What Do You Do With All This Stuff?

Death is such a bizarre thing to me. Is it a testament to how long l have lived that I have seen so many of my loved ones pass away? Or it is a testament to how many loved ones I have been blessed enough to gather in my life? Or is it some combination of both?

I specifically phrased it as “loved ones” instead of just “people” because so many of those that I have loved so much and have moved on to wherever we go after this are furry creatures. Pieces of my heart have gone with dogs, and cats, and so many people as they left this container behind and moved on. Grandparents, parents, friends, former lovers, and even a child in addition to our Dera Dog last year, my daughter’s cat Bear, my mom’s dog Genoa, and my childhood dog Tia. (This is by no means a complete list.)

I tell my kids that energy cannot be created or destroyed, therefore our loved ones don’t simply vanish when they pass away. And it isn’t just a comfort tool, I truly believe that. The idea that the spark that makes each life have the personality and individual quality in their eyes could simply evaporate when they die just doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know where we are before we show up in this life, and I don’t know where we go when we leave this mortal coil; but I do believe that energy doesn’t disappear.


But that brings up another point: we spend our whole lives gathering all this stuff, and when we die we leave it all behind. Every time a family has a loss, after all of the burial/cremation arrangements are made and the business of handling the remains are dealt with, then it’s ‘what do we do with all their crap?’. It invariably brings the classic George Carlin bit to mind for me. (And, yes, I do have a very irreverent sense of humor. You have to find levity in life, and in death, or you’ll be crushed under it all.)

It’s all just such a bizarre chain of events. Where were we before here? Well, I guess that depends on what philosophy you subscribe to. But then why the hell did we decide to show up here and now? And how much stuff do we really need? I guess that depends on how long you decide to hang around. But no matter how long it is, it’s always true that those who loved you are always left with the task of clearing out your stuff when you move on. Do we keep some of your stuff? Why? Then when we die, somebody else is going to have to deal with the question of what to do with my stuff and your stuff!

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I’m not afraid of death. I know a lot of people are, and a big part of that is because we fear what we don’t understand and we fear the unknown. Death means jumping off a precipice into a time and place we don’t yet know. But I am one of those people that has stood on the cliff and come back from that. If you know me in real life, you know that I can pretty much will anything into existence. I’m convinced I stood on the edge and because I wouldn’t let go, I came back from it. But I do understand that the choice isn’t always up to us.

My experience with death was that I was septic and losing a lot of blood, and I was probably closer than I care to admit, but I would not let go. And I wasn’t afraid. That’s what most people don’t know; when you’re that close the fear disappears. I just wouldn’t let go because I wasn’t done. I wasn’t done loving my husband and my kids. I wasn’t done living. I do realize sometimes that choice gets taken away from us, but I still feel like I have some say in it all. But when I’m done, and I’ve moved on, what will you do with all my crap?


❤ ~ X

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