Disclaimer: For those of you new to my site, my Mom passed away June 23rd, 2008. She left behind a husband at 62, her Mom at 92, 4 children, 4 Grandchildren and many friends. I am slowly dealing with the situation but have found myself in the role of sole caregiver for and power of attorney for both my Father and Grandmother. It's a mess and so am I.

How much stuff do you have?
How much stuff do you need?

For many of us those two simple questions are of the hardest to answer or confess. As you may have already guessed this week I began cleaning out my Mothers' things. As I loaded the 25th paper grocery bag of clothes into our truck for the donation center I began to wonder how much of this my Mom actually needed. For example, I opened a large drawer packed with socks - 40 perfectly paired white and another 40 pair of dress socks.

Perhaps this level of preparation came from her upbringing. She was adopted. She spent time in foster care before my Grandmother & Grandfather feel in love with her. I'm sure her years with very little to call her own feed the fear of not having what others have. I can remember days as a child being told so many other children do not have what I had. In my adolescence I never understood. How could I really? I had two parents who gave me everything I ever needed and then some from day one.

Today, on my Mother's 58th birthday, I understand the fear she faced. A fear that never really went away. As I continue to clean at my father's request I vow not to forget my mother's fear by donating all I can to those in need.
14 Responses
  1. Insane Mama Says:

    I went through all that cleaning after my grandma died, and I thought the same thing how much stuff do you really need? With my grandma she saved everything because she grew up in the depression. p.s. glad to have you back!

  2. I am so, so sorry. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to have to go through your mom's things. I hope that you can get through it quickly and that it helps you heal.

  3. Tiffany Says:

    It sounds like you mom had some story to tell! Hoe incredible that your grandparents fell in love and made her their daughter. Very inspiring.

    I spent the weekend at a meditation retreat and sent a lot of love your way.

  4. Ann Says:

    All of these necessary things that need to be done...
    Everything is important. Everything you do, and feel, is important.
    She taught you real and true lessons.
    I am so proud of you.
    (The socks move forward now! They have a lot of feet to protect!)

  5. Heather Says:

    I'm so sorry, Blarney. I know that was hard, but it sounds like you found some loving humor in it too.

  6. Lynette Says:

    That had to be hard, going through all of her things like that! We had to go through my Grandmother's things, and she also kept so many things!

    I'm sorry for your loss!!

  7. I have too had to face this with my grandmother and my MIL...neither one has passed, yet the accumulation of "stuff" is overwhelming...so much so that I have become a minimalist almost to extream. My grandmother has 3 double closets full of clothes and 4 dressers...and I would say 1/2 of it is made by her...Stuff...it's not worth the space...

  8. I'm so sorry about your mom. I can't even imagine how difficult this must be for you. I'd love to her more about her in future posts.

  9. Chris Says:

    I just found you, and I want to say how very sorry I am about your mom. I can relate to what you're experiencing, and I wish you strength and courage to get through this. You will be in my thoughts.

  10. Migraine Mom Says:

    My heart is breaking for you..what a difficult task lies ahead but try and "re-connect" with your mom while doing it. I remember when my grandmother died, my mom and I spent time going through her things together..telling stories, remembering, crying and drinking good wine. Is there someone who could do this task with you?

  11. Laurie Says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  12. Dapoppins Says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your mom...and the resulting unexpected stresses too.

    My mom is still with me, but she also has a lot of stuff. I have warned her what will happen if she leaves me to deal with it...(after I had to help with cleaning out two of my grandmother's homes...)

  13. stefanie Says:

    Came here through SITS and hope that your being featured has encouraged you in these hard days.

    My mom died 9 years ago. I remember getting a lot of insight on her and myself in those early days of learning to live without her. She would be pleased that you are so thoughtful about what's the best thing to do with all her stuff. I agree with migraine mom that it's good to 'reconnect' and include others who may have additional insight too. Peace to you.

  14. Veronica Says:

    I'm so sorry...I just lost my (young) mom a few months ago so I understand your grief. It was very hard to go through her things, but my father really wanted it done pretty quickly...maybe too quickly for me. I had those same feelings as you-how much stuff do we need? I've been purging ever since right to the local shelter.