Tina H., Houston, Texas, asks:

Our house burned down with everything we own in it. I feel like I’ve been orphaned. No surviving photos of our children or our parents. No LPs or CDs or cassettes. Our computers were fried. Our books burned up. Everyone says, “Praise God that no one was hurt.” But I can’t see it. How can I get over this?

Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley respond:

It is very tough to have a house fire that takes everything. One of our listeners’ house burned down a few years ago due to faulty Christmas lights. No one was hurt but it took them a very long time to reorder their lives. It was a very time consuming process as well as costly. Insurance covered much of the costs but nothing can cover the emotional costs of losing Grandma’s rocking chair. One of the things they found helpful was to ask friends and family to send them photographs they had of the family. For the kids, they went to a trophy shop and had the little league and tennis trophies remade and monogrammed.

Each of us has items that have a special meaning. It is important to discuss and think about what you and your family miss most. Then, grieve for you loss, recreate what you can, and remember that loving memories can never be destroyed.

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