lightening the burden of organizing

when i was about fifteen, my maternal grandmother died suddenly as a result of a car accident.  after the initial shock, and some weeks after the funeral itself, it was time to deal with the stuff of my grandmother's life.  namely-- her clothing.

my mother, a close family friend, and i took my grandmother's clothing out of her closets and drawers one piece at a time-- holding them up, crying at times over our memories and our loss, laughing at other times-- also over our memories.  we told stories, shared our thoughts and feelings-- as we sorted my grandmother's things into several piles-- 'give-away', 'keep', and a pile to give to special friends who would appreciate certain of my grandmother's things.

my memory is that it took us a few hours a day over several days.  i remember those days as being filled with laughter, sadness, and connection among those of us left to sort my grandmother's things.

these days i regularly do this same process of sorting with clients.  often clients need help with organizing-- especially after  a major change in their lives-- the thought of going through all their stuff is far too overwhelming.   they need help with deciding on the piles, and with getting started sifting through their things.   but still, we laugh, we chat, we tell stories-- it is meant to be fun and to lighten the burden of organizing things.

and at the end of the visit everything feels better.


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