When someone dies, there is a lot of work to do.
There is the emotional mourning, the painful and invisible grief work, that seems to take much longer than you wish it did. And there are all the decisions to be made about dealing with the remains of a life.
First you have to decide how to deal with the physical remains, a body or cremated ashes. These are hard decisions and become more complex when the family is a large one with varying opinions. I think my family did an amazing job of working through these decisions when my brother died. This is the beautiful location of my brother's physical remains. A perfect decision.
But what about all the other remnants of a life...all the things that he owned, collected, saved and cherished?
What do you do with all the "stuff"?
You want to have enough to still feel connected to a loved one and to be able to emotionally connect with your memories. But what do you need and what do you do with all the other treasures?!
Pam had a very interesting blog post on mourning jewelry made from the hair of the deceased as a souvenir and reminder of their loved one - click here to read her post. That is a lost art of being able to turn human hair into a treasured piece of jewelry.
This is some of my brother's stuff that came to live with me. My brother's canning jars (he loved to garden and make soups and jam) and of course, some of his clothing. I am going to make quilts for his boys for Christmas.
Notice that I didn't say which Christmas! First I have to be brave enough to open the bag!