The Art of Remembering: Keeping Stuff That Matters

Posted by Lisa Stevens on

This was my second attempt at last week's blog...the third I shared, this is the one I wrote directly after the loss and kept to share this week.

I am going to start this blog by saying I wrote another whole blog about the same topic...only to lose it because I hit a wrong key...a little ironic considering this blog is about loss. hahaha So, while this is a second attempt, which I do not feel is as goes....and know I will be hitting the save button after every paragraph. hahahaha 

Dealing with loss is very individual, although l imagine there are similarities among people. It might also depend on what type of loss. There are several ways to "lose" someone.

Today I am going to write about how I deal with the material items left behind after a loss. The loss may be from death, drifting apart or fractured relationships. 

First, loss by death. I lost my grammy, whom I loved dearly, years ago to death. I have several items that were hers while she was living as well as gifts she bestowed upon me. I am a little bit of a hoarder when it comes to items from my grandmother, I hold onto them, even if not practical or useful, solely for the purpose of having them to remember her. Every time I look at the objects, I am reminded of how much love there was between us, and how I miss her. While this may make some people sad, it brings me joy being reminded (almost daily) of her. If I had not held onto these items, would I remember her as often as I do now, because of having them? I understand that some people find the memories too painful, and would rather not keep these memorabilia around, but for me I choose to have them and enjoy them, knowing she would want me to. 

The second kind of loss is from drifting happens to almost everyone. Even good friends and family can lose connection, whether from distance or just life's paths. These are usually not intentional loss on either side, it just happens. I have a few friends whom this has happened with over the years, and I keep their gifts as a reminder of how blessed I was to have been called their friend. It is lovely to grab a favourite Christmas decoration, knowing a good friend thought of me when purchasing it for me so many years ago. 

The last kind of loss is more difficult to discuss. This is the intentional loss of friendship/relationship, usually related to hurt on one side or the other. But yet...with this one, I do the same thing. I hold onto the items, even though initially I do want to rid my house of them...but I hold onto them because with my age, I have the wisdom to know that time does heal some, not all, wounds and I have never regretted keeping items but have regretted getting rid of them. I also know that some relationships get mended, and acting too fast can cause regret. I hold onto these items to remind me of better times with this person, to remind me that I once was in relationship to them or who they used to be....and while negative memories may pop up, usually the good ones are the ones I am reminded of in regards to material gifts. 

How do you deal with material possessions after a loss? Does it matter what type of loss it was? Or do you deal with them all the same, regardless? 

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