I have recently returned from a trip to Allentown, Pennsylvania where my sister, bother-in-law and I transitioned my Dad from his home of over 25 years to an apartment at an independent living facility. It was definitely a roller coaster of emotions as we spent 2 days organizing and purging the house and determining 1) what he wanted to take with him and 2) what would actually fit in the new apartment. The two did not always agree with each other.
The process could have been much more difficult than it was. Dad was pretty much disconnected as Claudia and I went through his accumulated life and had the extremely uncomfortable (at least for me) task of purging/throwing out/placed for donation of all his precious things. Yes, precious. Even though he had not seen many of them for decades. I tried to keep in mind that for him, we were ripping his life possessions apart and throwing things away….throwing away parts of his life. I can’t imagine what that must have felt like. I get nauseous thinking about what I will do when it is my turn to purge my own life accumulations.
Yes, there were outbursts. Like when he was looking for “important papers” that we could not find and a folder of paperwork came flying by my head as he threw it from the dining room into the kitchen where I was throwing out gunk from the refrigerator. “Jeez Dad – totally unnecessary!” Then I reminded myself how difficult this must be for him. Having people make decisions on what to throw away….your life…..your things….knowing full well that you were turning the page on what will probably be the final chapter of your life’s book.
As I am writing this, he is adjusting to life in Traditions of Hanover in Bethlehem, PA. He is 15 minutes away from my sister, he has the important pieces of his life with him and he is relatively content. So remember this if and when you have the opportunity to support your parent(s) as they go through is final transition…..it takes courage to Begin Again. Wishing you love and light……Terri & the herd.