Antidote to Tears

For all who need it – including me. Sorting through my dad’s estate, reading, smiling, crying. I’d like to keep everything he ever touched because letting go feels like erasing his memory. 

Take care!

84 thoughts on “Antidote to Tears

  1. Thank you! ❤️❤️❤️ I know the feeling.🤗 I still keep some things (even small items) that belonged to my parents and my beloved husband. Just can’t throw them away 💔

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      • It’s such a complex problem, particularly when you’re embroiled in it. The whole experience of grief is so much more complicated than most people would give us to believe; a highly individual experience. There are things I’d have said 7 years ago in response to someone’s grief that I would never say now. Now I tend just to nod when I see someone grieving.

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    • Don’t! If you can, please hang on to it! Reduce a box of clothes – they can be replaced, and you will enjoy the process of shopping again. But your granny’s things are unique. Hugs back!!!

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      • Some things, I won’t give up. But there are things my mom didn’t want, so I found them in the car, tucked down in things when I got here. I wasn’t particularly close to her mother – she had favorites and I wasn’t one. There’s a lot of troubled water under that bridge.

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          • Well right now at this point, I’m just putting a box together, filling it up, closing it up and numbering it 2 or 3. (1’s are VERY important! Unpack NOW!) If I don’t want to keep it, I’ll find a church with a charity store and give there. I’ve run out of time.

            The good thing is the garage is attached, so I won’t have to go across the yard in the weather and haul a box back across it.

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              • Well, the move is Friday. I”m exhausted when I get home, so I’m not getting much done. the kitchen and dining room both have barely been started and Spawn’s cave and room are moving forward slowly, too slowly. He’s had screaming dreams ALL night last night, so I didn’t get much sleep. And the cats knocked something over around 4 AM and I”m afraid to go look.

                I need to head out of here in about 10 minutes… sheesh!

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    • What do you think, Andrea – is it easier to find and hang on to things that belonged to a mother than a father? In my family, my mum basically made all the choices on furniture, decor, tea and dinner service, cutlery, even artwork. Lots of things will be left over when she is gone. My dad otoh did not leave such things behind… sigh.

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  2. Yes, it’s tough. When I was clearing my father’s desk after he died I found a love letter and a lock of my mother’s hair, who had died many years previously. Even RA couldn’t have dried those tears. Big hugs. 😘😘😘

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    • Wow, that is a superprecious fins, Helen. Wonderful! (I’m tearing up just thinking about it!) how lovely to know that they loved each other and that he was sentimental enough to keep these things.
      I’ve been quite touched by the files I have found that contain print outs of the e-mails I or my children sent to my dad. And his three folders containing his research into the family history. My mum just wanted to throw it out. I have kept it all, even if it is material about my paternal grandmother ‘s family. Sigh…

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  3. Sorry S! I know it’s really hard.. sigh, had to do a lot of it when i was home as my dad insisted. It was hard as she didn’t have many things. All i can say is pick a few items to keep and think of all the memories; Maybe you already have things he gave you? I hang on to my practical kitchen stuff , which is nice but not expensive because mum gave me most of it, including crockery, cutlery. And i’m wearing a top i took, only one of 2 items of clothing which would fit me and i could justify taking vs giving to people who needed them more than i did. But i understand, going through things brings back all the little memories which makes us miss them even more. Many hugs xxx

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    • You are right. That’s what I have to do – pick a few special items. My mum has actually gifted me my father’s wedding ring. I hope it doesn’t sound too freaky when I say that I am going to have it made into a new piece of jewelry for me. (Sure, as a little girl I wanted to marry my dad, but that’s not why I want his wedding ring now 😬😬😂).
      Btw, has your dad moved already?

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      • That is lovely… i have something very similar My mum had ring made from my grandparents wedding ring that she wore and gave to me a while back. I can’t wear any of her jewellery , not yet… maybe one day. I wore the top i chose to keep but have to be careful don’t want to wear it out…

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      • I took my father’s wedding ring, too. No one else wanted it, which kind of stunned me! It’s not a creepy thing about wanting to be married to your father. It’s that it was part of his identity. Mine wore his for 65 years, and it’s always in any image I have in my mind of his hands. No matter what messy job he was doing (squishing live worms onto a fishing hook, anyone?), there was that ring.

