We all experience loss. The manner and for how long we grieve is unique to each of us. I have journeyed with many of my clients during these times. I am often asked to help after that “feeling raw” phase has passed and an internal drive to move on begins to surface. It is during this time whenI have seen amazing courage and healing take place. Witnessing this transformation is both humbling and awe inspiring; it is in this state that vulnerabilities surface, choices are made, pain is felt and eventually, life goes on. This intimate journey is painful but necessary if there is to be growth.
Allow time for grief. Sometimes during the grieving process there may be a desire to let go of things as quickly as possible. Whether this is the right decision is really up to each individual. What I have learned is that if adequate time is not given to grieve and things are let go of so as to not have to feel pain, more often than not, there is regret in what was let go. A peaceful letting go is worth the wait if waiting is possible. When my mother died, I felt an incredibly strong need to let go of her clothes. Here’s why. I know myself. I am a wife and mother and I wanted that to remain the dominant force in my life. Not my mother’s death. So about six months after she died, I donated her entire everyday wardrobe. As I packed up the clothes, I found my internal dialog switching to the words I tell my clients, “these clothes are a blessing to someone else”, “someone has been praying for this”, “someone is going to be so happy to find this”. It felt good.
Whose your support?
It is on this journey when having a support team can be indispensable. Friends, family, mental health professionals, a physical trainer, a professional organizer…all these individuals can carry a little bit of weight during a difficult time.
I consulted a friend of mine who is also a professional organizer and told her that I was struggling with letting go of my mother’s scarves. She suggested I hold onto them until I had more clarity. This was remarkable advise, as I would learn this past Christmas, when I was able to let go of my mother’s scarves and give them to my cousin, a gifted designer. Although I gifted the scarves to her, her reaction was the true gift. Her gratitude and love of the scarves warmed my heart. What an amazing gift to be able to let go of these scarves and bless my cousin with them. The feeling I felt as she examined each one, proclaiming their beauty was… indescribable. I felt as though my mother was there giving these scarves to her, loving her through the scarves. It was something I will remember for the rest of my life.
Allow for blessings. Had I rushed myself and let go of the scarves earlier, I would have missed out on that amazing experience. It was the knowledge my friend had about grief, stuff, and how complicated the relationship between the two that guided me. And for that I am thankful.