Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Surviving Grief {Part 1 The Estate}

I'm turning the tables a little bit and am going to talk about surviving grief. I lost both of my parents in 2014 within 3 months of each other. I was very close to them, so this was devastating. My brother passed when I was 15 and emotions of that time in my life have been brought back to life. When my half-brother learned of our mother's deterioration, he made it clear, I was more capable of taking care of her, as he did not have the emotional connection with her like I did.

Hence why this blog has gone by the wayside and my vintage clothing business has puckered out.

For my long time friends and small list of followers, this might not interest you and that's okay, you can skip these entries. I will clearly title them accordingly. I am at the point I *need* a healthy and creative outlet for these emotions. I hope you can relate and engage and if these entries help another, know that you are not alone. Whilst talking about such a depressing issue, I will try to end each blog entry in a positive, uplifting note.

I have no set outline in how to write about my situation. There are so many topics to cover and different situations that arise every day. I figure I will just type what's on my mind. I'm not going to be secretive, I'm aiming to be completely honest here. It might take me a few entries to get deep into my emotions, but I'll get there and I hope that my coping skills improve as time goes on.

The Estate

I inherited my parent's home, including all of the "stuff" in it. Mom and Dad were married for 48 years and lived at the last residence for 24 years. They weren't hoarders, but you can imagine the accumulation I had to sift through. Besides family photos, the oldest thing I found was a vintage green metal box, with index dividers,  full of receipts from their first apartment rental together in 1967.

I'm writing about the estate because it is weighing heavily on me at the moment. I was hoping to have the home rented out or sold before Fall 2014 but time crept on me too quickly. With a full time job, my own home to tidy and also spending a good chunk of time at Greg's (my Fiancé) home, my goal of cleaning out the house did not go as planned. I went full speed at first but then burnt out around October. Nothing got done during the holidays.

It's easy for people on the outside looking in, to say, "Just rent a dumpster and throw everything out!"

My father worked his whole life and very hard, for that matter, to provide for his family. Mom and Dad came from a generation where they took pride in their possessions and everything had a use. Just a couple of weeks ago, I listed a couch that was in the formal living room on Craigslist. I listed it as free because the Kitty used one side arm as a scratch pad. There was no way someone would buy it, even though it was rarely used.  When the 30-ish man and his young son left with the couch, I broke out in heavy tears. Greg was there to witness this raw emotion. I was crying over an old couch that I never sat in! I realized I was upset over the fact my Dad lived to work, providing for his family at age 8 all the way to age 70. When he finally retired at 67/68,  he was taking care of Mom. He never *really* enjoyed the retirement he had planned for himself.

In late December, my Fiancé and I decided to move in together. The pressure is on to get moving with the estate. Together, we have 3 households worth of stuff. I'm slowly selling off things and donating or trashing others. I am really excited to move on to the next chapter in my life and for 2015 will schedule time to stress/worry about the estate. I realized that I was consumed by it in all of 2014. I've said aloud that I will work on it only about 3 times a week for now. I don't have a goal as to when the project will be completed, but at least I won't be overwhelming myself to the edge. I want to focus on my personal relationship with Greg, get my hobbies going again and arranging "me" time so I am more calm and focused toward a happier path.

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