Going through Your Parents' StuffThis article couldn't have been better timed for me. Heirs should sift slowly through attic is a look into an issue more and more of us are dealing with -- sifting through a lifetime's worth of memories and memorabilia left to us by our parents:
"Much has been made of the ongoing "transfer of wealth" from the World War II generation, but the old soldiers and their wives are leaving behind a lot of stuff along with their stocks and bonds. Puzzled middle-aged children, some ready to downsize their own households, are left to decide what to keep, what to sell, what to donate to charity and what to haul to the dump."
With my mother's recent passing, I'm in this midst of this process right now, and even as a genealogist, there's a temptation to rush it. Just so much stuff. But it pays to go slowly. I found my father's original baptismal certificate. He and my mom divorced about 30 years ago, but she still had this document. Until now, even my father did not know where he had been baptized.
I found a prayer card given to my mother by a nun in the family at the time of my birth. The convent records of this distant cousin of mine turned out to be the key to unlocking a lot of mysteries about the Nelligan branch of my family tree. But until now, I hadn't realized that my mother and Sister Aldegonde had even known each other.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, and as the family historian, I'm the recipient of countless boxes and bags of photos. It will take me ages to sort through and organize, but it will be worth it.
Please take a moment to read this article -- and ponder it not only in terms of dealing with your parents' stuff, but also in terms of others dealing with your stuff.