"I had some things today I was kind of clutching, stuff my mother had given me. I'm still processing my grief, she died two years ago. And I was holding onto this one book and feeling sad - and a lightening bolt hit, I sat on the floor and thought, "She loved you! She totally adored you! And yes, she had a rough old life. And yes, she's gone. But hey, if there is anywhere she'd like you to be it's on Joyful Avenue." So, I'm walking. Taller. Straighter. With less clutching and grabbing. Bye, past. Hello, present."
It's hard for us to let go of people. Whether they move away from us, or they die. Sometimes we hang onto the the things that remind us of someone, hoping we can maintain or get back that connection. But it often makes us sadder because our heart was happy by the person's presence, not by their things. It's hard to extract a person from an object.
I've noticed that a lot of my clients feel better when they let go of these memory objects. Initially there was a defensiveness that didn't want to even consider letting the thing go. But upon simple looking, it became clear that hanging onto the thing wasn't bringing joy. It prolonged the longing. Long term longing is hard on the heart.
When my clients let the memory item go, they become present in their hearts again. It feels like there's an acceptance of the loss. A possessive feeling falls away and there's serenity. That peace of mind allows them to remember the person who's no longer in their life, in an open and loving way.