An empty pair of shoes sat neatly by the door. Coats hung on the rack. Everything is just as it was left but nothing is the same. A favorite pair of jeans or leather-bound notebook remnants of the person who wore and held them last. Upon first glance, everything seems as it was, but silence fills a once awake and alive home, and nothing is really the same. Memories tucked away in the deep files of our brain pour wildly and chaotically into the forefront of our minds. As if the frantic review will somehow will their existence to reemerge but it doesn’t and it won’t though it is the same memories that will blanket you in comfort when the raging sea of grief sets in.
There is sadness in the way that things are the biggest artifacts of a life lived one of the few tangible things to prove they were here once. The shoes were once filled and worn to do small things and big things, a pair of shoes now empty look like a gaping void that can never be filled again. Just shoes, but a reminder that the person who wore them will not return to place them neatly by the door again. They do not need it anymore. Every ounce of material possessions are now abandoned. People will fight not for the memories but over the things to add to all of their things that will all be abandoned too someday in their absence.
Sentimental value attached to suddenly random things is priceless now. More valuable than a rock sat in metal, are the stories and the places and the experiences. The reminder that living life and making memories are the biggest things you leave behind. The mark that will be made in generations to come from stories and traditions handed down, mannerisms and values planted deeply in the hearts of others. The stuff will disappear one day eventually lost, scattered, and just gone. Every remnant of every physical thing will be gone in enough time and no one will ever know we were here. The perpetual cycle of empty shoes and unfilled seats, pictures, and things will continue for as long as time continues, and the truth that remains is that none of the stuff ever mattered in the first place.