Question for folks 40+?

I know some of you are still fortunate enough to have your parents, but for those who don't. . .

How did you manage when it came time to 'sort and toss' the memories? Granted, this is not a new problem. My Dad has been dead 32 years, and my Mom 13. We're selling the homestead and cleaning out the attic. I'm feeling guilty throwing out all the things my Mom saved (like bowling trophies and all the sympathy cards from my Dad). Help me to rationalize it as I'm emotional right now. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Update:

Maybe I should have directed this at all ages, but I'm older, so I apologize for being closed minded.

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am so sorry for you.

    It is one of the hardest things to do.

    This is what I did. I looked carefully thru everything

    most I will say made its way into the garbage.

    Other things I kept and others I put aside for my siblings to go thru.

    Things that I thought I couldn;t part with I found myself years later throwing out when I moved.

    I have kept the things that meant the most to me.

    I did find myself as I sorted thru things crying and becoming emotional I just took it as another grieving process and went with it. It is natural and normal. You will find that as you look thru your mothers belonging it will stir up many memories that YES will make you cry and feel sad but think of it as catching a glimpse into her life and what she held dear to her ..... so she saved them.

    As you will save some of her treasures to have.

    I wish you all the best and the strength to see this thru.

    I had to do it for a brother in 1994, another brother in 2001 and then my mother in 2004. It brought me closer to them and I cherish the thought that they saved things that were important to them no matter how small and trivial!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    These things have been sitting in an attic, so obviously they are not that near and dear to you. Pick out the few things, that really mean something, a picture of a family event. Take some pictures of the items you are tossing. Maybe make a scrapbook for the grandchildren.

    Bowling trophies, take a picture and get rid of them. They are God's way of punishing the sportsmen. They take up space and collect dust. Once the number goes over 5, I think they become insignificant. Unless maybe they are a major recognition, a tournament maybe on the state or national level.

    Take a picture or the trophies, the bowling ball and shoes, see if there is a team picture and you now have a scrapbook page. You can remember without cluttering up your life.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I went through this same thing not long ago. I spent more time trying to convince myself to give the stuff away but couldn't. Then a friend suggested i group things that were alike together and photograph each group. She said if I every wanted to revisit those memories I would have the photo's to look at. I did keep some things that I still don't know why. Such as a giant wrench that my dad used, he was a mechanic for a construction company. No average person would need this wrench or be able to use it but I kept it and hung it on my garage wall. I get a smile everytime I look at it. When everything was given away or sold I did feel a great sense of relief and I do have my photo's, all 40 of them to look at if I need to. It is easier to store those they only take up one file folder. Good luck to you. You will find what is right for you and make it work.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I still have my parents but I wanted to help or make a suggestion.

    Maybe obtain a scrapbook or album the colour your Mum liked and write Dad on the front.. Inside have the trophy's photographed altogether in one portrait photograph on the 1st or 2nd page. Do scrap-booking with the cards. Anything that pertains to your Dad add throughout the album for your Mum who collected these things. Your children's children would be interested in the person your Dad was.

    Another can be made for your Mum or they could be combined. These things are precious to your family, I don't think throwing or giving them away if you are emotionally attached to them would be the best option.

    I am very interested in my family tree and one day would like to pass down to my children's children information on the family that came before. Anything that helps personalise who the person really was for you and for family that follows.

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  • 1 decade ago

    YEP, IT SURE IS TOUGH TO DISCARD ALL THE THINGS THAT MOM AND DAD SAVED OVER THE YEARS.

    MAYBE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE IS: RATHER THAN JUST THROWING THEM AWAY, A DONATION TO THE LOCAL GOODWILL, SALVATION ARMY, OR ETC. IS IN ORDER. OR EVEN A GIANT YARD SALE.

    IF IT IS TOO PAINFUL, THEN MAYBE YOU COULD HIRE SOME PEOPLE TO COME IN AND CLEAN THE ATTIC OUT AND DO AS THE SEE FIT WITH THE ITEMS. THIS WAY YOU SEE NOTHING AND KNOW NOTHING AND SO THERE SHOULD ONLY BE A MINIMAL OF PAIN.

    WE DID A YARD SALE AND SOLD MOST OF THE JUNK OFF. NONE OF US WANTED HIS STUFF, WE HAVE OUR OWN STUFF NOW. THE ONLY THING I SAVED WAS PICTURES, AND THEY MEAN MORE TO ME THAN ANY TROPHY OR FRUNITURE PIECE EVER COULD. DAD DEAD 15 YEARS MOM GONE FOR 35.

  • Rick
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Mine are gone also. Keep one or two things and cherish those. Think how you would want those you love to remember you. You can't change the past. But you can change your reaction to the past. Do you want your kids and friends moping over your death when it's your time to go? I doubt it. Give YOUR parents the same consideration. The good memories and feelings will remain after this, and the upset feelings will be gone. When you think of your parents in the future only good feelings will come--how fortunate you were to have had good parents. A lot of people didn't. Hang in there, things are not as important as memories. Cherish those. Smile and move on like they would have wanted you to do.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it is too soon for you to be doing that. Momentos are a linkage to our past generations and throwing them away does not honor their memory. If you could afford to, rent a storage area to put them in and wait til you are ready to deal with it again. Although they have been gone for some time, the selling of the homestead brings it back to you. Give yourself the time you need and you will be better for it. You cannot change your mind once it has been carted away.

  • 1 decade ago

    Some things that you treasure may not be treasure to your children either. Your mom saved the cards because it was something your dad gave HER, and this doesn't translate to you.

    The bowling trophies were their memories, not yours. You don't have to justify your decision about what to remove and what not to, just make sure that anyone in your immediate family has an opportunity to take what they treasure including yourself.

  • 1 decade ago

    I lost my mom in Oct of 93 and my dad the next year. we are also in the process of selling our house. unfortunately on of my brothers threw out a lot of things that belonged to my parents. "command Decision". If you have room you should make a trophy case for your mom. as well as put the cards some where safe until your ready to let go. by the way my nitwit brother we are all mad at him. he also wanted to change our home phone number.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Im 13

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