I stil vividly remember spending days with my mom, sister-in-law, and grandfather going through my grandmother’s things after she was gone. How very adamantly he wanted her things to go on in this life, even when she did not. I’m not as attached to material things as I once was, yet when a person has lived with and used and touched objects I do believe they become sort of intertwined with that person’s spirit for a time.
We each have different ways of interacting with the things around us– from the way we set the table to the way we hang ( or don’t hang ) up our towels. My grandmother’s clothes, while jammed into every available closet space, where meticulously well cared for and carried her scent long after she no longer wore them.
After a loved one is gone, we want to cling to every precious memory and momento. Even the most insignificant little object can carry with it great meaning. But as time goes by, the memories don’t fade, yet our need to grasp those objects close often does. It’s as if our loved ones spirit hangs about as a comfort to us for a while and, when we are ready, it gently lets us go.
These still life paintings by Erin Raedeke brought to life for me this concept of a memorial and spiritual attachment to things and the unique way we interact with not just the things we use each day, but how we use material things to remember the people we love.
All images are via the artist’s website.