I’ve been thinking about death lately. Maybe it’s because friends are helping their parents make decisions about moving out of the homestead and into assisted living. Others are settling estates. The result is that people my age are sorting through stuff of elderly relatives. (I hope our own kids appreciate that I’m saving them a lot of work by doing some of that pruning now.)

Certainly people who move frequently or have garage sales have a leg up on limiting undue accumulation of stuff. BUT, we’ve lived in our current home for about 30 years and it occurs to me that letting go of some of my stuff is starting to feel like part of the grand process of letting go of my earthly possessions in preparation for letting go of life. I hope this doesn’t sound overly morbid, because it is not really with sadness or fear that I hold these thoughts, but rather a feeling of freedom. Eventually, I will be letting go of all earthly possessions and people. It feels oddly comforting to be gradually moving in this direction, object by object.

In a week we will observe Ash Wednesday. “Remember, Susan, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” I have no proof that there is an afterlife, but it is something I have chosen to believe. Either way, the things of this world will be of no use to me after death. The only thing that counts is how I have loved and cared for others.