Note: This is a part of a series of posts about DrG’s parents, who both suffered from and ultimately passed away from serious health conditions – his mom from multiple myeloma, and his dad from complications from a severe stroke. Over the course of their illnesses, he put up these posts. DrG thought about removing them, but ultimately decided to leave them up in the hopes that they would help other people.
We spent most of last week furiously and frantically going through my parents house, separating the handful of things that were going to make the move with us from the larger amount of things that were headed for the estate sale or donation
I’m one of the few people who spent my entire childhood in the same house. My parents bought it in 1971 for a whopping $26,000 (how things have changed!). Though they talked all through my childhood about moving, and almost did a couple of times, they never took the leap. So, from the time I came home from the hospital to the time I moved out, we lived in the same place.
And while my bedroom changed years ago, and was turned into a guest bedroom. And while the house changed the kitchen was remodeled, old furniture was replaced, paint and wallpaper changed. It was still my childhood home.
So, taking it apart was emotionally traumatic. Even though I haven’t lived there for years, it was always a familiar, safe place to come back to. The loss of a parent(s) and your childhood home is like the loss of a safety net, it hits you and you really realize your childhood is gone. As long as your parents are alive, you’re still a child. When they’re not, you’re not, and it becomes real that that part of your life is closed.
And going through my mom’s stuff was tough. You know it’s just stuff – clothes, magazines, books, pots, pans, tools…but it still feels so personal. You feel like you’re throwing away a part of that person, even though you know you’re not. People don’t reside in their stuff, but their stuff is an anchor for you to remember them.
And when I had to get out (being the introvert that I am) and walk around the neighborhood, it was so surreal walking around places that I’d seen hundreds of times over the years, realizing it’s the last time I’m going to see them.
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Photo attribution – https://bit.ly/2LyB6DO
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