So this is really for the several friends who have lost loved ones recently and will be faced with sorting their possessions into "what to keep, what to throw, and what to give away."
A friend of mine recently said ‘You CAN keep time in a bottle’. She has decided that a small collection of bottles as keep-sakes is better than the tons of keep-sakes themselves. ‘After all,’ she said, ‘we’re keeping the memories.’ So what she’s doing is to write small notes and put them in the bottles that she has categorically labeled – maybe one is ‘mom’ and one is ‘dad’ and one is ‘first husband’ etc. I’m thinking about this as I sift through ‘my stuff’. I also have started to watch the ‘Hoarders’ – I watch then I get up and clean a closet. I’m in touch with the emotional attachment to the stuff and letting go. I’d put the cookie maker* (I had one too) into the pile to go to the hospital shop and let those folks decide which of their piles to put it in.
*The item that essay author Lydia Brewer used as her jumping-off to muse about de-accessioning.