My grandfather passed away this spring. He is the closest family member I have lost in over a decade and it hasn’t been an easy couple of months. I was over my grandma’s this morning working on cleaning up her landscaping and flower gardens and I looked around their large house and garage both filled with all of his things – clothes, tools, shoes, paperwork – and it made me so sad. I couldn’t help but think: he spent his life acquiring all of these worldly possessions and none of it matters now. Literally, he could not take one single thing with him.
And those of us he left behind, we’re definitely not sitting around talking about all things he had; but rather, we talk about the memories he created with us and the love he showed us. That’s what’s left. My grandma now has the job of sorting through a whole house full of his things and figuring out what to do with it all – a daunting, time-consuming job and not exactly a pleasant task.
Before he pass away, he had been sick for some time and told my uncle, “I guess I’ll just live until I die.” We spend much of our adult lives working, working, working to acquire houses, cars, clothes, furniture…and none of it matters. Moments like this make me pause and really absorb the fact that life is meant for living. We are meant to experiences moments, create lasting experiences with the people we love most. We should take chances and not be afraid to make a mistake because this is it. We each are here for such a short amount of time and then poof, you’re gone.
You can’t take anything with you. But you can leave love and memories behind you.