Today, I started to empty out my dead best friend's closet. Not her actual closet- that was dismantled three years ago. But today I loaded up four garbage sacks full of clothes and accessories. Things that were hers. Things that were mine that she borrowed all the time. Things that I adored in high school. The Christmas gift her husband bought her their first (and only) Christmas. You don't expect a 31-year-old to have lost her best friend to cancer. You don't expect to introduce a twenty-something man as a widower. But it happens. It happened.
I'm trying to purge my disaster-area of a house. Not even a full weekend of homestyle "Clean Sweeping" last spring has made this place free of clutter and debris. But I struggled to separate the memories from the clutter. Some souvenirs are ok. The clothes I actually wear are fine to keep. But it is time to free myself from things I don't need just because they belonged to the dead. And it's not just my best friend. I live in an inherited house that I once shared with my grandmother. She's been gone a little over 2 years. It was only last spring that I really tried to utilize the whole house, straying past the boundaries into what was once 'her' area. There is the unrequested bedroom suite from a dead great-aunt that my mother forced on me and that doesn't all fit into any single room in the house. Besides being ugly and having some carving that might be pineapples, pinecones, or lacerated testicles for all I can determine.
Living in my hometown wasn't the plan. But here I am, in a house I didn't pick out. Not that I'm complaining about owning my own home. It's an incredible blessing to live rent & mortage-free. The house was not gently used by it's previous tennants and isn't worth a great deal, so I feel no stress about teaching myself DIY-techniques. I'm probably NOT going to be able to bring it down in value without actively trying. None of my friends can make such claims. Some are flushing away their paycheck on rent. Some have huge, nice houses complete with huge, nice house payments. Some are living with family. I have the autonomy to make changes as I see fit, without some Homeowners' Association breathing down my neck or my mother complaining about the tackiness of having a purple bedroom.
I'm trying to make a plan, but I know it won't turn out like I expect it. But that's okay. Why keep reading the book if you can figure out the ending in the first chapter?