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To Keep or Throw Away????


Ann

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I have been tearing through my house, room by room, getting rid of things that I don't need anymore. I've just reached a stage in my life where I yearn for a totally clutter-free house. I have a very hard time discarding anything that belonged to Dennis, so I have a storage space that I pay for every month. My Dennis was a real packrat but I just can't part with his treasures...not yet! Well, last night I found a book and when I opened it up, there was a copy of the paperwork Dennis signed when he started treatment and enrolled in a clinical trial. There was also the consent he signed for his port. I didn't toss these and am not quite sure why. I think I want to keep them, mainly to remind me how fragile life really is and to remind me how quickly plans and life can change. Maybe, someday, I'll be ready to toss them but not just yet! I sat in the floor and cried for almost an hour last night just thinking about the day he signed these papers and how hopeful we were for a cure.

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Oh I know how this feels.

I have boxes of dad's medical records and everything that ever had to do with his treatments in two boxes right here. I don't need them. But I can't get rid of them. and I CAN'T really look thru them or they bring me back to that exact moment and the grief is overwhelming.

I was the one who took care of these things and took care of the medical side of things for him...and like you, I just don't know when, or if I can let them go.

I wish I could have been there for you last night.

Next time, call me. I'll cry with you.

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I went the exact opposite way. I moved into mom and dads house after they both passed away and I completely rid the house of everything except one thing from each of them. I tore out the carpet my mom laid the year before her death, the wall paper mom and dad hung on their own (and it showed that they were not professional paper hangers), every single decoration every single piece of furniture EVERYTHING.

the only things I kept were a painting my father painted himself, and one of those pencil sketches that are done at carnivals of the both of them with really huge heads on bodies that in no way resembeled thiers (its a funny picture) and thats it.

I have their house, they are in the house with me and I sometimes feel and even smell them so that sustains me. All their neighbors are the same so they keep them alive for me too by talking about what my dad this with this tree or how my mom hung the 792 freaking birdhouses she owned on every branch of every tree on the property.

I have one of those clutter free houses. very mimimum furniture, all the same color through out the whole house to make it seem very simple.

ps the whole house is the color of chocolate milk and all the furniture and drapes are all dark chocolate so its very opposite of moms. she had a rainbow of colors in her house in every single room and every single decoration she ever purchased was out on display.

wow did it take forever to clean that house out.

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Ann,

As I sat here after reading your post and trying to find the words to type I saw Katie had responded. I read her response and it could have been mine...EVERY SINGLE WORD!

I too have boxes of my dad's medical records and notebooks filled with day to day entries on how he was feeling. I too can't get rid of them and I can't go thru them. The pain and grief is just too much.

Maybe there will come a day when I can let them go but I'm not really sure that day will ever come. I just feel I can't get rid of anything that reminds me of my daddy. I really miss him.

I hope today is a better day for you.

Diane

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Oh Ann, I'm really with you on this one. Like Dennis, Jim too was a packrat. However, I was the one that kept all of the medical records, journals, etc. In my current day planner, I still carry around a chart I made that drew out what treatments he had so far. Just can't remove it.

I'm with Katie. You should have called out and we all could have cried together as we tried not to think of the cure that eluded our guys.

I'll have to let you borrow some of my cucumber for your eyes.

Take care,

Lynne

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I remember my Dad telling me one day that when he dies to just throw everything away. He was referring to all his CT scans and reports that we were looking through that day. I still have them of course. I don't know what to do with them. Not only that, all of his clothes, shoes everything except what we buried him in is still in his closet and drawers in his bedroom. As time goes on, it gets harder to think about giving them all away. I guess I'll know when.

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I still have everything that belonged to Johnny. I also have all of the medical papers and copys of bills. I have reciepts for everything we ever bought while we were together. I think that I posted about a year ago when I tried to go through those things and throw them away. I just couldn't do it. I found a reciept for coffee at a coffee house we stopped at and gas reciepts. When I found those things I sat in the floor and cried for an hour. I haven't touched them sense but I know they are still there. I can look at those things and in my mind I go back to the day they represent. I don't think I will ever be able to bring myself to throw away even the simplest things.

Don't you find it strange how simple things can take you back so quickly and leave you feeling like the wind has been knocked out of you? The other day I was at a clients house. She lives not far from the High School. During lunch hour the band was practicing. It was as if someone had slapped my face. The memory was so sharp of a day that Johnny and I heard a school band and looked out the window to see the whole band marching by playing music. It was quite a site. I had forgotten all about that until I heard that music the other day. It came so suddenly and unexpectedly that it knocked me off balance for most of the day.

I don't think our hearts will ever stop breaking. There will always be something to bring back either the good or the bad. Those things always cause pain but I don't think I could face life if I ever lost them.

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too! All Mike's medical bills, reports, lab work, cat scan repaorts, pet scan reports, etc.

I am not ready to get rid of them..and you don't have to either. You do whatever you feel is right. It doesn't take much to trigger the feelings we have for our loved ones who past on. God bless you, Nancy C

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To those of you who save. I hope this doesn't offend anyone but something just occurred to me. With the medical bills and other medical records, why not make a scrapbook that you can use to represent how hard you fought the fight. I have done this for my son Nick who I almost lost a year ago to an accident he had with a tire and rim exploding in his face at work. Nick has many CT scans (that we had reduced in size) and bills that we have placed into a scrapbook. We have also included pictures of him through out that time. It could represent the fight that I know that we all of fought for those we love who have battled this terrible disease. I don't have access to these things from my mom because they are with my dad still. Her scrapbook would be very small as her battle was only for a month.

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I am a big time pack rat.I save everything cause I may need it someday.

I decided about 6 months ago I would stsrt cleaning up the shop (garage to some)so Connie wouldn't have to go thru this when my time is up.

I'm still working at it and still having a real hard time throwing away things that I feel could be of use (in other words completely useless).

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Frank, you are funny!

I am a packrat too. Through my big move, I was able (with the help of friends) to throw some of my own treasures. But, couldn't part with the few useless personal belongings from my Dad and his mother. His cowboy hat with his sweat on the band... his cowboy boots and belt buckle; now of what use to me are these things? I am coming closer and closer to getting rid of them. I keep thinking that if after all this time they knew that I still cling to their stuff, they would give me a paw upside the head. "What are you thinking of???" It just doesn't seem right though to put in trash. I have my memories. I don't really NEED these things as reminders of them. To tell you the truth, these things kind of bring me down a bit. I will get rid of them, one day.

Cindi o'h

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Dear Ann,

I so much understand. I asked the man at the funeral home after Alan had been cremated if I could have the shirt he was wearing. My other Brother and I changed his shirt part way through the day of his passing to a family reunion shirt we all had and we put his on him. He lived the rest of his life in that shirt and took his last breath in that shirt and I just had to have it. I have it, yet dont know what to do with it amoung other special things he had in his life. Could I part with them? NO. It is a link to him and I cant get rid of anything that was special to him.

I also have been decluttering my home and have gotten rid of things that I never thought I could as I loved them. I just felt I needed to make my life simplier. I do understand why you have kept the things you have of Dennis's. No, it's not him but it was so much a part of him it's like throwing some of you're memories away. I may get people telling me that It's the wrong way to think and maybe it is but I cant help how I feel about special things I could never get rid of. Maybe there will come a day I can and maybe there will come a day you can, if not oh well........ If it comforts us, what is the harm??

God Bless you Ann,

Jane

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