The Link Between Grieving and Estate Organizing

“Grieving is about choosing what to hold onto and what can be let go of.”

These words were spoken by Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, author and bereavement social worker, during a daylong workshop The Art of Saying Goodbye.  I’m glad that I was seated when she said this, because you could have knocked me over with that proverbial feather.  Isabel’s description of grieving is identical to my basic definition of home organizing.  For many years I have intuitively understood the vital connection between estate organizing and the grieving process, but have struggled to express it.  Sometimes it takes a lot of experience to be able to recognize the obvious.  Kudos, Isabel!

It isn’t easy to sort through either one’s grief or a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions, but when done consciously and compassionately, the results can be priceless.

Rumi wrote;

 Pain is a treasure of mercy.

 Behind its thick rind is a delicious fruit.


Thanks to Susan Barber of Mission Hospice in San Mateo, California for organizing the workshop.  And to facilitators Isabel Stenzel, Robin Modlin, Christine Kovach and Cheryl Jones for demonstrating respectively how to use creative writing,  mosaic & collage, altar building and singing as tools for expressing mourning and moving through grief.






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