Naked Came I

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither.*  

An estate sale

My friend called to tell me about some wonderful sheets that she found at an estate sale near my house. As you probably know, good sheets are terribly expensive. Well worth the price as they last forever, but still a shock when first purchased.

Thinking that it would be great to find some inexpensive but nice sheets for my two adult sons and their families, I went to the estate sale.

I did not buy anything.  The linens were all gone. The other things of value were well-priced but too expensive when I factored in shipping costs.  

Although I left without purchasing anything, I did not leave empty-handed.

As I walked around this deceased woman’s home with strangers rifling through her things, I felt a sense of sadness and doom.  

     Is this what it comes down to in the end?

     Will a group of strangers handle and haggle over my clothes, jewelry, my books, pictures on the walls?

I promised myself to dispose of my belongings before death comes knocking.  

Mona’s Grandmother

Over the years, there are conversations that have lodged somewhere in my brain. One such conversation was  the story my friend Mona shared with me years ago about her recently departed Grandmother.   

Mona told  me how thoughtful her Grandmother was even down to the details of her passing.  Her Grandmother had cleaned out everything, left notes and guides for her children.  Most of what I recall from that conversation was Mona’s and her family’s gratitude. It was the final example, Mona explained, of what kind of woman she was…thoughtful to the end. I would have liked to have known her Grandmother.

My Turn

At the time of my conversation with Mona I was in my early 20’s, unmarried with the thoughts of my death far in the future.  Now as a grandmother and a widow, it is my turn.

As I learned when I cleaned out our house after my Husband’s death, getting rid of material things can be freeing.  Less to store, organize, clean, insure.

The trick, of course, is not to revert to hanging onto things again.

Book recommendations

I have read and recommend two books that have helped me organize my thoughts and actions.  

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson

9781501173240_p0_v7_s550x406.jpg Swedish Deathcleaning

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

51hDPxPUlcL.jpg Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Here I go!

I have a plan, I have a goal and I have a deadline of January 1.

January 1st may seem too soon. But I know I must push myself or else it will drag on and on.

If I were to drop dead suddenly or had a stroke that required moving to a care facility, my sons would not have the luxury of weeks to clean out my house and belongings.  

This will be a gift for my sons and for myself.  

*Job 1:21 King James Version

7 thoughts on “Naked Came I

  1. Very good food for thought…I liked that you said you didn’t leave the house of the deceased woman empty handed – and what you took away with you was enough to share with us. It is often on my mind that I would not like to burden my family with clutter to sort through should something happen to me. And so I try to keep our home clutter free and organised. But my studio….well, that is quite another story!! My mother was thoughtful in that she marked items with a sticker on the underside with the name of the person she wanted it to be given to. Even so, when she passed away, there were things in her sewing room that she had been busy with and I realised, no matter how well prepared one can be, you can’t stop doing things and making things until, well, you stop living. Your life and what you were busy with, will always be interrupted by death. And so there will be things that the family will have to sort out and sort through. And maybe some of that sorting will be cathartic, as it was for me. But to live mindfully of what you leave behind…yes, that is a very good idea ❤ Jeanne

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As I read this lovely post I was thinking that Mona’s grandmother’s act of kindness must also have been very empowering for the woman herself. By actively taking care of the decisions, etc around her death, she gave herself the chance to reflect on her life and to face its end on (as much as possible) her terms.
    My partner and his siblings are still trying to deal with the legal, financial, emotional and material clutter of his parents’ lives, five years after his father went into residential care, and two years after his mother’s passing.
    I have read (and used) the Kon-Mari method, but hadn’t heard of the Swedish book. Thanks for mentioning it; I will try to find a copy.
    Wishing you every success in your goal, and wishing you too a peaceful and love-filled Xmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A gift, indeed. My siblings and I just finished nearly 18 months of clearing out our mother’s home. Even though there had been many pre-death conversations about what would be destined for whom, it was a slog through deep mud. Our Mom was a ‘collector.’ (My kind word for pack rat.) I applaud your sharing these books as they, along with some thoughtful advance planning, can truly make post-passing matters more manageable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so important and I thank you for the reminder. David and I live now in a very ‘simple’ situation small flat area cottage. It is safe private. The lesson of naked you came and naked you will go rings very true to us. For a couple of years I was “overwhelmed” by what I had trouble throwing or giving away. Intrinsic memories of my mother through her painting, arts etc. My mother in law cooking books craft books and then the household items. We were SWAMPED. When I experienced health issues my self we KNEW it ALL had to go. Painful yes, but we have kept an ‘overview’ of important LIFE in our MEMORIES and what is stored ie pictures etc on disks that can be updated if necessary.
    My own life is cluttered and overwhelmed by manuscripts. I have been a story teller and writer since I was a child. My diaries, journals and ‘Other’ filled drawers, desks and cupboards. Who would care when I am gone? What would be kept or even read? That was the fuel to my present situation. I did indeed ‘finish’ some stuff and now with five things published and Websites and a blog site life is indeed simpler. My heart goes out to everyone who faces up to this situation.
    Yes, indeed, we must all make our ‘going home’ less traumatic for next generation by being brutal in pruning.
    I have a long way to go but your blog today has inspired me to ‘chuck’ out what is not absolutely life necessary. Book sounds great. I will check them out. They sound helpful. (another problem of mine…..books, books, everywhere Even libraries don’t want them any more they have trouble with their own. if you want an example of how I tried to solve one problem. The Bear Collection…….I have teddy bears everywhere – grandchildren now longer interested in ‘this kind of magic’. So stories are on this website The Bear Collection’ and now not overwhelming our lives. (out there free anyone can access).

    Liked by 1 person

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