Thursday, August 05, 2010

Moving and Life Review

When people know they are about to die, they and their family often go through a process called "Life Review", where they talk over the high and low points of their life and reflect on them. As both a chaplain and priest, Dave has had the privilige of hearing many people's final reflections.

I find that moving often leads to a similar process, as I find and sort through things that are precious to me. Here's a few examples:
Items found in my messy bathroom "stuff" drawer: Heart Shaped Box (purposely referring to the Nirvanna song) given to me for my wedding by my friend Maya, Aaron's baby hair, Dave's Grandmother's necklace in the original Woodward's box, my Grandfather's carpenter tool from the 1920's or 30's, a metal box my friend Kym brought back from Korea, and Emma's newborn hospital bracelet.

It was funny, because as I was rummaging through this drawer seperating these treasures out from bits of magazine articles, empty tubes of lipstick and stray buttons, Andrew kept asking me, "What's that Mom? What about this? Where did you get this from?". I wanted to just send him away (and I did several times), but then I realized that this was a valuable moment to pass down some pieces of myself and my family history to my son. So I took some deep breaths, slowed down and let him carefully handle each object while I told him the story behind it.

On the other hand, I also packed up my sewing area, including my sewing machine. As I packed up the sewing machine, the motion felt almost automatic. It reminded me of my old houses and appartments in B.C. when I stored my machine in its box, and only took it out to stitch myself the occasional dress or blouse (commercial ones never fit me properly). This reminded me of all the times we moved around in those early years, and how this sewing machine had travelled with me through all those places, to this house, where it had become my consolation and entertainment.

Packing up your stuff and letting go of your present life, while preparing for a fresh start is a big undertaking. I'm glad I have the space and time to do it myself.

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