Some describe the days following the loss of a loved one as a blur. It becomes difficult to separate the days, and those who are grieving often feel at a loss or even detached. There can at once be feelings of super sensitivity and emotion blended with periods of numbness and disbelief.
As the days move on and reality sets in, there is a recognition that there are still things to do. The funeral may be over and your loved ones’ visits may have slowed, yet tasks remain. One of those tasks involves what to do with the personal belongings of a loved one.
First, it is important to remember that organizing, disbursing, or even disposing of the belongings of a loved one is neither disrespectful nor uncaring. It is a part of the process of moving forward. With that thought in mind, here are steps you can take in organizing the belongings of a loved one after they have passed.
Give Yourself Time
Unless circumstances are forcing you to move quickly, take your time. Give yourself permission to grieve. Rushing may only enhance the uncomfortable feelings you may have about the process. You don’t want it to take weeks, but there is usually no need to have it done with a sense of urgency.
Develop a Plan
Many will sort a loved one’s personal belongings into those that have great meaning and those that don’t. Sure, everything attached to someone you’ve loved will have more meaning now that they are gone, but there is a big difference between their heirloom watch and that package of new socks they had yet to open.
Ask for Help
Some prefer to go through the process alone, yet many can benefit from having some help from a close friend or relative. They can not only provide some compassionate company and a fresh point of view but also, believe it or not, some laughs and smiles during a time of grief.
Begin the Sorting Process
Your first priority will be to select the items that have the most meaningful value to you. You may also discover other items that your loved one would want a certain individual to have. You may even ask those close to you if they would like to select something. Items that are not selected by you and those close to you can be sorted into items for sale and those that will be donated. If you are unfamiliar with the value of any collections like coins, stamps, sports-related memorabilia, and other items, get an appraisal before selling or otherwise disposing of them.
If you are uncomfortable having a sale of leftover belongings, you can enlist the help of family or friends, or simply donate them to one of a variety of charities that accept donations.
You certainly may have a sense of sorrow through the process, but there is no reason to feel guilty about taking the natural steps in moving on.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, it has been our honor to serve families in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for generations. If you and your family don’t have a funeral home during these difficult times, we would be proud to serve you.