It’s been a week since I was laid off from work and the shock of it has begun to diminish. However, I am still going through the stages of grief, but I can see progress in me and in my husband, Fili. I feel the need to purge – not just my feelings and thoughts, but also my material things. I have begun to clean out old papers and items that I will probably not need again. Everything I would need, I have in my computer anyway, so it’s not like I am losing it completely.
I was thinking this past week how when we die, which we all will eventually do, even if we don’t want to think about it, all our “stuff” will be left behind for someone else to deal with. All the things we have carefully saved or lovingly collected, will be cleaned out by someone else. If we have anything that is of value or sentiment for others, they may want to divide them up among some of the family members. Hopefully, no one would go to fights over the things left.
It is sad that sometimes, families fall apart because of the “stuff” left by some family member. They fight and go to lawyers who battle things out for who will get what, and who will get the most money or things. Some, who didn’t care for the deceased family member or their things, will get rid of everything, and those things that have some sentimental value to others, are gone, without the ability to keep those mementos. It’s sad because we will eventually leave them behind too. But some things help us to remember the loved one that is now gone. To have those things thrown away or given away without consideration of what they might mean to someone else, is inconsiderate, in my opinion.
We are reminded that we are meant to not cling to anything here on this earth. But we do. It’s just how we do things, until we begin growing up and going through life, realizing that, yes, eventually, we will leave it all behind for someone else to clean up and deal with. So why not take a look at some of those things now? Why not go through our things and lovingly choose who we would like to gift our things to now, not later. Then that way, we can share in their joy of enjoying the gift while we are still alive with them. It can be a way of remembering our own joy and love we experienced when we got those things, and then share with our loved ones now.
And for those items that don’t have a sentimental attachment to them, we can get rid of them so that someone else can find them useful, especially if we won’t be using them again, or don’t need as many. (How many paper clips or pens do you really need?) It’s a way of keeping alive the old saying, “One person’s junk, is another person’s treasure.” That is so true. But we have been told in the Gospel that where our heart is, there is our treasure. And we have been counselled to store up treasures in heaven where thieves cannot steal them, and moths cannot eat them.
I have quite a few collections of items (little clay cottages, angels, dolphins, bears) and I have a lot of books and office supplies. This past week I have been thinking about my treasures and I have begun to slowly get rid of some of the material things I have here. And I have thought, “Do I really want to leave this stuff to be cleaned out by my husband if I were to die before him?” I will one day leave all these things anyway. I think I would rather give them away now to others who may find them useful, and work more on storing up treasures in heaven because those are the only ones that will really last. How about you? Will you join me in storing up those treasures and place your heart there?