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I was walking in Yulara (Central Australia) when strangely, a pigeon swept with a loud flapping noise above my head determined to attract my attention. I knew something had happened. It was a clear sign. Deep in my heart, I knew my mother had left. That night, an email followed to confirm. I booked my flights and left for the other side of the world.
When my cousins picked me up at Brussels airport, they had no problem to recognise me as I was the only person coming out of that flight with a small carry-on bag only and wearing winter clothes – it is currently Winter in Australia but mid-Summer in Belgium. The last thing that I was going to worry about was what to wear!
All went as smoothly as possible in those circumstances. Family and friends gathered for the funerals. Then… it was time to deal with mother’s belongings. That is a Titan task. I am sure that those of you who went through this stage still have items they can’t depart. Those who haven’t, probably hope to push this challenging moment as far as possible away in time.
It is a time of total detachment, on all levels.
It is a time of remembering, healing emotions and letting go.
I packed clothes, shoes bedding and gave it all to mancare. Some books went to second hand shop, expensive leather cover encyclopaedias went to recycling as nobody wants those anymore. I “E-bayed” all I could of her beautiful and quality furniture and decor then finished with a garage sale.
I went through all her manicured photo albums and wondered how many hours it took her to prepare such pedagogical tools, after all she was a lifelong teacher. It made me think of how we handled the photos decades ago, then we printed them all, no choice, so we kept most of them even sometimes those that were blurry simply because we paid for the printouts! Nowadays with the digital photos, we have much too many of them. Yes, they take no physical space, only virtual one. How many of you can say that you sort them out only keep those worthwhile?
In my daily life, I de-clutter regularly and I named my Feng Shui photo-trick : “A year in less than 4 minutes”.
Since 2009 each year, I create a yearly small slide show that fits onto the timing of one song – between 3 and 4 minutes. I gather all the good moments I lived during that year. People are happy to watch photos for a few minutes (only) and it is handy to place it on YouTube to share with overseas relatives. That’s all. No need for me to bother anyone with the thousand of photos of my latest trips, no, let’s keep it simple and short – that’s all what people want. I then erase all excess photos and the ‘delete’ button is popular! Your photos are your story, only a few good ones are important to keep for you and your descendants.
The rest is now gone.
I am free… so is she.
Many blessings, Mum, thank you for everything you did and taught me!