Chapter 1: How can I move through this loss?

What can I do with all of the stuff?

I open the closet sometimes just to smell her clothes. I don’t want to give that up.

Sorting through personal belongings and deciding what to keep and what to discard can be agonizing. When we have no choice but to make quick decisions, we can later feel regret and guilt. It is important to remind ourselves that we have done our best.

Everyone responds differently to this task. For example, you may not wash the bed sheets for a long time to preserve the scent of the person who has died. Talking to photos of this person is comforting to some while others cannot bear to open an old photo album.

I can’t imagine going through his workshop. It was always his place and I feel I have no right to touch anything.

You risk getting stuck in grief if you turn your home into a museum or shrine to the person who died.

You might find it useful to sort the person's belongings into these four groups. Items:

  • Special to you that you will keep forever.
  • To give away to someone you know.
  • To donate to charity.
  • To throw out that have no special meaning and are no longer useful.