As seen in the Dayton Daily News on October 5, 2019.
I recently read an article where a mother told her daughter she could have her home after she died, but the daughter had to keep her home exactly the way it is. You read that right. The daughter could have the house only if she preserved it, and lived in it with all of her mother’s stuff left intact.
The daughter would not agree to this arrangement. Her mother became very upset. She then approached her with another idea. She would give her home to her (unborn!) grandchildren, but they had to preserve her home as it stands. The daughter refused to agree or listen to any more about the home.
People love the stuff they own in their homes. They become so emotionally attached to it they sometimes prize their stuff above their relationships. I get that our stuff represents our past, family history, good times and our life’s achievements, but many of you are allowing your stuff to negatively interfere with your relationships.
While working with families, I have witnessed arguments between family members disagreeing over where stuff will go once a person is deceased.
During one of my organizing seminars, I talked about letting go of items that no longer serve a purpose in your life. There was a mother and daughter pair sitting in my audience. The mother stood and said, “I am feeling very scared that my daughter is going to give away my grandmother’s quilts that I’ve saved.” The daughter shot up and said, “I’ve told her for years I don’t want the quilts, but she pressures me to keep them.” Her mother burst into tears, “You know they are important to me, you need to save them!”
The quilts are obviously not the daughter’s style. She is not attached to them because she may not have known her grandmother or knows she can remember her without them. I suggested to her mother she find a good home for the quilts with someone who would appreciate them.
After they sat back down, I could see they were both upset. What a shame the quilts were causing a conflict in their relationship.
I turned back to my audience and said, “When you were a child, your parents got to have their home the way they wanted it. When you moved out on your own, it was your turn to have your home however you liked. We must remember when it is our children’s turn, they get to have their home anyway they want them.”
Don’t make what is important to you, important to other people. How would you feel if they imposed all of their personal preferences onto you?
Stop ruining your present, everyday relationships because you’re worried about what is going to happen to your possessions after you die. Why do you upset yourself and others over stuff? Your relationships are more important than stuff.
The mother/daughter pair came to another seminar and approached me smiling. The quilts were going to a niece who would love to have them. The mother put her arm around her daughter and said, “Thank you for reminding me what is most important to me.”
Now is the time to release your children from the pressure of keeping what is important to you.