Monday, December 11, 2006

Dealing with the Past

So, last week I teased and said I missed Wednesdays post and I would tell you on Monday. Well, the reason I missed it was we are busy (my husband and I) cleaning out my mother in laws house. She passed away recently and my husband is a an only child and so I am his only helper on this very slow and difficult process. There is just so much stuff to look thru. Some of it obviously means something to us, some of it while important to her - we just cannot keep and some of it just makes you want to say, "HMMMMM????" It is really a long process. So not only are you (particularly my husband) sad and realling from the sudden lose - but you have the very pratical and ardous process of having to catalog, sort thru stuff, finiding things you never dreamed off, get it taken to charity, giving it to friends, selling it. What a task.
Well all of this has me thinking about advice I would give to clients when I was working in the financial services industry. YOU CANNOT TAKE IT (in this context money) WITH YOU. Really, money is not required, as I know of, in heaven and/or hell. So make arrangements for its disposition while alive. So, if that is true why not handle your stuff that way. Now before everyone jumps on me about not being able to plan your exact moment of death - I KNOW THAT! But what I am saying, directing this to currently healthy but aging parents. Start the process now. If you really want your daughter to have your antique broach. Give it to her as a holiday/birhtday, Just Becasue gift. This would be helpful to your kids/loved ones now. While my mother in law had done this, so much stuff was left and she had not really shared with the significant info about some items and there we are really just guessing. We asked. She declined to share. So I guess my point is - parents be proactive. Cull your boxes of recipies that you do not use, but have collected over the last 25 years now...... Computerize the family reciepies, so that they do not tossed out with the boxes of junk. Think about what items are so important to you that you really want them to remain in the family and then if practical - gift them now. You ask the tough questions now - do I need three tool boxes full of washers. Could I get rid of this stuff now or do I absolutely need them. If you do not, your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephrews will be doing it and really - do you want to be remember for your pile of junk.

1 comment:

IHateToast said...

hey, easy sister! don't cull too much or we garage sale freaks would be stuck with only worn-out ikea stuff and no weird fusty stuff from a box in a great grandma's closet.

sorry for H's loss. late, but i'm just catching up.