My show program on Death Cleaning


Christmas and it's all about life and the birth of the Blessed Infant.

But why just now are we hearing in headlines - "Death Cleaning"?  - in which the ailing or older person keeps their home with things ready for removal upon their death....they actually call it "Death Cleaning" - no.   It is good to keep our things in good order to make things easy on our grieving loved ones, but to call it "Death Cleaning" is like sleeping in one's coffin..."yehhhh pop the  lid on me and carry me out the door..." Yikes...word on this please.  But my word is that the tidied elder residence is very very good , but NOT to call it "Death Cleaning" please....Such thinking and speaking is very bad for the human psyche....brutal, in fact.  There is plenty to say death to us, and to undermine the one required factor:  that all our motives say LIFE !   Our goals be UNgood unless they are good for LIFE!  What do you think?In warm climates one kept burial things near at hand and disposed of their dead and their belongings instantly, to protect the corpse from what heat would do to it - the smell and disease and predatory animals that might happen would make a dignified passing impossible.  

IN cold climates it might be different and time to respect and celebrate the life that had just passed is key.   We write poems, give endowments, spend special times with the family and forever after, we show our love for life in memories of the one who passed, shared with all who might enjoy them.   We support our own lives, when we honor the dead.

But our changing society and its ways is threatening that.    My  widowed godmother died after a brief illness and for ten years had lived in one of the lovely senior condo setups we all like so much for our elders and soon, ourselves, perhaps. She was almost eighty and beloved of spouse and children and many others including me. Attended fun events, church and folk dances and more. Kept a lovely home, was pro-active with her family moments and always paying attention and careful to say the thing that would help.   I loved her.   Two weeks after she died, one would not know she'd ever lived - I was distraught at the rough way of it at her!    Everything out of the unit and all her possessions disposed of or passed to children . NIGHTMARE - so sub-human.  At least 30 days, to give the family that week or two for devotions and condolence and comfort...but NO - she might as well have been the family dog.