At some point in our lives we will all experience the loss of a loved one. Robyn Reynolds of Organize2Harmonize knows firsthand that this is all too true. Along with dealing with the loss of the person also comes the realization that we are now responsible for the things they’ve left behind. Some may be treasured and some not so much. No matter if that person is a mother, father, sibling, spouse, family member or friend the “letting go” can at times be just as challenging. The closer the person is to us the harder it is for us to let go of things that belonged to them. Several different emotions come up when it is time to make decisions about the items. We may feel guilty letting their things go or we may feel as if we will forget them by letting their things go, or a variety of other emotions. Whatever the reason, while your feelings are justified, the truth is that the memories are always with us. We just have to come to the realization that the memories don’t live in the “things.” The memories are always in our hearts and always will be. The sooner we realize this, the easier the process becomes.

The “things” are just a representation of something. Something, that goes much deeper than we may even realize. When I work with a client on letting go, we do a lot of talking. We talk through the process of why they are holding on to the item/s. What does it mean to them? What does it represent? How does the item make them feel as well as the idea of letting it go? Why is/are the item/s so important? During this process it is normal for emotions to run high and it can get very overwhelming. Once we’ve had our talk we then start going through each item and discuss them. In addition to the previous questions we discuss if it has a purpose and is it really needed, not just wanted but actually needed. Does it have a purpose?

There are several reasons why we shouldn’t hold onto an excessive amount of things.
1. They can potentially create clutter and lots of it
2. They can be stressful for the person and at times for their family
3. They can be physically and emotionally unhealthy
4. This could be a sign of living in the past

When the excess gets to the point that it takes over your living space and creates unnecessary clutter, this is a sign that there is a need to let go. This can also sometimes have a profound effect on our health . In addition, there is the obvious emotional stress as well as the physical stress when it accumulates so much so that dirt and dust collect in excess. So the stress it puts on your health and your life is not good for you or your family.

Holding on to everything can also be a sign of living in the past and not wanting to move forward or not able to move forward. None of this is what your loved one would want. I can guarantee that your loved one does not want you to be stuck in the past and not moving forward. Being stuck in the past is not a way to live. In order to move forward you have to let go of the past.

There are several reasons to let go.
1. Your loved one would want you to
2. Your life is moving forward
3. To be stress-free

It is perfectly acceptable to want to keep something that belonged to your loved one. What is unhealthy on many levels is to keep everything and not want to let it go. The last thing anyone is asking is for you to forget your loved one. By releasing the items you allow more love and light to enter your life because it can now be received. There is now space for the love and light to come in. It is a process. It won’t always be easy but it will definitely be worth it.

How to Let go of “Stuff” when Grieving

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