I had a very weird encounter last night. I am still trying to process how I feel about it.
I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend of mine and the bartender introduced us to a young man she knew sitting next to us. After a little bit of small talk, I realized that I had met him before. He is the son of one of my clients......that is not unusual in this small a town....but his reaction was.
When I reminded him of when me met he said "OMG! you're the woman that made my mother throw away all of my baby pictures!" I felt like I was slapped in the face! I did no such thing!
I think he saw the look of horror in my eyes because he quickly apologized and explained his exclamation. When he saw his mother sorting through, and choosing her favorite photos so that she could keep the best of the best and edit out the ones of people whose names she had forgotten, or with eyes closed, or random scenery......he saw her discarding his life.
I don't remember him being rude, confrontational or even seem remotely upset, but he told me that he had often thought about what he would say to me if he saw me again.....and here was his opportunity. What he said was "I get it. It has to get done but if it were up to me, I would have asked her to keep everything! It has nothing to do with you."
I then pointed out the obvious: It would have to be sorted through some time and was he going to do it? He decided that he would box it all in storage and then pay someone to do it. I laughed out loud at that.......until he realized what he had said......that he had just come full circle. If it was not me and his mom, and it was not going to be him.....someone was going to do it.
I deal with other people's things all the time. It is so easy for someone else to tell you what to keep and what to part with. This was a HUGE reminder that as an organizers it isn't just "stuff" I deal with, it's memories, baggage, family heirlooms, successes, creations, and as delicately as I handle these things.......it may still cause someone pain.