Woman’s new perspective after massive loss in fire

Woman’s new perspective after massive loss in fire
Woman’s new perspective after massive loss in fire

5 minutes ago

Image source, Jamie Lorriman

Image caption, Helen Chandler-Wilde has released a book about her experience

A woman who lost nearly all of her possessions to a fire told the episode left her with a new perspective on what is really necessary in life.

Helen Chandler-Wilde, from Henley, puts most of her belongings into storage after she broke up with her boyfriend.

But they were lost when the storage unit they were being kept in caught fire on New Year’s Eve 2018.

She has written a book looking at her own experiences and why people’s belongings are so important to them.

The journalist, who now lives in London, thought the episode – which she documents in her book, Lost & Found: 9 life-changing lessons about stuff from someone who lost everything – was initially a joke.

“Things were already kind of terrible and I really couldn’t believe it had happened. It took about half an hour for it to truly sink in,” she told BBC Radio Berkshire.

“On the first night I could remember the big things that I had lost, like my bed, my wardrobe, all of my cooking stuff, my sofa. All of that stuff was easy to remember.

“But it took weeks and months for me to fully think through things that had gone. It would trickle in in bits and bobs. I would think: ‘oh no, I lost my jewelery box so I’ve lost my jewelery,'” she said.

“It would go on and on like that. I would keep thinking about sentimental items I had lost, like love letters that I had got from the boyfriend I had broken up with and pictures of friends through the years and ticket stubs of gigs that we ‘d been to.

“Every single day there were things that I would remember that cut me in a different way,” she added.

She now uses techniques to make sure she takes time to think about buying new things – when she might have bought them impulsively before the fire.

“I think after I got the basics it did show me that a lot of things we think are absolutely necessary are actually optional. It’s just advertising or social pressure that has made us think that they are necessary,” she added.

 
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