Is This an Episode of Hoarders? No, Just Holding On to Memories

Our family is settling into our new home but we still have to sell Matt’s home. Well, we still have to empty the home before we can sell it and that’s where we are at.

Matt is busy at work all day and then right after work we are moving as much of his home into storage as we can. You might be asking yourself “why into storage and not into your new home?” Well….because there is A LOT of stuff. Everything I’m packing up I just want to throw in the trash but Matt wants it all saved. I’m literally going crazy dealing with all of he and Amy’s “stuff”. I’m not seeing any purpose to any of it because I’m not like Amy, will never be like Amy, and don’t do the same things she did. The type of “stuff” I’m seeing is just not items I believe I’ll use or that our blended family will use.

Okay, let’s be honest..I’m a woman and this is MY new house and I kind of just want MY things…

Somehow when you lose a spouse every item they had becomes like a memorial. You hang on to each of your deceased spouses things and can remember buying them, how they enjoyed them, and you just don’t want to let them go…like ever. You want to sit and look at them, smell them, and just touch them every so often.

I had very little time to sort through Cameron’s things after he died (long story and another post someday) and when I packed up to move to Utah I had to really condense his things into a couple boxes. Now it was time to help Matt sort through he and Amy’s things.

Arguments began occurring, kids were crying about what I was throwing away, and all of this material “stuff” was just a huge emotional and physical mess. Stuff, stuff, and more stuff was everywhere.

Several of Matt’s children had a really hard time letting go of objects and I just wanted to scream. I’m talking about even item like rocks. They couldn’t throw anything away. Pieces of paper that were actual trash they would cry about. Only a fraction of the items in the home and garage were being tossed and the rest were being loaded up into our new home and some to storage. At this point I’m looking in to buying a blow torch. This is harder than I thought.

You just start thinking, “How is this stuff causing so much grief?!” Well, it does. It takes time to go through your things and letting go is hard, especially after 17 years.

The playroom in the house was becoming a meshing of two playrooms: my children and Matt’s children. This is where some of the biggest arguments would occur in our blended family. Certain play items of Matt’s children were “theirs”. These items were deemed too special and sentimental for my daughter to play with and therefore would be kept away from her. There was even a bucket of chalk and a chalk board that Amy had purchased and Matt’s kids would tell my daughter that she couldn’t use the chalk because “my mom bought that chalk”.

It’s hard to get mad at these children when I know first hand how bad it hurts. But at some point you have to tell the children “your mom died 3 years ago, she would want you to all use the chalk”. I finally got to the point where if any of Matt’s children wouldn’t share their special items then that item had to be locked in their closet and I would personally go to the toy store and get my daughter a replacement. So the dishes set and cash register that weren’t being shared were put away and guess who got a bunch of new toys? Yep, my daughter.

I realize that using that last piece of chalk might feel like losing your mother again or if the special toy you have gets broken it will hurt but we are living and have to move on. It’s so hard for children to understand that.

This is the reality of blending a family that has suffered great loss. All 8 children are suffering from some form of this “holding on”, as well as Matt and I, but there’s only so much room for this “stuff”.

Where’s that blow torch??

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