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. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-One Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Food Issue 19 My Kitchen Table: Dominique Crenn French-born chef Dominique Crenn knows how to keep a level head and relishes the nights when she gets to cook to her own soundtrack. Food Issue 19 Recipe: Chamomile Cookies When your day is filled with too much excitement, taking time to sit quietly with these calming morsels and a cup of tea could be just the antidote.