EP #318: Making Decisions About Parents’ Belongings After They’ve Passed with Karen Hecker


What You’ll Learn from this Episode About Making Decisions About Parents’ Belongings After They’ve Passed with Karen Hecker:

  • What it’s like to make decisions about your parents’ belongings after they’ve passed.
  • What it’s like to have parents who were collectors.
  • What it’s like to make decisions belongings when they are big pieces of art.
  • How having a lot of storage in your home can prevent you from throwing things out along the way.
  • Why everyone in the family doesn’t feel the same way about parents’ belongings or being involved in this kind of decision-making.
  • How offering to help parents sort through belongings and move to another home as they age can be an unwelcome gesture.
  • How to begin when the process of creating an action plan to sort through parents’ belongings can feel so daunting.
  • Why being thoughtful about how to sort through belongings and make meaningful decisions can help guide you.
  • Why giving special belongings to people who actually want them (including from Facebook Marketplace) can be a joyous way to continue to share your parents’ legacy and also be inspirational to others to do the same thing.

Welcome to another episode of the Women in the Middle Podcast

Today’s interview is with someone who has been making decisions about what to do with her parents’ belongings after they passed.

As a midlife women, it’s incredibly common to be in the position of having to sort through your parent’s “stuff” and decide how to handle it all.

There are so many difficult questions to answer about parents’ belongings:

What gets tossed?

What gets passed down?

What gets given away?

What gets sold?

What gets given away?

How do you make these decisions? Who does all of the work? How do you hand family disagreements?

My guest this week shares her personal story of how she has been making decisions and managing it all in a way that feels good to her after her parents passed.

Meet Karen Hecker.

Karen is a married mother of three grown sons, mother-in-law to one, and Bubby to one little girl.

She married shortly after graduating from university in 1988. She and her husband were blessed with their first child in 1990 at which point they made the decision to keep one parent home, which was Karen herself.

Karen’s father passed away in 2013 and then her mother passed away, in 2022. She was the one who embraced the job of sorting and making decisions about how to handle her parent’s belongings. A daunting and emotional task at that.

This relevant topic of sorting through parents’ belongings after they passed can be challenging for so many women in the middle.

You’re going to get a lot out of hearing Karen’s story and the way she and her family made thoughtful, respectful, and meaningful decisions together.

Please enjoy this episode!

Related Information

Free Resources

Podcast: Good Grief: Starting a Registered Charity with Eileen Jadd and Justine Silver https://suzyrosenstein.com/podcast/ep-312-good-grief-starting-a-registered-charity-with-eileen-jadd-justine-silver/

Blog: Client Success Story: How Coaching Helped Paula Get  Unstuck and Find Her Voice Again after Losing Both Parents https://suzyrosenstein.com/blog/client-success-story-how-coaching-helped-paula-get-unstuck-find-her-voice-again-after-losing-both-her-parents-in-midlife/

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