It’ll end up out on the curb

When I was traveling in California in 2009, an elderly woman told me about one of her friends who had recently died. The woman said her friend’s kids sorted through all her friend’s stuff, grabbed what they wanted, and then piled all the rest on the curb for garbage collection.

I could tell the woman sharing the story felt hurt by this. “I hope they don’t do that to my stuff when I die,” she said, “just put it out on the curb like that.”

It is a gloomy thought.

As I considered it, though, I realized that instead of worrying about people doing that to my stuff, I felt more worried about caring that much about my stuff. I don’t want to be the kind of person who’s that attached to it. I don’t want who I am to be tied to the stuff my kids might dump out on the curb.

So I’ve tried to separate the memories from the things. A couple years ago, I did another purge, throwing out some trophies, a few photos, some clothes. I took pictures of the trophies, scanned the photos, and didn’t worry about the clothes. Everything went digital. It’s less to ¬†carry with me the rest of my life.

The more I do this, the less I have, and the less I have to worry it’ll end up on the curb.