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.
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.
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.
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
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
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