You might have read my latest post about having to give up my childhood home once my parents passed away. It was a somewhat traumatic experience and I’d be doing a disservice if I sugarcoated it.
Here’s my attempt to let you in on what those moments were like and how I navigated through the process.
For starters, I would not have been able to do this alone. I had some family members who were able to move in with my brother and I for a whole month — we used every spare minute going through closets and drawers and the dreaded attic.
If you really sit for a second and consider what it means to go through all the possession in a house, you’ll see how big of a job it was. I think that something in me switched to auto-pilot, because looking back, I don’t know how we got it done.
I started room by room. I would work in a single room until being in it got too heavy. When I was emotionally done, I would move out of that space and tackle the next room — even if there was still work to be done in the last.
I realized in the moment that if I had forced myself to keep going in one area, even though it was emotionally difficult, I would have become burnt out.
God forbid you ever have to do this job as a young person, or at all for that matter, but if you are in this position you need to find a process that works for you. Whether that’s determining what to clean based on how you feel in that moment, or deciding that you’d prefer someone else to do it for you.
For me, I knew I needed to be a part of the process.
Once I started, I found that the hardest part was going through my mom’s shoes and my dad’s photography.
My mom loved shoes. (She was an extreme girly-girl.) Going through them I realized that shoes are so personal; each wear forces them to eventually form to your feet. No one else can wear them but you.
As for my dad, he was a Naval Combat Photographer, so he had close to 500,000 photos and videos that I had to go through. Memories that I didn’t get to keep in their entirety.
Just the other day I was thinking, “Man I wish I had kept this particular photo my dad took because it would look great on my wall.” As soon as I had this thought, I had to stop myself and give a small pep talk.
“It is just a ‘thing’ Molly,” I told myself. Those items are precious and special, but in this moment there’s nothing I can do about the things I didn’t keep. Dwelling on those items that I didn’t save, would just make me a wreck.
Do I have regrets? Absolutely. Will I be okay? Absolutely.
The one thing I would tell someone who is going through something similar is — go at the pace that you feel comfortable with and don’t be afraid to ask for/accept help.
In my case, I only had 1 month. I had to hustle, and ended up hiring someone to help. As far as help goes, you will probably receive so many offers, so don’t be afraid to accept some of them.