Good Grief

The term “Good Grief “has been ringing in my ears as of late. I must confess that I have been MIA for the past 2 weeks due to my Mother’s sudden passing on August 1, We celebrated her life on August 6, in a beautiful service and buried her next to my father, who died a mere nine months to the day of her funeral.

Sadly, I have taken residence in grief for quite some time now. I don’t say this for sympathy but merely as a way of letting you know where my mind has been planted. In the past few months I have experienced the loss of my marriage, the sale of my marital home, the end of our lengthy 5 year divorce and the passing of both my father and mother. That is allot of loss for one to encounter and at the end of it all I find myself ensconced in grief.

So, I ask: What is”good” about grief?

As I arranged for my Mother’s burial, grief as they say… got the best of me. Somehow I channeled my inner “productivity gene.” I got busy, very busy. It was my way of coping with all that had happened and I guess one would say that is good.

My grief escorted me inside my sister in laws closet for 9 hours straight, where I organized, alphabetized, colorized and arranged her beautiful wardrobe.

Grief also lead me into her kitchen where I baked at all hours of the day and night. I baked flourless chocolate cakes, banana breads and numeorus batches of biscotti for the funeral. Biscotti, was my mother’s favorite cookie-did I mention she was 100% Italian. I would mail her boxes every two weeks via priority mail. It seemed only fitting that it be supplied at her final farewell.

Grief made me into someone I didn’t even recognize. I abandoned my usual work out regime and healthy eating for eating bits of anything laying around on a hospital cart (read into that cookies and coffee-which I usually avoid) and found me drinking wine (Coppola Claret by the glass with my brother),most likely to numb my brain from taking in all that had happened. I’m a light drinker- one glass of vino will suffice, but I had to finally ask myself: “Who is this person??? Drinking wine, eating baked goods made with white flour and not working out for days on end. My grief was draining,exhausting, relentless and yet somehow a real calorie burner. I lost 7 pounds and didn’t sleep for days. Grief made me focus on what I could do at this very moment to cope.

Good grief.

As far as I can tell, the only thing “good” about grief- is channeling it into some sort of positive and productive task that your brain can wrap it’s head around at that very moment. I was grateful to have such a beautiful space as my my sister in laws closet that provided a respite of CALM and allowed me to grieve silently.

At the end of the day. I found what I’ve always believed to still ring true:

“An organized closet brings a sense of calm”.

Here are a few tips to bring some calm into your closet (although I pray that grief isn’t the motivating factor for organizing your closet):

Let’s get started with a few simple,easy and “oh-so- doable rules:

  1. Start by grouping like items together (jeans/coats/handbags etc)
  2. Work in sections: Start where ever you like- but start in a category and fold or hang everything from light to dark within each category until it’s complete.
  3. Move from category to category and keep rearranging until everything fits. You can double hang (meaning putting more than one pair or one piece on a hanger) jeans, pants, skirts, scarves, shawls and camisoles. You can even double hang sweaters but not by their shoulders -fold and lay over hanger.
  4. If you need a break-take it…BUT do come back to finish-because I promise you that once everything has a place it will bring you a great sense of calm… Half the reason we don’t wear what we own is because we can’t see it.
Totes(folded) coats and Winter wear.

P.S. Just to be clear.. my sister in law is a major Wonder Woman and the rest of her home is beautifully appointed but like most women she leaves her personal space as “last on her list” because she’s taking care of everyone else 24/7,running a successful business, being a fabulous wife and mother and helping with every detail for our family and the impending funeral. I adore her! Thank you Anna.

The girl has some major jewelry mojo. Gorgeous Vintage pieces abound.

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