Belongings: What to do with your loved one's letters and...

Belongings: What to do with your loved one's letters and...

by Anne Jennings


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This book seeks to understand the connection bereaved people have with their loved one's personal belongings.It discusses a simple method of keeping only the items that recall the happy moments spent together with family and friends.It offers suggestions on ways to display keepsakes and photos to create healthy memories of your beloved. The key to this process is giving away, selling or donating the belongings that bring back difficult memories of the death, illness, and sad times. Other suggestions discuss how to change routines, furniture and other elements of the home environment to reflect your life in the present moment.

Grief is not linear, it is a mess. Right now, things in your world are not happening in a neat, orderly way. Life is messy too.

I am going to tell you about an interesting event that illustrates how messy life can be. It happened when I was writing this book. After finishing the first draft, I stayed at my friend Brenda's place over the festive season. We returned from a walk to the park to find her younger sister rescuing the loose pages of the manuscript after her puppy had had a fight with the cranky ginger cat. The scene we came across included spilled orange juice, hand-written notes scattered on dining chairs, and animal paw prints on neatly typed paper all over the floor. It was a disaster. Brenda's sister tried to put the document together, but it was out of order and she had to peg some pages out on the line to dry.

I was tempted to leave the pages out of order as a metaphor for the messiness of what you are going through. I initially wanted to get straight into the sorting of belongings, as that is what you want to read about. You can of course jump straight to the sorting section if you like-Sorting Belongings. But I realised that I needed to make it easy for you to find the information most relevant to you, so, unlike how you probably feel your life is right now, the book layout is structured and orderly.

Yes, life is messy!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780994255303
Publisher: Greenslade Creations
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Anne began her career studying interior design in 1973 and became interested in Feng Shui after designing a hotel, doctor's surgery and private homes for a Malaysian client. She also has qualifications in eco-psychology, mediation and as a funeral celebrant.

Anne's passion for creating welcoming home environments came about after years working with bereaved families, finding just the right spot for the bequeathed items from a loved one.

She has studied in Australia, Singapore and America, lectured for many years in Design at Hunters Hill and Strathfield Colleges, and worked as a professional space clearer in public and private buildings.
Anne has also worked as a guide in the leading open range zoo in Australia supporting guests while camping overnight, and interacting with endangered native and exotic animals.

In her fifties, Anne returned to country New South Wales where she trained as a jillaroo and completed a Certificate in Agriculture. She has worked on the family farm, for the RSPCA and as a strapper on an Arabian horse stud until 2013.

Table of Contents

Dedication vii
Disclaimer ix
Foreword xi
About the Author xiii
About this Book 1
How can this book help you? 3
Helping Others To Help You 5
Sorting Belongings 7
Keep what makes you happy, get rid of what doesn't 7
Your connection with the deceased 8
Grounding exercise 8
General tips for sorting 11
Bequeathed items 15
Sorting other items after bequeathed items are located 16
Organising different types of belongings 19
Children's belongings 21
Diaries and text messages 22
Photos and artworks 23
Pets 25
Finishing up 27
How to cleanse belongings 28
Plant a tree 29
Hoarding 31
Cultural traditions 33
Putting the House Back Together Creatively 35
Involve the family 36
New family traditions 37
Ideas to freshen your bathroom and bedroom 39
Children's and young people's rooms 43
Guest rooms and spare rooms 45
Dining room 46
Outside areas 47
Colour in the home 49
Staying Put or Selling the Family Home 51
Things to consider 51
A fun activity 53
Selling the home and moving away 53
Bless this house 55
Our home is a haven 56
Moving into the new home 58
Bless the new house 58
Stories 61
Maria's story 61
Jan's story 63
Liam's story 64
Relationships 67
Relationship with your current partner 67
Your deceased partner 68
A difficult relationship 68
New relationships 69
Breathing Relaxation Exercises 71
After a long day 74
Get rid of stress 75
Fresh eyes 76
Engaging happy feelings 76
Creating your present life 78
Awareness and release of items 78
Working up to sorting out 80
Letting go 81
Lifting your mood 82
Maintain healthy boundaries 82
Different Types of Grieving 83
Bereaved by suicide 83
After sexual abuse and domestic violence 84
Author's note 87
Acknowledgements 89
Resources 93
Books 93
Helpful organisations and websites 94

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