Chapter 1: Triggers of grief
Special objects and scents
You may find special objects while sorting through a person's belongings. Finding these can often trigger a wave of grief.
Clothing, like a bride's dress or a favourite pair of shoes, can smell like the person who died. This can be comforting and also upsetting. Being hit with a familiar smell can trigger a wave of grief; however, this experience can also be a way to stay connected.
The strong emotions triggered by these special objects will lessen over time. This will be a sign that you are moving forward in your grief.
When the time feels right, you will need to deal with the possessions of the person who has died. If possible, it is best not to rush through this task as the significance of certain items may change with time.
Consider postponing, if you can and only for a time, decisions about what to keep, what to pass on to particular others, and what to give away. Think about getting help, especially from others who cared about your loved one; you can then reminisce as you sort.
For more information, see Module 2, Understanding grief (How grief affects your behavior); Module 4, Moving through grief (Keeping belongings)