Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult in many ways, and you may not be ready to let go of their belongings for some time. It is important to take time to go through the grieving process. However, there will be a time when you must decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Here’s how to make that process a little easier…
How to Part With a Deceased Loved One’s Belongings
Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming, especially during the grieving process. Most people don’t want to think about getting rid of a loved one’s belongings right after the loss. It is important to take time to grieve. You can begin the process of letting go of material items when you are ready.
It may be difficult to know where to start when deciding what items to keep. Sorting through things will surely be a sad reminder of your loss, but memories of happy times will surface too.
You may want to keep everything because you feel like you are betraying your loved one by giving something away. It is important to remember that things are just things and they can be put to better use elsewhere. It is perfectly fine to keep a few items but the best things are the memories you will always have of your loved one.
People often keep items that have sentimental value such as photos, jewelry, figurines or trinkets. Keep items that have value to you, but don’t keep things that will be stuffed in a closet somewhere left to collect dust.
Photos and trinkets can be displayed on a shelf or wall, and jewelry can be worn. Consider keeping items that you can make use of such as clothing and shoes. Keep household items such as cookware and small appliances if you need them. Even books can be used and displayed nicely on a bookshelf.
A few chosen items can be repurposed, such as grandpa’s favorite shirt or sweater into a memory pillow. This is particularly helpful to give to kids or grandchildren that have experienced the devastating loss and gives them comfort.
If the deceased has left behind a large collection of items, such as neckties, they can be repurposed into a memory quilt.
You can easily find a home for many of your loved one’s items by offering them to relatives and friends. This way no one feels left out and everyone is given the opportunity to have something that belonged to the deceased. It is also a nice way to honor the memory of your loved one.
Framing various mementos is a great way to hold onto cherished memories as well.
Consider donating leftover items. There are always people in need of things you can’t use and donating these items to individuals or organizations is another good way to honor the memory of the deceased. Check your local area for places that accept donations. Some organizations that accept big donation items such as furniture or appliances may even let you do so in your loved one’s name.
Moving forward and letting go of material items doesn’t mean that you are forgetting about the deceased. It simply means you have come to terms with the cycle of life and death as we all must do at some point in life. By sharing treasured items with other loved ones and those in need helps you to know that you’ve put your loved one’s belongings to good use.