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        • Exactly it – it’s basically the only thing of my father’s that I can make my own, and wear on a daily basis. I haven’t had it altered yet but will do before I leave Germany in August.

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      • I have both my paternal grandparents’ wedding bands. There’s nothing weird about it. I keep them in the picture frame with their wedding photo, but only because I can’t get myself to alter them. I think it’s a lovely idea. ♥️

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    • That is a good idea – except my dad was more of a cerebral type. The things he ‘made’ are written on paper. And I have taken a lot of that. (I’m just so aggravated by my mum continually asking me why I want to ‘laden myself down’ with ‘all that stuff’. Why can’t she understand that it is more important to keep these things than ‘save space’???)

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  4. Also take fun items that “everyone” knows the stories behind. My father was a “crafter” of sorts who “repurposed” items for other uses (or to make them last forever), sometimes in embarrassing, only-Dad-would-think-of-that (and not be humiliated by others knowing) ways, such as the “sandals” he made (and wore when gardening) by cutting out sections of a pair of old dress shoes. As an only-somewhat-recovered Depression baby, he didn’t throw anything away. My siblings and I each pulled items that we didn’t tell the others about, and now, 12 years later, we enjoy wrapping them up and giving them to each other at Christmas. “Here. I think YOU need to own this gem for a while,” said one about a pair of (worn out) green-painted plyers from that time he got a can of green spray paint somewhere and painted every tool in his shop (hundreds of items) bright green, because “people who borrow them won’t forget where they came from.” One of my gems is a green-painted, metal Band-aid box from the 1960s (like some of your tins!). Really? You’re worried about someone “borrowing” a box you keep nuts and bolts in, Dad?

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    • This is not only a wonderful idea but a fantastic story, J! I live this idea. I wish I had siblings with whom I could do this. And I love the stories of your dad you have shared. Thank you – he sounds like a real character!
      (I am just thinking that I really ought to start writing down my own memories of my dad already. For my children to have and to add to.)

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      • Absolutely! Write your own story, including stories about him, for your kids, and for yourself. Also, don’t throw away a scrap of genealogy work. Save it all. You know why. Remember the questions I asked you about the artist who lived in your house? One day, someone will ask about your father. It might be someone who hasn’t been born yet. You are part of a continuum. Preserve the evidence for the next person.

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        • That’s exactly what I was thinking of. I knew that you are actively researching family history, and I thought to myself that it is important to keep every scrap that my dad put together – even if it is about my grandmother’s second cousin… So, yeah, it’s all saved and will come with me to Ireland. I want my children to have a German history, too.

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  5. Thinking of you and your dad. I have a few things from my dad, like his army memorabilia, but my most vivid memories come from things we did together. He was very funny ,always made us laugh. So many card games, so many movies.

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    • Those are the most valuable things to have – happy memories. I have lots of them. (I also want a few actual items just so they can trigger memories whenever I see them.)

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  6. Whenever I see the little things I saved of my Dad it’s like a warm embrace that comforts me. Sometimes I run across them randomly and I’m reminded how much I miss him even 20 years later. Of course he’ll always be in my heart but some days I just need to touch something belonging to him.
    A little late but I’m thinking of you and sending out a big hug to you. ❤️

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    • That is so well said, D! It’s silly of me to think that I would forget him, but it’s like you say – it would be nice to be surprised by memories that are triggered by things… I am feeling much better already because I have chosen a few things…

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  7. Big belated hug Guylty.I’m glad you are feeling better and have chosen some mementos. And you’ve provided some wonderful cheery pics of RA. Our attachment to him provides many pleasures but I wonder if he’ll ever realise just how much comfort, consolation and support RA world provides in times of difficulties and that includes the wonderful support the community of many of his well-wishers (ugh, hate that word!) provide for each other.

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    • That’s so true, J. One of his movies or even just a picture can really lift one’s spirits. The friendships you make are even more precious. I hope he sometimes gives him a little pat on the back for bringing joy to people’s lives. (I doubt it though.)

      And yeah, not a fan of the word either. Pun totally and unequivocally intended!!

