Interiors Therapy & Feng Shui Relationships Clutter

Grief Awareness Week

Dec 06, 2021

I’m thinking today of those whose grief is measured in years and sometimes decades.

A grief set in stone which imposes on thinking, conversations and home environment, long after others have moved on.

I’m speaking of those whose sadness overtakes and defines them to a degree which impacts on their relationships and home. Whose thoughts focus primarily on the past and whom they have lost. 

Where actions and decisions hold them in place and invariably reference the loved ones whose presence is foremost in their hearts.

Even when deep down they know their departed loved ones would want them to live, laugh and love, THEY. JUST. CAN’T.

This intensity of grief is amplified by the possessions they keep, the mementoes, memory triggers and so much more; imposing on their lives and creates boundaries and barriers they are afraid to cross.

When someone who has surrendered their life to grief calls me in, it’s because a tiny shard of light has come into their life – a glimpse of a brighter future they long to be a part of.

They don’t understand how to give themselves permission to move forward but they know without it, things won’t change and they may get infinitely worse.

They could be mourning the loss of elderly parents, grandparents, a spouse, partner, children or treasured friends…

From experience it’s especially tough for anyone who lives alone in the home of the person they have lost. Perhaps they moved in to care for Mum or Dad, leaving behind friends, hobbies and their own space.

When they inherit the house, they experience intense guilt at the thought of making any changes to the home their parent loved. So they don’t.

I work with individuals who, even years after their loss, still feel like visitors in their own home.

Thomas created a nest for himself in the corner of a room, leaving the rest of the house untouched for eight years; a museum of his parents, grandparents and childhood. His emotional attachment to the past kept him in stasis. 

It was too painful to deal with the stuff alone and friends who offered to help were deterred by his overwhelming grief and tears.

When he realised he was about to lose the woman he had found new love with, he invested in Interiors Therapy. 

It took a day to make the breakthrough. He’s now very happily married and loving life to the full.

Matthew lived in a house untouched since his wife passed 20 years earlier. Her book remained on the side table and sewing box by her chair.

The situation was exacerbated by his children who lived abroad, and wanted ‘home’ to stay just the same. 

The man longed for companionship but when ladies visited, his wife’s presence was so strong it felt almost adulterous.

Marian had moved house several times along with china cabinets crammed with trinkets she thought were ugly. 

They had belonged to her mother. Marian was afraid to let the trinkets go in case her late mother would think she didn’t care.

I never underestimate the degree of courage it takes to detach from the emotional ties to possessions.

For the uninitiated, this is rarely about anything valuable. 

It could be the coat hanging by the door, a particular chair, a duvet cover, cassette tapes, kitchen implements, clothes, pictures, the contents of the mantelpiece or a china cabinet. 

They will all have an energetic connection at a deep and heartfelt level and guilt at even thinking of parting with them is almost overwhelming.

The grieving person is so emotionally tied via the possessions, to let anything go is tantamount to throwing away the loved one.

It’s a calm and gentle process to reach an understanding of love living on purely in the head and the heart. 

It’s not in your mother’s teacups or your father’s pajamas, and you won’t find it in your husband’s box of medication, your friend’s piano or your departed pet’s smelly cat basket.

When the realization comes, it’s infinitely easier to release everything which has no place in your future. Keeping just a few genuinely happy mementoes which are small enough to travel to wherever new life beckons.

Suzanne Roynon is an Interiors Therapy Expert with over 25 years of experience in helping individual move forward with their lives when they realise they don’t want to live in the past anymore.

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