hp-pictures-020.jpgWhen we lose someone we love, we often struggle to integrate the items we treasure from their life into our life. For me it was difficult to let go of anything at the beginning, or to even comprehend what I might be willing to give away. Every decision was deeply painful and there were tears each time I donated ANYTHING, most especially his gorgeous clothes. It took me nearly a full year to begin donating my father’s clothes to charity. I did keep some treasured clothing items and even today, nearly four years later special shirts and pants that he wore, which I loved, remain hanging in my closet where I can see them and touch them when I feel the desire.

It was a challenge to begin letting things go, I started with treasured items for the family, giving each of them things I knew would be significant to them, and hold special memories for them. My father’s watches, cuff links, a gold bracelet and his golf clubs went to immediate family members. I also shared special decorator items from his house and soon now some of his special furniture will go to members of our family to treasure as I make the transition to a smaller home.

At first this year as I began downsizing I cried over each item that left the house, I’m certain a couple girl friends thought I was nuts as I called them crying over the things being donated or sold in my home. When I finally held a yard sale, three and a half years after his death I had to really focus my energy and intention on allowing things to be sold, and saying with heart felt intention that I was grateful this beautiful item could find a new home, where it would be treasured by a new owner. It was helpful to let some of it go and with time it has become easier to donate and sell items that I just do not need. Just a couple weeks ago I donated quite a number of building supplies to Habitat for Humanity in my area. That felt good and helped me to realize the items dad had that I just don’t need can help others improve their life. He would like that. He was always a very generous man.

That same kind of feeling was one that allowed me to finally donate his clothing a couple years ago. He wore nice clothes, that were well made and quite handsome. I knew as I packed them up to donate, (a couple boxes at a time, over a period of months), that those very nice dress shirts, pants, shoes and jackets would help men who were in need, who were looking for nice clothing to wear to interview for a job, or to improve the wardrobe they had. Those feelings of doing something positive helped me to release my need to keep everything. I can’t say there weren’t tears, there were many indeed, but eventually I felt I was making the right choice in making them available to help others less fortunate. One thing I knew my father had always done was donate clothing and household items to charity. I knew he would approve and be pleased as I made those steps to help others and begin my own healing.

As I move to downsize this year I have given a great deal of thought to which pieces of furniture and which decorator items my father owned will most suit my home and my style. Some items were immediately obvious, I had always adored them and knew immediately I wanted to integrate them into my new home. Others I had to really think about, and some even though they were not my true favorites were hard to release, because I knew my father loved them. A few I still struggle with and with time I will reach resolution.

My family is pleased to be receiving beautiful household furniture that my dad chose and loved. My step brother will enjoy the pool table my dad loved and my uncle and aunt the kitchen table and couch that graced the kitchen and family room. I will always treasure his bedroom suite and a wonderful palm screen room divider, as well as many other special pieces. My love of tropical pieces fit some of my dad’s style so several pieces work out very well for my new down sized environment.

It is never easy to move beyond the pain of our loss, and to create a new beginning for ourselves. I have struggled mightily to reach this point, but when I looked around the other day in my new place starting to be graced with special things that were a mixture of mine and my fathers I felt at home. I could see his chandelier, and a statue of a kissing couple that I had always loved of his, as well as some of my own things, including a painting, painted by a friend of a hawaiian beach. It began to feel good, like a new beginning in my life.

That isn’t to say it’s all comfortable, far from it. I still struggle in some moments, letting go of the life I’ve had for the last three and a half years. I will miss parts of it deeply, yet I began to see a new beginning last week and that felt very good. I will find a way through the difficult and painful moments and move into my new place with a sense of him with me, in the things he treasured and the love he used to create beauty in his life. I will always look at the special treasures and feel a measure closer to him in my new environment.