About 10 days ago I wrote this post.
In the town of my youth, behind the double brick home that is my mother’s neighbour’s house, is a hoarder.
The daughter of a very cranky, intolerant almost-100 year old father, (who lives in a nursing home on the other side of the river) she lives by herself with her mother’s memories and furniture.
Downstairs, you are barely able to squeeze past the belongings of her mother’s old home.
The furniture, the tables, the sofas, dusty with age and just covered with plastic, the china cabinets, and boxes, and boxes, and boxes of glassware and who-knows-whatever-else. All stored.
Filling up her house, cluttering her own life.
She moans to my sister as they hose their lawns. “I wish I could travel! It’s too expensive.”
My sister and I would sympathise and suggest she sell some of her mother’s possessions.
“Oh no! I could never do that! It’s too precious!”
And so her life is unlived, her home a rambling, chaotic mess of someone else’s life.
There’s barely enough room for herself. Her mother lives on, in every room.
It’s physically demanding, cramped and unacceptable.
She lives within the shadows, unhappy, miserable, resentful, and unable to move on.
She knows the answer to the situation, she just hasn’t asked herself the question.
Why keep it all, and what happened to MY life!
I have said to my own sons: “When I go, keep what you want, no obligation, and chuck the rest!”
While this is probably an extreme example, it is a stark reminder that we cannot live our lives if we are weighed down by emotional attachments to the stuff of previous generations.
How do you feel about this? Have you had to deal with this sort of situation?