How many of you long to get a bedroom cleaned out, a closet tended to, or the house organized after the death of your loved one? Believe it or not, it’s a common phenomenon.
Today I want to share with you the story of Annie, a client who did not lose her spouse, but lost both of her parents in the same year, and then was unceremoniously moved into their master bedroom!
Annie reached out to me several months ago because she was struggling to figure out what to do with both her grief and her bedroom.
The grief was due to the loss of both of her parents in the same year, and her bedroom…. well…
She had moved home (another story) with her two boys to take care of her parents. All three were sharing a room. When her father died (he was the second), she moved into her parents’ room; as in climbed into their bed and went to sleep and shoved her clothes into their closet!
Of course she was struggling with her grief. She was literally enveloped by it! We spent the first few months coaching around her loss, and when she was ready, we tackled the master bedroom itself.
Where to begin? Her first purchase was a new set of bedroom furniture and a mattress. Then she decided to paint, and selected several colors and got on the list with the local painter. As you can imagine, during the pandemic, both of these items took quite a while.
We decided to tackle the closet first. Remember, Annie had been able to remove her parents’ clothes to put hers in. There had been no organizing plan except she needed her clothes accessible!
We took everything out of the closet so we could start with a fresh slate. Piece by piece we evaluated her clothing. We did the same with her shoes. There were several items of her mothers’ still in the closet, and we either found a new home for them or let them go.
Like items were sorted and hung neatly. Shoes were stored in one location on the top of the closet. You can still see her mothers step stool in the corner.
Then we moved into the bedroom.
Annie said the most challenging part of the bedroom was tackling the bedside tables. Her father had stored a lot of papers in there, and she was anxious about going through them.
That’s where the magic of having another person on hand happens.
Together we emptied out the drawers, taking the time to pause when things got tough. She cried. She panicked. She took deep breaths, and then she pressed on. The trick was to keep moving through the grief, and not get stuck in it.
There were items she lovingly chose to keep, and we made sure to pack them carefully and store them in a place that would not be compromised by the elements.
The same approach applied to all of the items on the walls. Annie got to decide what she wanted to keep and what she would let go. There was no pressure, and when she got stuck we talked about it together.
She found a family who wanted the furniture and told me how nice it would be for it to go somewhere new.
I went shopping for her and found a small recliner, some lamps, and an occasional table, which she approved via an animated texting conversation. In addition to creating a bedroom, we were able to carve out a small sitting area for her to have a little privacy.
Annie chose to keep many of the things that reminded her of her mom and dad. The difference was, she got to have the control over what it was and how it was displayed. Instead of walking into a room filled with triggers, she now walks into HER room, and lovingly see’s bits of her mom and dad.
.. I wanted to say thank you. I couldn’t have done this without you. For the first time since I moved in here, I feel like this could actually be MY room. I actually want to go into my room, and I fee happier in this room than anywhere else in the house.Annie
What got Annie through this project? She took the time to engage herself in her future! She answered the questions and decided how she wanted to feel in her bedroom once this process was over. That vision became her guiding light when things got tough.
This is the essence of what I do. I help people organize and design and intentional life. In Annie’s case, it started in the bedroom.
We process the past, and then get connected to the future. When the picture is cemented, we get to work making it happen.
I did it for Annie, and I can do it for you.
P.S. If you want to talk about how I can help you, just click on the button on the homepage to schedule an appointment. It’s that easy.