Team members here at My Divine Concierge are frequently asked what it is we love most about our jobs. That’s hard to say. However, one thing that sticks out to a lot of people who do what we do is how powerful memories can be in helping people through some of the difficult situations we help them deal with. Downsizing is a great example.
Imagine being in the position of having to say goodbye to the family home you have lived in for decades. It is the place where you raised your children. It is a place that has been home to more tears and laughter than you could ever hope to remember. Leaving the family home can be extremely devastating to older people – whether they have to downsize by necessity or have simply chosen to do so.
It is very common for us to help older people through the downsizing process. It is also common for that process to encourage memories that end up being both comforting and therapeutic at the same time. We concierge providers are blessed to be able to help clients relive some of those memories as they go through their possessions.
Holding on While Letting Go
Most downsizing circumstances dictate that a client we are helping cannot take everything. A lot of possessions simply have to be let go. That can be just as hard as letting go of the family home. So one of our jobs is to help clients take stock of their possessions in order to determine what is most important to keep. In so doing, we are helping them hold on to their most precious memories even though they are letting go of an important part of their lives.
Imagine an older couple sitting on the sofa and going through boxes we pull out of storage. At the bottom of one of the boxes they find a small piece of cloth cut from a blanket that used to belong to one of the children. That small piece of fabric instantly sparks memories of how the child and his blanket were completely inseparable. The couple tells a few stories, laughs a little bit, and moves on to the next item.
Whether the couple decides to keep that piece of cloth or not, just reliving the memories brought them a momentary measure of joy that helped to ease the anxiety and sadness of downsizing. For a few brief minutes, that couple smiled at one another and relived what was a very happy time for them. String enough of those brief moments together and the downsizing process does not have to be nearly as difficult.
Using Memories as Therapy
We encourage downsizing clients to keep at least some of those precious possessions that hold special memories. There is no point in completely purging everything. In addition to the positive emotions and energy happy memories create, we have heard that memories can be good therapy as well.
We concierge providers are by no means trained medical professionals, but we have heard it said that stimulating memories can be helpful to patients in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Having observed the power of memories in our own experiences, it would not surprise us one bit if such assumptions proved to be true. Memories are quite powerful indeed.
It is understandable that downsizing is difficult for many people. My Divine Concierge aims to come alongside clients to remove as much difficulty as possible. Part of that is allowing clients to take the time to enjoy their memories. We don’t underestimate the power of memory, and neither should you.