SortingPosted by in Life
My sisters-in-law and I have been meeting every couple of weeks to sort through my mother-in-law’s belongings (she passed away in January). My father-in-law is living in the home, so we aren’t completely emptying it, but are dealing with her personal items and all of the decorative, holiday, and non-functional items my father-in-law doesn’t want or need. It is quite a process to sort through someone’s life. I know she had been on a mission to get rid of a lot of things in the years before her death, so there isn’t as much as there could have been. It’s hard to haul someone’s belongings to the curb or give them to Amvets when you know they had meaning to that person. But there is only so much each of us can fit into our own homes. I know my MIL would not be pleased to have her daughters-in-law going through her things. However she had only one daughter and it is too much for one person. I am finding the process to be very intimate and feel as if I am getting to know her in ways I never did or could have when she was alive. There are many surprises along the way. She kept stacks and stacks of drawings and cards. There must have been 40 cards from my husband’s birth and first birthdays. She kept all of her shoes in their original boxes. They filled a closet. She had paper doilies in every color of the rainbow. I discovered some gifts I gave her that she must not have wanted since they were squirreled away, brand new, in the basement.
My MIL had a style that was vastly different from mine. So I was very surprised to find the vase I’m including here. It’s gorgeous, heavy crystal. I have no idea where it came from (I never saw it out in her house) and it is so different from everything else she owned. I absolutely love it and am so happy to have it. Small treasures like these give me pause as we continue to work and sort. It’s sad to take someone’s life apart piece by piece, but I feel so happy when I find something like this vase that I can display and cherish.
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I have some treasures of my grandmothers that don’t quite suit my taste but I’m so grateful to have them. I feel a connection to her knowing they meant something to her and know I can enjoy them, too. I don’t really have a need for china but I like looking at the few pieces I have of my grandmother’s collection
So sorry you have to deal with this, Brette, although it IS always so nice to have a special keepsake.