Things aren’t memories are they the men and women who possessed them, gave them too youpersonally, or left them behind. In case you’ve read my blog or you know mepersonally, you’ll also know that my eldest son Ryan expired in 2007.
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We’re coming up to the 2 year anniversary game (28th August, 2009). As you can imagine, working through such a life changing event, it is really important to take care of your mental health and wellness. I bet a lot of you have, if it was somebody really close to you, you may have been faced with the task of sorting through their possessions – clothing, books, personal items, mementos, athletic decorations….all kinds of things. We all possess a different strategy for dealing with this situation, a few dip in and get it sorted right away either due to requirement (the home has to be sold or handed back to the landlord) or as you just want to’get it done’ others like to conserve the space as it was and spend time sitting in there recalling others simply can’t face it whatsoever. There are tons of situations and combinations of motives and thoughts around this. You just have to do what feels best for you. ; he was no longer here slamming doors (he had been noisy as he went on his business) and light up rooms, bringing smiles to people’s faces and laughing with this wonderful contagious laugh. He cried incessantly, till I’d ask him to get the edited version of a story and he was enthusiastic about the matters which were significant to him. He believed his younger brother Bryce was fabulous, they were best mates. He loved a family or social occasion; he had been an all round nice guy – loved by everyone who had the pleasure of spending time with him. So to stand in his bedroom door or lie on his bed seeing what he saw when he had been in his area was just so very hard back in those days. The equilibrium between melancholy in a way which is congruent with psychological wellbeing and health, given the conditions, and feeling totally unhinged was a really fine line indeed.At the time I was experiencing all types of emotions, sometimes I was miserable beyond words, others I had been angry or felt guilty (after all I was a Mum I ought to have been in a position to make this right) I had times of complete disbelief and many others of inconsolable grief and grief. All part of the practice of dealing with the unthinkable. I was so lucky to have a good grounding in psychological health and wellbeing, given my previous training and a fantastic support network, nevertheless a few days were just plan difficult. Over time I had the strange moment, then perhaps a day when I didn’t cry, finally I had more good days than miserable days, and finally life took on a brand new normal. I’d chosen to live my entire life. In fact my son had set a fabulous example he’d lived a lifetime of pleasure and excitement.A couple of months later Ryan’s death I had decided to form through his clothes, however others who were very near Ryan weren’t ready for that and I packed them back into the wardrobe again. Time went by and for quite a while while it just felt too difficult. Funny how not doing it was preserving my mental wellbeing and wellness at one point and then later not doing it had been having a different impact! I floated the idea with Bryce (my younger son) who offered to assist and we spent a day together in Ryan’s room sorting through all, school publications, photos, clothes, soccer and cricket decorations, paperwork, items out of his 3 weeks traveling across the world. We created piles of things we thought would be special to other people, maintained some things we simply could not throw or give away yet and everything else was bundled up and taken to the local charity shop – that I had been feeling so much milder. Thank goodness Bryce is not a hoarder either! We moved the future to the drop, including the desk my parents gave me in my 8th birthday (it was far past time to let this one go) and it is all being collected by a charity to get re -gifting or resale.The room today feels lighter, there’s a different bed in there using another comforter, and it is uncluttered and includes a whole new feel. In reality, I have a completely new sense, and prognosis also. It has had a really positive effect on my overall mental health and wellness. I’m planning to put something new on the wall and perhaps even paint it a fresh new color. So why am I telling you all this – since it struck me that we often’hang on’ to matters in our life as a representation of a memory or individual. We won’t part with things we no longer have use for because Great Aunt Dorothy gave us that , or it belonged to a parent or kid. We revolve the thing with a memory, the person or feeling, but things aren’t the memory that they may provoke the memory when we hold or examine them. I believe this also has an extremely positive effect on our respective mental health and wellbeing not to mention the flow on impact to people around us.So let’s be real about that, if I kept everything that Ryan ever owned how would that help me? A room of clutter which wasn’t useful to anyone and held me and my family stuck in the sadness of our loss. In letting go of the’things’ I feel lighter and freer and have talented everything that was useful to others and kept what Bryce or I were not yet ready to let go of, I don’t have any doubt over the years that collection will also diminish.I have wonderful memories of my stunning boys; the two of these, of the joy of being their Mum and seeing them develop into lovely young men, making their way from the world having some interesting life experiences, what a gift. As a Mum I don’t require anything to remember every moment of my time together. Most importantly I owe it to those two beautiful boys for an example of mental health and health, I certainly need to be able to show Bryce how to live an outrageously healthy happy life.So what are you holding on in your life that might be used by somebody else, what baggage are you holding onto either physically or emotionally. I think part of living an outrageously wholesome life is finding appropriate ways to deal with life’s troubles. Let us face it maybe not every moment of our lives is full of sweetness and light, it is a lifetime of contrast. We have a fabulous opportunity while on this earth to share of ourselves with the world in all our magnificence.This is my present for you now’Things are not memories nor are they the people who owned themgave them too youpersonally, or left them ‘ Give yourself the gift of letting go of any bags either physical or emotional, allow yourself to experience the joys of both mental health and health regular, and live your finest, most outrageously healthy life.