23/02/2017 08:02 GMT | Updated 24/02/2018 05:12 GMT

Dear Dad, I Forgive You

Dear Dad,

I forgive you.

I forgive you for the mess you left behind when your body and will gave up. Your death was sudden to me, the extent of your illness kept from me by mum so as to protect me as I was so far away.

New Zealand is so very far from home, but I would have got on the next plane in a heartbeat to tell you once more that I loved you.

Even though you had barely a penny to your name you had a rich heart - and a home full of collectables to show for it.

I know that you believed you were looking after us, in your own way. Investing in so many items across so many genres in the hope that when your time came up we would profit from your collecting.

I know you probably didn't have eBay in mind but where else will I find people who are into militaria and Star Trek?

I forgive you for your lack of cataloging. Each box I've found stacked with military figurines has been a lesson in history.

I've learned more about the Napoleonic era and military characters through history than ever before in my lifetime - and that's after achieving the history award in my GCSE year at school.


The garage at the start of the decluttering

I'm learning about what you were interested in, even though I probably would have rolled my eyes had you tried to engage with me before.

I forgive you for your hoarding, or prepping as my sister has termed it.

You were either prepared for the apocalypse, or the very nature of your hoarding meant you didn't know what you already had.

Whatever, it's meant we've not had to buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper or sellotape this year. We won't be needing to buy any bleach for at least 20 years either, or handwash, pens or rubbish bags.

Sorry but we threw out the pickled eggs from 1988 - they didn't look edible anymore. And the cans of soup you had hidden at the back of the garage from 1987 were in danger of exploding, so they went too.

alison king

One of the more gross discoveries!

I forgive you for everything, as you leaving us has meant the rest of the family has come together.

We've left New Zealand to help mum get your stuff off to new homes.

No offence but I don't think she would appreciate the vast collection of Star Wars starships, or the collection of Third Reich soldiers.

I've reclaimed my old bedroom, except there's a bookcase full of your cricket folders that still needs to get valued.

Your grandson is thriving at the local school and talks of you often, especially when we ask him not to touch your models (you would have been nervous wreck if you were here).

We know you didn't mean to go so prematurely, that you would have loved to have seen your grandson grow up and to be there for my sister's wedding.

But I forgive you for giving up your fight. You have taught me that I don't need so much stuff anymore.

What matters most to me now is relationships and experiences.

I forgive you, I'm sorry, I love you.