i’ve spent some time over the past week helping my cousins to go through some of my aunt’s things. my cousin is taking over the house so we have to clear some things out. it’s a very strange thing to go through your loved one’s things and make value judgments on what you want, what can be donated, and what goes in the garbage. it sometimes feels real gross.
i went through this experience when we moved my grama into a nursing home 2 years ago. with that experience everything happened very fast and when we found a decent facility we had to hurry up and convince her to go and then move her in the same day. she was living independently until 92 years old. she had been in her apt for 16 years. and packratism runs in the family.
i am militantly anti-packrat to a fault. i couldn’t wait to throw all her crazy shit in the garbage. for a while i was on a high. but you always eventually come to a point where the decisions get harder and even though certain things have no value to anyone else, you know that your grama loved those missionaries she supported for 20 years, always intended to read that magazine article from 12 years ago, cherished that plastic placemat made by a grandchild in the 80s.
so i’ve been through this before. still. there’s something terribly disturbing about disassembling your loved one’s life down to a few bags of paperwork and a pile of clothes that you tote out to your car.