I lost my mum while helping her move house.

Anybody else found the clearing of your mum’s, parents not just a sad, difficult process after ones loss but also a few unexpected doors opened also? My mum Barbara Wheeler passed away on June 12th 2021. We were in the early process of her moving house. The house itself is being knocked down for an access road and new housing.

A trip into the loft and through cabinet draws had thrown up some surprises. I had come across some old 120 film. This started me asking her questions of who and where the people lived in these takes. A collection of old Brownie Camera 120 bw film and negatives had opened a door.

Lots of things were stored in her loft I may add, I even came across my old baby clothes, all neatly folded. This journey of discovery of getting to know my mum of when she was young, through the questioning of these old takes ( she was born in 1937 ) I had just begun. This was a source of real joy, like getting to know my mum again. I am an only child, we had always been close but this house move had brought us closer and these old photographs were full of her memories.

Very soon after starting this and in the space of 4 weeks beginning in May my mum became ill and suddenly died after a very short stay in hospital.

The story around my mum’s death I still find hard to come to terms with. Seeing a doctor was a case of by phone only at the early stage. Her entering hospital was I feel letting things get to a crises point. She was admitted twice. Restrictions around Covid has many victims I fear, many effected by as a result of those restrictions. With pressure on hospitals not to admit elderly if care at home could be done I understand but in some cases I’m sure this led to sadly people’s loved ones not getting the care directly needed.

I have continued to clear the house. The house will be completely empty by this coming Friday ( 26th of August ) and demolished by early 2022. Even while being in the actual physical activity of boxing my mums personnel belongings after her death it still felt like just a house move. I was surrounded by my late parents things, having to box for a move now a case of sorting out what they, I treasured and what to keep. With sentimental feelings high I have a lot boxed and stored .

The photographs and negatives I have continued to try and trace those in via many sources, including Facebook. This wanting to know my mum’s past with research maybe is my way of continuing the feeling she is still with me right now in the present. I now visit my mum’s older ( late 80’s ) sister in law and friend Jean every week, where she tells me stories of their days working together and their holidays. A house move begun I’ve decided will continue after with the boxing of memories and with stories of my parents.


Hello, what a lovely post you have written. I am so sad regarding the sudden departure of your mum.
It will give you many months of work to sort everything out but what memories you have unearthed. I remember very well when my husbands parents went, we packed far to much into boxes and put them into our attic because we had just moved house and didn’t have the time to deal with the stuff properly. Downside, it stayed there for a number of years which was a big mistake.
Please continue with tracing the people and places, it will give you reassurance of the parents you have known and many happy hours researching their past. Really beautiful of you for sharing your experience.
Take care Sxxx

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Thank you for your kind words Susie. Today is my final day of clearing the house, then a case of handing the keys in as the house and street is being demolished as mentioned. I have managed to get a reader of negatives for the 120 film, this was harder to find then you would imagine. Throwing myself into this for a spell and then looking at locations and people attached to.

Thank you again for your reply and support. Will do as you say continue looking at my parents lives and those they were a part of and touched. Be bending the ear of my dad’s sister Jean for the foreseeable future no doubt.


Haydn. xx

Just a quick reply, yesterday evening my nephew sent me a link for YouTube showing his grandparents in1965. It reminded me of you, best wishes with your search.S

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Hi. I spoke of sorting my mums photos, letters and poems out via my first posting. Five months on from her passing, those poems she wrote on the loss of her mum, dad in the war at the age of seven and my dad, her husband in 2017 can be a double edged sword. Lovely to have such personnel from the heart words from my mum on her feelings and thoughts but it can be heartbreaking to read. With my own grief I find this means I can only deal with small readings of my mums poems. I have been recording her words.
The street where my mum lived is now being demolished. She would have been moving in December and I was at an early stage sorting the contents of mum and dads house out as said. My dad passed away in 2017 through complications after an operation. I am an only child and I was looking forward to sorting all my parents photos out and kept letters and talking about with mum. Finding the stories behind those things she shared in life with dad, people met on the way I feel as another loss

Seeing the street now being demolished is heartbreaking to witness. My mum and dads house where they lived for 50 years and where I grew up is still standing as of late October 2021 but phase one of the demolition has begun.

I am lucky to have had such loving parents and a close family. A wonderful street to grow up on I also cherish.

A friend said to me shortly after the passing of my mum, " good job your parents gave you an inner tube "… Sticks with me that one.

Hi, lovely to hear from you and that things a settling down but sad about the house and that you feel the loss over again, I think we all have times like that, which makes clearing things hard.
We looked after my parents in law and they moved into their house when first married and both paced away there and now it’s been totally changed. I know it’s progress but sad.
Keep the good memories and the inner tube, it made me smile. Take care S xx

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Hi . Thank you for your reply. Yes it’s strange that feeling of change when so personnel.

Where I was born and later grew up are now gone. Eden Grove the street where I lived and where the house I was giving birth to in Wimborne has also been demolished, it was levelled in 1967. I have as said in my first posting some great pictures, that street are some of my fondest photo’s. The entire community of that street were up rooted and moved to Cuthbury.

A tearful day today. Grief is so exhausting.

I watched the Good Grief Festival the week-end just gone. It’s good such events are now so easy to access, a wonderful panel of guest speakers. National Grief Awareness week in December to come.

Haydn. x