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        • To my knowledge, the first time he expressed his opposition to the word “fan” was in 2009; this was after the infamous interview where he said “Christ” in response to being asked about his fans. It unleashed a series of discussions in the fandom which were not pleasant (caused a lot of people to leave the places they were comfortable in and go elsewhere; at least one blog started because of it, and someone else was openly bullied out of the fandom when her role in the whole thing was revealed). He sent a message to the fandom and ps “I also hate the word fan” was the tagline. He was also the person to propose the “well wishers” label as a replacement, but it was a bit later, if I am not mistaken; I’m looking for the reference.

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          • Did he say why? Is it the fanatic association that he objects to? I know of the interview where he expressed his annoyance (?) with fans, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen/read it.

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              • Oh. Um. I have just read that article (and Richard’s reaction to the fan question) for the first time – and I can totally see how that would’ve caused consternation, anger and sadness in the fandom at the time. Heck, even *now* I have to fend of irrational feelings of feeling offended by that reaction. Hm. Not happy – especially when that kind of comment comes from people pleaser Richard. 😦

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            • So, you’ll note a weird chronology — the apology for alleged transgressions against fans is dated August 2009 http://richardarmitageonline.com/messages.html , there’s a newspaper article that refers to it from October 10 2009, and then the interview with the “Oh Christ” remark is from December 2009. So there was probably some earlier stuff in this vein that either hasn’t survived or that doesn’t strike contemporary readers the way it had the fans of that period. But by August of 2009 Armitage had already run into problems with communicating with fans a few times (in 2007 over the question of adult Gisborne fanfic — that tussle led to the creation of DF; in 2008 over allegations he was playing favorites). There was a phase after that where he was perceived by fans to have cooled off (although to be fair to the guy, in 2010 he made SB while in South Africa, Spooks 9 and CA, so he may have been very detached from what was going on outside those productions), and his first 2011 message was really a response to fan clamoring via messages to third parties. I think it’s not an unfair reading to say that he had really tired of dealing with certain aspects of his fandom in the 2007-9 period — the point at which it expanded dramatically because of Spooks and Robin Hood. At the same time there are a lot of joky messages from that period as well. Another fair reading is that he was always a people pleaser and thought he could please fans; then when he realized he couldn’t he backed off somewhat. There’s an interview from later 2010, I believe, where he said he had realized he had to let his fans get on with what they were doing. I was a newer fan then and I thought that was quite a healthy stance.

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              • I agree. “Let them get on with what they’re doing” is probably the only way. If someone isn’t innately comfortable interacting (which he doesn’t seem to be), less might be more.

                Regarding the timeline, I was struck by a weird thought when reading the ‘oh Christ‘ interview (totally wild conjecture on my brain‘s part, of course): What if something happened in early 2009 that made him feel he needed to apologize in August (as per the message) and the ‘oh Christ‘ comment was in reference not to the fans and their activities, but to him being asked about his relationship with the fandom yet again and he was either exasperated with the question and/or afraid of putting his foot in again. I mean, the journo‘s assessment that he was “trying to muster up a less-than-enthusiastic“ positive comment about fan support isn‘t objective. It‘s their view of things—and probably one influenced by the narrative they were going for. Nobody was there to confirm how enthusiastic he was and even then, I don‘t think people are always good at judging another‘s level of enthusiasm. I think that is wildly dependent on both people‘s personality. A reserved person may feel they‘re being ecstatic while a more exuberant onlooker may judge this as barely contained indifference or worse.
                /conjecture

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                • That’s absolutely true. We also don’t know what else was said and whether the Daily Fail took things out of context… In any case, the whole thing was 10 years ago. (Wow – Spooks was 10 years ago!!!) It would be unfair to still get upset about it or hold it against RA. (In any case, I often have the impression that he just says something to fill the silence – and to please whoever is interviewing him at the time. Fair enough.)

