Flickr | Patrice Roe

People Reveal The Items They Found While Cleaning Out Dead Peoples’ Rooms

Paddy Clarke 13 Nov 2019

Cleaning out a loved one's room after they have tragically passed, can be a traumatic experience. The physical removal of their possessions from a space that they occupied can feel like you are losing that person; however, it is also an important part of the healing process.

In cleaning out the rooms of those we have lost, there can also be secrets begging for discovery. One person took to Reddit to find out what some of the most interesting things were that people have found when cleaning out the rooms of the deceased, by asking the question: "People who had to clean out rooms of someone who had died (family, friend or otherwise), did you find anything you shouldn't have found and how did it make you feel?"

So, I have gathered for you here, some of the most interesting, heartbreaking, and surprising items that people have found when cleaning out loved one's rooms after their death!

1. The Shrine

Instagram | productivespaces

"My dad was a pretty reserved guy. While I knew in my heart he would lay down and die for me without a moment's hesitation, he never said 'I love you' or 'I'm proud of you' or anything like that. It's just who he was.

"After he died of cancer, we went to his office to clear it out [...] when we went in there, it was practically a shrine to me and my sister. Every certificate, photo, newspaper clipping, program, etc. was hung up on the walls of his office. A number of people came by to pay their respects as we were clearing things out and, again and again, I heard 'he was so proud of you.' 'I've heard so many things about you, it's nice to meet you in person.'" — lenachristina

This is truly heart-warming. While it is good that these people found this "shrine", it is also important to tell those you love how much they mean t you while you can.

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2. Grandfather's Blue Movie Collection

Instagram | jasperrigole

"When my great-grandpa died, we had to wear surgical masks to clean his house out because he chain-smoked big fat cigars for decades. The smell was ridiculous. At one point, my uncle came running out of the house with a box screaming 'I FOUND HIS SKIN FLICKS!!!!'

"And later on, my cousin came out of the house with a light-up Christmas reindeer under his arm and a very serious look on his face. Someone asked him what he was doing and without breaking stride or changing his expression he said 'I want this.'" — Petrol_in_my_eyes

I, along with a lot of people in the comments, initially read this as "Skin flakes", which I found perhaps more disturbing.

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3. A Cassette Of Their Voice

Instagram | bodokar

"My best friend was killed in a car accident when he was 15. I was like another son to his parents and a few weeks after his death, his mother asked me to come over to help go through his things, mainly because we basically treated our clothes as one gigantic wardrobe and half the stuff in his closet was mine [...]

"After a few minutes, I decided to play some music. I turned on his stereo and hit play on the cassette player and Journey's 'Faithfully' starts playing. After a few seconds, dubbed over the song, is my friend's voice, saying mushy things to this girl he's been crushing on since 8th grade. I listen for a minute then I just bust out laughing. That sh*t was so corny that I couldn't help it. Once I started laughing, his mom starts laughing and crying at the same time". — indianrider

This person went on to say that his friend's mother said that this moment was integral in her healing process. These sorts of moments are necessary to realize that we can remember those we have tragically lost in a happy and funny light.

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4. The Tragic Diary

Instagram | cupsandthoughts

"My grandmother passed after a blood clot incident [...] She had a lot of old, expired food. Like ketchup that had gone completely black. We found things from when she was well and social, like her quilting and handmade soaps, which were beautiful. She has a quilt that had the names of all of our family, but the names were sewn in the individual's handwriting style.

"However, one day it was just my dad and me going through her bedside table. We found her journal. Toward the end, all of the entries were about how lonely she was, how she only got to see her grandchildren twice a year, and how her own children never saw her unless they needed something. She said she wanted to die. My dad threw it away so his brother would never have to see it." — AccidentalHipster93

It is important to remember our elderly relatives. Nobody wants to spend their final days alone.

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5. Leaving Presents For The Future

Instagram | oldfloridasoycandle

"My grandma died when I was 16 after getting cancer for the third time. My grandad moved into a smaller apartment and my cousins and I helped to clean out their house.

"In the house, we found more than 20 wrapped presents and envelopes of money, addressed to all of us. They were for the big occasions that she knew she wouldn't live to see us have. Before she had died, she had organized 21st birthday presents for those of us who weren't yet 21, engagement presents, and wedding presents, each with a card written by hand [...] She was an incredible woman who loved her family dearly and wanted to celebrate her grandchildren, even if she couldn't be there herself." — joey130312

Apparently, they did wait for the appropriate occasions to open the presents. The person who wrote this got married last year, and inside their gift for their wedding found a collection of hand-embroidered towels from their gran.

