Social Question

Shippy's avatar

Is your home in order?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) August 31st, 2012

I recently had two young friends lose their mothers suddenly. I remember the shock they felt of course as they discussed it, their sadness, and sense of loss. But both said the same things oddly. That while they were clearing away their deceased mother’s homes and belongings they found things which shocked them.

One of the moms was having an affair with this daughter’s father! They had been divorced for some 30 years. I think she was quite happy about that. Other comments were how surprised they were to find things like, my mom stacked her shoes in an odd fashion, or my mom was storing water for some reason in huge vats. I would hate to think if I died suddenly people would be clearing my home and finding odd things!! How do you feel about it?

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33 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

Several years ago, I flew back to my home town because my brother was dying in hospital. Our mother and aunt were constantly there in the room, too. At one point, my brother whispered to me that he wanted to ask me something in private. I staged an elaborate ruse with the help of the nurse to get the ladies out of the room. My brother asked me to go to his house and get rid of a few things for him, because he knew (rightly, as it turned out) that our mom and aunt would be clearing the house out.

It must have been very embarrassing for him to ask me this favor, but it was actually quite a wonderful thing for me to be able to share that little moment of complicity with him.

wilma's avatar

Oh @thorninmud , my mind is thinking girly magazines and other things you don’t want mom to find.

My house is not in order. Not at all. I really need to take care of some things.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Honestly, at that point (dead or shortly to be), I’m pretty well past the point of caring. Though I’m not beyond leaving some things behind to make whoever’s left really sit and wonder.

woodcutter's avatar

I have crafted so many secret hiding places and compartments, a hobby of mine, only known to me that no body would ever find them until the home were to be demolished in the future. So basically it would probably be guys in hardhats who see my cool shit first.

Booyah !

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I’m kind of torn about this as I would hate to have things uncovered that would leave a bad taste in their mouth (this is hypothetically speaking right now lol) and sour their memory of me…but at the same time I would be tempted to have one thing that would make them think WTF??? so I know that they will be puzzled and try to get inside my head as to what was going on

DarknessWithin's avatar

I remember once years ago BEFORE my dad actually died in ‘05 he gave me a floppy to use(yeah back when I was a teen floppys were the in thing), and when I got it home and tried to use it I found a few provocative images on it. I never knew my dad to be into that, but I never asked him. My cousin(whom I had been taught to call my uncle, he’s so much older than me) also lived in the same house so I don’t know for sure they were my dad’s images. I have never actually spoken of this before either ><

Shippy's avatar

@DarknessWithin yes that is the type of thing I think of, as they say your memory lives on forever, so I’d rather it be a nice one, not one that confuses people. Or shocks them!!

DarknessWithin's avatar

@Shippy yeah and I realized I never answered the direct question. I think my things are ok. I don’t usually allow my family to read my fanfics or see the art I do but I don’t think I’d hate for them to see it if they searched my laptop when I died. I DID however encrypt a folder I have full of porn images I made with the head of a celeb I had the hots for. They were for a group I was in. I would hate for those to be seen by anyone else. XP

LuckyGuy's avatar

If I were to go suddenly I would leave nothing embarrassing. Dangerous? Yes. Embarrassing? No.
I already have a friend who agreed to come and clean up.

rooeytoo's avatar

Much lurve to @wonderingwhy – I love that idea, might as well make it fun and interesting for those who get the hateful job

Sunny2's avatar

@Shippy Thanks for reminding me of the fact that I need to get things a bit more ‘in order’ ASAP. Strangely, I’m not getting any younger.

Seaofclouds's avatar

If I were to go suddenly right now, my husband would be the one going through things and he already knows all the crazy things we have. I never honestly gave it much thought though. I can imagine the look on my mom’s or my mother-in-law’s face if they found some of the stuff we have in our closet. We definitely have things to get rid of once we no longer use them.

wundayatta's avatar

All my secret stuff is encrypted behind passwords that only I know and in cloud accounts that only I know about. No one would be able to find out about them, unless I told them.

I wish someone would care. Maybe I will leave a list of passwords and accounts with a lawyer for my children. I’d have to warn them that I did have a secret life, and they might or might not want to know about it. But I truly think the only people who would care would be people interested in a story—people unrelated to me. So I suspect this stuff will just die with me. Probably just as well.

Of course, I am quite the fabulist, so it may be that my secret life exists only in my head. One can hope, anyway.

augustlan's avatar

Right now, probably the worst things anybody would find is the infamous Fluther whip and The Story of O. Not too terrible, I guess. The house isn’t in order, though… not at all.

creative1's avatar

I don’t think I would care one way or the other since I will be dead and we all have things put away for our viewing only. I don’t think my family will think any less of me from what I have since I don’t think anything I have is much different from what I have. Since my home will be left to my daughters who will be under the care of my sister the worst that will happen is my sister will move here and get rid of the things of mine she didn’t want.

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve got some personal stuff like flavored body oil and some ticklers, some erotica, but nothing too far out. So I guess I am “in order.”

A friend of mine’s dad died back in the mid 80s, and his mother gave him his dad’s collection of super 8 pron movies and the projector. We watched them at a bachelor party, the weirdest feeling was realizing his dad used to watch these with his mom.

Bellatrix's avatar

I’m very open with my children and I think they have a pretty realistic understanding about who I am. I don’t have anything I’m ashamed of. If they found my porn stash, sex toys, letters to/from past lovers, the erotic stories/poetry I have written – these things are part of being a mature woman who has lived a life. I hope anything they learn about me would just add to their understanding of who I was or perhaps a layer of harmless mystery.

cookieman's avatar

Ain’t much to find in the Cookie-Man homestead.

