How to deal with moms old gay photos?

When mom died recently, she left me about 100 photos of her life with her life partner. These include old pictures of myself and her partner when I was a teen, at my wedding, and at various holidays such as at Christmas. I did come to love her as a teenager, and many of the old pictures really do touch my heart.

Before she left my mother after 35 years together, she and my mom both told me that it was because they had become convicted that they were wrong and had been living in sin. They both parted ways.

I kept in touch with mom’s old partner, and she told me that she did not want the old pictures because they represent a part of her life that is long over with and she does not want anything to do with.

Inside of the stacks of old pictures is also endearing cards to my mother.

Many of the pictures are very lovely and heart-rending as they are a big part of my past life as a kid and as part of growing up.

Later in life, I became a new Christian and then was received into the Catholic Church.

No one wants the old pictures in my entire family either.

As I clean up my life and learn to truly live the Catholic faith, I’m torn up about getting rid of the photos.

I am trying to also remove all items in my home that are a part of my past life, such as shorts and tops that would not be modest, as well as occult material.

Most are now in the trash of the above, but there is more housework and cleaning out to be done.

In the meantime, I wondered if photos of my moms partner and herself together, apart or with myself, are somehow so evil, that it is best to throw them away?

I am so badly grieving right now, so please consider that when giving advice and try to be charitable as well as honest in your opinions and feedback.

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There is no right or wrong here. Do with them as you see fit.

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My advice to you is not to make any big decisions right now. You’re grieving, understandably so. You don’t need to work out what you want to do straight away. For what it’s worth, there’s nothing wrong with keeping the photos. You might want to talk about it to your Priest though, if it helps you.

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If they are pictures of you and your Mom and the partner can be removed out of the picture I’d keep those parts. I can totally understand what you are saying. Thank you Jesus for their conviction that what they were doing was wrong and ended it.

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I think you should keep them until such a time when you’re feeling better and won’t make a decision you might regret. Even if they’re photos of your mum when she was living a sinful lifestyle, they’re still photos of your mum. Take a breath, stow them away, give it some time, come back to them again. Then decide what you want to do.

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No dear.

Collect those that are most meaningful, frame them, digitize them, put them in a photo book, photo archive box, or whatever makes you happy. Keep the ones that you love most.

The rest— toss it. My dad was “cleaning out” at his house and he sent me a whole box of old photos. Most are the same ones I already have, or copies of stuff his siblings also have sent me when “cleaning”. I think some of them wound up back with dad when my grandparents and aunts and uncles passed away as they were of members of his family. So now he’s passed the buck mailing them to me.

So I’m going thru them, pulling out the few I want, and tossing the rest.

I’m also starting to get ruthless with all my old stuff— it’s gotta go.

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My prayers are with you, perhaps speak with a priest you are friendly with? :slightly_smiling_face:

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I agree, you need to speak with your priest and not make a decision while you are still grieving.

Put them in a box, put them out of your sight for now, take your time, there’s no rush for you to do anything about them is there?

Its obviously something you are struggling with because you didn’t hesitate to clean out other things in your life, but pictures… those are hard.

Please talk to your priest or someone you that you can trust. Hopefully someone close to you, who understands the relationship you had with your mom can best advise you on what to do with the pictures.

I don’t think the photos are evil because your mom was gay.

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I third that. Sorry for your loss.

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I am sorry for the loss of your mom. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

I probably wouldn’t keep their cards and things, just as I wouldn’t keep my parents correspondences. It’s personal, and not my business.

The photos are an entirely different matter. The photos of just your mom and her partner you may feel uncomfortable about keeping. That is understandable. The photos of the three of you, I think you should keep. Even though they eventually parted ways, you grew up with them there and they were a part of your life. They eventually felt what they were doing wasn’t right, and stopped. Since that was a good thing, you have nothing to feel bad about. You should not completely remove all evidence of them from your life. There is absolutely no need to cut up photos or anything like that. She was still a part of your life at that time.

Put the photos in a nice album and store them in your room. That is the respectful thing to do.
God does not ask us to shun people or carry the burden of other people’s mistakes. There is nothing evil in keeping the photos. Please be at peace.

