A MUSEUM TO GRIEF
Editor’s note: this is an abbreviation of an essay by author Elizabeth Gilbert. It was not meant specifically about bereavement, but I thought the advice was so apt and adaptable to dealing with grief that I edited it down and include it as an Inspirational Quote. LL
About nine years ago, a dear friend called me one morning in a state of joy, to inform me that she had spent all night throwing out old letters, photographs and diaries. She sounded so free and light, it was amazing. Later that week, I took a deep breath. Then I took two big black garbage bags and did a MAJOR cleansing. Divorce papers. Angry letters. Tragic diaries of awful times. Vacation photos of friendships now severed. Love letters and gifts from men who had broken my heart. All the accumulated evidences of shame and sadness. All of it: IN THE TRASH.
What was left were only items that made me feel light and lucky and free when I saw them.
That was nine years ago. I have never missed one single piece of it since.
So I ask you — are you holding onto anything that spurs memories of loss, of sorrow? Throw it away. Trust me.
Don’t be stumbling over your unhappy past every day as you walk through your home.
See what happens when you stop hoarding sorrow. See what space it opens up for new light to come in, and new, happier memories to be born.
Don’t be a museum to grief.
from an essay by Elizabeth Gilbert