Your poem is very personal for me, Maymuuna — my stepmother (the only mother I knew) was a hoarder, as was my previous husband. Hoarding is a serious illness and causes so much heartbreak, confusion, and anger for the friends and family of the hoarder.

My husband and I were still married but separated when he passed. He was still living in our marital home so it was 100% mine when he died. Took me 5 months to clean out the 1,000 sq. ft. house and the 3 sheds in the backyard. I had to rent a commercial-size dumpster. It was filled to the brim by the end and I made dozens and dozens of trips to the dump with a pickup truck.

His hoarding, which got worse and worse as he aged, was one of many reasons I left him. Without me in the house to stem the flow of stuff, it consumed every room, the back porch, the carport, and the 3 sheds.

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I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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