Mudcat Café message #3021326 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #133233   Message #3021326
Posted By: ragdall
01-Nov-10 - 11:49 PM
Thread Name: BS: Nov 2010 Declutter & Exercise reports
Subject: RE: BS: Nov 2010 Declutter & Exercise reports
I will have a difficult declutter task in the future. I'm hoping to gain some perspective by soliciting input from the people who frequent this thread.

I had a very close friend whom I met online. We chatted online and talked on the phone for hours every day. The only time that we ever met face to face, he flew many miles for a week long visit with my husband and me. Over seven years ago, despite my efforts to persuade him otherwise, he took his own life.

Because I was the one who called the police when I hadn't heard from my friend for a couple of days, the police mailed me copies of the police report, his will and the letter he'd left for them to find.   There was more than enough money to pay for cremating his remains, but it took me four and a half months and many, many long distance phone calls to find someone who could get his body out of a county morgue and cremated. They finally laid him to rest on Halloween - how fitting. Any of his money that was left went to two charities. His furniture, clothing, etc., went to charity thrift stores.

Some time later, I had a phone call from a county lawyer advising me that my friend's "personal effects" had been left to me. I told the lawyer that I didn't want them, but in due time a large box (30 inch cube) of photos and printed materials arrived at my door.

I don't know what to do with my friend's personal belongings. I haven't been able to bring myself to just toss it all in a rubbish bin. That seems as if I'd be treating my friend as if his life meant nothing. As much as I loved my friend and cared about him, I really don't want to keep his baby pictures, high school yearbooks, polaroid photo collection, old family photos, etc.. I have too much clutter of my own that I need to get rid of.

In the letter the police found, my friend wrote that he had no living relatives. I know that wasn't true. He wanted nothing to do with any relatives, but there were some. To the best of my knowledge, he detested them.

I think I may be able to find some of these people from clues in my friend's parents' obituaries. Should I try to find them and ask if they want anything from his belongings, knowing that would probably be the last thing my friend would want?   Should I just toss the box in the rubbish? Is there another choice that I haven't considered?

What would you do?