The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – Jean Taylor

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

My children have begun to talk
of Swedish death cleaning –
the process of sifting and sorting,
of losing before you are dead,
those possessions they would
rather not have.

They tell me there is a book.

I will read this book, for I want to know
why I should part with the buttons
I saved from their shirts
the photos of them, taken,
when the thought of my death
would wake them sobbing in the night

looking for comfort.

Why I should part
with The Cat in the Hat
or Alice in Wonderland
the Monopoly set with the dog and the boot
their handmade birthday cards
the tooth fairy’s treasure box.

I check on Amazon.

The Swedish death cleaning book
is available in hardback.
If I order it today it should
still be in good shape to pass
on to my children, in due course,
with the rest of my clutter.

I hope they will find it helpful.


Jean Taylor is a writer and paper lover living in Edinburgh. Her poetry has been published in a range of publications including Orbis, Northwords Now, Firth, and Envoi as well as online on Snakeskin, Amaryllis and Ink, Sweat and Tears.

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