In high school, I had an artist friend. We'll call him Jaymz. He drew me this awesome little picture of a lizard rockin' out on a guitar. The drawing was matted with a little cardboard frame. It was very cool. I even copied it onto a small canvas and painted it! I kept both of these items tucked into a folder for years.
This old friend recently tracked me down (thank you Facebook). I was thrilled to hear from him and we've been playing catch up a bit. This, of course, made me think of this piece of art that I know I've moved around several times. Only... I couldn't swear as to whether I have it or not! I don't recall tossing it, but I've tossed a lot of stuff. I looked through some boxes, but I have a few more up in the closet. I'm not able to get them down and since we're moving in a month, I figure it can wait.
Hoarders is an extra inspiration to me. I love the show! I think I could have become a hoarder if I hadn't been bitten by the Minimalist bug. The psychologists often point out to these people that if they get rid of the item, they don't lose the memory. A lot of hoarders feel like they'll forget something or (more often) someone if they let items go. I will obviously always remember these items (and the people that go with them). However, now that I've reconnected with this old friend... if I've gotten rid of these items I have not only affected myself, I've affected a friend. I'm sure he'd get over it, but I'm hoping I still have them.
Might it be different if the item was from someone who had passed away? I'm not sure. I don't feel this burning need to keep something to remind me of a person. At least with the deceased, you don't have to worry about them wanting something back or even to see it. However, in that situation, you might have family members or friends that would appreciate the item. In my minimalist efforts, I've tried to find good homes for things that I felt would be appreciated by people I know. I don't feel like I owe anyone, but its good to be nice.
Have you ever gotten rid of something sentimental and regretted it later? Have you ever gotten rid of a sentimental item and been really proud of yourself?