Crawford Care Management

Showing Gratitude and Appreciation for Gifts

Question:
After suffering through two strokes in the past four years, my grandmother is selling her house to move to a nursing home. On a recent visit to her home for the last time, she gave me some of her belongings that included two quilts, a Depression-glass candy dish, and some antique Christmas tree ornaments. I felt like a looter taking these belongings that she spent a lifetime accumulating. Although I am grateful she passed them on to me, it seems this is something that’s better done after a loved one dies. Why am I having trouble coping?

Answer:
Your grandmother has had a difficult last four years. A stroke can leave an elderly person without the independence he or she enjoyed in younger years. Whether the residual effects are physical limitations or cognitive in nature, the adjustments can be stressful and at times devastating. Even with the upcoming move to a facility, it sounds as though your grandmother has come to terms with relinquishing some possessions that she enjoyed earlier in her life. The items she gave to you are an indication of how important you are to her. It is a blessing to her that she is competent and capable of making decisions, regarding with whom she will share her treasures. You can be assured that your gratitude and appreciation for the gifts she gave you touched her heart in a way that she may not have been able to articulate. On future visits to her new home, be sure to remind her how important those gifts are and how prominently they are displayed in your home. This will be your chance to show her how important she is to you and your family for many generations to come.