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6. Cash

Instagram | thegentlemansmoneyclub

"My grandma's house had money EVERYWHERE. Every purse had at least $100 cash. Suitcases had a few hundred more. Every coffee can or other container in her kitchen had rolls of money. There were even bags of frozen veggies in the freezer that had been split open and money hidden inside.

"And her bank accounts...thousands upon thousands of dollars. No one had any idea, she lived so simply and never spent a dime on anything unnecessary. I'm sure her financial​ paranoia was due to growing up in the Great Depression." — HomemadeJambalaya

This happened when we were cleaning out my own grandmother's house. It made cleaning uptake far longer as literally anything could have had money hidden inside it, so absolutely every item from the house had to be searched.

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7. The Unfortunate Television

Instagram | denys_kuhno

"My great aunt died at 100 years old, and I got her fairly new Samsung TV. The TV turned out to be 3D, but she only had one eye.

"I couldn't shake the thought that some salesman sold an old lady with one eye a 3D TV." — Jyeebs

The fact that someone would do this to an elderly person is despicable. Some salesmen will stoop to truly disturbing depths.

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8. An Unbelievable Story

Instagram | jacquegi

"My dad's grandmother was a huge hoarder. When she died, he had to go clear out the house, which was no easy task. My dad always tells us about how you couldn't even see the walls of the house because of the amount of stuff she had lying around, and how she looked so tiny walking around in the little hallways she managed to make in between all kinds of objects [...] but the one that ended up being the craziest one was a letter.

"In the letter, his grandmother explained how she was never able to have children, and how ashamed she and her husband always felt (big Catholics, beginning of 20th century Mexico). She always wanted to have a child, so they decided to take a very long trip through Europe, from which they would come back with a baby. This baby was my dad's mom, who always looked a bit different from her family (as white as it can be, bluest eyes you've ever seen). They found her in an orphanage run by some nuns in the north of France" — mexmon

So, at the age of 45, this person's grandmother found out that she was adopted, French not Mexican, and much older than she thought she was, what a blow!

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9. Liquor

Instagram | cristiancatalano22

"When my great-grandma passed away we were cleaning out her house and we found all these liquor bottles that were full of water from 40 years ago when my dad and my uncles had drunk all her booze and replaced it with water lol." -somebooody

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10. The "Detailed" Diary

Instagram | thedailywriting

"My sister died when I was 15, she was 17, our brother was 13 [...] we found her agenda books from the previous few years of school. She wasn't academically inclined, so mostly they were full of little notes about who she had hung out with on what day.

"Mom gets really into reading it and sits on my sister's bed talking about what a treasure it was and how it showed how loved my sister was.

"Then she stops and her eyes get really big. She snaps the book closed and says she has to go make dinner. I grabbed it when she left the room and my brother and I flipped back to where she had been reading from. Wednesday, some month in the spring. 'Went to Blake's house (we f*cked!)' I still get a good laugh out of that. Thanks, sis!" — throw_me_away_333

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11. The Heartbreaking Unsent Letter

Instagram | hachimakura

"Had to clean up after my grandmother passed. Found a note from back when she was with her second husband (who died in 1995) that she never gave him.

"She poured her heart out to him and said she couldn't be with him, she knew the timing was hard because he was sick, but she was just done. She must have had a change of heart, but it was hard to read something that carried so much of her pain and know how unhappy she was in his last year." — Lancerlandshark

The person who wrote this added an edit to the story explaining that they thought that this was just a way to vent the stress of dealing with her husband while he was ill.

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12. Hoarder Memories

Instagram | williesvtgstuff

"My husband and I cleaned out my grandma's house after she passed, she was a big-time hoarder but luckily of the 'packrat' variety so everything was neatly packed away in thousands of boxes and drawers. It took us nearly 3 weeks to get everything out of the house and we found so many things that I had never known my grandma had done [...]

"Among the cool memories, we found beautiful jewelry, dresses that she had kept for us as gifts that we never received [...] It was an emotional, wild ride for those 3 weeks. Her sons sold most of the non-keepsake items in a garage sale and made nearly $4,000, all things priced under $5 so you can imagine how much stuff she had accumulated throughout the years." — UnderpaidMilkmaid

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13. The Cleanup Crew

Instagram | glowcleaningplusfl

"Mortician here did 'crime scene' cleanups for a while. Usually cleaning up after suicide was always very eerie. We would usually find more suicide notes or drafted ones. One of our rules apart from the actual cleanup was to throw out any of their toiletries and things the family wouldn't need or want like clothing, etc.