I’m constantly throwing things out or giving to the Salvation Army, so there’s little clutter.

I have no “personal, secret-stuff”, no double-life. I have enough trouble handling one life.

I have life insurance, death and dismemberment insurance, home owners insurance, a will, a homestead document, etc. etc.

I’m pretty good I think.

wundayatta's avatar

@Bellatrix and if you had letters to a lover—would you be so sanguine about your children uncovering those? I’m just curious. I can imagine it wouldn’t bother some people.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Mom has some love letters stashed away somewhere from Dad. She has requested that they be destroyed when she dies and that no one reads them first. I’m willing to honor that request.

As for me, the home is in a bit of a shambles right now. Financially, there are some items that still need tidying up, and physically, there are a couple of areas that are rarely entered that need a deep cleaning.

Bellatrix's avatar

@wundayatta my children are adults. I have no concerns about them knowing I am an adult and have been involved in adult relationships. There is nothing in my letters I feel any need to be ashamed of. They might be surprised or even shocked at some of the content but I’m a complex person. I’m not just their mother. I hope they already know this but I don’t feel any compunction to hide who I am or have been from them after my death. I feel that to do so would mean I believe I have to present a false front. If they can’t handle something from my past/present, that’s really their issue not mine.

DarknessWithin's avatar

@Bellatrix I a not too ashamed to have something of mature taste in how I write or even some of my porn images of the celeb I was obsessed with. I might even take the encryption off them. A lot of people in my RL know I had the hots for this celeb and I am an adult so it shouldn’t be too surprising or appalling. Not even all of those images were made by me, there is a blog devoted to them which some I have are from.

Plus most of the people I become somewhat close with online end up finding out anyway that I can be pretty dirty. I see nothing wrong with it if you are an adult and enjoy/create it tastefully. It’s just part of human nature.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am interested in what people do think they need to sanitise from their lives? What sort of things are too terrible, shocking for families to find?

wundayatta's avatar

Well, I don’t know how I would feel about this. What if I had a secret affair for years. Would I want my wife or children to find out after I had died? Part of me says no because what would be the point of the harm caused? And part of me says yes because I would want them to know who I really was.

Similarly, what if I had committed a murder and gotten away with it? Would I want my family to know? What about the authorities? Maybe I’d want them to clear a case. Others might want to know what happened, and even though I wanted to save my ass while alive, once I was dead, it wouldn’t matter but could matter greatly to someone else. If I felt any guilt about it (and I’m sure I would), then it would kind of help me knowing the truth would finally come out.

These things are hypothetical, of course.

I do have a huge collection of love letters with many women in my life. My wife knows they exist, but has never seen them. My kids know I had girlfriends besides my wife, but have never read the letters. Would they want to? Would it bother them? I hope so and I hope not. But there’s a difference between a life before their mother and a life after their mother. The latter, if it existed, might be problematic, especially if they didn’t like her or didn’t know about her.

Bellatrix's avatar

Should you sanitize your life to protect their feelings though? I agree @wundayatta that the only things I could conceive of wanting to hide involve crimes or affairs. While I would hate to find out, after his death that my husband had an affair. should he actively hide elements of his life to protect me or his own reputation after death?

If he had affairs and kept artifacts from that affair such as letters, then I would suggest he felt no remorse about the affair and valued the letters etc. If he kept those mementos, then I don’t think his concern is about me, it is about protecting his reputation.

I don’t have such things in my life so I see no reason to present a sanitised view to my family. They may very well find things that surprise/shock them but that’s who I was. I would want the record to be accurate and real. I would actually love to have letters and the like that belonged to my parents (with each other or from before they were together). It would give me such an honest view of who they were then. As to porn/sex toys and the like – I hope they had fun sexually. How sad would it be if they didn’t? I really don’t see any need to hide such things.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Pretty much, yes. There’s nothing my mother (lives with us) or husband would find odd or out of character for me. Of course, there are dufflebags of stuff I’d rather my husband go through than my mom but even if she did, she wouldn’t be shocked, maybe a little embarrassed or annoyed. Hee.

rooeytoo's avatar

Generally the memory of a person is lost within a generation or two. I never met one set of grandparents, they were dead before I was born. My great neice never knew my parents (her great grandparents). Anyhow, my point is, no one is going to remember me at all within a few years of my death so I really am not concerned that anyone would know who was the real me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Ooops! I forgot about the stuff in the drawer under the bed. My 2 adult “kids” think I only had sex twice, about 30 years ago. I enjoyed it both times. :-)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@LuckyGuy Our parents never had S-E-X. And if you don’t believe me, ask any of my siblings.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer For your mental health, that’s exactly how it should be. By the way, I’m certain both of my ~30 year olds are virgins, too.

DarknessWithin's avatar

@LuckyGuy no offense intended but you made me feel better about being a 25 nearing 26 year old virgin. I felt a bit pathetic for it.

Coloma's avatar

Haha….how did I miss this little gem? lol
Yep, all’s in order here, my daughter might find a few sex toys in my dresser drawer but really, her biggest problem will be finding homes for my geese. lol

GracieT's avatar

I don’t remember my parents ever having sex and the thought alone of my father having sex with my stepmother is frightening, I hope I don’t
have to take care of that house
when they die.
My own house is no where
near in order. I have long
known that I need to fix it, but I
haven’t. I don’t have any kids, so I don’t know exactly who will get that pleasure when I die.

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