Letting go of the Handbag.

 
My Mums most precious possession, in green of course.

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.

A bright pink rose for my Mum.

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.

My happy place, the beach.

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.

 

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22 thoughts on “Letting go of the Handbag.

  1. I really love your writing, very honest and beautifully put. It’s been 11 years since my mum passed, it’s been one hell of a journey and every day is a progression. Of course, now it’s not as raw as it once was. It’s funny about the handbag, the last Christmas present she bought me was a lovely handbag, it’s pretty tired now after so much usage but I will never get rid of it. I like it, even if it is in the cupboard 🙂

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  2. Thanks for your feedback. I am pleased you like my writing! Sometimes it feels no one else reads my posts! But I think it’s more likely people read them but don’t actively interact. Thanks for commenting, it means a lot to me. I love writing and will keep writing for as long as I have the words to express 🙂 xx

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  3. Yes I understand , I wear my mothers ring always,she wore it when she died,.i still have Sandy,s wallet withe cards and receipts,also his grey wooly jumper he always wore that I knitted for him. A memory thing for me.

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  4. I think even if you keep it forever, that is not a bad thing. There is no reason to let everything physical go. A few memories are lovely. I never use my Gran’s dinner set, but I move it with me from house to house and every time I see it on the bookcase, I am reminded of how much I loved my grandparents and how much they loved me. Keep the bag for as long as you need to and as long as it fills you with lovely memories xo

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  5. So many things ring true in my own life, and it’s very brave to put yourself out there with such personal thoughts. I’ve only done one post related to this and it took me a long time to get it right and I felt so vulnerable once it was out there but the comments from people made it worthwhile. I constantly feel I’m talking to a brick wall so yes you’re right, when someone comments you know you’re being listened to! I shall be reading as long as you’re writing 🙂

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  6. Thanks so much. I feel I have been very personal with my writing, but really who am I going to offend? It’s just me now! I am aiming to reach out to others who have lost, writing is really helping me too. Hopefully my topics will become brighter and brighter. It was hard to post the Poem one, as it felt too depressing, but it’s true, it gets like that sometimes, life goes up and down! It’s up right now as I am travelling so that’s good 🙂 have a great day and thanks for your feedback xx

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  7. True. Its a little handbag and I keep her even more personal things in there like her jewellry and things. I cant get rid of her purse either. That is also a tricky one! Mmm miss my Mummy xxx

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  8. That is very kind of you 🙂 , though my Marie Kondo book arrives tomorrow and I’m determined to get this right on my own. I think her specific outlook is what I need to restructure how I view possessions. I will let you know how it goes though, since you seem to completely “get” it 😉

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  9. OKay! well happy to help! I want to see if I can be helpful using this method. Could be a new business option for me! Online decluttering! ha! What a great idea. Declutter from your computer! Nothing better than physically removing the junk though. Something really powerful I learnt, pick up every item of clothing, or thing you are deciding to keep or throw, work out if you really love it. If you dont really love it then chuck it! Feel joy from every possession, or chuck it. Love this simplicity. Wish it was that easy. I am moving house soon and I am salivating at the idea of being able to throw so much crap away!! YES!! 🙂 haha! I may be as mental as Kondo… no she wins hands down. You will see when you read her book, and be sure to tell me how you go! I ate it up in a few days, would have been less but i was saving it as i was travelling! 🙂

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  10. You’re right, ha ha! You might be onto something 😉
    Simplicity is my ongoing goal, one day I will get there. I can imagine your excitement about moving. That’s a great time to evaluate material clutter. The feeling of removing tons of crap from your life is so liberating. You are getting me so excited about the book. I can be a bit mental too. My husband is a complete slob and finds my mental OCD moments endearing (as long as they aren’t aimed at him 😉 )

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  11. Kondo clears and cleans her whole family space until they literally BAN her from all tidying!! she can only tidy her room! Can you imagine?? A parents dream!!! A tidy child that tidies everywhere!? Miracle!!

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