When my mom first passed away, my sister and I went through her belongings within a short period of time so that the process wouldn’t linger.
Most of her household items would be staying with her partner, but there were certain special items and her clothing that needed attention.
My mom liked to collect blue and white ceramics, like the vase in the image above. This wasn’t something that she had collected since we were young, but more of a recent hobby from spending her summers in Portugal.
When my mom passed, she had quite a few pieces. So my sister and I took turns picking out which ones we wanted. I think I might have ended up with nine items in total.
Over the years I have slowly given away all but two of my pieces, including the vase in my recent move. There were so many times that I almost broke it . . . sometimes I wondered if I wanted it to break so that I wouldn’t feel like I had to keep it.
I wasn’t a minimalist when my mom passed away. I initially kept some of her belongings because I thought maybe I would use them in the future or because I didn’t feel it was “right” for someone else to have them.
Such is the grieving process.
It took me a long time to realize that by giving away my mom’s things, I wasn’t giving her away.
I love my mom, but I didn’t need to hold onto her stuff to prove it.
when we meet again . . .
I’m pretty sure when I see my mom again, she won’t say, “Sandra! I can’t believe you gave away all my things!”
It would probably be more along the lines of, “Sandra! I can’t believe you never made me a grandmother!”
I joke . . . but then, so did she.
keep what’s special to you
My mom’s collection was her collection, not mine. If she was still living, would I be collecting these items along with her? Probably not.
I’ve kept the items that are special to me: the ring she gave me that I wear everyday, the momma and baby elephant figurine that reminds me of us, the black velvet dress she made by hand for New Year’s Eve after ruining the store bought version in an ironing incident and a quilt I’m making from her old clothes.
But mostly, I just need to look at myself in the mirror and I can see my mom as often as I want!
Have you had to deal with letting go of a loved one’s things?