Hoarding seems the wrong word. It conotates seeking stuff, then keeping stuff. Having experienced it directly through my mother, I think it's about NOT BEING ABLE TO THROW ANYTHING AWAY.
Life is cluttered for us all. I am always trying to keep on top of it -- the paper, magazines, advertisements, school materials that come home, mail, etc, etc. Then there's the debris I invite into my life -- items that come in excessive packaging, clothes I enjoy once and year but still, I want to hang on to. I am constantly staying on managing it: keep or recycle or throw it out....
My mother was brillant, adventurersome, sooooo proud. My four siblings and I hadn't been allowed into her house for 20 years. I'm certain no one had been in. She passed away and we ceremonially entered her home knowing that it would be bad.
Her home was as bad as what's being presented, but worse. As we conducted the equivilent of an archeological dig, excavating layer after layer, we found every present we'd ever sent her, most still in their boxes, every grade school assignments we'd every done, every letter we'd every sent her. We found clothes in the layers; I assume it became easier to purchase a garment than find the lost article. There were no aisles to walk through, rather a 5+ foot deep layer everywhere. Her kitchen was non-functional, so the one good thing was there was no food items in the layers, no animals or other horrors.
There is guilt -- how could we have helped her to GET IN CONTROL, have a functional kitchen, have a safe home. I am certain we could never have changed her when she was alive. Yet, I still feel so guilty about "abandoning" her while she was alive.
It's all about letting go, getting control by release. Even without having a problem, life's clutter can be impossible to keep at bay. I have a quote by Dinah M. Craik I keep around to help me:
"Keep what is worth keeping and with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."
posted 3 years, 9 months ago
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