Time to Let Go: Amber’s Journey



I’m in the middle of a house project, renovating my basement, and I was forced to get through things in storage, in my crawl space and closets. As I was pulling things out and going through bins, all of you, my readers and clients, came to mind. You often hire me to come alongside you and unearth things that have been hidden for a while or in storage and here I was doing the same type of project.  Some things are sentimental to us and bring up memories. This last week I came head on with a basement full of memories and new milestones for me.  I’ll warn you before you read on and say that this blog gets pretty personal.  I don’t mean to shock you and I don’t often get personal with the public. My hope is that it would help any of you who are in a similar situation or state of mind.

My progress in the basement reminded me that time does need to pass as we grieve losses. Whether it’s our health we’ve lost, a loved one, or a marriage, grieving is essential. Sometimes the organizing and purging part can’t take place until time has passed. Sometimes we aren’t ready to go through bins of stuff because the memories and pain are raw. Give yourself a break if that is what you are up against right now. Let time pass. Revisit those boxes, bins, or project at another time when you are ready.

In my case it was a bin of cancer things. After going through breast cancer in 2011-2012, I packed away all the things in the house that reminded me of my surgeries and treatment. It filled one large canvas basket. I saved everything because at that time I clung onto what got me through. I saved all that brought me comfort and all that taught me how to make it. The weeks and months after cancer, I felt guilty that I wouldn’t purge and let it go. Every time I tried I failed. I would end up looking at it, and then would put it back in the closet. Now it’s March 2014 and guess what? I let it go just five days ago! I pulled it out while doing my basement project and looked at it one last time and dumped it all in a garbage bag. The bag went straight to the garbage cans behind my garage. I breathed a sigh of relief and realized time helped me heal and all I needed was time and perspective away from my battle of cancer to be able to accomplish letting it go.

As I was letting go of my cancer bin, I began storing something new—my wedding dress and wedding album. My divorce was final this week.  I’m not ready to pitch these items or donate the dress just yet. The pain is still too close to home and time hasn’t lapsed enough. So I packed them up and shoved them far back into the crawl space. They’re safe and sound, bothering no one.  As I put these boxes away, I didn’t feel guilty. I didn’t feel like I was in a rush to purge and let it go. Instead, I was encouraged to know and realize that once enough time has passed, I’ll be able to pitch these as well.

Photo © vividpixels / depositphotos

This entry was posted in Basements, General Organizing, Memorabilia, Personal Thoughts, Storage and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Time to Let Go: Amber’s Journey

  1. Linda Carlisle

    Wow, Amber! Thanks for sharing. Very wise insights. I am glad you are holding up so well under some of life’s toughest curve balls…keep the inspiring words flowing!

  2. Patty Wolf says:

    Wow Amber, thank you for sharing such an intimate and compelling story. I’m glad you’re giving yourself the time you need, no matter how long it takes. You’re a good role model for us all, showing us how to be patient and wait until the time is right.

  3. Amber,

    Your approach is sensitive, intelligent, and balanced. I love the way you recognize and honor the need to save certain things that have deep emotional significance for a certain length of time, as well as the need to also revisit those items when the raw edges of the emotion have been worn smooth and you’re ready and willing to let them go.

    Good for you! I hope your recovery from the pain of divorce will be as successful as the recovery from cancer. Something tells me you will do just fine.

  4. TCI says:

    Yes, it was touching and I am sorry for you and yet happy to see that you are strong. Sometimes, you feel everything comes in twos and threes. I understand your logic behind letting it sit for a while. People may think that you cannot deal with it right now but maybe you don’t have to anyway. Let it sit for a while, sleep over before making rush decisions. Love your blog.

  5. I’m glad you’re giving yourself the time you need, no matter how long it takes.You are taking a good role for us and it can be a very helpful for us.Thanks for sharing .
    ABDUL GHAFFAR recently posted..Why should I use field management software?My Profile

  6. Jenny

    I really liked the way you interpret your journey and how you are doing great after all you had to face. You are indeed a very motivating person!

  7. Vicki Del Boccio

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Amber. So sorry to hear that the divorce was finalized. Thanks be to God for the hope He gives in all circumstances. I pray that hope and peace will be yours as you work through issues and begin rebuilding your life. Love you!

  8. Apu Mridha says:

    Thanks for sharing this amazing article … enjoyed every bit of it .. 🙂


  9. Amber says:

    Thank you for everyone’s words of encouragement and kindness. I’m grateful.

  10. Donald Quixote from Lutz Law says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us readers. Divorce can be a really hard thing to go through. I commend you for holding on to your dress and album. Though the love is no longer there, it once was and the man you married still was a large part of your life.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, thank you for sharing some really personal things. I’ve been following your blog for a while and find all your tips and suggestions and strategies extremely helpful. I am glad you shared this with your clients because it helps us realize that everyone needs time to purge certain memories, and that’s ok. It’s like, you just gave us permission to sort of take it easy and not be so hard on ourselves if there is a huge memory that we’re not ready to purge yet. It will happen in time, and we’ll know when it’s time. Thank you, again, for sharing. I am praying for you.

  12. Amber says:

    Thank you for your kind words Elizabeth. I’m glad you found my honesty helpful. Thank you for being a loyal follower 🙂

  13. MD Arifuzzaman says:

    thank you very much for sharing this wonderfull ideas. i’m inspired by your blog 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge
This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)