Memento MoriAndrea Codrington Lippke examines the ways in which our most ordinary household objects continue their lives after we’re gone.

Memento MoriAndrea Codrington Lippke examines the ways in which our most ordinary household objects continue their lives after we’re gone.

“In the end, maybe it’s exactly those humble, uncurated objects that form the real stories of our lives”

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.

Ultimately, it was a hairbrush that triggered my grief—rele...

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