I was recently perusing Facebook and found an amazing post that The Minimalists had put on their feed. It was a link to a post by Robert Wringham about death acceptance and your stuff, full article here.
This fantastic article was about what happens to your stuff after you die and what you can do about it before death. It was very enlightening to think about the tone and attitude towards death written. We all know that everyone dies eventually, though they would be kind of cool, vampires don’t really exist, and you can’t bring anything with you to whatever place you may end up.
So, what happens to your stuff when you die? Well, its an easy answer, someone else has to deal with it. Over the last year we have been dealing with that sort of problem. My father in law pasted away three years ago and now it is time for my mother in law to move to a smaller, more manageable house.
Currently she is in a home that was perfect for raising the family, but now that everyone is out of the house, it is too much for one person to maintain. So there was a contract on the house and in one crazy weekend and a team of helpers we packed up a ton of the household items into boxes. People took items that were not being used, multiple trips were taken to donation shops, and a dumpster down the street mysteriously became filled.
Despite all of the help there was one collection that had not been dealt with, the Star Wars collection.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Star Wars nerd and have read so many of the books in the collect of my own accord, this turned out to be a very daunting task. My father in law collected books and other miscellaneous memorabilia. Now a normal person might decide that after they fill a shelves with books to either cut back on buying or purge some of them, well, not my father in law. He decided instead to build bookcases to house all of the books. When one got full he built another one. Eventually, the collection went from one fairly nice sized bedroom into two other bedrooms. The real kicker was when we were cleaning out the basement and discovered more boxes of books that didn’t make it to the shelves.
We knew that in order to get rid of the collection we needed to have an inventory list of everything. This task has been an ongoing process for about a year. When you have over ninety copy boxes full of books, CDs, games, comics and more to go through it makes to really reconsider your own possessions.
The gist of it all is this, when we die these things that we are collecting here on Earth become a burden to our loved ones. The burden is not only physical, but mental as well. After moving the books from my in laws’s house to mine and back and dealing with the weight of seeing it everyday, it make me even more determined not to leave my children with a lot of STUFF, but rather with the fond memories of experiences that we had together.