The arrival of the package proved to be just the ass-kicking I (apparently) needed to get myself started on sorting through my Mom's stuff. I spent the day opening and sorting boxes and I got a lot done. But oh, how painful it is to deal with it all! And overwhelming. Which is why it has taken me 10 years to do it, natch.
All those boxes... when I packed them, back in Germany in the days following my Mom's death, I was so upset I could barely see. Some contain very little worth saving, others are filled with out of print art books (some of which I'll keep (Ancient Egypt and Art Nouveau are favourites of mine) but most I'll probably try to sell...) and there are also my grandfather's books, Hualing's books (his wife, also an accomplished writer... I call her Gran, though we are related only by marriage. She's a gracious and sweet lady, also very strong and an amazing writer too.) I need to phone her soon, to see if she needs copies on any of these books. I have no idea which ones are rare or valuable. BF has suggested I just burn everything, as he sees how badly it makes me feel... and believe me a part of me would LOVE to be done with all this in one night - but I just can't. He doesn't have any idea what's there, just that it is a source of unhappiness for me, and he wants to help me feel better. What he doesn't see is that I'd feel even worse if I did that, some of this stuff is rare/valuable/important (for the archive of my grandfather's work... or just inherently Worth Something) and it all needs to be sorted out. Plus I can't burn boxes of *books*...!!!
So I called Melanie today, the lady who sent me the box. She asked if it was upsetting to receive it (well, Duh!) and apologized for not calling to warn me it was coming. It has taken her this long to clean out too, and she said she'd saved "a scrapbook of Sara's stuff" - photos and memories for herself. She said she hadn't the guts to throw the rest of it out so she sent it to me. (Gee, thanks!)
Well, *I* have the guts. I told her I'm going to burn everything that I'm not keeping, and that I don't have space to keep much. Although slightly shocked, she actually encouraged me (now that i'm dealing with it, it isn't her responsibility so I guess it's easy enough for her to be encouraging) and she even apologized to me for something silly (but insulting) she'd said about me to my Mom, years ago. I'd almost forgotten this, but did remember, also remember laughing about it at the time so it must not have stung too badly.
ANYway. That's where I'm at. It's GOOD for me to go through this and get rid of stuff. It's not easy, but it is all necessary and important. I'm doing what I need to do. And that's good.