"I'll always remember one guy who had slit his wrists in his bedroom and bled all over the damn place. He had leftover 10 pages of personalized notes in his bedside table addressed to every person he knew closely. Going through them and reading them was really intense." — dominickles

Apparently they had to read the notes in case they contained evidence of something or something which the family needed to be informed of. Also, he confessed that sometimes they just got curious.

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14. Heartbroken Mom

Instagram | @alice_rogers1937

"After my grandmother passed away, I was helping clear her flat. [...] She had grown up in Nazi Germany, and crossed the Berlin wall as a Russian spy and then gave herself in. We had a lot of questions that she never answered.

"Then I found a cupboard full of notebooks. They were detailed diaries, and gave a lot of answers. My mum was heartbroken though when she found the date of her birth... it only said "It was born today." and then a week later said 'It has been named by my mother in law.'" — sparkleotters

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15. Classified Information

Unsplash | AbsolutVision

"After my grandfather died, I found out that he worked for the army in Fort Monmouth. Whenever anyone asked what he did for a living he said he 'makes coffee'. Turns out his actual job description was classified and nobody knew what it was. Not even my grandma." — freefire137

Imagine being able to keep a secret that well, that you don't even tell your closest family on your deathbed! I'd have been telling everyone as soon as I got the job!

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16. The Secret Closet

Instagram | mazzie_mood

"After my grandfather died in 2007, we were cleaning out a closet. It was one of those 'secret closets,' where he'd hidden stuff from my grandma. Items found included a massive spare change collection (all rolled - and, no joke, close to $2000) and a Playboy magazine from 1974. The really funny part of that was, my grandma saw it and was pissed at him. 'When I get up there, I'm kicking his ass.'

"She died a year and a half ago. I wonder if she's kicked his ass yet." — krisfunk27

And this person's grandfather thought that the afterlife would be easy and pleasant, well just wait til she rocks up looking for him!

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17. Not In The Will

Unsplash | Melinda Gimpel

"I found the will.

"Strange part was, there were no living people mentioned in it - including me, the executor. It all went to a church that's no longer functioning - so the estate is tied up in probate." — Back2Bach

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18. Personal Library

Unsplash | Kimberly Farmer

"My dad is a cop who worked a case where this man who committed suicide had only one relative alive, his son. The son had cut off all talk as soon as he turned 18, 20 or more years ago. The son called my dad when he got to the house asking for assistance.

"The father was an alcoholic with little education and worked a factory job he got with no high school degree. He was believed to be not-so-smart for lack of better term.

"They stepped into the house to find HUNDREDS of books. Towering stacks, rooms full, furniture covered with books. All varying subjects from fiction to how-to. And in the front of each book was what the man had learned from it, almost like a summary.

"The son was blown away, he couldn't believe what his father had been doing with the last decades of his life. The books are going to be donated, the books the son didn't pack up and ship to read himself." — [deleted]

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19. An Illegal Puzzle Box

Reddit | cloudong

"When my dad died of lung cancer we found this really cool puzzle box. He had JUST died and my closest relatives and I were gathered around as I solved the puzzle box to open it. We get it open and we found none other than a ton of pot. Was hilarious and awkward at the same time. But even better than that I found my two siblings he hid from the family for years. We're actually all currently sitting on the couch together. So, thank yous old hippie. RIP." — HeatherlyHills

Before you ask, no the siblings were not in the puzzle box with the pot! They found each other when notices of their father's death were distributed.

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20. Pieces Of Madness

Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

"I lived in my Uncle's house for awhile after he died and found pieces of his suicide note that no one knew about hidden everywhere, in his books, in his desk, under his mattress. A novel length diatribe of madness." — ezra_sinclair

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21. Poetry

Unsplash | Luma Pimentel

"After my grandmother died I helped my grandfather clean out some of her stuff and found a poem she wrote to the infant child that she lost some 50 years ago. I don't think my grandfather knew about the poem or he forgot about it." — rockhead72

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22. Pros And Cons

Unsplash | Helloquence

"My father died of a massive out of the blue heart attack just a week before my wedding (which was December 28, so right at Christmas too). [...]

