I cannot get rid of my Mums handbag. My Mum died just over a year ago and I think I have done a good job in disposing, sharing or passing on the majority of her treasured possessions; but the handbag is a block for me. I cannot let it go.
My Mums handbag is a very personal item. She carried it with her everywhere and she felt highly insecure if she didn't have it within arms reach at all times. Even in the security of our own home she would hide it in a cupboard just in case a would be robber came charging into the house and stole her worldly belongings in this soft leather treasure chest.
I always bought her handbags every time she wanted a new one. I bought a lot of things for my Mum; I liked to look after her and buy her things she wanted and loved. This particular green handbag is the last one I will ever buy her, and one she loved very much. It snug perfectly under her arm, the soft leather was of excellent quality, and the shade of green, of utmost importance, was perfect. As I am obsessed with the colour blue, my Mum was obsessed with green.
When my Mum walked out of her home of 23 years with only her handbag on her arm one fateful autumn day last year, she would never return. As the cat sat in curious wonder, watching as my Mum was loaded into the back of an Ambulance, handbag still on her lap, this was my final memory of her leaving her precious home.
Once she got to the hospice the bag sat in a cupboard, no longer useful, because nothing needed to be purchased. I brought her handbag home with her purse and more personal belongings when she died, and there it remains in the top of my cupboard. I see it most days and miss seeing it hung upon the slim shoulder of its rightful owner, my Mum.
On the one year anniversary I held an ashes ceremony with my closest of friends. I reluctantly and with a lot of anxiety carried her ashes from the house one last time. The ceremony went really well and I feel like I did just the right thing to remember her. The location was perfect and I feel like I can now go to her special place at the beach to 'spend time with her', as can her friends. Surprisingly when I came home from the ceremony, my room felt lighter. I had let her go, by one more little inch. I felt better for it. And I know she felt thankful for my actions. She was at peace.
I cleared out the house of old furniture, clothes, stuff and knick knacks within months of my Mums passing. The whole house was renovated by my lovely landlady, which served to renew and change the energy of my home now. I am still living here, and in fact I sleep in her old bedroom. It's not that weird, only a little bit. I feel like I am most connected to her in her room; I like it in fact.
I do feel like it will be time to move on soon. Perhaps early next year. I need to let go even more and move on from my childhood home where all my memories of my Mum during my teenage and adult years were created.
This will be a challenge. Even the mere thought of it spikes my anxiety. I don't want to let go just yet, not entirely. I am not ready.
I am not even ready to move yet, but when I do I would really like to live by the ocean. The calming soothing sound of the waves on the shore, and the convenience of being close for easy beach walks and swims is enticing and motivating.
But the handbag has to stay. Perhaps I will keep it forever. Perhaps one day I will have the strength to let it go. For now it remains in sight and in memory as a big emotional and physical remaining piece of my beautiful Mum.
What have you kept from your loved ones that you simply cannot let go of? I would love to hear your responses in my comments below. Help me let go.
Love Anit xx
“Life is a fine balance of holding on, letting go, and knowing when to do which of the two.” ~ Anmol Andore Quotes.