Having recently lost my last parent, the experience of clearing a lifetime of accumulated things (clothes, odds and ends like Christmas cracker contents, as well as pills, glasses and photographs etc) it makes one think about what is important in life.
Whatever you believe happens after death, the truth is that we leave this “stuff” behind for others to use or dispose of. Whilst a lot of it had a practical use and was needed, there was a lot that was excess to requirements – perhaps gifts over the years that, because of the thoughts about the giver, meant they could not be disposed of. Just like my parents, I now keep every little treasure my mum gave me, as a memento of her thought of me when she bought something like a pen or shopping bag!
Leaving Your Mark
When thinking about what was important to mark someone’s life and achievements, you can’t bag up the epitome of someone like their fun in “stuff”, unless it is captured in enduring words or pictures (photographs or letters/books). That is why I wanted to self-publish my little poetry books – it will be a record of my thoughts well after I depart! And I guess why so many others I know are now doing the same and becoming authors.
Acknowledging the big things
For me, the crucial things are the milestones and big achievements (or disappointments) in your life, in your work and personal life, like gaining certificates, awards, medals, having children, raising money for charity or doing deeds that will benefit others, maybe breaking the law, and so on. Of course if your life is happy and fulfilled that is wonderful but how will others know that it was, or what your struggles and challenges were? In today’s world of social media, we are recording this ourselves as it happens, like a public journal. This is in addition to what others write about us, like in newspapers, village news sheets and so on.
What’s important to you?
In questioning what “stuff” is important, I wondered what those Ukranian refugees grabbed as they left their homes. That situation would determine what was important to you, when you have to take only what you can carry in one little case, including clothes. What would you grab?