There’s more to your loved one than you can write in a short biography or character sketch. As you recollect the person after their death, think about your loved one’s possessions and activites.

Recreational or fun activities, the choice of clothing, or the kind or photographs and pictures put up around the house. These are things that are indirect representations of your loved one. They are the mirrors of your loved one’s life – the things that captured his or her essence.

That’s why a favorite briefcase, an old stuffed animal, a much-read book, or a collection of comic books become so important after a death. Your loved one’s possessions not only represent the deceased and remind us of our loved ones, but they become cherished items that somehow contain part of our loved one.

Perhaps nothing says so much about a person as the things he or she collects and chooses to keep. The things we prize are a great example of our choices – our decision that this particular object has value to us.

You can learn a lot about people by thinking about what they own. What was important to your loved one? What does this favored item say about your loved one? How can this prized object help you always a fondly remember loved one?

This is an excerpt from The Healing Journey Through Grief: Your Journal for Reflection and Recovery: Rich, Phil: 9780471295655: Books

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Phil Rich

Phil Rich holds a master’s degree in social work and a doctorate in behavioral studies, and has been a licensed independent clinical social worker for almost 40 years. Phil is an experienced individual, group, and family therapist, and has supervised and trained multiple clinicians. He has been a program or clinical director of numerous treatment programs, including outpatient, inpatient, and residential treatment, and in addition has authored multiple books, chapters, and articles.

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