I know it’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been processing stuff. Lots of stuff. In my head. You see, Mum passed away in February this year and at first I threw myself head long into work, but you can’t avoid grief. It’ll catch you at some stage and when it does it whacks you over the head as hard as it can….as they say, “grief’s a bitch”. I’ve been struggling with what to do with some of her things. After she passed away, Dad and I gave a lot of her clothes to charity but I kept some things, because they were special to her or because I could see her so clearly wearing them. And in the last few weeks I’ve been wrestling with what’s become my mantra over the last few years: if you don’t love it or use it, get rid of it, and if you love it, display it. But….and here’s the thing….sentiment can enter the scene and throw all your mantras out the door.
So, here’s what I’ve recently learnt about myself and about decluttering:
We hold onto things for one of the following reasons:
* we don’t know how to, or couldn’t be bothered to face the clutter (denial)
* we’re afraid that we may need that item in the future and don’t want to have to buy it all over again (fear or regret)
* the item(s) holds a sentimental side that we don’t want to part with (loss)
WHich makes me feel like I’m back at square one in many respects. There i was thinking I had absolutely (or very nearly!!!) mastered clutter. And now, I’m a quivering mess, too afraid to make decisions in case I regret them down the track.
The one thing that pops into my head though is that I will work through this and will feel resolved about these issues as time goes on. That’s the other thing I’ve learnt about this whole decluttering thing and the curved balls that life can throw at us: that usually we’re not on some deadline where we have to make decisions now. QUite often, we can set our own deadlines or can push those deadlines out so we can make decisions in a manner that we’re comfortable with.
I’m going to explore these new revelations in the coming blog posts, but in the meantime, I’m just going to be kind to myself, not impose decluttering deadlines on myself, and allow the items to let me ‘see’ Mum again (which is painful because it’s still grief, but they’re also lovely memories which makes me feel close to her again).
I hope that if you find yourself in a similar situation, you’re kind to yourself too! xx
“Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow; I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight that ripened grain; I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there; I did not die.”
– Irish funeral prayer