It's full of stuff.
Craft stuff, memory stuff, saved stuff, saving for someone else stuff.
It's a mess of stuff.
And it's time I do something about it.
After Oskar died it made me philosophical.
Okay, yeah, well it mostly made me cry and carry on like a girl who'd lost her dog.
But somewhere in the middle of the crying and the searching for additional Kleenex boxes, I realized something.
Oskar was a pretty 'stuff-free' kind of weiner dog.
After a few days, Mr. Jenny and I were able to gather his things together and decide what to do with them.
The biggest item we've debated over is his boat. He had a boat for a dog bed. It's pretty cool and I'll have to tell you about that someday.
But on this particular day, I have something else I want to tell you about.
That subject is stuff.
I was folding up some of the dogs blankets to take to donate to a no kill shelter, and I had a terrible thought.
"Mr. Jenny, Mr. Jenny," I shouted across the house. "I need to talk to you right away!"
He came skidding out of his office, looking worried.
"Hey! What happens when we die?"
He paused..."Well....our spirit leaves our body and..."
"NO,NO,NO!" I interrupted rudely. "What happens to our stuff?"
"We have a will."
"I know we have a will but what happens to all our stuff?"
He looked a little puzzled. "Everything is in the will. Who wants special stuff, money division, etc."
I shook my hand impatiently. "I know all that, but STEVE! SERIOUSLY! WHAT ABOUT ALL OUR STUFF? Who takes care of that?"
"The executor or executrix, why are you so worried about this?"
"Let me show you," I said. I showed him my craft closet. "This is why I'm worried."
I showed him shelves in the garage and other cupboard filled willy nilly with 'stuff.
"Someone has to take care of all this stuff. Someone has to decide what to do with it. This is not organized AT ALL! See! See! Here's some pictures I need to scrapbook by this stack of paper. Here's a box of pictures I haven't sorted. Here's a bunch of cards I've saved. Here's all the music I've written, crumpled here into this ratty shoebox."
I opened drawers and cupboards and realized that the only person I could have sort all this stuff would be a person I hate.
And I don't really hate a lot of people.
In all actuality it would be a person that I loved doing this terrible sorting job.
What a horrible burden to put on someone.
To put on someone who is possibly grieving me.
Talk about selfish.
Yeah. Selfish is me.
So, I'm rethinking my whole house and its contents.
I'm writing the stories of family pieces and attaching them to the back or bottom.of frames and drawers.
I am combining like content with like content.
I'm going through all the boxes of random correspondence and cards and sorting them into smaller boxes.
Those boxes have stuff written (legibly) like: "You might enjoy looking through these", "Shred", "If no-one wants any of this, just donate to ABC."
It's hard work, this organizing of memories, but no-one else is going to be able to do it.
Mr. Jenny thinks it's depressing.
I think it's empowering.
What bigger act of love to show to the person managing our things after our death than to give them a guide.
A total and complete guide of who wants what and how to dispose of the rest of it without having to go through every box.
Mr. Jenny is going to tackle his office before months end as well.
Then, together, we will make all the pertinent lists and info. Who to call (including phone numbers), lists of specific things going to specific people or places, life insurance policies with the agent card attached, bank passwords, contents by room to make the task less daunting.
I just keep thinking that I would not want to go through and sort my house.
Hey. I don't even want to do it now.
But it's my responsibility as the keeper of all the stuff.
And maybe it's my responsibility to the beloved family member who will not only lose her Mom and Step-Dad one day, but will also become an almost-hoarder at the same time.
Who is ever ready for that?
Darn, our sweet little Oskar for dying anyway.
If it wasn't for that, I'd be still hitting garage and estate sales and finding more cool stuff.
I wouldn't be surrounded by 27 piles of disorganization that I thought I had just organized.
Oskar was always a Good Boy.
Perhaps especially now by making me realize I have a responsibility for what comes after I'm gone...
...and for the poor loved one who has to deal with all the nuts and bolts of dismembering another persons life.