MARTHA Rafferty, daughter of Gerry, pictured, caused a stir on Facebook when she announced that she had sent off some of her late dad's guitars, discs, awards and handwritten lyrics for auction.
"My Dad," she wrote, "kept all his awards in the downstairs bathroom cupboard, so time to let go of a few I think ... Time to clear a space so new things can happen...."
The fans' reactions were interesting. Many said they understood Martha's decision, and others suggested the material be donated to a Gerry Rafferty Museum. A few, however, argued that it was "madness" to part with the lyrics to Baker Street, perhaps Gerry's most famous song.
One wrote that it would be "extremely foolish" to part with them. Lamented another: "Lots of wonderful musical history consigned to collecting dust on some millionaire's 'show-off' wall, or, worse just stuck up their own lofts. Sorry, but this doesn't sit well."
To which you can only reply: surely it's Martha's own business?
"Truth is," she explained in a later post, "there's simply too much. I think the lyrics, awards, etc, will mean more to other people, I had the real thing and that's enough for me."
Later, Martha returned to the subject: "This may be a difficult concept to grasp but the 'space' to which I was referring was not physical but psychological."
As anyone who has lost a parent or spouse knows, deciding to get rid of belongings associated with them can be profoundly difficult. It is a hard balance to strike - between preserving the memory of the person you loved and recognising that, sometimes, you just have to move on.
It's not hard to see what Martha means by "space" being not physical but psychological.
Some of the people on Facebook seemed to understand this. One particular response stood out.
"Brave girl," it began. "I'm just clearing some of my Dad's stuff after seven years and found things going back to his time in the RAF in WW2 ... Dad wasn't famous, but he also was a musician of considerable ability: known only at concerts on Gibraltar and later in disability units and old aged homes...
"I love your Dad's music and I think I have some understanding of the dual emotions involved in parting with a father's things..."
Time, in other words, to clear a space so that new things can happen...
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