My Aunt was dying. It fell to my Mom and me to go through her things. It was odd while she was still alive. I’d point at something and say, ‘what about this?’. And she would just look at me and shrug. After a while I realized she didn’t really care what happened to all of it. She just felt bad knowing we would have to deal with it. So she helped while she could. By sitting there watching us and shrugging when we asked stupid questions.
When she went into hospice, we had barely made a scratch in her stuff. Tons of knickknacks and books, shoes and clothes, dishes and glassware. All in a 1,200 sq. ft. apartment. It was amazing how much stuff she had, really. One person who had never married. She had traveled a lot. She collected things. Lots of little things. Lots of breakable things. Lots and lots and lots of jewelry. Nothing very valuable, just costume jewelry from here and there.
We took her a few items to make her feel more at home. A painting. Her cd player and some of her favorite music. Books — that she never touched.
We had family members come through the apartment. They picked out things that reminded them of her. We invited friends — just a few close ones — to come through and take something. Even. After. That. There. Was. So. Much. Stuff.