Today I gave a key to the estate liquidator.
She seemed like a nice lady who is willing to take on the Herculean task of preparing an estate liquidation sale of the contents of my Grandma's house.
It's the correct, practical thing to do. There is an unbelievable amount of things in my Grandmother's house.
As our family has spent time there since her death, we each took some treasures. They were familiar things, not necessarily valuable things. I am happy to know that my Grandfather's desk is on it's way to one of his Great Granddaughters. I hope she somehow knows the pleasures of sitting at it and "playing office" as I did as a little girl.
My Aunt's paintings are gathered up and passed around............she preceded my Grandma in death......and we still mourn her loss.........and realize what a comfort she would have been to all of us if she was still around.
With photo albums and personal papers removed, I stopped thinking of clearing her house out as an enormous task, which it is, and realized that I was handing over a lifetime of possessions to someone else, who would place a value on them, as is fitting.
But she wouldn't see any of those items through my eyes. She doesn't know which chair my Grandpa sat in, or which one was Grandma's. She doesn't know how crowded the dining room was when we opened the table up and crammed everyone in there for Christmas dinner. Someone would get the extra chair from Grandpa's office, and the one in the front bedroom.
They are just things. But they are snapshots of moments and memories of childhood. And all the happier days before Grandma's heart was broken when her daughter died.
I realized all this as I stood this afternoon in the basement, and understood that the next time I came by, it wouldn't look like Grandma's house anymore, and I understand why they recommend that families don't come to the estate sale.
I bit my upper lip, and let it go.