As another week of God 52 draws to a close, this writer responds to the simplicity challenge by reflecting on what she learned from sorting her husband’s possessions after his death.
It wasn’t until my husband died that I really noticed all the ‘stuff’ he had accumulated in his relatively short lifetime.
As I started sorting through his belongings, I realised how unimportant and meaningless a lot of it was now. There was stacks of it, and most of it I didn’t feel any attachment to. Apart from of course personal cards and letters, photographs, and a few items of clothing that bring back memories, and that are extremely valuable to me, the rest was just, well, stuff.
I don’t necessarily think he had any more than most of us do. It is poignant that his belongings are nothing to him now, and it did make me realise how much time and money are invested in ‘things’. Without wanting to sound depressing, all the old cliches become very real and true when someone dies.
‘You can’t take it with you.’
‘You realise what’s important in life.’
And so on. I absolutely don’t think it’s wrong to enjoy material things, in fact I think it’s good to appreciate them. I love to have nice things, but genuinely, how much do I really need?
How much of my time do some of my belongings steal? How much importance do I place in having nice ‘stuff’?
Perhaps it is good to take stock, and not wait for a crisis to realise that the only things we can’t live without are the love and support of family and friends and above all a real relationship with God. Those are the things worth investing in.
The author of this article wishes to remain anonyomous.