During the holiday season, many of us are left to ponder not just the grief that flares up during the holidays but also "items" those we have lost have left behind.
And while some pieces are important to keep as family heirlooms and other personal reminders of those that have passed on, many items can be donated to those in need.
Preparing items for donation can be difficult. It makes you sort through the personal effects of someone you have lost and reexamine that person's life as they lived. This process may even bring up aspects of your loved one's life that you were not aware of.
Organization and taking your time are the best ways to cope with some of the negative feelings associated with cleaning out the artifacts left behind by those we've loved and lost. Reach out for help from family when possible, they often should be involved in the process of deciding what stays or goes. If that is not possible, the support of friends can help make the process a little less emotionally taxing, as well.
Donating items that are no longer needed can help to ease the physical burden that loss can add to one's life while also giving back to help make someone else's life a little easier. Large items like furniture, extra clothing, some electronics, and other pieces can be donated to charities if they are in good condition. Organizations like Goodwill or other local religious organizations will likely be able to take them. Many of these organizations will even help you haul away large items or numerous donations. Another added bonus is that many of these donations are tax-deductible.
Additionally, if you are planning a service for a lost loved one, you can request that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to a charity or cause that the deceased was closely affiliated with. Many organizations will accept donations in honor of someone who has passed on and those dollars will help those affected by similar conditions and ease the burden that illness puts on other families.
Donating to others during the holidays can help brighten the lives of families in need while also providing a tangible way to work through the pain of loss.