Sunday, March 30, 2014

Moving and Keeping Possessions

There are bereaved parents who believe the only way they can move towards healing is to leave their home and find a new location to live and to get rid of all their child’s belongings.

“Too many sad memories,” one mother says. “I can’t bear to pass by my son’s bedroom without breaking down,” says a dad. For them, that is the right choice.

On the other hand, another mom says, “I don’t know if I can ever pack up my daughter’s room.” She refuses to move anything, and it’s been five years.

As it is with grieving, you need to take time to make these important decisions. Don’t rush into anything until you are absolutely sure. And don’t let others tell you what you should do. You must decide for yourself what is right only for you!

I chose to stay put for many years, but I did eventually want to clear her room out, except for precious belongings, jewelry, many stuffed animals, some clothing and memorabilia of photos and trophies that has meaning to me. It means a lot to me to be able to go through all of it whenever I feel a need, particularly on an anniversary or birthday.

I remember when I was ready to get rid of my daughter’s clothes, I had a carport sale. As each item sold, I agonized whether it was the right thing to do. Afterwards, I ended up keeping a few dresses and tops, just so I could feel her close to me. When I found a woman who made stuffed animals out of children’s clothing, I choose a blouse I thought would look good as part of a bear, but when the time came to mail it to the woman to make it for me, I couldn’t do it. I had to keep it and 20 years later it is still in my closet, as is some t-shirts and sweat shirts.

As for the furniture in her room, I loaned that to a friend who needed it for her child. She was thrilled to get it, and I was happy that it was still mine to reclaim when she was done using it. I decided I would keep loaning it out until I decide to let it go.

Make decisions about your child’s possessions and whether you believe it is right for you to move, but don’t be hasty in any of those decisions. Emotions could take over and end up causing you to make a wrong decision. Discuss it with family, friends and relatives, see what they think. You might get some good ideas from them also. Good luck!