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Feeling Lost/unmotivated

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Is there are real rush to get the basement at your folks' house empty? I mean if you are feeling pressured from your family.. um.. I kinda wouldn't worry about that. Tell them up front you will just do the best you can. And really...that HAS to be good 'nuff. :D Unless of course they would like to help you get things done faster.... Which from what you have said.. isn't likely. Your best is what it is. ANd only you know what that is.

I remember somedays I could be the "Energizer Bunny".... although I will readily admit I was running on adrenaline. Other days.. I felt immobile... paralyzed. I felt like my feet and arms were concrete. There were days that were easier than others. And I learned.. that, in itself, is ok and that is just how it is.

Sometimes I pushed myself and got done SOME things and once I relaxed about it a bit I realized.. I would have better days and get even more done.. so I didn't worry much about taking a day off from it here & there. Because sometimes... I really think.. we need those days off from it.

I think if you felt you had more time maybe you wouldn't be feeling as overwhelmed as you are. Of course it all needs to be done eventually and sooner would be better than later... but it doesn't really have to be done in like 2 weeks or anything right? So keep that in mind if you can.

Of course you can get it done yourself. Especially if this is more your memorabilia stuff and not their things. Just plow through a bit at a time and keep realizing what you have already done. I found I had to make myself look at what I already accomplished and give myself a pat on the back or else I would ONLY see what I had left to do & feel even more miserable. So don't forget to recognize your own efforts!

From what you have told us.. you have already done quite a bit. You have accomplished MUCH.

It's natural not to want to go there. I dreaded it. But I had to force myself sometimes and then once I was there and got busy I realized I didn't have that dread anymore. It became all about getting things crossed off my "To Do" list. I had to have lists or I felt like I had no grip ya know?

Also I noticed that my house also was an absolute mess when I began going through things at my folks and sis & I deciding which things were gong to her and which things I would take home.

I had LOADS of stuff ALL over my livingroom, diningroom etc. And no, I don't normally live like that with stuff all over. So.. yeah it was mighty uncomfortable & upsetting here for me. Everywhere I looked... m-e-s-s.

But between writing thank you notes.. dealing with my own absolute necessities here... (like laundry, cooking .. cleaning around the mess) paying the bills for my folks's place and dealing with contacting ALL utilities & companies she dealt with to have them mail the bills here.. contacting everyone she had future appointments with.. telling people over and over what had happened and that she was gone.... I literally didn't think the "stuff" piled up in my house was a top priority immediately. I would get to it I figured and I would just have to put up with the mess til I could.

And I did get to it. LOADS of it went into a spare room we have & the garage and the rest I either put in huge boxes for the kids in the basement, gave it away, donated or tossed it.

The spare room & garage were great.. I could just shut the doors! (Couldn't park any cars in there.. but.. what can ya do?)

But the day had to come when I had to get to those places too... and ya know what? I did.. eventually and when I was ready.

So try putting as much as you can somewhere in storage til you are ready to "go through it".

Some things I did:

Did a quick sorting. Made piles of Save Toss & Donate and/or give away. If I knew folks I wanted to give things away to.. I labelled them that way. Or put it in a container ready to mail with their name on a sticky note til I was ready to go to the post office etc.

I tossed my toss stuff each time I left their house. (Yes I did ask a neighbor to help me by taking their garbage cans back in for me. I was lucky her grabage days were Mondays, so I typically went to their house to work on Sundays.) But you could make a trip there on the night before their pick up days just to throw stuff out if you can't haul it to your place.

I found tossing out garbage to be really important. I was making myself more room to work each time. And seeing my efforts easily when I returned was easier with less stuff there.

What is your storage situation at your own home? Do you have some room somewhere, like a basement or attic or garage? This way anything you really do not know what to do with right now you can always go through later in your own time.

If you must store things in your living space... maybe just put things in a corner somewhere and get a pretty sheet and drape it over it til you are in position to go through those things. Is your son able to help you at all? If so.. let him help you...

But I think in those early days I just had to force my focus onto what I had already done, frequently to have the will to keep going. So take a bit of time to actually see ALL you have accomplished these past few weeks. I bet it has been ALOT.


I'll be thinking of you.


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Leann's advise is really good. Do you have or could you rent a temporary storage facility? And does it have to be done right now? I don't see the harm in allowing yourself extra time to get through it. Is it because of family pressure, they want it done? Then, they need to help. Put a shield around you to ignore their critisism if you need to, but this is really a time when independence can be too much and you need to ask for help. Are there people at your church that could assist you? Most of my help has come from strangers, although it was really difficult to ask for help, it was totally necessary.

I've also experienced the keening as you have described, like it comes from some deep area from within and it is new and fearful and unrecognizable. But, it needs to be let out, you need to go through it, because it can't be contained in a healthy way. As unnatural as it feels, it is the most natural reaction to the pain you have experienced. I am sorry you have to do all this. It is best done in small doses.

Try to focus on one task, one hour, one day at a time. It is overwhelming to have to take in the whole picture. When I tried to see it all, do it all, what I ended up doing was shutting down. Someone mentioned "shuffling" in a post. That says it all. We don't plod, we don't run, we don't pep step, but we can shuffle as needed. And we pray. This feeling of devastation is temporary. You will not feel ruined forever. But, please, don't try to do it alone.


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Dear Leeann,

You write with such wisdom, and always with good cheer. Of course ... my best is all I can be. (Doh! How do any of us ever distort this reality?)

Just a quick update ... I had help from a friend today, and have more confidence (with help) I can get this done.

I am now getting back into "teacher" mode and will likely have little time to read or write. I want to thank you, however. I've read quite a bit of your postings on this board, and you are a very dear and special woman. So open-hearted, and so clear-thinking and wise.

Thank you for what you've given me, Leeann!


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Dear Kath,

Thank you or the one task, one hour, one day at a time reminder.

It was also helpful ... and assuring, in a sisterly way, to hear of someone else who'd been swept into the wailing defined by "keening." Funny, I can find little information on this in a contemporary sense ... even in searches on physiology of crying. Perhaps "giving way" to "wailing" is a thing that's become suppressed in our modern era.

I hope not!

It keeps us connected to our instincts, and provides the perfect vehicle for expressing profound loss. Oh my.

On to "The Basement" issue, as perhaps you've seen in my writing to Leeann, I had help from a friend today, who said he would help me next week (etc.). Lucky me! It's an immense project, and my sisters will soon see (when they descend the stairs to address M&D's "collection" ... ), that perhaps our deadline needs to be expanded.

I am getting ready, shortly, for my "Day in the Life of" back in the classroom tomorrow, so I'll not be able to read or write with as much frequency. However, to you and all who have visited me here, who have read, paused long enough to respond, and even further ... who've poured out your hearts with words of wisdom, kindness and encouragement ... I am forever grateful.

This is a beautiful community, and I'm so pleased to have found it. Google searches on "grief" and "loss" following my mother's death on March 1 did not lead me here.

Thank God, this time they did.

Again, my thanks and blessings ... Temmie

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