• No products in the cart.
cart chevron-down close-disc
:

Family heirlooms are bequeathed when we die, but what happens to the other things we leave behind? Andrea Codrington Lippke examines the ways in which our most ordinary household objects continue their lives after we’re gone.

There is an unsettling time after the death of a loved one during which inanimate possessions become unmistakably alive—more alive, in fact, than the person to whom they once belonged. I experienced this last October when, over a 10-day period of home hospice care, my mother went from being a familiar, though very ill, presence, to an entirely alien absence.

A week later, I was expecting a rush of emotions when I sorted through those possessions that were most emblematic of her and was confused by the fact that I felt practically nothing as I made piles to throw away, give away or keep myself. What I wasn’t prepared for was my reaction to the random array of everyday objects that populated her side of the bathroom vanity.

  • Words:
    Andrea Codrington Lippke
  • Illustrations:
    Chidy Wayne

This story appears in a print issue of Kinfolk. You’re welcome to read three stories from each print issue of Kinfolk for free. To continue reading this story, click here.

If you'd like to enjoy unlimited access to our online archive, subscribe here. If you’re already a subscriber, please sign in.

Alternatively, keep browsing Kinfolk.com to enjoy more free content.

  • Words:
    Andrea Codrington Lippke
  • Illustrations:
    Chidy Wayne
Related Stories
kinfolk_vol17_thebloodmenu_ft

When we think of blood relatives, we consider comfort food, handed-down recipes and sharing meals with our families.