I hated it at first. It's like picking the bones of someone who's still alive. But she'll never be able to live unassisted again, and the house needs to be sold to pay for her care, which means that it needs to be empty of all personal possessions. We were there to decide what was to be kept by each of us, and what was to go to Lifeline or similar. I grabbed some books which I'd given to my father (he died in 2002) and a couple of ornaments that I remembered from when I was growing up. Also a couple of keepsakes for my son to remember his poppy and nanny by.
We also found a draft document which my father had written in the 1990's, outlining where he wanted his stuff to go in the event that he outlived my stepmum. It made it a bit easier with a couple of things, eg his model car collection which he wanted my son to have. (and when I say "car" I mean "Volvo". Dad had a lifelong affection for the marque, and the collection consists of Volvo Matchbox cars, some still in their original packaging, others he'd scavenged from garage sales and second-hand shops).
It was late Sunday night by the time we'd finished, after many tears were shed and hugs given. At least I could get back on the plane yesterday knowing that one enormous unpleasant task was over.
It gets you thinking, though. There's so much stuff in this house that my son will need to dispose of one day - I really should do him a favour and go through the place every couple of years, throwing out stuff that is no longer useful. Made a bit of a start on it today, actually!
So this article was timely. If you think you're untidy, have a look at this. I no longer feel that bad about having a newspaper and a couple of magazines on my kitchen table....