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Being Faced with my Loved One’s Belongings During this Pandemic

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

On a normal day in grief, we are faced with our loved one's belongings at the turn of every corner in our homes. The vase they liked, their hairbrush still in place, their car still in the garage. These constant reminders bring some of us comfort and others sadness and many of us both feelings at once.

During this pandemic, these items feel all-consuming as they glare at us, along with the four walls that we are now accustomed to being within from physical distancing orders. So, what are we to do to get away from grief for a moment?

Here are 3 options you can consider to escape these constant reminders and turn them into joyful memories.

1. As you come across these items take a moment to write out their story including one positive thing about the item. Think of this memory every time you look at the item and it will turn into a source of joy instead of sorrow.

· I remember when my mom would drink out of this mug every morning and smile at me…

· I remember when my son would throw this ball with me and we would laugh as I purposely threw it into the bushes...

· I remember when my husband would always try to find somewhere new to drive his car. He loved finding new places to explore…

2. Think of people that knew your loved one that would enjoy some of these items. Give them to them and enjoy watching new life happen with these old memories.

· A suit of your husband’s going to a nephew for his upcoming interviews...

· A piece of jewelry going to your daughter to wear…

· The car going to your brother so he can now make it to the store...

3. Put it to use! Enjoy using these reminders yourself and give them new meaning and purpose today.

· Make a quilt out of all your husband’s old clothes. This new quilt brings you comfort as you sleep with his memory every night again.

· Mold your daughter’s pieces of art into a collage to decorate your craft room with her inspiring creativity. Her art gives you a new perspective on your knitting projects.

· Shift your wife’s French press into your onion strainer. She would never have let you and this makes you laugh.

At first glance, these items feel overwhelming and even burdensome but with some new perspective, they bring you new life.

Your Turn

What are some ways you have found to utilize some of your loved one’s items that bring you joy?

For more ideas on how to navigate your loss check out my book: "RESTORED: A Self-Paced Grief Workbook for Your Journey from Loss to Life"

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