Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Loss, clutter and moving

Sorry this is a bit wordy but I have felt better for writing it.


I mentioned before that I lost my beautiful Mum to cancer late in 2015. Mum was brought us up from when I was 8 as a single parent. I'm the oldest of 3 and now as a parent myself I appreciate how hard that must have been for her. I only have 2 kids and I have a partner and I find it incredibly hard sometimes. So losing her when I was 37 was devastating, not just for us but our kids. My Nanna played such an important role in my life when I was young, so many of my memories involved her. I feel incredibly sad as my girls and my niece and nephew and any future kids will never get to experience her great love again.

On the outside I look ok, my life has just gotten back to normality, life with the girls went on and I just went along with it. But I do have an incredible sadness that I don't talk about. Seeing a lady dressed like my Mum sends a lump to my throat, I feel jealous when I see a grandmother and daughter with the kids. Every day I think of my Mum, I just want to pick up a phone and call her, have a chat meet for a coffee and talk. There are so many questions I would love to know answers to, complain about my Great Aunty and advice on helping her. I feel like a part of my families history has closed with us knowing only parts of it.

I will finish with that here, its sad and awful and its coming up to Mother's Day which is very bitter sweet. I'm a Mum and I get to be with my girls, but I'm missing my Mum, our Mum.


As Mum was by herself in the house we spent a good part of our lives in. We moved to the Central Coast in 1991 when I was starting High School. This was our home for so many years and then we had the hard task of clearing it out. We only went over a few times after Mum's passing, we just put it in the to hard basket. After a few months and when Ruby started school I began going over by myself and began sorting through things. I'm sure we could have been loads quicker doing the house but the time we didn't spend there made it easier for us to cope with.

I think we all took something different from the experience. For me I started to look at possessions differently, when you leave the earth, you are gone but everything is still here. Things, stuff, clutter and memories. We tried to organise things in three classic piles keep, donate and sell. We also got a storage shed which I called the "band aid" we still have it, its filled with things we just don't know what to do with. The keep pile began getting so big, extreme guilt over items became apparent. "Mum said to never get rid of that" "where are we meant to keep it?" these where the kind of conversations we were having. My sister's house is full of boxes as she found it hard to let go of some things. Lucky we spent  so long at the house as it made us re evaluate what we were keeping, and we turned 3 boxes into 1 and felt better about it.
We had a garage sale and I knew it would be interesting to say the least, I didn't realise how crazy people were. I was exhausted  at the end, I even had to tell a lady to leave as she was quite possibly the rudest and crazy woman I have ever encounted. We donated lots of things also, and then filled the storage shed and walked away.

We eventually cleared it out and we were happy to have another single lady around Mum's age buy the house, it seemed fitting and perfect.

I live in a very small townhouse, we simply don't have the room to keep things which for the past 3 years has been good as I really cant buy anything as we don't have the space to keep it. So what I did take from Mum's where the things I loved and held memories for me. I also stopped buying little things, cute things, things that have no meaning or value. Why? whats the point? it will be just stuff at the end, stuff that someone will have to get rid of or maybe keep. It really made me re evaluate my spending habits, and try and stop the clutter creeping into our house.


My main quote whilst getting rid of things was "I'll be moving I cant take that", we aren't doing a small move, its a big one. But I made a small decision which made me feel better and more at ease and less stressed. My partner is English and we had talked about going back to live for a couple of years. So after Mum we made the decision to go. Chris has a lot of family and his Mum and Dad are still alive and we thought it would be good for the girls to spend more time with their other side of the family.
At first we were going to take everything, furniture and all, but this was making me stressed. So we are getting a storage shed instead. It will be cheaper than moving furniture twice across the world and make life so much easier.

So it's all quite exciting and sad as I'll be leaving my Sister and Brother and Dad and nieces and nephews. But that's how Chris has been feeling the past 7 years, and I want to come back so I feel doing this when the girls are younger is the best option.

I have so much more I want to talk about with this move. I will do some more posts on the logistics of moving a family of 4 overseas.

But we have passports and the girls are both enrolled in school so the main 2 things are done and we also have booked tickets so it is all very real now.

So that is my story, it has been quite nice writing this, quite cathartic.

So we are England bound in July, What? 3 months....... I better get a move on

Em xx


  1. Oh Em your story sounds just like mine.I was 36 when my mother died 20 years ago and my sisters and I went through exactly the same things as you have been. My girls also had a very short time with their Nana but if you keep talking about her, making her favorite cake, tell them this is the way Nana used to do it and sharing special memories she will always be with them and with you. Sending you a big hug Anne xxx

    1. Hi Anne, Thank you, It was kind of nice writing this as it helped me. It really is awful, but you are right, we talk about her a lot and Ruby often brings up things that she loved and keeps her at the front of her mind. Hugs to you too, and thanks for sharing. Emma xx

  2. Hi, I am Barbara and in Texas in the states. I love the Fox and wondered if you had a pattern for him. I usually knit but want to try your free Giraffe pattern. Wish me luck.


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