Coping With Loss Through Minimalism

So today I’d like to talk about something I’ve recently decided to pursue in light of the loss my family has suffered.

I’ve discovered that I do not grieve like ~most~ people do.  I haven’t withdrawn in real life, but I’ve withdrawn on most of my social media accounts.  There aren’t tears, but nightmares.  There aren’t exclamations of grief, but I write poem after poem in dedication.

But alongside all of this, I’ve learned a few things.  I learned that my family stretches farther than I previously thought–there are more of us than I had realized.  I learned to rely on the strength of others, and not just my own.

I learned about how fragile life really is, and how sometimes the most difficult questions that can be asked don’t have answers.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today.

No, I want to talk about minimalism.

You see, during countless trips back and forth between my college and a hospital a couple hours away, I learned that there really isn’t much that I need after all.

Writing things, a few outfits, and my loved ones …

I didn’t miss anything else.  When the dust was beginning to settle, and I was back at home, sitting in my room, I realized just how many things I had that I didn’t need.  I had realized the full depth of the support I had in my family–the full depth of things that can’t be purchased or sold …

I had discovered the value of life in the depths of my sorrow.

A child was dead, and my family was grieving, and … well the amount of unused, unloved, and unnecessary possessions I had tucked away in drawers didn’t sit well with me.

So I began to go through it.

Old papers, broken trinkets, clothes I didn’t wear or like, colorful pieces of plastic, empty boxes.

It all seemed so … useless.  I gave my little cousin anything that I thought she could use or would want more than I did.  Nail polish, jewelry, unworn sweaters, hair-bows.  I still have some prom dresses to give her.

I threw away anything that I didn’t absolutely love, that couldn’t be sold or given away.  Anything that could be of value to anyone else, I put in a garage sale pile.

I discovered that I didn’t wear 3/4ths of the clothes I had.  I also discovered that once I got rid of the things I had collected in boxes covered with dust, I couldn’t even remember what those boxes used to hold.

And by clearing out anything that I didn’t truly love, I found that I could appreciate what I did have more.

I’m still on this journey–it’s only been about a month or two, but I love the sense of enlightenment it gives me.

One day I hope to get my wardrobe down to 50 pieces, year round, including shoes and jackets.  One day I’d like to say that I don’t own anything that I don’t truly love, I only occupy my time with activities that I love, and that the people I choose to spend my time with are people whose company I love more than anything else.

I used to be someone that held value in material possessions like you wouldn’t believe.  I even took a quiz for an English class that told me my love language was tied up in gifts.

(I’m sure it still is, with as happy as I’ve been giving away things to people that would like or use them more than me.)

This isn’t me telling you to do what I’m doing.  This is me telling you what’s working for me, and helping me.  (Besides the poetry that I’ve shared with you all.)

But by all means, if something that I’ve said or mentioned here strikes a chord with you, you should try it.  However, don’t go throwing out anything that you are uncertain about right away.  Give yourself some time to reflect on it.  Put anything that is uncertain in a box and seal it away.  After a month, if you haven’t missed anything in the box–donate it.

I have a couple boxes stashed away at my house that I’ll be going through, probably over spring break.  All that I can remember that’s in them are my smashed penny collection and a feather hacky sack from china.

OH, and my Polly Pockets from when I was little. ❤  Those will stay.

Anyways, thank you for reading.  🙂  If you were interested in minimalism, and would like to hear more about it, leave a comment letting me know, or like this post! 🙂  As I learn more about this new lifestyle, if anyone is interested, I would be willing to share my knowledge.

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