My Mother-In-Law passed away on 7/22/10 at the age of 84. She was a consonant New Englander who was always concerned with others and worried what other would think right up to the end. She was under Hospice care and when her 4 sons would visit (and they were there every day for the last 2 weeks of her life) she was worried about them eating with her. (The staff of the care facility welcomed the family and we were always invited to eat.) No one else seemed to have 4 men there at dinner or lunch time. We could get her to believe it was OK and they probable just didn’t have as much family in the valley.
On the Friday and Saturday after she passed her 4 sons and the 4 wives cleaned out her apartment and divided most of her belongings. I am so glad she moved into this apartment at the retirement facility in 2006. There was not the emotional attachment that we would have had if she had still been in the house she and her husband had shared for 45+ years.
My husband brought all the photo albums home and spent hours, even before she passed, going through them pulling out photo to have made into a CD for her service. When my MIL was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we were told she had about 3 weeks to 2 months to live, my husband started going through all of the family slides (we got them when she move – no one else wanted them). He did such a good job at choosing the pictures for her service.
We also brought home boxes off stuff from my MIL’s apartment and those got dropped on the floor in front of our sofas. Because my sofas were free-bees from a coworker about 6 years ago they are in tough shape, so we took the recliner and love seat. Oh and we got her cat stroller. Because we dropped boxes of stuff in front of our sofa, we cannot get them out to put in the recliner and love seat so they just between the living room & dining room. All the boxes to photo are on the floor by the computer desk, which is between the dinning room table & back door. I warn everyone who stops by that my house looks like a hoarder’s house. I know this is temporary and we plan on finishing our remodeling once the estate is settled. Until then we are working on packing up stuff and taking it to my office to store them.