What exactly is grief? Grief is a response to loss, mostly the loss of someone we have a bond or affection for. Grief comes in different forms not just emotional but it’s important to remember its different for everyone. The healing process has no timeframe so be patient with y
It’s said that there are 7 stages of grief – Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance and Hope and Processing Grief. You may or may not go through each of these stages in this order, you may dip back into stages you think you may have overcome.
During the latter stages of your grief journey this may be when you start to feel ready to properly sort through their clothes. Never underestimate how hard this will be, opening their wardrobe and cupboards may spark special memories for you.
Maybe choose to have a relative or friend help you go through their clothes and remember to pace yourself you don’t need to get it all done in one afternoon. Start with the items that are easiest to sort through and discard, such as their underwear and socks. This way you get to build momentum and work your way up to the bigger things.
But what can you do with their clothes and how do you choose which ones to keep and which ones to pass on?
As you sort through their clothes do not feel guilty about discarding or donating certain items. The important items to keep are those that you may want to consider keeping items they wore for a special occasion such as a wedding or celebration. Maybe something they absolutely loved wearing – even if it is a little threadbare.
You may want to consider what you will do with each item as this may help you with the decision making. I'm hoping the following 7 ideas will help you.
1. Sell some of their clothes - As you sort through you may find clothes that are new and still in a good condition that may not hold any sentimental value to you.
These are great for selling and raising funds for funeral costs and/or to pay for memorial keepsakes for you and the family.
2. Donate some to the charity shop - Give some of their clothes new home by donating them to a local charity shop. If there are any items that you feel are beyond repair and have no sentimental meaning to them throw these ones away.
3. You could keep a selection of items to store in a keepsake box.
This is a great idea as a therapeutic way to sort through their clothes but not to remove them from our life completely. You can store letters, cards, jewellery and photos. As time passes you may feel ready to do something with the clothes and just keep the little mementos in there.
4. Give them to a friend or relative - You are not alone in this. Family members and friends are also grieving and gifting them items of their clothing to keep themselves could mean a lot to them. Whether it be for them to wear themselves or store away.
You may choose to have their clothes re-purposed into a keepsake for yourself and/or gifting to your family giving them a new lease of life.
5. Have some clothes made into a memorial bear.
By having the clothes made into a memorial bears they bring the clothes out of a cupboard and out on display for everyone to see. Whether you have it sat on your bed or on the sofa, it makes them a great conversation piece when people come to visit.
Memorial bears become great companions on those lonely days. They can be made from just 1 item of clothing, but you could include more if you wanted.
The possibilities are endless.
6. Have a memory cushion made from a shirt or jumper
You may choose to have their favourite shirt, blouse or jumper made into a cushion.
You’d be surprised at how by just closing your eyes, squeezing this cushion, taking in their scent that you can imagine them being in the room with you again and remembering the sound of their voice.
A memory cushion will trigger so many of those happy memories you shared with each other. It may well be that they had several favourite items that you want to share with all the family, and this is where the patchwork cushions work well. If they loved wearing a tie you can even have their ties sewn together to make a great statement cushion.
Finally, Have your loved ones clothes made into a memory blanket.
Blankets are a great way to use a multitude of different items of their clothes. Seeing all their clothes sewn together in one place tells a beautiful story of the life they had. Think about all their favourite clothes and even the ones that have funny stories attached to them.
Eventually with time you will be able to look at the memory blanket and it will only make you smile by making those wonderful memories come to life.
If after reading this you've decided you would like to have something made from their clothes but you have just don't know which design to choose then you can schedule a consultation call with me. During this call we can discuss what clothes you have to use, what your initial thoughts and how we can proceed.
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I look forward to working with you in the near future and preserving those school year memories for you and your family.