A cleaner was called to an urgent job in a large house in an unfashionable suburb. She was to prepare the house for sale; at the end of the week, a photographer would come to take pictures for the newspaper ads. The cleaner knew only the most basic facts: that the house belonged to a woman who had died and, although she was survived by children and grandchildren, they wanted no keepsakes or hand-me-downs. Nothing at all to remember her by.
The cleaner approved of this approach. Why waste time sorting through heirlooms with no value, only to box them up and store them in a garage, burdening the next generation? The cleaner did not believe in phrases like ‘One day I might …’ or ‘It could come in handy if …’ Uncertainty was terrible, but sentimentality even worse. Better to purge it all and move on.
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