While it’s difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one, it’s also important to accept the situation and move on. Everyone copes with their losses differently. Being patient with the process, letting oneself feel all the emotions, and trying to maintain a normal lifestyle are some healthy ways to deal with the grief.
When someone is going through this phase, another challenge arises– cleaning out the rooms of people who passed away. Some folks decide to give away all their belongings while others decide to keep things as a reminder of their presence. Recently, a Reddit user
#1 Money Everywhere
My grandma’s house had money EVERYWHERE. Every purse had at least $100 cash. Suitcases had a few hundred more. Every coffee can or other container in her kitchen had rolls of money. There were even bags of frozen veggies in the freezer that had been split open and money hidden inside. And her bank accounts…thousands upon thousands of dollars. No one had any idea, she lived so simply and never spent a dime on anything unnecessary. I’m sure her financial paranoia was due to growing up in the Great Depression.
It made for the best scavenger hunt ever, though.
#2 A Lot Of Rocks In Little Brother’s Toy Box
I personally packed up my little brother’s room after he passed. He was only 8 years old when he passed, so I didn’t find anything risqué. I did find a lot of rocks in his toy box though. Another 3 years later, I was helping clean out my grandmas house and found letters he had written her.
#3 More Than 20 Wrapped Presents And Envelopes Of Money, Addressed To Grandchildren
My grandma passed when I was 16 after getting cancer for the third time. My grandad moved into a smaller apartment and my cousins and I helped to clean out their house. (A side note… There are 9 of us, aged at the time from 12 – 26).
In the house, we found more than 20 wrapped presents and envelopes of money, addressed to all of us. They were for the big occasions that she knew she wouldn’t live to see us have. Before she had passed away she had organized 21st birthday presents for those of us who weren’t yet 21, engagement presents, and wedding presents, each with a card written by hand. I remember being so overwhelmed with emotion. She was an incredible woman who loved her family dearly and wanted to celebrate her grandchildren, even if she couldn’t be there herself.
#4 Dad’s Office Had Certificates, Photos, Newspaper Clippings, Programs, Etc. Of His Kids On The Walls
This one is actually kind of heartwarming…
My dad was a pretty reserved guy. While I knew in my heart he would lay down and pass away for me without a moment’s hesitation, he never said “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” or anything like that. It’s just who he was.
After he passed away of cancer, we went to his office to clear it out. I’d never really been in his actual office since, on the rare occasions I’d see him at work, he’d usually meet me at reception.
Well, when we went in there, it was practically a shrine to me and my sister. Every certificate, photo, newspaper clipping, program, etc. was hung up on the walls of his office. A number of people came by to pay their respects as we were clearing things out and, again and again, I heard “he was so proud of you.” “I’ve heard so many things about you, it’s nice to meet you in person.” “You were so special to your father. He spoke the world of you.”
Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Definitely one of the more bittersweet moments in my life…
RIP, Dad. Miss you…
#5 Grandma’s Journal Which Showed How Sad She Was
My grandmother passed after a blood clot incident. She had several conditions that no doubt led up to this. For example, her medical team decided not to treat her breast cancer because they figured she would pass away before it would spread.
My father, uncle, and my sisters were left to clean out her things from her apartment. She had a lot of old, expired food. Like ketchup that had gone completely black. We found things from when she was well and social, like her quilting and handmade soaps, which were beautiful. She has a quilt that had the names of all of our family, but the names were sewn in the individuals handwriting style.
However, one day it was just my dad and me going through her bedside table. We found her journal. Toward the end, all of the entries were about how lonely she was, how she only got to see her grand children twice a year, and how her own children never saw her unless they needed something. She said she wanted to die. My dad threw it away so his brother would never have to see it.
So, um, yeah. Go hug a grandparent.
#6 Underground Newspapers
When we cleaned out my paternal grandparents’ house, I found a few underground newspapers. Unfortunately, they were of the white supremacist variety. 🙁
#7 Small Little Baggie Full Of Our Baby Teeth
This isn’t as serious as some others in this thread, but when my mom passsed, my siblings and I were going through her stuff to see if there were any sentimental things we wanted to keep. The usual you know, a necklace for my sister, some knick knack elephants for my brother, I kept a ring and some tshirts.
We then came across this small little baggie full of our baby teeth that she kept after the tooth fairy came to us. Some people might think it’s cute or whatever, but we all thought it was pretty weird and creepy to come across. Thanks, mom.
#8 I Found A Note In A Book From My Grandma To Me
When cleaning out my mom’s house last October to move her into memory care assisted living I found a note in a book from my grandma to me. It was written in 1982. It mentioned that my mom was married before marrying my dad. News to me! It hurt that in 35 years my mom never told me. Especially when i had gone through a divorce in my early 20s, 10 years ago. Later I found my mom and dad’s marriage license. Her divorce was about 6 months prior to marrying my dad. So many questions! They divorced when I was 4.
#9 A Shoe Box Full Of Things For Our Son
My boyfriend passed in a car accident while I was pregnant with our first child. When I was cleaning out our room to move, after the accident, I found a shoe box full of things for our son. Some of the items included were a note to our son about the future, what dreams and hopes he had had, some Pokémon cards, tips on fishing, and a letter to give to me upon his death. Almost four years later and I haven’t been able to open it.
#10 3D TV
My great aunt passed at 100 years old, and I got her fairly new Samsung TV. The TV turned out to be 3D, but she only had one eye.
