We re-located to England a number of years ago and I insisted on taking with me, every piece of memorabilia I ever owned. Literally. Talking about diaries from high school, an old uniform, tokens from holidays, photographs, the works. Chatted about this yesterday, about keeping my children’s childhoods intact in the boxes – well, they all followed us across the ocean.
No space, but made space. Years later with my mother passing away, I boxed up her life and dragged it, literally, around with me. Add to this a divorce and trauma of where to live and ALL the stuff congregated moved again. Let’s just say the shipping companies did well.
Today it is me and the past of everything. So the the Karma thing. An article I found, today of all days, is about Death cleaning – and how we should take care Not to leave our children with so much stuff to deal with when we are gone. Go figure, this is me.
Guilty as charged. As much as I wanted to carry the legacy of my life through all the changes and decades, I was doing just that. Leaving my children with tons of stuff they would have to deal with when I am gone, like my mother did with me. On the one side, I valued it, on the other I was living her past life, right down to the souvenirs of all her trips, postcards, hair locks, report cards and the like. The burden is heavy.
So today was the day I escaped from the world: slowly read and re-read all her history, my history and decided a few tokens would suffice for my children to know our lives, but the clutter had to go.
A bittersweet day. Fortunately there are many who could cherish something I was simply putting in a box. Swept through the stuff, kept the important and said goodbye to the rest. Why would they want to read my love poems to Robert Redford? My accounts of everyday life decades ago? Slips of paper that meant something to me, but would never to them? A day of de-cluttering. If I died tomorrow, they would have the best of me, and not the entire rest of me.
Strangely, it has been a liberating experience also. I am far from gone, but I have taken the past, the material past and said goodbye, in so many ways. I have a lot more living to do, than live in the past of other’s lives and though I have kept some poignant pieces, I am free now to create and accumulate new experiences.
It feels fantastic, it has been hard, but I am now down to a box or two of memories that will tell them all about me and my family past. They can keep their childhood memories until they too decide, it is time to let go.
More than wanting them to know I had a crush on Robert Redford, or was it Kris Kristofferson, or even Bruce Lee? My first dates, my lost loves, jobs and more jobs, ambitions and failures – that was my time and they shall have the mom time. For me, the best times.
My darling mother, I have you in my heart. Your things have to go. Darling me, a simple letter will suffice when I am gone to remember me by. Shred, shred, shred, the boxes are bare. My legacy is in my living years and I am officially de-boxing stuff to leave to my children a few tokens of love.
Feels awesome to have done it. Now what shall I buy next?