Dead People’s Stuff

October 25, 2009 at 6:38 pm (Fun, Goth, Life) (, , , , , )

I am surrounded by dead people’s stuff. Sometimes I feel like I live in a graveyard. Sometimes I want to live in a graveyard; especially in the fall, when the cemetery grounds are calm and gray and dreary. I would so fit in with the Addams family. I covet their house.

Next week it is Halloween (Samhain) and El Día de los Muertos. This is the time of year to reflect and honour our ancestors. I don’t have to go far to do this as half of my apartment is furnished with dead people’s stuff.

I’ve been collecting furniture from dead people all my life. (The image that comes to my mind is of me knocking on doors of old houses, Victorian mansions, Gingerbread cottages, etc, and the doors being answered by a variety of ghosts, young, old, ancient, etc. Oh, if only I could draw!)

What I mean is that I prefer to buy second-hand rather than new. I like my possessions to come with stories; even if they are only stories I make up myself.

So, though I can say most of my stuff is second-hand, only about half of it was actually acquired from dead people.

In the living room, there is Ruby’s couch. Ruby was a friend of my moms. She died just after I moved to the city. I bought the couch because it folds out into a bed. It makes my mom think of Ruby but I only see the practicability of having an extra bed.


Also, in the living room is my grandmother’s (my mother’s mother) television. My mom and sister bought it for her when she moved into the home so that she could watch her soaps in the privacy of her own room. Like me, my mother’s mother was a quiet woman. She preferred her privacy.


Yes, the television is too small for the space it is in. I like it that way!

Just down from the television is a table my grandfather (my mother’s father) made. It use to have a linoleum top. About five years ago, I borrowed my sister’s garage one summer and redid the top of the table. It involved a lot of sanding and painting and varnishing. It is not finished on purpose. The incompleteness reminds me that my grandfather chose not to teach me those types of skills because I am a woman. The incompleteness also reminds me that nothing is permanent. Life is mutable, ever-changing and even though, for me, change is not always good, I try to remember that change is necessary.

side table

Under the table is a foot stool that I bought when my small home town’s undertaker died. He lived just down the street from us and I wanted something to remember him by. His only daughter had died young and he always made a habit to say hi and ask after us when we were gone. He was one of the good ones.

foot stool

In the kitchen is Aunt Jenny’s kitchen table and chairs. I also have some of her cooking pots. She was not my Aunt Jenny. She was my pseudo step-dad’s aunt. I never met her. I heard much about her. She lived alone, but for hired help, in her own house until she died. This is how I wish to die – in my own home.

kitchen table

In the bedroom is Ruby’s dresser. Notice how none of my stuff matches. I am not a matchy type of soul. I like the mish mash of this and that. I like the opportunity of making what was someone else’s mine. I replaced two of the drawer pulls, on this dresser, with dragonflies. They fit well, don’t you think?

dresser close-up dresser

Also, in the bedroom is the last comforter my grandmother ever slept under. It is part of my winter bedding because it is down filled and warm, even though it is over fifteen years old.


That is about half of what I own.

There is also:

  • a green rocking chair that I bought at a garage sale,
  • the kitchen table that was my mom’s old table that I use to add more cupboard space to my kitchen,
  • my bed, which was a wedding gift – go here to see my summer bedding,
  • the bookcases I bought second-hand (an amazing bargain),
  • the hope chest my dad gave me for my 16th birthday,
  • a small bedroom cabinet that I bought new (horrors),
  • And two of my mom’s old kitchen chairs.

Oh, and my roll-top desk. I’ve wanted one since forever and finally was able to find one, for an obscene price, at a church sale just after I moved back to the city. I like to think some old lady use to sit here and write long rambling letters to her loved ones.

I like being surrounded by dead people’s stuff; continuing on their stories. I hope that when I am gone someone else will use and love my stuff with the same respect.



  1. Nan said,

    Gosh, this was such a pleasure to read.

  2. Moving: Again!! « Solitary Spinster said,

    […] I moved into my current Saskatoon apartment with a bed, a side cabinet and a rocking chair. Slowly I’ve acquired more stuff (mostly second hand). […]

  3. First Ghosts « Solitary Spinster said,

    […] My current go to author for ghost stories is Joe Hill. I adore his novel Heart Shaped Box and short story collection praising 20th Century Ghosts. In Heart Shaped Box, a man buys a ghost off some online auction site and horror and fear is unleashed into his life. I’m intrigued by antiques and like to make up stories about their past owners. Remember my apartment is full of dead people’s stuff! […]

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