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It wouldn’t be wrong to either keep them or to throw them away.

Even if a situation is objectively wrong, that doesnt mean everything within the context of the situation is wrong. i.e. two people who are drunk can have a valuable and even a meritorious conversation that leads them closer to God, despite it being within the frame of doing something that is wrong. God never stops working. Our angels never stop working. Likewise, it’s completely normal to see those pictures and to have some fond memories.

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Pictures of your mother with her friend at family get-togethers and social events are not inherently evil. Your mother and her friend ceased their relationship and parted ways in order to get right with God.

The pictures might be an occasion of sin to your mom’s ex-partner or remind her of sins she committed, but they are not an occasion of sin for you as you are not going to suddenly run off and start a gay relationship because you looked at a picture. All they remind you about is your love for your late mom. And if you also loved her friend, there’s nothing bad about that - to you she was just a friend, not a romantic figure.

Keep the pictures. There is nothing bad in your doing so.

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Why should the partner be removed from the picture? The OP has stated that she came to love her mother’s partner. There were obviously some good things about her past with her mother and the partner, so why pretend that that didn’t exist?

My uncle divorced his first wife and moved out of the country with his 2 year old son. He threw away all the pictures he had of my aunt, but I recently came across some old pictures of her that my parents had taken. I copied them and sent them to my cousin. He probably didn’t even know what his mother looked like. It doesn’t make sense to me to try and erase part of our past. For good or ill, it is still part of who we are.

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IF they bothered her. Didn’t mean to sound mean or judgmental about it. Just depends on how she handles looking at them and if they bother her or not. Possibly make a collage of them.

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Feel free to keep them (the photos at least).
There was nothing wrong with the part of their relationship that was not sinful (the friendship and christian love that even romantic partners usually share).
There was nothing wrong with you seeing your mother’s partner as a mother-like figure as well.

I would agree that you shouldn’t make big choices about these now.
You won’t be able to get those photos back if you destroy or toss them.
You may regret getting rid of photos of your mom.

When I was a teen, there were twins in my older sisters class. Their home burnt down, and they lost everything. My sister and her friends quickly gathered all the photos they had and made copies. The material goods could be re-bought. The memories in the photos would otherwise have been lost.

Not just for yourself, but you never know when someone might ask for photos of her.

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@tradntru, who the OP is trying to become has nothing to do with who her mom and her partner were. The OP is not them. The OP, like all of us, has their own sins and shortcomings and does not carry anyone else’s mistakes.

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I agree that making big decisions right now is something to avoid. Keep everything that’s questionable somewhere private and revisit it once you’re more settled.

Once you’re ready, I’d say adopt Marie Kondo’s suggestion: does the item spark joy?

Take a look at the pictures and assess whether they bring back good memories for you. The appropriateness of your mother’s relationship is between her, her partner, and God.

We’re all sinners some way or another, whether your parents are gay, straight, transgender, etc. Just because you’re mother’s and her partner’s are more easily identifiable doesn’t mean you can’t hold both of those women in your heart.

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This ^^^

They are pictures of value to you. You can’t change your childhood. You can’t change the events the pictures memorialize. For good or for bad, your past has made you who you are, and that is important.

The pictures may have been an occasion of sin for your mother and her friend, but they aren’t for you. Keep the ones you treasure most and put them in an album or keepsake box. Purge the rest.

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I grew to love my moms partner very dearly, and because my mom came out when I was about 5 years old, I grew up in a home where being gay was normal.

There were some really terrible times though, where I was forced to attend a gay christian church against my will.

I was a teen and yet too young to leave home, so I was told I had to attend or “else.”

But then, my moms partner stepped in when my mom did somethings to me that would have landed her in prison, such as hurting me physically so badly, I could have died.

I am really torn up right now.

But I did really want to talk with you all on these forums, because I love CAF and I well know that I can always go to a priest.

Its here I wanted to have a forum discussion.

God bless your beautiful hearts for trying to help.

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That is totally understandable. Put the photos away and comeback to them when you have had enough time to grieve.

Are you seeing a counselor? If not, I highly suggest it. I had a traumatic childhood. Seeing someone has really helped me process that trauma.

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