookstore & my husband usually gives me 30 minutes to rummage. I can certainly spend a lot of money in 30 minutes - I've come out with 25 or 30 books sometimes.

Joanne
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
The sorting out problems are mainly of my own making, my brother would have done it all much faster. He only wanted things for "the children" (26 and 17) and they don't want any old stuff. The foster-nephew is getting his own flat already, they offered him some of the china, he (naturally enough) didn't want anything flowery. My brother said when he was that age he didn't even know one could choose, you accepted whatever you got given.

I have given a lot to charity. Hope it gets to someone who wants or needs it.

Lila


Deborah Blythe said:
Lila , so sorry to hear about your 'sorting out ' problems. They sound much worse than mine. Sending kind regards.
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
Lila13 said:
I have given a lot to charity. Hope it gets to someone who wants or needs it.

Lila
I'm sure it will, and that will be a fitting end. I think my brothers sell my mum's stuff on Ebay.

Jennifer, could you perhaps keep a sample of the books. Some that DO appeal to you. Or maybe when Canadian Joanne comes over in June for the wedding, you could let her take a look at them? I reckon she'd give them a good home.
 

JanetMac

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007
1
Berkshire
My Mum passed away early last year and late last year my aunt was diagnosed
with dementia and went into a residential home. I am my aunt's next of kin so it
was left to me to clear out the flat where she had lived for 36 years. It was really difficult trying to decide what she might need or want. Most of the furniture was collected by the British Heart Foundation who have a shop, so at least it was going to a good cause.

Most of the other belongings of both my Mum and my aunt went either to local charity shops or on freecycle.com. Freecycle is a great way of letting things go as they are not being thrown away but are going to people who want them. Sometimes it is just not worth selling things just for a pound or two.

The other tip I would like to mention is to photograph things or clothes before you let them go, if they have good memories and if it's proving difficult to part with them. I did this with some of my Mum's clothes and am finding with time that I look at them less and less, but the photos are still there if I have a bad day.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
Freecycle

I did freecycle some stuff but then had a lot of hassle with people saying they wanted things and didn't turn up when arranged and didn't even bother to phone. (Some of them have got a cheek, just expecting free things to fall into their laps, and if they've fallen on hard times it is often their own fault for being so unreliable.)

I gave some of my own stuff to Quaker Social Action http://www.quakersocialaction.com/ to make space for my mother's stuff. My brother thought I was mad, but it made sense to me, other people would rather have my (seventies and eighties) furniture and I would rather have her (forties and fifties) furniture. None of the furniture charities would collect from my mother's address, it's too far out from London and not near enough to anywhere else.
 
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noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Lila13 said:
I did freecycle some stuff but then had a lot of hassle with people saying they wanted things and didn't turn up when arranged and didn't even bother to phone. (Some of them have got a cheek, just expecting free things to fall into their laps, and if they've fallen on hard times it is often their own fault for being so unreliable.)
I had lots of coat hangers that I wanted to get rid of once and didn't like just throwing them out. I offered them on Freecycle just to see if there would be any takers, making it clear that they would be a job lot - if they didn't want all of them they had to take them anyway and it was up to them how they disposed of the surplus ones. I got one reply from someone who wanted to come and sort through them and just take the ones they wanted so I turned them down! Someone else asked me to hold on to them for a week or two until they could get someone to pick them up - never heard from them again! I know coat hangers breed and didn't really expect anyone to want them, but it was more hassle than it was worth. I can't remember if I binned them or left them outside a charity shop. I was just trying to be 'green' but it was hard going!

However, someone did take an old heater off my hands, turned up on time and were very polite and grateful. Freecycle is great, apart from some of the people!
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
The eternal debate with freecycle (well it is in my area) is how would you feel if you gave something away and then found that someone had sold it on for a profit. Personally. I don't have any issues with it: if I could be bothered then I could make the profit, if profit there was. Having said that though, on big items, I would much prefer to give them to someone who needs them, rather than someone who just wants to make a quick buck. Honestly, very little of my mother's furniture has any intrinsic value and I would rather give it to someone who could use it, rather than sell it for a couple of pounds to someone who just deals, even if the latter meant I would have a couple of pounds. The books though, no, I just can't give most of them away.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
I don't think anyone would get a profit on any of the things we've given away, especially once you've included some petrol money for transporting things.

When my sister-in-law went over to help, my brother pointed out that she'd paid £8 something for her train ticket, and the things she'd carried to the charity shop would be sold for less than £8.

Whether you can sell things depends so much on where you live, in my place I could have sold some of the things that went to the "chipper" where my mother lived, such as the rocking-chair and a kitchen trolley. And you have to pay the chipper. I don't know what happens to the bits when they've been chipped, I'm afraid they'd have to go into landfill.

Luckily the vendors are willing to accept the wardrobe, as we couldn't find anyone capable of getting it down the stairs.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
The house has been sold. I do hope the new people who've moved in today will be happier there. (And won't be going on after 50 years about how much they've always hated that place.) They were in a hurry to get a "nursery" ready before June. How strange to think of a new baby there. But even stranger to think of never going back there after so many years.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
Thank you. Not so much hard as just strange.

(I do wish the neighbours I'll try to keep in touch with were on the Net, or letter-writers.)

Lila
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,103
Kent
Lila, every house I`ve ever lived in, and I`ve moved around a lot, both single and married, has memories. If ever I pass them, I `see` the inhabitants as living in one of my homes. It`s very strange, as I hold no sentiment to bricks and mortar, it`s just the sense of `home`.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
I don't think I'll be passing that way again ... perhaps it is better to live in lots of houses then you don't get over-attached (or stuck in the mud).

(But at least as a result of having got stuck-in-the-mud my mother had some neighbours who remembered things she'd done for them 40-50 years ago and were still grateful, that helped.)

Also because she'd lived in one place for so long we'd all had connections over the years with her local hospital, my parents and I had been patients there, my brother had worked there as a ward orderly, I'd worked as a volunteer there, etc.; it was a big shock for her when she was sent to other hospitals further away because of re-organization.

And she knew people who'd stayed in the respite place, and people who'd worked there.
 
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