|My grandmother’s pot inspired
my home’s orange touches
“For you, [Bea] you are on a different level, ‘Zero waste’ means you have to eliminate even mementos and pictures. To each their own, but it’s not a road I am willing to go down.” – Sam.
- Forgetting our ancestors,
- Disappointing our ancestors,
- Not conforming to the tradition of passing down,
- Erasing a family story,
- Lowering one’s financial worth (“I can’t sell it for what it is worth”).
Refuse: Say no while you can. Being proactive is a big part of our lifestyle. Thinking of outcomes and addressing them before the time comes (in this case a family death) is key: My living parents already know that I am not interested in inheriting their stuff. I have just what I need and I like what I have. End of story. A hundred years ago, it might have made sense to pass down a good set of china to support a struggling young couple. But with today’s consumerism, that same set of China no longer supports, it clutters.
Reduce: Stick to one box per family member. Letting go of the pieces you can part with, helps keep the amount under manageable control. Sell the coin collection and take a trip with the proceeds. Wouldn’t your mother agree? In the hospice, dying people do not mention regretting leaving their coin collection behind, they regret not going after their dreams (Bonnie Ware, who worked for years nursing the dying, wrote about a great article on “5 Regrets of the Dying“). Maybe their unfulfilled dream can fund or kick start yours!