So in a couple of weeks we're supposed to all get together to clear out my grandma's house on the farm. In a way I suppose it will provide some closure (she passed in December just days before her 90th birthday) and it will be nice to have a couple of small remembrances of her.
But at the same time I'm not looking forward to the finality of it. You see, she moved into a seniors' apartment over 10 years ago, but left most of her stuff behind because originally the plan was that she was only going to live in town in the winter, and still come back out to the farm in summer. Grandpa passed in 1992 and although my aunt and uncle live next door, she was often alone in the winter because they had four family members who played hockey or ringette. Once she found out that she actually enjoyed living in town and being close to everything the plan never materialized and her house sort of became a guesthouse for my aunt and uncle.
I can't help thinking it's going to be sad to see the house emptied of all her stuff. Over the years I've stayed there a number of times when my aunt and uncle were having a family gathering, and it was comforting to still see all the things I saw when I was growing up even though my grandparents no longer lived in the house. Most of the same furniture, the pictures on the wall, even memos stuck on the bulletin board.
That house is sort of a stable influence for me because it is the only house I've been going to my whole life. We moved a lot, my other grandparents moved a lot, and so did my other relatives. It is the only house I have known since I was born, and it won't be the same without Grandma's stuff in it. I will not walk into that house and know that when I turn the corner I will see that wall of photos, that sewing machine and that bookshelf.
I know it will be sad, but these things have to be done. It is part of life. She had to do it for her parents, one day I will have to do it for my parents, and my children for me. The wheel of time stops for nobody.