Is It Really Just Stuff?

Is It Really Just Stuff?


Recently, my hometown of Calgary went through a devastating flood.  The images and videos have been truly amazing.  While some parts of the city have been untouched (like my area), others look like a war-zone.  I have been truly speechless watching the TV coverage, listening to the radio coverage…a true crisis for many, many people.

Alberta Flood 2013

Just after the flood hit, I saw this post on Facebook that stated the following:

Today is a disaster for so many in Calgary – and Southern Alberta – and parts of BC – and elsewhere. Damn.

Fortunately – no loss of life reported. The rest is “just stuff” – which is going to be hard on many – but there is little doubt the people and communities will come together to help those with out insurance or support.

In the meantime – its a time for patience / tolerance / support / understanding / friendship.

(*comment taken directly from Facebook post*)

The statement above, “…just stuff…” is what caught my attention.  I know I’ve used that statement in the past so I’m not surprised it caught my attention.  While many people have lost their entire homes, I thought it was pretty gutsy to make a statement like that during this time.  I had a few of my close friends who saw this post ask me my opinion of the comment.  So, here is my opinion:

I truly believe that nothing matters more in this world than family, friends and relationships  (human life).  That being said, I am extremely fortunate that my family and myself did not loose anything in this flood.  I have never suffered a loss like this!

In a previous blog article The Cost of Keeping Things – A Hoarding Story, I had told our hoarding client a story of a family that lost their home in a fire:

We recently had a family in our community lose their home to a house fire and they lost everything.  Everything that is, except their family.  When people were helping them out they kept on saying, “…but none of us were hurt so everything else can just be replaced.”  

So, in a way, I do believe that it is all ‘just stuff’.  As people start to go back to their homes, some putting their entire contents into a dumpster, it still doesn’t take away the shock of it all.  It is so surreal!  There truly are no words to convey the loss that people are facing. If this was to happen to me would I miss family pictures?  Yes.  Would I miss certain items?  Yes, of course I would.  Would I mourn the loss of my home?  Most certainly!  Would I still have my family?  I sure hope so!

What I am reminded of during this horrible time is that you can buy and purchase all the things you think you need, but in the end, it is family, friends, and relationships that will stand the test of time.  At the end of the day I know it is just stuff we are talking about, but it’s YOUR stuff!  I would not wish this kind of devastation on anyone!  As one of my friends, who has suffered loss in this flood so eloquently put, “It is going to be a beautiful start to something amazing, we are certain of that.” (Tracy Paley)  What an amazing, strong statement; so full of optimism!

Flood VolunteersSo as Southern Alberta begins to rebuild, repair and stand strong, I am personally reminded that I am truly grateful for my family, friends, and the amazing community that I live in.  Seeing roughly 2,500 Calgarians and other Albertans pitch in and help each other out makes my heart sing.  Southern Alberta will rebuild and will continue to be stronger than ever!

If you feel so inclined, the Red Cross is accepting donations to help the flood victims.

**An update on the Alberta Flood:  As of June 28, 2013, there have been a total of four deaths reported due to the flood**

For the months of July and August, Get It Together will be donating 10% of each and every sale/service to the Red Cross in an effort to continue to help those Albertans who have suffered great loss in the flood.  

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