Movie, TV series, and book reviews; personal memories; political and social commentary; mental health wisdom; spiritual and philosophical musings; my own creative endeavors, such as drawings and paintings.
Earlier this afternoon, my husband and I went to look through the house of his recently-deceased, close family friend. We found some appealing and useful items. It felt odd and sad, this picking through a dead person’s belongings. But, now at least some of her things have a new home. We’ll think of this dear woman kindly whenever we look at and/or make use of what was once hers.
(Note on this post’s accompanying photograph: I long admired this mirror in my husband’s recently passed away friend’s living room. It is something he and I will always treasure as we now enjoy it in our own living room.)
I'm gay, married, Pagan, and Progressive-minded from California, raised by hippie intellectuals. I relocated to Massachusetts for graduate school and never moved back to the Left Coast. My day job is that of psychotherapist in private practice, a profession I love with all my heart and a dream fully realized that I'd had since fifteen years of age.
These are my rantings, reviews, and reflections. If nothing else, I hope you find something worth reading here and leave the rest.
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One thought on “On Visiting a Dead Person’s Home”
That is a gorgeous mirror!!!
I understand the odd and sad experience of going through someone’s belongings, mining them for what you might want to keep. I’ve been through this many times with relatives and a friend or two. It’s disturbing because you are grieving the loss of the person, facing your own mortality, and collecting objects to keep that parts of you feel like you shouldn’t have.
I came to peace with the process when I realized that the things I or others weren’t taking would be given away to a charity or tossed in the trash. I like the idea that I am honoring the person’s life by having something(s) that belonged to them.
It’s challenging when one’s relationship with the person was troubled (as in family), but the objects are beautiful/useful. I’ve had to do lots of spiritual cleansing to cut the links to bad memories. In some cases, I’ve had to get rid of things I’d initially taken.
On the other hand, for those people with whom I had good relationships, having something of theirs allows a spirit connection to remain strong. I think of that person whenever I look at what I have taken. I have a bookshelf that I call “the D.O.D. memorial bookcase,” for example. It belonged to one of my fathers-in-law. I’ve chosen to link the bookcase with my memories of him holding aloft a fresh martini, sporting his blueberry apron, baggy jeans, yellow socks and blue sneakers as he offers a toast “to absent friends.” It makes me happy.
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