I saw an episode of Hoarders once (iffy show I’ll admit, but overall it seems to take a pretty sympathetic stance with the lives it documents), and one of the individuals in question was a woman living alone who was counting down the days until her stage 4 cancer finally ended her life. She wanted to be on the show because she didn’t want her family having to deal with the sheer volume of her possessions after her passing, wanting to relieve them of some of that burden that they would be faced with.
The woman and her story got a pretty emotional response out of me, but something else stuck out that I’m only now realizing and that’s what my legacy is going to be when I die. I won’t have children or nieces and nephews to go through my things when I’m gone, and that’s not something I would want to leave to some of my more distant relations like my cousins and their children to deal with. I’m not going to have possessions that will have sentimental value to anyone that comes after me. Once I go (and I say this assuming that my husband will pass long before I do), that’s it. The only things of mine/ours that will have any sentimental value to anyone else will, hopefully, be our memories: photos and videos. (And as an artist, maybe my body of work if I’m lucky.)
Hopefully, death for me will be a long ways away. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to fill several dozen photo albums by then, acquire beautiful things and use them up myself or pass them onto someone else with my own hands.
And hopefully as many of my things as possible will get used up with me, ceasing to exist when I do.
It’s a nice thought.