So I'm reading this book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, and I am MOSTLY enjoying the bejeezus out of it.
She is funny, she is snarky, at times it's a little dry and surprising -- after writing about her third death cleaning for someone else (her husband had passed and she was downsizing to an apartment), she said:
"It would have been incredibly nice to have had my husband's company to help me get through emptying our home, my third death cleaning. But it was impossible. He was dead."
I love the concept -- cleaning and clearing so that if you were to die you wouldn't leave your family and/or friends with a cluttered mess to clean up on your behalf -- you will have already done it mostly yourself, leaving your home with mostly wonderful things you truly love and not, say, leaving a drawer full of exotic dildos for your grandchildren to find (a real example from the book!).
But there is the rub, the MOSTLY. It assumes that you have children, and grandchildren, to give your things to, to go through your stuff after you pass, to save the burden of cleaning up your cluttered home when you pop off.
The assumption runs deep, as she speaks of the wonderful baby clothes her mother hand-made for her (five) children that she was saving for her own grandchildren, and says:
"I kept some of these items in a box in the attic, in case I was to be blessed by grandchildren. And when grandchildren failed to arrive, I would take the box down remind my lazy children of what I wanted. It worked. I now have eight grandchildren. And no baby clothes in the attic."
That was the only thing that REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. Ah, I see. All I needed was for a parent to wave my baby clothes in my face and remind me of my unfulfilled promise of grandchildren and POOF! Grandchildren! My god, how freaking lazy must I be?
Fury. Total almost-throwing-the-book-against-the-wall fury. But then again, it's a really nice compact paper-over-board hardcover, so I didn't want to damage it. She redeemed herself with the image of grannies passing away with a hidden stash of dildos in their closets (lesson: keep ONE dildo when you think you may be nearing death, fifteen is too many and an unnecessary shock to your descendants).
It just amazes me how some people are so removed from infertility struggle. And how ever-present it is in my life. And how as I read this book, I think, "My goodness, death cleaning is particularly important for us because WHO WILL BE LEFT to help clean out our stuff when we're gone, given we have no dutiful children to (possibly maybe) take on that task?"
Sigh. (But also, enjoying this whole get-rid-of-clutter kick.)
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