Our lives are full of seasons. We begin with infancy, childhood, adulthood and end as a senior. Families come together, in differing seasons for various reasons. One that most women go through is sorting through their mother’s, father’s, grandparents and extended families items.
It is so much worse when it’s done after a sudden and emotional death. In this case, I am helping my best friend go through the items her mother has accumulated over the years. Items that were her mother’s parent’s, some from her childhood, throughout her marriage, after the death of her spouse as well as retirement. This is one of the jobs I enjoy so much.
As we go through linens, china, glass and metal ware not only do I hear their deliberations on whether to keep/sell/trash the items, but the rich history this family has. I mainly sell current men’s and women’s fashion, but my true love is lifetime treasures.
At times, it seem overwhelming because of the amount of memories we have to go through. Roomfuls that are not sorted in any certain way, though I suspect if I asked either one of the ladies they would know exactly where the piece is. For someone who has never done this before, it is good to have an experienced friend to help. I am detached from all of the items and worry sometimes that I sound “cold.”
There are times though, when the decisions are heart-wrenching. Do memories trump cash? Does the extra space mean more than the memories that the space takes up? Will they regret the decision years later. I cannot see into the future and don’t own a crystal ball. All I can do is give them is an estimate if the item was sold today. I encourage them not to try to second guess themselves; that the first thought is usually the best one.
This particular family has a good repore with one another and the mother-daughter relationship is especially close. The only real discourse has been to keep an item which is full of memories and try to find a place for it or to sell it for a large amount of money. If kept, to pass it down to future generations with an explanation on the history of said item.
The greatest amount of stress seems to be the timeline that has been attached to the project. We always have good intentions but we do not realize how long it takes to go through each item. I assure we will get it done and I never suggest blindly throwing boxes into a dumpster without a thorough going through. While it might move things along quicker, it is not getting the job done. It is giving into stress and essentially giving up on the project.
Once this is all over, the family be satisfied and relieved. They’ve kept the best items, sold/donated/threw away the others and have much more organization and room. The time was well spent, sharing memories and stories that can be passed down. Best of all, the knowledge that while there is a great amount of change the family can truly settle in again, when mom moves in.