I couldn’t shake the thought that some salesman sold an old lady with one eye a 3D TV.
#11 We Found Details Of My Nan’s Secret Credit Card
We found details of my Nan’s secret credit card. She had a gambling problem and didn’t tell my Pop about the card…she had been paying a little off every week for years.
My Pop didn’t have much money and he was really worried about how he was going to pay the bill. It turns out that he didn’t have to pay the bill because she was deceased and it wasn’t his debt.
He’s an old, grumpy man from country Australia and was super proud of her for “sticking it to the bank”.
#12 Found Out Grandad Worked For The Army And His Job Description Was Classified
After my grandfather passed, I found out that he worked for the army in Fort Monmouth. Whenever anyone asked what he did for a living he said he “makes coffee”. Turns out his actual job description was classified and nobody knew what it was. Not even my grandma.
I look just like him.
#13 A Letter Written By Husband’s First Wife
My husband passed in 2009 of a heart attack.
He was a widower when I married him. I found a letter written by his first wife, before she passed away of cancer, telling him how upset she was with him and how he wasn’t being supportive and how if she wasn’t so sick that she would consider a divorce.
Their son (who became my son) was 3 when his mom passed and 12 when his dad passed. I destroyed that letter. I honestly think he never, ever needed to see that letter. I’d much rather he’s left with the illusion that his parents had a perfect, if tragic, marriage.
#14 Liquor Bottles That Were Full Of Water From 40 Years Ago
When my great grandma passed away we were cleaning out her house and we found all these liquor bottles that were full of water from 40 years ago when my dad and my uncles had drank all her booze and replaced it with water lol.
#15 A Poem Grandma Wrote To The Infant Child That She Lost
After my grandmother passed away I helped my grandfather clean out some of her stuff and found a poem she wrote to the infant child that she lost some 50 years ago. I don’t think my grandfather knew about the poem or he forgot about it.
#16 A Picture Of All The Guys In My Dad’s Dorm, And They’d All Signed It
After my dad passed a couple years ago, I went through a bunch of old pictures from his college days. He (let’s call him Todd) and my mom (call her Nancy) met when they were both living in the dorms there. I found a picture of all the guys in my dad’s dorm, and they’d all signed it. My dad’s roommate had written, “Todd, you were the best roommate ever… since you hardly spent one night here since meeting Nancy…”
At first I felt a little uncomfortable, but in hindsight, it seems kind of sweet. My parents were never overtly romantic in front of my siblings and I, so although I knew they cared about each other, I never really thought of them as being “in love”. I guess it’s nice to know they were so crazy about each other when they first met.
#17 Photos Of Boyfriend’s Uncle And His “Best Friend”
Recently my boyfriends uncle passed away. He left his house to him in his will. We’ve been slowly going through the rooms, but on day one of the clean, we started in his closet.
We live in a very republican conservative part of Texas. Mind you, the man was never married, but was loved by all as he housed his niece who suffered from addiction.
When we went through his closet we found numerous sparkling thongs, and various phallic devices. We thought it was strange but when we moved to the bedroom we discovered photos of him and his “best friend”
Through his death we discovered that uncle was a gay man. Something he never came out with while he was alive . It makes us sad to think he had to hide who he was for his whole life as our families are pretty open and non Judgmental.
#18 A Little Note Admitting How Much Sister Loved Her Siblings
In 2005, my sister passed in a jet skiing accident out on the lake. She was 11, I was 9, and after the funeral my parents decided it was time to go through her stuff to pack up and donate. I’m really nosy, and I really needed something to do, so I was allowed to help them. I served mostly as a runner boy for the items as they went through it, just sorting it in the living room while they went through everything in her room. Now, understand that the last thing she said to me was “I hate you”. We had gotten in a fight just before she got on the jet ski with my aunt, and that’s the last time we spoke. Anyways, going through her stuff I found a picture she had drawn of me her and one of my other sisters, and a little note admit how much she loved her brothers and sisters (an art project for school of some sort if I’m not mistaken). This really helped put my mind at ease about the whole thing. I know she really loved me and that if she had known those would be the last words she said to me she would not have said it, but being 9 years old, watching her be in the hospital for three days, then waiting 4 more days for the funeral and what not to get to that picture. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, but that picture helped.
I never leave someone now when bad words have been exchanged. Not knowing if that’s the last thing they hear me say, I cannot in good conscious leave on a bad note.
#19 Grandfather’s Brother Almost His Entire Life He Had Been Dressing As A Woman
This isn’t me personally finding the items but my grandfathers brother (let’s called him Frank), passed away suddenly from a brain aneurism. My family had to clean out his room, and discovered almost his entire life he had been dressing as a woman and living as one without his family knowing. There were photos of him in women’s underwear, and an entire cupboard of dresses, make-up, you name it. No one had any idea until after his death. Go Frank!
Frank was also a huge, muscly rugby player. A real mans man in his everyday life. I think that’s what made it so blindsiding for my family – but I think that just makes it even greater!
#20 Really Cool Puzzle Box That Had Pot In It
When my dad passed of lung cancer we found this really cool puzzle box. He had JUST passed and my closest relatives and I were gathered around as I solved the puzzle box to open it. We get it open and we found none other than a ton of pot. Was hilarious and awkward at the same time. But even better than that I found my two siblings he hid from the family for years. We’re actually all currently sitting on the couch together. So, thanks you old hippie. RIP.