I have talked many times about the heartache of giving my things away, of standing idly by watching them being thrown in the garbage bin, and the grief that came along with it.
I have posted about having to choose my things or my health. I have told others that you have to choose between your health and your things. Yes they are just things! But we hold a certain attachment to things as human beings. They are reminders of our past; the good times and the bad times. They remind us of the special day we had shopping with our grandmothers and the beautiful doll or beads she bought us. There are rarely any photos of these things we hold dear to our hearts and souls.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet via Skype a woman who found me through searching the words “Allergic to Life”. Somewhere in our conversation the subject of purging or letting go of our items in order to lower our load and possibly gain some headway in our health came up. I mentioned it is like going through the grieving process when you have to let go of your things. She said that as humans we need attachments to things in our lives. We talked for some time about letting go and the stages of grief.
I have said it was easy to let go because I was so very sick and just wanted desperately to get well. In reality it wasn’t easy to let go. I thought of taking pictures of things as my husband tossed them into the garbage bin. I wanted to place them softly in the bin (I don’t know why because once at the refuse they would be piled into a pit with all sorts of garbage but they were my friends from childhood.) It was my Scottie dog (yes it was shedding a lot of its coarse hair) my big teddy bear (even though it was one-eyed – the other eye lost many years ago) and my little stuffed dog with the ears worn so thin from rubbing that the bells had long ago fallen out them. It was crafts that I had made to fill my home with Christmas cheer and handmade witch dolls that adorned our home at Halloween.
I watched sadly as my mother removed dresses, skirts, coats, and shoes from my closet and placed them in big black garbage bags. They sat in piles around the bedroom floor that was already bare from having the carpet removed because I was reacting to it and needed a safe place to sleep.
A few days ago I was in the shower and began thinking about my losses. Yes I missed the loss of my nice clothes (I would not be able to wear them today. I was so thin and sickly when I purchased them.) but that didn’t seem to cause any great deal of emotion. Soon I was thinking of my stuffed animals and missing them. They weren’t anything that I would have played with but they used to hold a prominent position throughout my home, an homage to my younger self. The memories flooded me and I felt saddened. Fortunately for me the sadness quickly passed and I was back in the present.
So as easy as it is to say, “Things are just things.” They truly aren’t. They are a connection to our life and our memories. It is a struggle to let go and know they are lost forever.
What things do you hold dear to your heart? What would hurt you the most to give or toss away if you had to choose it over your health?