Dealing With Downsizing and Grief

This week I’ve been cleaning and organizing. But this time is different than other times because it’s bothering me more. Why is that? Why are you able to jump into this process with a vengeance at times, and then other times, it’s like you are struggling in quicksand. You pick a thing up, and you think I’ll toss it, and then you’ll think, “I’ll keep it,” and then you go full circle and think, “are you crazy??? Why would you keep it?

There was the jewelry box from when I was twelve. I know I wouldn’t throw it out, but as I type this, I think, what will happen to it when I die? lol, I can just imagine what my sons will feel as they come across it.

This week as I organized, I listened to Anderson Cooper’s podcast “All There Is.” The podcast is about Anderson going through his mother’s apartment and dealing with the things left from her life, his father’s life, and the life of his brother, who died at the age of 23 when he committed suicide in front of his mother.

In one episode, It’s tough as he speaks with Stephen Colbert and gets choked up about items he’s dealing with. It’s tough and interesting to me because I think of him as a famous news correspondent who has it all together, and you realize that this process touches him and Stephen the same way it gets to me. So we aren’t so different.

The other thing I was doing this week was organizing photos. Going through the photos and tagging them with people’s names. I keep all my photos on FOREVER, and although all my photos, videos, and genealogy documents are on FOREVER, not all are organized. I jokingly tell my clients that I have all my things there and they aren’t all organized, and “that’s ok”.. I’ll do the best I can, and after that, it will be my sons’ problem to deal with. I want my clients to understand that it’s ok for everything “NOT” to be organized. You do what you can do.

But as I tagged the photos.. it brought the people to my mind. My grandparents, Frank and Mary Middlebrough, my auntie Faye and Edna, my parents, and as I came across each person, thoughts went through my head, “I can’t talk to them, and I sure do miss them.” Some of these people have been gone for almost 20 years, so why now?

Again as I listened to Anderson Cooper and Steven Colbert talk about grief, I realized that’s what’s going on with me; I’m dealing with grief. Steven said that when you deal with grief, you need to know that you won’t deal with it forever and the grief will change, but for now, talk to someone and be patient with yourself. That might be the issue. I haven’t dealt with my grief, and I certainly don’t talk about it.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m talking to someone; I’m talking to you. I know that blogs or articles are supposed to be about a problem and then coming up with a solution. But that’s not what this blog is about this week. This week is about talking to someone about grief and facing it in the hopes that after, I will feel different.

If you’re dealing with these same issues, I encourage you to talk to someone. One book I found helpful a few years ago was called Clutter Busting Your Life. I also encourage you to listen to Anderson Cooper’s podcast, and like me, you’ll realize “you are not alone.”


  • Robin G says:

    Someone told my sister that grief is like ocean waves. At first, the waves just engulf you. Eventually the grief comes in more manageable waves. And then a big one just knocks you sideways without warning.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and letting us all know we’re not alone.