Chapter 5: Your grandparent’s belongings

If you are primarily responsible

When I have a moment when I forget my baba is gone and I want to call her, I pull out a piece of paper and write her a letter. It gives me someplace to put my love when I can’t physically see and hug her anymore.

Feeling numb was disturbing to me, and in such direct conflict with how much she meant to me. I realize now that others have this response too, but at the time, I felt very confused by my response.

The following suggestions may be helpful as you approach what can feel like an overwhelming task. Click the arrows to view.

As you sort

As you go through your grandparent’s belongings, some things may make you laugh or smile; others may surprise you as you discover something about them you did not previously know. Other things may bring tears. All of these reactions are understandable.


Once you are done

When the task is completed, you may feel relief, sadness, or even a sense of accomplishment knowing your grandparent would be pleased with the decisions made on their behalf, or any number of other reactions. Looking back, you may be aware that you were going through the motions of what needed to be done but felt “numb.” This is also not uncommon.

In the end, your memories of your grandparent, with or without some of their belongings, will help sustain you through your grief.