how do you handle the stuff?

Setting aside the grief and the sadness and the loss itself, there are basically two categories of things that need to be dealt with: the stuff and the memories. 

It is obviously much more complicated than that, but I've never seen it broken down and discussed this way, and it's something that makes a lot of sense to me.  Today and tomorrow we're going to talk about what to do with the stuff.  Thursday and Friday we'll talk about what to do with the memories.  This is all very personal, and may not make sense for everyone, but no single answer or point of view will make sense for everyone.

Dealing with the stuff belonging to Greg is something I had to face, and something I still face, but in a much smaller way than my parents did.  He lived in their house and they had to deal with all of his day to day things, as well as everything he'd collected, saved, worn and used over the years.  So my experience is not the same as theirs, is not the same as yours, is not the same as anyone's. 

In my house, I had a few notes and cards he wrote to me, pictures, a couple of books of his, gifts he had given me, and that's about it.  But as my parents went through their own struggle with his stuff, they gave me some things, and I asked for some things. 

It is very hard to find the right balance.  If you keep too much stuff, you face an inability to move forward, and can get stuck in the past without enough room to grow and heal.  If you don't keep enough stuff, it can create a raw hole where everything slips away too fast and it feels like one of those falling dreams, the one where you fall and fall and fall and never land. 

As of right now, I have some pictures around, I have a few of Greg's favorite books on my bookshelves, I have a note he wrote to me on my fridge.  I have a box of various mementos on the shelf in my closet, where I can go look at it anytime I want, but I don't have to encounter it daily.  I also have a couple of dedicated memorial objects, which are among my most prized possessions.  I'll show them to you tomorrow. 


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