||[Jul. 17th, 2007|04:25 pm]
The Question Club
Background: I was living with my aunt when she died six years ago. My mom, as executrix of her estate, spectacularly failed to deal with any of my aunt's stuff, leaving me with it all. Now, I have no problem either using, throwing away, or donating practical things (dishes, tools, furniture, etc.). However, I've been at a complete loss as to what to do with the photo albums, memorabilia, and such that were left behind. To make matters worse, in addition to her own belongings, my aunt had kept those things from her partner, who died four or five years before she did. So I have photo albums and memoribilia of a family I'm not even related to. (I also have both my aunt's and her partner's ashes, but those can continue sitting on top of the bookcase for all eternity, I suppose.)|
My aunt's partner has kids, none of whom have made any attempt to collect any of this stuff. I don't know how to get in touch with them. My mom has done absolutely nothing to get in touch with them; I'm not sure if she has any contact numbers anymore. ETA: Let me clarify: I'm 99% sure there is no way to contact them. Let's assume for the sake of my question that I can't. If I could, I would have taken that route already.
1. Do you think I can ethically throw away the photo albums, newspaper clippings, and various other bits of memorabilia?
2. If you were the aunt's partner's kids, would you expect those things to be waiting for you whenever you got off your butt and came to find them?
3. If you're in favor of keeping them, what would be a good way to preserve them while taking up as little space as possible?
4. Would you be uneasy if you didn't know where your mother's ashes were? (Assuming for the moment that she had died and her wish had been to be cremated.) Or uneasy if you knew they were with a family you didn't really know that wasn't related to you?