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Long Nights.... (funeral talk)

July 22nd, 2011 at 06:46 am

All week I have been at my grandmothers house, usually until midnight or a bit later. That is late since this early riser normally goes to bed around 9pm.

My Grandmother passed away Friday at 11am. Her Viewing/Rosary was Monday, Her Funeral was Tuesday. And all week we have been cleaning and clearing out the house. It is kinda crazy at times because of the large numbers of (her) children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that are helping at one time.

Since three of her children live out of state, if the items are going to be given to them with their input it needs to be done now. Also I read somewhere it is easier to do it earlier when you are still numb, then to do it later when you are sad.

So far except for a little rubbing of personalities it is going really well. I think everyone is taking the high road. I could tell you stories of the actions that would make my generious spirited grandmother Proud.

My grandmother had a practice over the years of writing the name and date of the gift on the gift or on a sticky label on the gift. Her wishes were that if someone gave her or my grandfather something she wanted them to have it back. So that is the first step in the clearing out the house process.

My grandmother and grandfather had 7 children and 25 grandchildren (two of which they raised), and 26 greatgrandchildren. Of the non-labeled items the children are determaining what is high value ($ or emotional), what is medium/low value to them, what is trash. The high value items are what is divided between the children so everyone gets a equal number. They came up with a number system. They put a number 1-7 in front of the item then they draw numbers. They usually do a group of like item things; such as crystal or crosses or lace, etc. If they want to trade they can BUT the numbers is the starting point, so that if you want something you have to trade. Sometimes even if you had prefered something else; you have fond memories of what you got and then they deside they are content. The medium value items are being selected by the children for grandchildren and great grand children. Low value items are being placed in one room for any grandchild or great grand child to select from for themselves.

Every Child, GrandChild, and GreatGrandChild; will receive or has received at least one spiritual item and one special/personal item.

I am basically a runner, which means when something is unearthed, I go to the children make sure it does not have a story (high value) and if none of the children want it for themselve or one of their children (Medium Value) I take it to the up for grabs room. Or if one expresses and interest I put it in with the box of stuff they will be taking to their home. I also keep garbage bags available to the children and run the filled trash bags to the pickup truck that is going to the dump.

My grandmother lived through the depression, so she has alot of things that such as small scraps of fabric or old blankets she kept for some purpose or another which just needs to be thrown out.

My Boyfriend will not come over to the house, He says when his grandmother died alot of the family just went crazy and because greedy. Lots of fighting. Wish he could see the generous spirit with which the process is going for us.

6 Responses to “Long Nights.... (funeral talk)”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    I'm sorry to hear of this loss. Your Grandma seems to have planned ahead, what a nice thing for her to do for her family. Even in death, she is a caretaker.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    I think your grandmother would be overjoyed at the behavior of her descendants. I am sorry for your loss.

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    I went through this three years ago when my grandparents died within 7 months of each other. Cleaning out the house was hard, but like you, there was no arguing over stuff. My mom, aunt, and uncle had a system-- which helped. Everyone just went in rounds taking turns asking for what they wanted for emotional or other reasons. There wasn't any arguing, which made it easier.

    But it's still hard to sort through the everyday items of your loved ones' lives. I held on to so many little things at that time, and only now have I started giving them away. It took me a few years to be willing to let go, and realize truly that getting rid of the stuff doesn't get rid of the memory.

  4. scottish girl Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

  5. Jerry Says:

    I think this is a great tribute to your grandparents, that everything proceeds this smoothly. Heck, I have seen ugly, greedy family disagreements erupt even at the hospital, right outside the room where someone was dying, so it is good to know that there are families who can get along, and that it doesn't have to lead to discord. It's not always even about inheritances or annuities or whatever, it can even be vases and golf clubs. So glad that you and yours are doing it right!
    Jerry

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I am sorry for your loss. The way your family is handling the dispensing of the items is quite impressive.

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