Dad’s Watch

Dad’s watch has become my most prized possession, since the day I cleared out his closet along with my mother.  As the two of us, rummaged through his personal belongings, I picked up his watch, an old self-winding piece that had stood the test of time for over sixty years. And just seeing, touching and wearing that watch brought back a flood of memories and feelings.

Going through the dead man’s closet

If the death of a loved one is heartbreaking, then going through that person’s personal belonging post death is equally heart- wrenching.  It took mom and me over six months to clean out dad’s belongings. Through the entire process of sorting, there were moments when mom would shed tears and look around her, as though she sensed his presence around. There were memories of him as we spoke of bygone days together, and finally there was that moment when we realized we must simply let go.

And we must let go

We began sorting out his stuff into “keep”, “throw” and “donate”. But by the end of the day we had realized that the box marked “keep” was almost full, whereas the other two boxes barely had items. We didn’t want to let go, and surely wanted everything that once belonged to him- an old pair of socks, a worn out shirt, an accounts ledger in his handwriting, a pair of shoes which would seldom fit any of us. There were innumerable other things such as coat buttons, comb and hankies. Finally, on seeing the pile that lay in front of us, mom decided that it didn’t quite make sense to hold on to each and everything that belonged to him. It was best each family member picked up one item of Dad that they liked.

Time is surely eternal

Of all the things that lay in front of me, I picked up Dad’s watch. An old self-winding watch, it belonged to my grandfather and Dad had picked it up when grandfather had died. At that moment, there was this sudden sense of calmness that seeped through me. The watch on my wrist, I felt the need to let go and move ahead in life. The watch had witnessed the vagaries of time. It had moved on from, death to life, to death. I realized, the only thing eternal in this universe is time. And surely years later there may come a time, when the watch shall pass hands yet again, when my time shall end.

*Image Source: Pixabay

My Hero


  1. This touched me so much, Ramya. Time is the only that goes on, with or without us. Holding on to a piece of something that belonged to our loved ones means so much to us, right? All I have from my dad is a little piece of paper he wrote down his medicine’s name. He gave it to me to buy his medicine. That note is all I have of his.

  2. Just one thing each? :O
    But that’s so little!
    I still have so many things of mom… some of her prettier saris, her wedding lehenga, her jewellery (naturally), her hand-written collections of recipes, my baby record book written by her…
    Their spirit stays with us in all the things they once used, doesn’t it?
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @

  3. Such a well told story. I know the feeling. After my mother died a couple years ago, my siblings and sorted through her stuff. We all kept some for ourselves. I still have some stuff I want to go back through and figure what to do with it.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  4. This is such a poignant and heartfelt read. True, it’s hard to let go of possessions of our loved ones for we try to keep them as subtle reminders of their presence.

  5. I was missing my dad so badly these days and you came up with this post. I am speechless. I was nine months when i lost my father. I don’t remember a thing, and seen his photos only. Memories and belongings are something to be cherished.

  6. A straight from the heart post from a daughter and I know dear what you meant when you said it is not easy to let go. It’s more than 10 years but I still hold my mom’s saree so close and spend hours with them on days when I miss her a lot.
    Truly Yours Roma

  7. Well written, poignant and moving. It’s tough letting go of loved ones. Thanks for sharing so candidly.

    Here from the A-Z and your post touched my heart.

    Theme : Arabiana

  8. I understand the feeling…I sat with my closest friend looking at her mom’s stuff, after she lost her to a long illness. I spent the whole day listening to small stories associated with her things. It is so heart breaking that in the end just memories remain. But yea, at some point we have to let go.

  9. I’m tongue tied after reading this one. A sarch has the power to take you back in time and cherish those fond memories. A heartfelt post indeed, more power to you !

  10. I don’t know what to say. This post is so beautiful and heart warming. To lose a loved one is heartbreaking, but to sort their things after they pass away is even more sad. I loved reading this post.

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