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                • We could develop more information for answering this question by excavating threads on the forums from 2009 (something I’ve never really had the energy to do; my account relies on). I know that Mulubinba’s blog started in this atmosphere (she felt driven off of imdb, although she did later go back), and her first posts are from August 2009: https://mulubinba.typepad.com/an_ra_viewers_perspective/ It’s a bit hard to use that blog as historical evidence because she has a tendency to disappear posts about controversial issues. But that speaks to timing. (It sounds lately like she’s really finally done, which makes me feel very old. There are fewer than a handful of my generation of fanblogs that are still active and chiefly focused on Armitage.)

                  re: what was said and what was meant in the Dec 2009 interview — I totally understand why a fan would find those comments distressing, and I also think that the comment is probably distorted, just a brief quote but several sentences that reflect the author’s POV. Apart from the problematic nature of the venue (and the Mail has been a chief source of the “look at the wacky fans” trope over the years), the article’s author, Nicole Lampert, had been the object of successful libel action (something to do with Nicole Kidman). To be fair, she was also the person who broke the news that Brosnan was leaving the Bond role, and she turned out to be right. At the same time, though, that part of the article and the quote are of a piece with Armitage’s general mood of 2009/10, expressed elsewhere and in more reputable venues, which amid the publicity had noticeable strands of (a) I am not getting roles I want / I get the leftovers and (b) I am tired of acting or at least not being in control of what I do as an actor. So dealing with the fandom (or perhaps better said, “how he thought he should be dealing with the fandom” or even “how he thought the fans should be responding to him”) may also have been pieces of that atmosphere for him.

                  In terms of the fan mood, that was the period directly before my Armitagemania struck, and so the reaction to that message was still reverberating through the fandom constantly and influencing what people said. There was a fair amount of frustration and quite a bit of fear among fans, particularly because the August statement seemed to say “I appreciate you, okay? I’m done reassuring you. Just do what you’re supposed to do and watch my work already.” It felt to that generation of fans like an ultimatum. I think it’s harder for us to understand it because he had a very different relationship to that initial generation of fans (the people of the first hour through about 2007) than he did to later groups and certainly to fans now.

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              • Thanks for the chronology, Serv. Very interesting. The initial approach from 2010 sounds pretty good. Keeping out of it and letting fans do what they do. I am not sure whether he really kept his own counsel, though… Actually – no, he has gotten involved again and again, sermons from the mount-style. I think it is funny though, that he doesn’t realise that his meddling is only ever a short-term doctoring and inevitably leads to much bigger, long-term issues…

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                • I suspect he’d had his resolve firmly in place — and then the Hobbit happened, and then there was the question of how to capitalize on that for his career, and someone charged with this task noticed how active his online fandom was at the time, and said, interactivity is the key, Twitter followers are the key, etc., etc., which forced him back in our direction. The 2011-13 period in terms of his communication was actually kind of quiet and possibly reflected both his comfort level and his time availability. Even in early spring 2014 (the Boland interviews) he expressed skepticism about Twitter. However, there he was in August. The problem was of course that while he had been silent, he hadn’t changed his general attitude toward fans, and Twitter potentially brought him a lot closer to what fans were saying on a real-time basis. You’d think he’d learn, but I don’t think he has, which points to interesting things about his personality.

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          • Didn’t the well-wisher adage come about at Hobbit times, not least because it is a term prominently used in the book and film?
            I never knew that there was such upheaval about the whole “fan” nomenclature. Interesting.

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        • I don’t wish him ill, but honestly, it’s not natural for me to use that word. There’s a perfectly simple, short word that expresses what I am. I’m not gonna bend over backwards to avoid it for a jumbly mouthful of letters. Sorry Mr. Armitage. I am describing MYSELF, therefore, my choice.

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    • I wonder about that, too. I somehow suspect that he doesn’t quite get that there is more to fandom than just talking about him. There are proper friednships that have been created – and that have continued even beyond the shared admiration of him.
      Well-wisher – meh, I find that just too reserved and distant. Sure, I wish him well, but I also engage in activities that have nothing to do with wishing well. I actually think it’s none of his business to tell us what we call or consider ourselves.

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  8. My sympathies on your loss. Letting go of items that spark memories of a shared past together is hard. And you needn’t let go of these items, until you’re ready, if ever. Do what feels best for you. Hugs!

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  9. Yes, there is certainly a dark side to the community too. Re, well-wishing, it always makes me think of wishing wells or the old Derbyshire custom called well dressing, where wells are covered with flowers.

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