"But in the mad scramble to go through his (rented) house and get everything cleaned out while still putting the finishing touches on the wedding planning, I found a legal pad with some notes on it. It looked something like this:

"March 3/2013: 2am 7/10 March 15/2013: 3:30am 4/10 March 21/2013: 5:00pm 6/10 April 2/2013 2:15pm 9/10

"It was a list of chest pains, and ratings of how bad.

"There was also a list of notes - all from very late at night - debating pros and cons of suicide. [...]

"Reasons against: [me]. [...]

"I was literally the only reason he could find not to kill himself. [...]

...I love you, dad.— whistleridge

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23. Disturbing Drawings

Unsplash | @plqml

"I had a cousin who committed suicide at 12 years old. [...] About 3 months after his death, both his parents started to suggest to my parents that I should be the one to go through his room. I was 18 at the time and since my cousin and I weren't that close, I guess his parents thought I would have an easier time with it. [...]

"There was however lots of loose papers, a sketchbook and some Polaroids. This was in the 90's. [...] It took me a bit before I realized what my cousin had been drawing. It was all drawings of torture and grisly murder scenes. Some detailed some just gory. Nasty nasty shit. Boys, girls, adults, babies, animals, it was all there. Poorly drawn but still horrific to see. [...] The photos were of cats, birds and who knows what else that had been tortured and killed

"I never told his parents or anyone else about it. It wasn't out of any sense of decency. I just wanted to forget about what I had seen or at least pretend I hadn't found it for my own sake. So I let everyone continue to think it was the bullying that pushed him over the edge. It may well have been but I wonder if part of it was because he saw what he was becoming and decided to stop himself before things got worse." — Davare

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24. A Mistress

Instagram | litsasflowers

"When my Grandpa died, we found a bunch of stuff that no one knew existed. Some of it was just photos of him while he served as a captain in the navy during WWII, posing with topless polynesian women. [...]

"And one of the things we found was the deed to a house we didn't know anything about. When my parents went to this house, they found a woman we'd never met, who was living there, thanks to 'grandpa's kindness.' We also found that he'd been paying not only the mortgage but also depositing about $5k per month into this woman's bank account. She was his mistress and was literally less than half his age (he was in his late 70's, she was 32). Grandma refused to believe it and to her dying day swore we made it all up". — Kahzgul

The woman was supposedly unaware that her elderly lover had a family. The person who wrote this went on to say that it was a truly disappointing discovery, and was hard to move passed.

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25. Stalker Diaries

Unsplash | KaLisa Veer

"When my mother was killed by her ex-husband, I was one of the people tasked with packing our house. He stalked her, and would break into the house often. My mother knew but no one else did. As a result, when we were taking things down, like pictures and such, we would find things hidden behind them.

"Items such as checkbooks to hidden bank accounts from him, or even worse, notebooks full of dates and accounts of events where he would engage her (she had a restraining order on him). Usually these engagements, according to the notebook, were awful. Tires were slashed, her being followed and him coming up to her on day to day events berating her. The thing is though, she kept it all secret from the family. What makes it so hard is if she would have told every one of these things, she might still be here today." — Architrexx

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26. A Secret Past

Flickr | Patrice Roe

"My great-grandma died when I was a teenager. I was helping clean her apartment and I found a photo of her from c.1930 wearing a men's suit standing in front of a car. I asked my grandma about it, and she sat me down and told me the following:

"So, my great-grandma was the only one of my family to come over before WWII. She was an orphaned Jewish immigrant who didn't speak English and had no money and 3 siblings to support, so she started making and selling booze (this was during Prohibition.) She lived in Chicago and apparently knew and was friends with Al Capone. She would crossdress when she needed to."

And the prize for most badass elderly relative goes to... this cool as hell grandmother!

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27. The Final Text

Instagram | beepear

"I cleaned out my cousin's room after his overdose and painted and re-decorated it because he was living with my mom and she couldn't bear to see his room. While I wasn't the one that found it, he was holding his cell phone when he died and the person that found him and the phone saw the text he had sent to his shithead addict girlfriend saying 'Holy sh*t I think I'm gonna die.'

"She didn't even try to call 911."

This person's cousin had apparently been clean for a year before this relapse which killed them. Loss of tolerance to certain substances over the course of their sobriety can often lead to overdoses due to addicts returning immediately to the high levels that they were once used to.

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