She’s not even dead yet and her possessions are already scattered among her family. She has given away objects she cannot take with her; physical memories we are supposed to replace with our own. A 50th birthday present, a Christmas gift; once treasured pieces, now left to collect dust among the belongings we cling to.
She is preparing for her death, which is inevitable. Erasing herself from the earth; bills, bank statements, greeting cards are all being shredded. Anything personal, anything that may be stolen, or duplicated. Anything she doesn’t need before she dies. Sentimentality isn’t something she is concerned with at the moment. Cleaning up her life before it is over, that is what consumes her. Tying up those loose ends; selling her house and her car, finding a home for her loyal and beloved dog. Her death is all business.
All her worldly possessions have been split up, quartered and adopted. She’s given her life away before it even ends. Her death will descend, not unexpectedly, among those of us left living, and we will go on, slowly at first, afraid to laugh, or smile. I wonder when we will start to see her belongings as our own. When it will stop feeling like we’ve just made room temporarily. Not permanently. For life.