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Dear Graham Norton: 'The prospect of sorting through my mother’s things fills me with despair'

graham says: 'It can be sad stumbling upon someone’s wedding album in a charity shop' Credit: Andrew Crowley/Getty

Dear Graham

My mother has recently gone into a nursing home, and I am contemplating having to sell or otherwise dispose of her house and possessions – something I never imagined doing while she was still alive. The fact that a whole, full life, rich in experience and love, can be bundled up into a few cardboard boxes has made me realise that when my time comes it won’t be any different – and I hate the knowledge that the pain and anxiety I am experiencing now is something my loved ones will have to go through in due course.

I used to make my share of wrong turns, to be sure, but I always just got on with living my life – can I get back to that innocence now, or is this sense of creeping futility just part of middle age?

Andrew, via email

Graham says: 'Don't burden your children' Credit: Andrew Crowley

Dear Andrew

The truth is, we all end up in bin bags. It doesn’t matter who we were in life, in death we’re heaps of clothes for the charity shop, ornaments...

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