Brag on your parents?

My husband and i have both recently lost our last parent. And that means cleaning out homes, and ending up with stuff. Some of that stuff is honors the parents kept around. It ranges from a glass serving plate that says my father won a local tennis competition to a photo of my MIL shaking hands with president Kennedy.

Can we use this stuff? Mount it on the walls? It feels weird, but it’s also nice memorabilia of parents we were fond of.


I don’t see why not, seems like it could bring fond memories and maybe start a conversation or something. We don’t have things quite like that, but I have a hall tree and clock that my grandpa made, and two walnut end tables my dad made in high school wood shop.

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You’re now the custodians of the artifacts. Do as you think best.

If not putting it on your wall or mantle, get it posted in the local post office[+].

[+] Note that I grew up in pretty rural areas and our post offices would, in fact, hang such artifacts in remembrance of a local personality. YMMV in those embiggened communities.

I say put it where you will see and remember.

I’m big into family tree / genealogy. That stuff will be gold for your kids/grandkids/great grandkids if they are into any of that when they’re older.

I have binoculars from one relative who fought in WW1 (and who my older son is named after), and a bayonet from another who fought in WW2 (who my younger son is named after). Both are in frames in the front room.

Do it for yourself. If it makes you happy or gives you closure, then put them up.

Your kids might throw them away after you, but that’s up to them.

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You’re orphans now. Keep them treasures. I get that it’s not the same as a portrait on the mantlepiece, but it’s not not the same either. I assume, to you anyway, that it’s less about them winning and more an example of how they lived and what they liked.


The hard thing is what to do with stuff you don’t want to display, but can’t bring yourself to dispose of

My dad, a US Army Captain, led troops to liberate Dachau. His military journal is gruesome, but gold.


the items are yours to use or display as you wish. if it helps keep a good memory of them alive then even better.

Oh yeah, i also inherited a lot of old photos of family i don’t know. I expect we’ll throw those out. And now that my mom is dead, i can probably throw out stuff like my grandfather’s diplomas that somehow ended up in my house. I’m sure the kids will not want to keep these things. That’s okay. Putting them up would be for us.

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I wonder how much is “don’t know” vs. “don’t recognize” . . .

They are mostly people who died before I was born. So I’m comfortable saying both that I don’t know them and also that I don’t recognize them.

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I having living family that lived in China when I was born thus never met until I was an adult.

e.g. an Aunt that my grandmother had with her first husband in China before she escaped to Taiwan with my grandfather. Every other child my grandmother had was born in Taiwan.

They reconnected until China and Taiwan opened up to each other much later. Apparently she married like a pretty successful guy and owns like several hospitals. So…she’s likely the richest of everyone in the family. What gives…the one that stayed behind in China.

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just take a picture of it then throw it out

Heck, when my grandfather died, I took his awards from work that none of his kids (my ma, aunt, and uncles) wanted. I ended up with a pretty cool retirement portrait of him.

I felt kind of sad that none of his kids wanted it, but I’m happy that I got it.


My mom had a lot of pictures, year books and stuff from both sides and their parents.

When they downsized, my oldest became the keeper of the archives.

My kids had 4 grandparents into their 20s. Unfortunately we just lost my wife’s dad.
We will have to start going through the house, definitely artwork we want.

My dad is the last grandparent left. 97 and lives on his own

The art was easy. The kids took what they wanted, and occasionally flipped for an item, and we’ve put the rest up for auction. Except a couple pieces of no value that no one wanted. Some of those were given to friends, and i guess the rest will be thrown out in the final cleaning.