How to Say Goodbye and Let Go With Love
Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 7:22PM
Linda Samuels in Letting go, Mindfulness, Too Hard to Let Go, change, family, home, laughter, loss, love, mindfulness, organizing, photos, safe passage, stuff

It’s hard to say goodbye and let go. At least it is for me. As a matter of fact, for some, it’s so painful that they avoid it at all costs. After all, who likes pain? There are times, however, when we can no longer hold on. We learn to lean in towards the sadness and accept that it’s part of life. When it’s time to let go, we often feel loss. We’re aware that things are changing. We might pine for the past. There are ways to let go in a loving, compassionate, gentle manner.  What works will be unique for each of us. This week, as I prepared myself to say my final goodbyes to our family home of 57 years, I identified some strategies that helped me along the way. I hope that some of these ideas will help you when it’s your time to let go.


10 Gentle Ways That I Learned to Let Go . . .

1. Writing For Others During the house organizing, clearing and sale process, which began about seven months ago, I began sharing some of the discoveries with you through my blog. How to Improve Life Balance When Organizing Your Stuffis one of the posts from that series. Being able to write about my experiences in this way and have a dialogue with those experiencing similar things helped me to process what was happening, connect with others in a larger way, and let go little by little, one blog post at a time.



2. Talking With Loved Ones I don’t know what I would have done without the love, support and wonderful listening ears of my husband, daughters, siblings and other family members and friends. Collectively they listened as I navigated the good days and challenging ones. They commiserated and offered their help and support. It was their supportive listening that was most appreciated. They supported me as I went through the challenges of transitioning out of the family home and letting go of it and all of its contents. 


3. Practicing MindfulnessFor the last year and a half, I’ve been practicing mindfulness meditation and living more mindfully. While there were a few months that I took a break from meditating daily, I’ve been pretty consistent. The practice has helped me to focus on the present, make peace with the past, and not get too anxious about the future. This practice of being present and mindful of the moment has also helped me beyond measure with letting go of the family home and all that was within it. We have now, not then. We have now, not the future. We can hold our memories close, but if we focus too much on the past, we’ll miss what’s right in front of us…the present. Mindfulness practice has taught me that letting go is a path to being present.


4. Laughing Out Loud The day of the final house clear out, Junkluggers had just emptied the remaining furniture from my dad’s office. Things looked stark and sad. Something on the floor caught my eye that had been hidden under the credenza. I bent down to pick it up and discovered the “Oy vey!” computer key I’d given to my dad years ago. My entire mood lightened. I burst out laughing. In that moment I felt the love, support and shared sense of humor my dad and I always had together. The laughter helped me let go a bit more that day and know that things were going to be just fine. During those challenging times of letting go, don’t underestimate the power of a good laugh.


5. Documenting the Process As many of you know, I love taking photos. Thank you, iPhone! During this period, I took tons of photos as I sorted, edited, sent off, and let go of stuff. As I worked, I often shared images of my latest discoveries with my siblings, husband or kids. Together we enjoyed the memories they invoked. Documenting and sharing things in this way helped me to more easily let go of the physical items. 


6. Writing in My Journal Different from writing the blog posts, which were for public view, I also wrote in my private journal during this time. I’ve been journaling for 46 years. While I’m pretty open on the blog, my personal journal provided me with another venue for processing feelings and thoughts about what was happening. Writing in this personal way helped me to let go.

Below is a passage from one of my journal entries:



What I understand is that letting go doesn’t mean we have to forget. It just means that we release ourselves from holding on. We release ourselves from an obligation or responsibility or expectation. We make a bit more space in our heart and mind for new energy to flow. We lift the anchor. We sail on.



7. Saying Goodbye With My Daughter The week we closed on the house, my oldest daughter, Allison, came with me to see the house for her last time. I knew I’d see the house again that week. But having her there to say her goodbyes, to take photos (yes,we took selfies) and to reminisce together, meant so much to me. Being there together side-by-side gave me great comfort. I let go a little more that day.





8. Documenting the Memories On the day before the closing, I went to the house to say my final goodbyes. As I pulled into the driveway and walked up the path, a cute, brown bunny hopped up the path and led me to the door. It was so funny and unusual to have this bunny escort. I went through every inch of the house taking short 20-60 second clips of each room. As I filmed, I talked out loud about what I was seeing and remembering. I walked around the first floor, then the basement, then to the top floor, and finally outside. I took my time and soaked in what I was seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling. The past and the present were melding into one big picture, a picture that I would now have to hold in my mind and heart. I walked. I talked. I filmed. I cried. I said my goodbyes and let go.


9. Providing Safe Passage In the organizing industry we have a term, “safe passage.” It has to do with letting go. If you’re able to find a good home for the things that you’re letting go of, you’ll feel better and more at peace with saying goodbye and letting go of those things. During the family home clear out and sale, this was definitely true for me. It was easier letting go of the physical contents when I knew it was going to someone that would benefit by or appreciate it.  Having the home itself be bought by a family that would love and care for it as much as we did was also important to us. For the new family and to prepare the home itself for safe passage, I compiled an accordion file of house info essentials including keys, manuals and vendors. I also wrote them a note and left a gift basket. Doing these things made me feel that the house and its contents received safe passage, which provided some closure and allowed me to more easily let go.


10. Letting Go With Love The last gesture that helped me let go and say my final goodbye was to make something. For me, creating is something that I enjoy, but also something that helps me process my thoughts and emotions. While there are many outlets that I use like writing or photography, for this particular goodbye, I chose to make a video that blended music, words and images of the house and family in the past and present. I shared it with my family and friends, and am now sharing it with you. Different from the other videos that I create, this one is long (close to 9 minutes.) So don’t feel obligated to watch it. It’s not a marketing piece, which I intentionally keep short. It’s a piece about love, family, and letting go of my childhood home of 57 years.

Click below to watch "Goodbye, home." video . . .

Big exhale, folks. I’m feeling lighter and happier knowing that our home is in good hands, that all the stuff has found good homes, and that life will continue on in its beautiful, wondrous ways. What resonated with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts about letting go. Come join the conversation!





Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (
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